Major Synapse was the vainglorious military officer in charge of F.O.W.L.'s psychic division. He was originally in command of F.O.W.L.'s military until an incident in which he marched several troops to their deaths in an erupting volcano in an attempt to secure it for unknown reasons. Synapse detested his newfound position because he wanted to command disciplined troops while the psychic division's only other members, a pair of hippies, were the exact opposite.
He is voiced by John Stephenson.
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Major Synapse is unlikely to be an actual major. For one, F.O.W.L. doesn't organize its ranks in a militaristic fashion. For two, "Major Synapse" is the name given in his driver's license, suggesting that "Major" is not a title but part of his codename, must like "Mister" is part of Mister Wonderful. Evidently, he does have military experience and is used to being in charge, so it follows that he has been in the army, possibly as a major, before joining the terrorist organization. He was given command over an amount of troops sufficient to keep him happy, but he lost that job perk after accidentally marching them into an erupting volcano.
It's not that Major Synapse is incompetent; it's that his vanity distracts him from his competency. The agent has every single quality that would make him a great military leader: confidence, ambition, ruthlessness, authority, vision, and smarts. He is convinced of his own worth as a commander, summoning power behind his voice almost every time he speaks and having strict ideas about what makes a soldier a soldier. Within the dress code-free environment of F.O.W.L.'s higher ranks, he chooses an army officer's uniform. The picture is complete, but then tarnished by his stubbornness and self-richening priorities.
After leading a number of F.O.W.L.'s troops into an erupting volcano, High Command sees fit to give Major Synapse a new position within the organization as a last chance to prove himself. That new position is being the head of the Psychic Division, which puts him in charge over two hopeless hippies. He puts them through several tests to detect the presence of psychic abilities, but neither turn up anything but a headache. However, during the last test Synapse's equipment does pick up brainpower elsewhere. He and his underlings follow a portable brainpower detector to the source of the signal inside a SHUSH laboratory in the Swiss Alps. Through this, the norma ray is discovered. They trick its inventor, Sara Bellum, into believing they are well-meaning random volunteers instead of ill-meaning F.O.W.L. agents and Major Synapse gets his underlings scheduled to be blasted by the norma ray concurrently. The major does have to threaten with latrine duty when they don't take well to the part where their heads might explode and he has to fight off Bellum when she figures out she's been had, but the experiment is a success. Before the trio can dispose of Bellum, Darkwing and Launchpad, who had been given psychic powers earlier that day, come to her rescue. The hippies, now Hotshot and Flygirl, take care of the disruption. Major Synapse is elated both by their new powers and their new attitude, feeling himself back in his element. He orders for Darkwing and the norma ray to be taken back to their hideout with plans to execute the caped crusader with High Command watching. Hotshot traps Darkwing in ice and Flygirl lifts a humongous anvil dubbed the Duck Smasher to drop it on the hero, but Synapse has her hold it up so he has time to draw a few rewards out of High Command. This display of overconfidence is his undoing, because it gives Launchpad and Gosalyn a chance to save Darkwing. As Hotshot engages them in battle while Flygirl is stuck with the anvil, Major Synapse wastes his time blocking the view with his body and assuring High Command everything is under control. Eventually, the terminal gets destroyed and his underlings beaten, to which he responds by taking the norma ray and blasting himself until he is a giant floating brain with more psychic power than anyone could ever hope to outdo. Reminded of the stipulation not to think while being exposed to norma particles by Launchpad, Darkwing's team does the only thing left to do: aim the beam at Major Synapse while barraging him with questions to force him to think. His explosion is strong enough that it blows up the hideout.
Joe Books comics
Major Synapse becomes incarcerated in the St. Canard Maximum Security Prison for the Criminally Crafty. Along with all other inmates, he is freed from his cell by Negaduck to escape en masse and to hunt down a locked-in Darkwing.
- Synapse's driver license is visible in "Heavy Mental", providing some interesting tidbits. It reads:
- Driver License A349
- Expires: 04-07-66
- Major Synapse
- A130 W. Burbank
- Calamazoo CA 91304
- Sex: M — Hair: B — Eyes: B
- HT: 70″ — WT: 180 — DOB: 02-06-
- M Synapse
- The final part of the DOB is unclear and could read numerous things.  is the closest look, but would mean Synapse got to drive at 11 years of age. The zip code given, CA 91304, is for Canoga Park, CA.