DuckTales is a 1987 Disney TV Series. It featured the adventures of Scrooge McDuck, and his grandnephews Huey Dewey and Louie. This series had 100 episodes, running for four seasons. The original run ran from 1987-1990 and also aired on The Disney Afternoon.
- The show spawned a feature film known as DuckTales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, which was released in theaters in 1990.
Of the 100 DuckTales episodes, the following are of note for Darkwing Duck.
|4412-120||"Send in the Clones"||The episode that introduced Webra Walters.|
|4412-132||"Top Duck"||The episode that introduced Launchpad McQuack's family.|
|4412-150||"Double-O Duck"||The episode from which Darkwing Duck would arise.|
|4412-154||"Spies in Their Eyes"||The episode that introduced Cinnamon Teal and Ho.|
|4412-155||"Launchpad's First Crash"||More on Launchpad's background.|
|4412-163||"All Ducks on Deck"||The episode that brought over the Phantom Blot.|
|4412-206/210||"Super DuckTales" five-parter||The episodes that introduced Gizmoduck.|
|4412-228||"The Masked Mallard"||A minor inspiration to the creation of Darkwing Duck.|
The basic cast of DuckTales consists of the Carl Barks-team minus Donald Duck, leaving Scrooge McDuck and Huey, Dewey and Louie. After Donald enlists with the navy, the care over the three boys goes from Donald, their mother's twin brother, to Scrooge, their grandmother's older brother. Scrooge takes them along on his adventures and if not, they get involved on their own.
The household and company of Scrooge McDuck is added to largely with DuckTales-original characters. Only Scrooge's personal assistant, Emily Quackfaster, who goes by the name Featherby in DuckTales, had previously appeared in the comics. Duckworth is the butler of Scrooge. Bentina Beakly is hired at the start of the series as nanny for Huey, Dewey, and Louie, to cook, and in general to keep the McDuck residence clean. With her comes her granddaughter Webbigail "Webby" Vanderquack, who is in her custody, and who endears herself to the household quickly to the point she too gets to call Scrooge her uncle. Other children around are Gene, a former genie turned into a boy by a wish from Scrooge, Bubba, a caveboy brought from the past to the present during a time travel adventure, Tootsie, Bubba's pet triceratops, and Doofus Drake, a Junior Woodchuck like the nephews. Doofus also admires and occasionally acts as sidekick to Launchpad, Scrooge's private pilot. Fenton Crackshell started out as a bean counter for Scrooge before becoming his accountant. Additionally, he became the owner of the first (and possibly second) Gizmosuit and therefore has a superhero identity as Gizmoduck. The Gizmosuits were created by Gyro Gearloose, a talented inventor Scrooge often goes to if he needs any sort of gadget. Fenton lives with his mother, who also donned the Gizmosuit once, and is in love with Gandra Dee, a receptionist at Scrooge's bean factory.
As far as the enemy cast is concerned, the regulars are from Carl Barks's stories. Flintheart Glomgold, a South African in the comics but a Scot in DuckTales for political reasons at the time, is Scrooge's rival and the second richest duck in the world. He has far less moral hesitations when it comes to becoming richer than Scrooge. Magica De Spell is a witch who lives at Mount Vesuvius. She wants to create an amulet from coins held by the richest people in the world and won't take any coin from Scrooge less significant to him than his Number One Dime. The Beagle Boys are a gang of brothers who simply target Darkwing because of the huge amount of cash he keeps in his bin. DuckTales added the character of Ma Beagle to lead them and also introduced their cousins, the Beagle Babes. A notable one-time antagonist is Cinnamon Teal, a spy with hypnotic abilities who tried to frame Donald until her employer betrayed her. There were also two Mickey Mouse regulars cast as opponents in incidental stories: the Phantom Blot and Pete. An enemy of note in the comics who didn't make it into DuckTales is John D. Rockerduck, Glomgold's competitor for second richest duck in the world. However, Rockerduck's trait of eating his hat upon defeat was given to Glomgold.
Darkwing Duck owes its existence to DuckTales in multiple ways. Firstly, DuckTales solidified the success Disney could have with animated television series, in which climate Darkwing Duck was conceived. Secondly, it were two episodes of DuckTales that provided the inspiration for the original concept from which Darkwing Duck evolved. These episodes are "Double-O-Duck" and "The Masked Mallard", which originally aired on November 25, 1987 and November 17, 1989.
In "Double-O-Duck", Launchpad McQuack is found by the Duckburg Intelligence Agency, run by J. Gander Hoover, to be nearly identical to Bruno Von Beak. Bruno Von Beak is an agent of F.O.W.L., the Foreign Organization for World Larceny, and the D.I.A. has just arrested him. Because F.O.W.L., run by Dr. NoGood, is threatening the world's money supply, Scrooge McDuck urges Launchpad to join the D.I.A. and take Von Beak's place to destroy F.O.W.L. from within. Launchpad agrees and is provided with gadgets by Gyro Gearloose, who's been working for the D.I.A. for a while already. The gadgets include items such as a camera hidden in a bow tie and elevator shoes as well as a multiform vehicle called the Thunderclutch Whirly Dingy. Following the trail of Von Beak as well as he can, Launchpad meets up with another F.O.W.L. agent by the name of Feathers Galore in New Delhi. Launchpad is put in a corner when it turns out Galore and Von Beak are dating and Galore puts the moves on him. His behavior makes Galore see through the switcheroo and on orders of Dr. NoGood she attempts to eliminate Launchpad. Launchpad escapes and makes his way to Geneva, where he spots Galore enter Nate 'n Yodel's Deli. Hidden in a pickle barrel, he gains entrance to the secret lair underneath, where he overhears Dr. NoGood's plan to attack the Swiss banks with an ink-removing concoction. With all the money made worthless, the worth of his own gold supply will sky-rocket. Before Launchpad can warn the D.I.A. to send troops to Nate 'n Yodel's Deli, the smell still lingering around him betrays him and he's thrown in the lions' pit by Odd-Duck, NoGood's right-hand man. Galore is there too, sentenced to death for failing to kill Launchpad. The two team up to escape the pit and then to capture Dr. NoGood while the D.I.A. takes care of his troops. Galore kills NoGood. With the crisis averted, Launchpad goes back to Duckburg. Galore asks to come with him, but he assures her her true love is Bruno Von Beak and she would regret leaving him behind.
In "The Masked Mallard", Scrooge McDuck finds his attempts to do good thwarted by a smear campaign by Lawrence Loudmouth, a news reporter looking for high ratings. Wanting to prove himself without Loudmouth twisting his words, Scrooge invents the Masked Mallard, a superhero out to stop crime. He uses gadgets created for him by Gyro Gearloose, who is initially the only one aware of his identity. Scrooge intends to do a few good deeds and then reveal himself as the Masked Mallard to earn the public's trust, but Loudmouth gets in his way again. Just as Scrooge is ready to retire the Masked Mallard, Loudmouth presents a story of the Masked Mallard robbing a bank. More stories of his crimes follow and Scrooge finds his attempts to clear his name thwarted by Gizmoduck, who is unaware the Masked Mallard and Scrooge are the same until he publically unmasks him. Now in need to clear his name, Scrooge realizes Loudmouth is the only one who ever has pictures of the Masked Mallard's crimes and puts two and two together. A confrontation does not work in Scrooge's favor, but he manages to free himself in time to save Gizmoduck from Loudmouth and clear his name once and for all.
The initial idea for a spinoff series of DuckTales was a full Double-O-Duck series, starring Launchpad McQuack as the lead. He was to have a sidekick, whose identity has been lost in time, but whom eventually evolved into Drake Mallard. Double-O-Duck was a project set up by Jeffery Katzenberg and left in the care of Tad Stones, who hated it. The spy theme was outdated and the team involved with the foundation of the project simply could not turn the concept into a larger story. Crucial changes were eventually made to come to a design that worked. The roles of Launchpad and his sidekick were reversed, in part because Launchpad as comic relief simply wasn't the material that could carry a series in the role of protagonist. The sidekick became Drake Mallard, after the Masked Mallard, and he was giving a headstrong daughter to make his civilian identity as interesting as his superhero identity and add a touch of family warmth to the story. The spy angle, after it was discovered that "Double-O" was copyrighted, shifted to one of a gadget-based superhero in the vein of the Shadow and Batman, although the original concept was preserved in Darkwing's alliance with SHUSH, the replacement of the D.I.A. after the action was taken out of Duckburg. J. Gander Hooter replaced J. Gander Hoover and Sara Bellum took over from Gyro as gadget-inventor, while it seems likely the Thunderclutch Whirly Dingy inspired the Thunderquack and Ratcatcher. Darkwing's magnifying glass also is a remnant of the spy theme. F.O.W.L. was redesigned to be just one of Darkwing's many opponents, if one of the more dangerous.
Despite the changes, Darkwing Duck would remain tied to DuckTales. Launchpad occasionally refers to Duckburg and his former employer, Gizmoduck and Webra Walters are familiar faces around St. Canard, and DuckTales villains Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold, and the Beagle Boys make appearances in "In Like Blunt" among Darkwing Duck villains as bidders for the SHUSH agent list. In "A Duck by Any Other Name" Darkwing considers a new name for himself and comes up with Double-O-Duck, which is dismissed for being silly.
The first semblance of a crossover occured in 1994 through the five-parter story "The Legend of the Chaos God". "The Legend of the Chaos God" combined the universes of TaleSpin, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, DuckTales, and Darkwing Duck, with a part per universe. It isn't a true crossover so much as one universe handing over the story to the next universe, but it is still the first to meaningfully make DuckTales and Darkwing Duck share a tale.
A true crossover between the two franchises happened in 2011 when Boom! Studios released the "Dangerous Currency" arc. Issues #1 and #3 belong to their DuckTales comic series, while issues #2 and #4 belong to their Darkwing Duck comic series. However, by the time the issues were released, Boom! Studios had lost the licenses from Disney and the comics were never approved. They have therefore been erased from the larger Darkwing Duck canon; the only such fiction to receive that treatment.
In 2014, Joe Books obtained several licenses from Disney and permission to continue the storyline by Boom! Studios, minus "Dangerous Currency". Early in 2015, Joe Books rereleased the Boom! Studios with varying degrees of revised script as an omnibus to launch their own comics from later that year. The new title's first story arc, "Orange is the New Purple", includes a cameo from the DuckTales Beagle Boys. Aaron Sparrow mentioned that he intended for there to be multiple crossovers with DuckTales during the run, including one titled "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Movie", in which Darkwing would inadvertently get the leading role in a Scrooge McDuck biopic produced by Tuskerninni. Unfortunately, the comic was cancelled before he could write any, and with DuckTales having been rebooted in 2017, it is unlikely they will ever be published.