Darkwing Duck was a half hour cartoon in The Disney Afternoon block of cartoons, airing from 1991 to 1992 on both weekday afternoons and (for the third season) ABC Saturday mornings. Not actually a spin-off from the similar universe of Ducktales (even though it makes complete sense, it included two characters from said earlier series, and the recent comics from Boom! made it canon), it basically existed to be both awesome, and a parody of superheroes and super egos. There was almost nothing the show did not either mock, refer to, or parody: there was even an entire episode riffing on the show Twin Peaks, which most of us kids probably had no idea even existed. (I should know, I was one of them who didn’t get ANY of the jokes at the time.) And within that episode? A sly reference to “The Far Side” comic, with cows from “The Far Side” of the galaxy. (Also not the only time they referenced that particular comic: scientists “Gary” and “Larson” show up in Bushroot’s first episode.)
The show didn’t know the meaning of “too obscure for children,” which, as an adult now, makes the show even funnier. Another episode mocks the superhero origin with “The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck,” where we get a completely over the top origin a la Superman AND the “Kung Fu” TV series. The very first main villain Darkwing faces off against (and who returns not only in the third season, but the Boom! comic as well)? Taurus Bulba. (In name only, apparently, because I’ve never figured out if there was anything more to the reference than that.) There’s even a spoof on the dark and edgy comic trend when Gosalyn is accidentally taken into the future, Darkwing goes a little mad over losing her, and he turns into Darkwarrior Duck, throwing people into jail for jaywalking, and wearing huge spikes on his shoulders. (There’s also a parody of “The Dark Knight Returns” in the comics, with “The Duck Knight Returns.” There’s three different covers, all three referencing the original comic.)
Apparently, Darkwing is supposed to return to the screen in the current Ducktales, voiced by his original VA, Jim Cummings. I may be a little over excited for this.
Enjoy your Pi Day for the next two hours!