Hey there Science Of Superheroes fans, you join us as we begin our 7-part Animal Magic run of The Science Of Superheroes: Science Goes Wild! The heroes cropping up in this section are actual animals (or humanoid animals) and have not just taken the name of an animal, like that lot in Creature Feature. Now before we begin I need to tell you about a little bit of sad news concerning our super-computer R.Y.A.N II. As some of you may have noticed in recent chapters of The Science Of Superheroes, R.Y.A.N II has not been performing as well as he should have been and we know that you, our dear readers, deserve only the best. To put it in even simpler terms, he cost us a small fortune to buy and he’s performed about as much as a banged up hooker with a bad back… so we’ve sold him for scrap. It was a tough decision and one that we didn’t take lightly. However we believe it was for the best… mostly because I managed to negotiate a good price with a scrap mech… erm, farmer. So now R.Y.A.N II can spend the rest of his days living on a farm, doing farm stuff without having to sweat his nuts and bolts over science things. Anyway moving swiftly along, this week Ryan and I are hanging out on Canal Street, Manchester, looking at ducks and more importantly Disney’s feathered superhero, Darkwing Duck! As usual Ryan is asking the questions and I’m answering them.
So let’s get going!
WHO THE DUCK IS DARKWING DUCK?
Darkwing Duck is the Disney superhero who first appeared in the animated series of the same name in 1991. Darkwing Duck was created by Tad Stones and was sort of a spin-off of Disney’s popular DuckTales cartoon.
SO I’M GUESSING THAT HE’S AN ACTUAL DUCK THEN!
Yep, he is indeed a duck, but he’s a humanoid one! Darkwing Duck was also known as Drake Mallard a walking, talking white feathered duck who was also an ace crime fighter and fought crime alongside his sidekick Launchpad McQuack and his adopted daughter Gosalyn Mallard.
OK, SO TELL ME, WHAT MAKES DUCKS SO SPECIAL?
Well ducks are from the Anatidae family of birds and the word duck comes from the old English word duce, which means diver, as ducks are aquatic birds that tend to ‘duck’ under water. They have wings, so they have the ability to fly; however there are a few species of duck that can’t fly, so don’t expect to see every single duck in the sky. Ducks eat grass, plants, insects, small amphibians, worms and fish and of course many are partial to the odd bit of bread on a hot sunny day. Just like a number of the bugs that appeared in Creature Feature, ducks are spread out across the world, although they’re not in Antarctica (are you spotting a theme here?) and the male name for a duck is a drake!
SO HOW ALIKE ARE DUCKS AND DARKWING DUCK?
As they’re both ducks you would expect them to be very similar and in some respects (feathers, webbed feet etc) they are, however apart from similarities in appearance and both of them being called drake/Drake, they do differ somewhat. Firstly ducks can’t speak. Some ducks do quack, but it might surprise you to know that not all ducks quack, in fact it’s only dabbling ducks (those that feed mostly on the surface) that do and so speech is out of the question. However Darkwing Duck can speak and can often be heard uttering the phrase ‘let’s get dangerous’ as he heads out to fight crime. Secondly ‘DD’ runs around the city of St. Canard dressed in a purple fedora, a cape and a domino mask, which is something that your average duck does not do! Finally I’m not completely convinced that many ducks (with perhaps the exception of Duck Dodgers and maybe Howard the Duck) ever feel that compelled to become do-gooders.
SO WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IS IT’S NOT VERY LIKELY THAT A DUCK WOULD BECOME A SUPERHERO.
Exactly! If ducks were the same size as us humans the chances are they wouldn’t want to become super heroic saviours, instead they’d probably want to have a few words with us about the way we treat them. The human race use their feathers to stuff our pillows with, use their eggs to dip our toasted soldiers into and find them delicious served up with some orange sauce; which when you think about it should actually make us mortal enemies! Darkwing Duck is pretty much a one of a kind and so we should be thankful for small mercies.
That’s all from us for this time around, as we’ve got to rush off to spend the money we made from R.Y.A.N II… erm, I mean we’ve got to head off to do some science related stuff, so we’ll see you next time when we go bat crazy!