As Darkwing Duck is set in St. Canard, it's not surprising most of the cast are St. Canardians. Most of them are also regular, Earth-born, not trying to take over the world but also not stopping anyone else from doing so, fully organic with DNA that's been the same since birth and parents whose DNA has been the same since birth, neurotypical, normals. Nonetheless, a lot fall outside this string of traits and it's them the story is primarily concerned with.
- For an overview of all characters, please see Category:Characters.
Darkwing Duck, also known as Drake Mallard, is the self-assigned protector of St. Canard. He was born and raised in the city and from a young age had encounters with the criminal side. These inspired him to make a stand for a safer St. Canard in the vein of the heroics of his ancestors. He spent some time in Asia to pick up several tricks and skills and upon return to St. Canard came in contact with SHUSH, a worldwide operating organization against terrorism. He became a freelance agent of theirs and received pay and gadgets to keep St. Canard safe and occasionally help them out with a case. With these resources and presumably no living blood relatives, he let go off his civilian identity and for a time solely existed as Darkwing Duck, who lived in his base of operations, Darkwing Tower. His acquainting with Gosalyn Waddlemeyer and subsequent adoption of the girl made him retrieve his Drake Mallard identity and buy a regular house to live at. His life has since become much more complicated but also much more rewarding.
Gosalyn Waddlemeyer is these days known as Gosalyn Mallard. Her parents died some time before her ninth birthday and she lived with her grandfather, Professor Waddlemeyer, after that. This came to an end when he was murdered. She went to the St. Canard Orphanage next, where her excess of energy scared off several potential parents. Change came when she was targeted by her grandfather's murderers and came under the protection of Darkwing Duck. The two bonded and when all was over, he returned as Drake Mallard to adopt her. Gosalyn became one of the first to know about his secret identity, coming only second to Launchpad McQuack for practical reasons. She loves to be back in a regular household and invites herself into the superhero business hidden behind it, no matter what her father thinks of it. Her courage and athletic abilities have softened him up to her involvement, though. Gosalyn has acquired a solid friend in her neighbor, Honker Muddlefoot, who too is in on Darkwing's identity.
Launchpad McQuack comes from a family of stunt pilots and has one younger sister. Because of his propensity to crash, he left them and became a pilot for Scrooge McDuck in Duckburg. When he heard of the exploits of Darkwing Duck in St. Canard, he became his first and for a long time only fan. He built the Thunderquack for Darkwing on the off-chance they'd ever meet, which proved useful during Darkwing's first big case. Launchpad was hired as Darkwing's pilot and sidekick and given a room in the new house Drake Mallard purchased, essentially becoming part of his new family. Launchpad was the first to know of Darkwing's secret identity. As Darkwing's sidekick, Launchpad is trained to occasionally stand in for him as Darkwing Decoy. His feelings on this are mixed due to insecurity, but he always proves Darkwing's faith is not misplaced.
Honker Muddlefoot comes from a loving if oblivious family, the Muddlefoots, and has an older brother who bullies him. He befriended Gosalyn when she and her family came to live next door and one way or another found out about Darkwing Duck and Drake Mallard being the same person. He was accepted into the team and his intelligence has been crucial to survival and victory multiple times. Despite being part of a group of crimefighters that take on highly dangerous enemies on a near-daily base, Honker has only marginally learned to stand up for himself. That's where Gosalyn comes in, for as much as she makes use of his brain, she looks out for him and genuinely cares about his growth to a more confident self. Also supportive of him is Launchpad, who recognizes that Honker is a fellow sidekick and knows that can be tough.
Morgana Macawber is a monster from Transylvania, where she grew up in Macawber Castle. Her household consisted of a lot of family members, although Morgana herself is an only-child. Her father, Moloculo Macawber, is the patriarch of the household. As all monsters, the Macawbers aren't fond of normals, but Morgana is an exception. After living on her own in Macawber Manor in St. Canard for a while and sustaining herself with crime, she met Darkwing Duck and the two fell in love. Morgana has since bettered her lifestyle and made many good relations with normals. Morgana is an alumn of Eldritch Academy of Enchantment, meaning she can cast magic, although she still has some improving to do. She's also a business woman active in the food industry and has extensive knowledge on mushrooms.
Outside of his own team, Darkwing has various fellow crimefighters he cooperates with. The main two groups he's affiliated with are SHUSH and the Justice Ducks. SHUSH is an internationally operating agency with headquarters in St. Canard for whom Darkwing works as a freelance agent. He receives a monthly paycheck and gadgets to test and sometimes keep from them. The head of the organization is J. Gander Hooter, who is fond of Darkwing. SHUSH's chief agent, Vladimir Gryzlikoff, considers Darkwing a disastrous rival and would rather see the unreliable element removed from SHUSH, but the two share an uneasy respect for each other's accomplishments. Sara Bellum is one of SHUSH's most ambitious scientists and is neutral to Darkwing as long as he doesn't insult her work. The Justice Ducks are a superhero team of five that includes Darkwing, the cyborg Gizmoduck, the sorceress Morgana, the mutant Neptunia, and the mutant Stegmutt. Darkwing is more or less the leader, despite at first being highly opposed to having to share the glory. The five don't team up often, but the results are good when they do.
Other than Darkwing Duck and those part of his teams, there are many heroes active in Calisota and beyond. Darkwing is on good terms with a few of them, like Captain Protozoa, Sponge Boy, and the Rubber Chicken, while others, like Ulti-Man and the rest of the Super Power Union, he'd rather not have around. Darkwing even has connections with extraterrestial heroes, such as Captain Big Nasty and nearly the entire population of Mertz. The relations with the heroes from Duckburg, who are all associated with Scrooge McDuck, who himself is a civilian-hero and has experience as a costumed hero, vary depending on the situation, but usually work out in the end.
St. Canard houses more than enough criminals and other creeps to keep Darkwing busy until sunrise, if not longer. Although even they sometimes need a break, like when they head out to attend the supervillain convention in Florida. Most of Darkwing's rogues gallery are regular thieves and aggressors, like the biker gang, the mugger gang, the Back-Alley Bushwacker, and Jambalaya Jake and Gumbo. Higher up are criminals similar to them, but with grander ambitions and the tools to get there, like Weasel Loman, the King, and Frequencia. Other villains, such as Jock Newbody, Trenchrot, and Mondo, don't have inherently illegal goals, but they rub elbows with those who do and at the very least cause significant trouble. Another layer is formed by the mutants and techno-powered individuals, whose aims waver between revenge, money, and making the world a little more fitting for themselves. Examples of these are Splatter Phoenix, Quackerjack, and Dr. Fossil. Organized crime comes mostly in the form of F.O.W.L., an international terrorist group, but there's also the organization of Taurus Bulba, the army of Professor Moliarty, and the Brainteasers. The big wildcard of St. Canard is Negaduck, whose primary aim is simply to cause chaos and misery. He's the one who organized and leads the Fearsome Five, a team of mutants and techno-powered individuals. A special category of villains is composed of demons, whose unique goals and raison d'êtres often are one and the same.
Among all the eventfulness of the clashes between heroes and villains are the civilians, living their lives as steadily as they can and keeping society running. Some days this is easier than others and with the times change the attitudes the civilians have regarding the heroes, Darkwing Duck in particular. Basically, if there's trouble, they know who to blame for not saving them, but if it's peaceful, the public's attitude wavers between indifference, hostility, and (misdirected) over-enthusiasm. This makes them a fairly useful resource for the villains to exploit. The Muddlefoots and Macawbers are examples of average civilian households. Civilians hold a large variety of jobs and while all of them are at risk of crossing a villain's (or rambunctuous hero's) path, some are at greater risk than others. Bank personnel, museum personnel, and jewelry personnel regularly have to deal with them. So do reporters, for instance Webra Walters and Tom Lockjaw, but they often seek out the danger for a good scoop. Others, like the Hamburger Hippo cook and the paperboy, are just extremely unlucky with the amount of times they ended up targeted. Heroes and villains are not civilians, but they also aren't constantly at work. When there's no crime around, the Mallards have the same delights of raising a child, video games, neighbors, plumbing, laundry, and bills as any family. And villains need their off time too, whether to watch TV, go holiday shopping, or manage their legal businesses. Under these circumstances, they are functionally civilians.
"Normal" is a term monsters use to denote their fellow mortal Earthlings who aren't classified as monsters. Normals make up the majority of the Earth's population and aren't on good terms with monsters, whom they often don't even believe to exist. For the most part, normals adhere to a rhythm of working by day and sleeping by night. Those active at night are usually those with criminal intentions, those who try to stop criminals, and the few people who have to man posts that cannot be risked to be left alone for the amount of hours the night lasts. Examples in order are the biker gang, Darkwing Duck, and security guards. An example of a completely average family of normals of the American variety are the Muddlefoots. Normals may be able to learn magic, like D'Shane and Granny Whammy, but this is rare amongst them.
The zombies, vampires, witches, werewolves, and cyclopes of Gosalyn's favored movies may not be real, but that doesn't mean monsters as a whole aren't real. There aren't as many of them, it seems, as normals, but they have thriving communities. The monster most important to Darkwing Duck is Morgana Macawber, his girlfriend. Monsters aren't fond of normals and look down on them, while normals fear monsters and treat them with hostility. Morgana may have had similar views as her kind, among which the entire Macawber Family, once but has made many normal acquaintances in St. Canard and now tries to build bridges between the two groups. One important element in the monster world is magic, for which there are schools like the Eldritch Academy of Enchantment. Monsters seem to believe normals don't have what it takes to learn magic.
Demons, for lack of a better word, can be easily confused with monsters. They work on a whole different plane, however, and are generally a lot more powerful with abilities that may not come from magic. Most of them also are evil and have a distinct theme or purpose bound to them. Demons Darkwing has met include Paddywhack, a shadow creature who feeds on the misery of others, Nodoff, the king of Dream Land, Solego, a once-mortal sorceror who became the Chaos God, Duckthulhu, a fish-fond entity that seeks to consume reality, Beelzebub, the ruler of Hell, the Grim Reaper, a being tasked with ensuring the dead leave Earth, and Saint Peter, the gatekeeper of Heaven.
Outside of Earth, life exists too. Known inhabited planets include Mertz, Fez, and Larson. Every so often, these aliens come to Earth, some intentionally, some by accident, some with good intents, some with bad intents. Wacko, Captain Big Nasty, Brainteasers, alien cows, Mertzlings, Ulti-Man.
For some reason, St. Canard provides plentiful opportunities for its inhabitants to undergo some form of mutation. Many of the resulting mutants turn to a life of crime and make up a significant portion of Darkwing's rogues gallery. Examples include Megavolt, Isis Vanderchill, the Liquidator, Camille Chameleon, the Rabbit-Racer, and the 3-D Man. Examples of good mutants include the Rubber Chicken, Stegmutt, and Neptunia. Neptunia is a rare mutant who did not start out as a person. She, instead, began life as a fish. She and Fluffy are the only non-citizen mutants who didn't start as plants and fungi either. Those are often a result of Bushroot's designs, but the mutant mushroom monsters and the mutant cabbage aliens have origins due to other factors. For a number of mutants goes that their new powers come with a price tag. For instance, the 3-D Man has lost his mind comprehending a new dimension, Bushroot can't do without sunlight (making prison a terrible place for him), and the Sneezemaster has to become sick to access her abilities. Though strong on their own, some mutants choose to augment their powers with fitting equipment. Megavolt carries around a large battery strapped to his back to have a bigger storage capacity than what his body on its own can hold and Isis Vanderchill has an army of firebugs under her comment that provide external heat powers to complement her internal cold powers.
Cyborgs are creatures that are part organism, part machine. Usually, they start as a fully organic being, then later acquire mechanical components. Sometimes, this is to make up for lost parts of the original organic body. Darkwing has met several of these, all as enemies, such as Steelbeak and the Clawed Hopper. One, Taurus Bulba, he even knew before he became a cyborg. Other times, it is to make a complete body better. The difference between a cyborg and someone using a power suit is small, then, but in the cases of both Gizmoduck and Fluffy, their power suits are part of their identities. Gizmoduck without the Gizmosuit is Fenton Crackshell and Fluffy needs his suit to bridge the gap to personhood. Darkwing has better experiences with this latter group, if not by much.
Robots are beings usually entirely composed of metal or metal-like substances, although other materials are possible too. Robots can be either advanced programs with bodies or persons on their own. Sometimes, the difference is a disconcerting matter of perspective. Alive robots are fewer in numbers than non-living robots, at least as far as Earth is concerned. Alien robots may adhere to other statistics and definitions. An example of a robot from Earth is D-2000, while Captain Big Nasty is a robotic alien specimen.