For those who grew up watching the popular Disney cartoon DuckTales in the 1980s and ’90s, life truly was like a hurricane. One of the most well-known animated programs of its era, DuckTales chronicled the adventures of the impossibly rich businessduck Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The series proved so successful that it even spawned a theatrical feature in 1990, entitled DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp. That success also led to a loosely related spin-off series called Darkwing Duck.
Darkwing Duck centered on suburban father Drake Mallard, who spent his free time cleaning up the streets of St. Canard at night as the titular masked superhero. Besides both being Disney productions, the major tie between the two shows was the character of Launchpad McQuack, a pilot who both worked for Scrooge and as Darkwing’s sidekick. With that in mind, most fans have always assumed that Darkwing and DuckTales take place within the same shared universe. However, it seems that Darkwing creator Tad Stones doesn’t agree with that assessment.
In a recent interview with THR that commemorated Darkwing Duck’s 25th anniversary, Stones offered the following comments on the matter:
“Because Launchpad appeared in DuckTales and we used Roboduck as the Superman character, the hero who gets all the glory as opposed to Darkwing, fans try to connect the two realities. They are two different universes in my book. We work in the alternate Duckiverse.”
Of course, this will likely lead many fans to wonder how Launchpad can be the same character in both shows if they don’t take place in the same universe. Luckily, Stones clarified his stance further via Twitter a few hours after the interview was published. According to Stones, Darkwing Duck does in fact take place in a DuckTales universe, not just the particular one seen on the DuckTales cartoon series. Therefore, the Launchpad seen on Darkwing Duck is not the same character as was seen on DuckTales.
Oddly enough, this idea is somewhat supported by Launchpad’s slightly altered characterization in Darkwing. For one, Launchpad tends to be a bit less competent of a hero in Darkwing, which makes sense since he shouldn’t really be upstaging the star of the show. Plus, he also seems a bit smarter overall than he was often portrayed as on DuckTales. Launchpad’s physical design is also different in several respects, lending credence to the idea that he is not the same exact character on Darkwing as he was on DuckTales. With this fowl revelation revealed, the ’90s will truly never be the same.
A rebooted DuckTales TV show is slated to air on Disney XD in 2017.
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