The ink, alternatively known as the slime and Dark Matter, is a nasty black liquid with a wide range of effects on those who come in contact with it. Effects include turning regular people, especially those with a prominent dissatisfactions in their lives, into criminals, granting average people superpowers, turning super-powered folk into even stronger versions of their regular selves, and bringing inanimate objects to life. Though the ink usually controls its catches, there are people who can control the ink, although the only known individual who accomplished that is Suff-Rage. The ink originates in a cavern far below St. Canard, where it was discovered by Magica De Spell and the Phantom Blot.
The history of the ink begins with Paddywhack, Negaduck, and the tronsplitter. The demon used the device to split Negaduck again and again until he was nothing but particles of varying moral charges. With his body broken up like that, Negaduck's sense of self got teleported to the wasteland, while the particles travelled to the caverns below St. Canard and reunited as a pool of black liquid. The League of Eve-il, led by Negaduck's former ally Magica De Spell, discovered this pool months later while searching for a good place to set up a hideout. Poe got the ink on him and temporarily became both powered by it and more evil. This inspired Magica to utilize the ink in her schemes. In need of an expert, she contacted the Phantom Blot, but he refused to bother with her. Prepared for this, she hit him with a bomb containing some adjusted ink, which put the Phantom Blot under her control without his knowledge.
The alliance produced a two-part plan. Fase 1 consisted of finding civilians in St. Canard with any sort of exploitable unhappiness and then granting them powers that in one way or another met that unhappiness. In all known cases the ink was integrated in an item they were given. With one exception, the ink took control of each of them, turning them evil and giving them a particular desire to end Darkwing Duck. This fase was a test for more intensive use of the ink the alliance was preparing. Fenton Crackshell or turned into a humongous raging monster, which was the fate of Huey, Dewey and Louie. Darkwing's crew teamed up with Scrooge McDuck's team to design a counter-strategy. Along the way they had to deal with the Fearsome Four and the Beagle Boys, who served the alliance and used the ink to make themselves more powerful — and in Quackerjack's case, he was revived by it. The heroes managed to escape to Duckburg, but the alliance followed them with the ink. Gyro Gearloose developed an antidote based on Ms. Crackshell's fury, which was used to depower the boys and the Fearsome Four. Because the Gizmosuit had become bound to the ink, another research project consisted of rewiring it to reveal the origin of the ink. This way, a portal was opened to the wasteland, where in addition to Negaduck Morgana Macawber had been resideing ever since her fight with Duckthulhu. Darkwing made the decision to save Morgana, even though it meant bringing Negaduck back too. Negaduck promptly took control of the ink and used it against heroes and villains alike. However, his return also destroyed the transforming qualities of the ink, making it safe to touch. Noticing this, Scrooge contacted Donald to rally the citizens of Duckburg against the ink. Negaduck became weakened and was forced to share his power with the Phantom Blot, the League of Eve-il, and the Beagle Boys to fight back. At first the villains had the upper hand, but during her time in the wasteland Morgana had cast a spell on Negaduck that would draw him back through the portal upon activation. Darkwing arranged that and, because all villains were now tied to the ink, all of them were banished with him.Fase 2, then, was the use of the ink to turn the city itself alive, creating one interconnected structure easily controlled by Magica and the Phantom Blot. Anyone who came in contact with the slime as it flowed through the streets was either taken away by it like
It is unknown how many civilians became ink-users during Fase 1. The known ones are Suff-Rage, One-Shot, and Cat-Tankerous. Eagle Eye is a likely candidate, but portraits of villains active around this time go up to 14 more. At least one of these is not an ink-user, but a hostile alien, while it is known that prior to the ink new villains were already emerging. It seems a safe bet that the ones Suff-Rage kept track of were ink-users, which includes the aforementioned three and three more nameless ones. The ones in Darkwing's press conference can go either way.
At the time of being approached, One-Shot was a pitcher known for never throwing the same way twice. Out of ways to throw, he had resorted to throwing different objects and was on the verge of being fired on top of losing his fans now that his shtick was over. He received a coat that allowed him a supply of one example of each item in existence, granting him the ability to remain creative without requiring him to catalogue his throws. Gosalyn Mallard and wanted her to notice him or wanted to be a hero like her. His attempts to make his own Gizmosuit failed, so he received a suit powered by ink. The magnet guy is an older crook who months prior was among the Quackwerks employees with a criminal record. Because Darkwing puts him with the new threats, the magnet-based angle must be something he did not have before and possibly was given to him because of resentment from the Quackwerks period. Eagle Eye's hangup is unclear, but he received goggles that allowed him to shoot a plethora of elemental beams to whatever he was staring at. Suff-Rage, lastly, was a councilwoman with limited political talent and a desire to be in the spotlight. She received a whole bowl of ink to create illusions with and gained psychological insight.Cat-Tankerous was either in love with
Of all ink-users, Suff-Rage was special in that the ink did not trap her mind. She could use the ink as she pleased without consequences and could even control others through it. Why she could never became clear, but the Phantom Blot, intrigued, kept in touch with her. In the end, she was defeated, leaving a few questions open that the Phantom Blot could live with not seeing answered, as he was already working towards Fase 2.
Boom! Studios comics
To defeat the Paddywhack-Negaduck fusion, Darkwing Duck hits him with the tronsplitter. It results in a separation of Paddywhack and Negaduck, but also in a separation of Negaduck into a very evil and a slightly less evil version. Paddywhack finds this entertaining and steals the tronsplitter, firing its beam at Negaduck until he is nothing but moral and amoral particles.
Joe Books comics
- While in the Boom! Studios comics the ink turned out to be the body of Negaduck, that information belongs to the pseudo-canon "Dangerous Currency" arc not included in the Joe Books run. A few adjustments have been made to "Campaign Carnage" that point at a new origin that unfortunately may never be revealed due to the comic's cancellation.
- Ian Brill has made mention of his intent to add a character known as Continuity Cop to the line-up of One-Shot, Cat-Tankerous, and Suff-Rage, but there was no room to fit the character what with everything else going on. Given how many ink-users are little more than a reference, it's not unreasonable to assume him to be among the ink masses still.