The fifth cartoon in the Disney Afternoon lineup and definitely one of the most recognizable. I admit that I loved Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales and Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers. TaleSpin I never got into (I just never saw what the characters from "The Jungle Book" had to do with cargo piloting) but Darkwing Duck more than made up for it.
I am sure that we have all have some memory of Darkwing Duck. From his trademark openings to the villains he had to conquer, Darkwing Duck was a truly memorable series.
I am also sure we know the history of a typical superhero; they either do it out of a severe case of morality or a life-changing event that due to some psychological trauma, causes them to start to form an alternate identity. Not so with Darkwing. He doesn't do any of that; he simply fights crime and defends St. Canard due to an ego streak.
He's not alone in his quest; coming back from DuckTales is LaunchPad McQuack, an undeniable hero in his own right, Gosalyn, his free-spirited adopted daughter and her brainiac friend Honker Muddlefoot, along with former sorceress/thief turned girlfriend Morgana McCawber. There is certainly chemistry between them and they are willing to go to great lengths for Darkwing and vice-versa; it lends a strong case of loyalty and heart to the show.
Another character that was borrowed from DuckTales was Gizmo Duck, who I enjoyed because he gave a strong contrast to Darkwing--he is everything Darkwing isn't supposed to be. While Gizmo Duck fights crime out of a sense of justice and undenying heroism, Darkwing does it only to push himself as a great character (c'mon, the idea that superheroes are fighting crime without wanting to push themselves into becoming action figures is ridiculous all on its own).
The villains Darkwing fights are also a diverse crowd; the former toymaker turned Joker sendup Quacker Jack, the salesman-talking Liquidator, the electrically-charged Megavolt, the "I'm not really evil. I'm just lonely" Dr. Bushroot, the suave and smooth-talking Steelbeek, the mechanically-inclined Moliarty, and the psychotically evil Bizzaro Darkwing Negaduck. I felt these villains where the strongest in Darkwing's 'Hall of Shame' and they got many great episodes.
If there are any flaws I can see, it is that not all issues are fully explained; as an example, the original idea of Negaduck is that he is Darkwing's evil side galvanized by Megavolt's tron splitter; yet in later episodes, he is a seperate entity with no explanation as to what he had to do with the previous character (a future episode was supposed to be made to explain the link, but it never got made. I heard reports that it was mighty confusing--although I am REALLY sure the kids would completely understand the episode 'Twin Beaks'.)
Another issue that might drag it down is the idea that I am not sure the show is aging properly; what may have been cool and popular in the early 1990s might not be as intriguing today; the shows kid-friendly theme (no extreme violence) and the aforementioned 'unexplainables' might be a little more evident today than it was back then.
Regardless, I will still strongly recommend this fine show; it is deserving of it's recognizable attributes. Here's hoping a future remake will be done in the future. Nothing else to say but "Let's Get Dangerous!"