- “Only someone so dastardly, so despicable, so disdainful of the utterly defenseless would dare perform such a deed. Friends, I give you Negaduck.”
- ―Darkwing Duck
Negaduck is the main antagonist of the TV series, Darkwing Duck. There are two incarnations of him in the original series: the first was a manifestation of Darkwing Duck's evil side created by Megavolt's tronsplitter, while the second and more well-known version, the subject of this article, is an evil doppelgänger of Darkwing from a parallel universe known as the Negaverse. He first appeared as the leader of the Fearsome Five during the two-part "Just Us Justice Ducks" episode. Additionally, in the rebooted universe of the 2017 DuckTales series, a third version of Negaduck is presented, an actor who used to portray Darkwing Duck himself in a TV show before going mad.
As the archenemy and "evil doppelgänger" of Darkwing, little is known about Negaduck's history. A possible clue is that he rules the Negaverse, a parallel universe similar to Darkwing's home of St. Canard where evil reigns supreme. He refers to the Negaverse as his "secret hideout", which can only be accessed through a portal within the hollow shell of a paper-mâché cake inside a local bakery in the original St. Canard. Unlike Darkwing himself, Negaduck does not seem to have a secret identity of his own, preferring that he not pretend to be anything less than his own self.
Unspeakably murderous, horrifically homicidal, psychotic, violent, and completely devoid of compassion and remorse; Negaduck is evil personified. He finds insidious joy in the misery of even the smallest innocent creature, hates flowers, and loves skulls. Like any criminal mastermind; Negaduck's schemes usually revolve around complete conquest of Saint Canard and obtaining immense wealth, but at the very top of his list is destroying his arch-enemy Darkwing Duck. Or at the very least, making Darkwing's life as miserable as possible.
Negaduck lacks any powers of his own but makes up for it with his sadistic temperament and penchant for destructive weaponry, i.e. guns, chainsaws, flamethrowers, bombs, and even a nuclear missile.
Negaduck serves as a major villain in the series, often carrying out his schemes in an effort to sully his counterpart's reputation. In addition to his own crimes, Negaduck is known to lead a band of villains he has dubbed the Fearsome Five, which also consists of Megavolt, Reginald Bushroot, Liquidator, and Quackerjack. Despite not having any powers of his own, he maintains an iron grip on the group's leadership through his intelligence and sheer ruthlessness and the fact that he doesn't like his minions.
Negaduck occasionally takes advantage of the fact that he greatly resembles Darkwing Duck by attempting to frame his good counterpart by committing crimes while disguised as Darkwing. This once came back to haunt him after instigating the public to put a price on Darkwing Duck's head and an angry mob mistook him for Darkwing Duck in different clothes. He also takes pride in being known as Public Enemy #1 and was greatly incensed to learn that Dr. Slug had stolen the title from him, prompting him to go on a rampage in order to reclaim it.
In the DuckTales reboot, Negaduck was once an actor named Jim Starling who starred as Darkwing Duck in a superhero television show of the same name. He was known for performing his own stunts, despite the fact that he fumbled most of them. Years after his show ended, Jim was reduced to a down-on-his-luck actor who simply wanted to be remembered again for the very thing that brought him fame.
In "The Duck Knight Returns!" Jim hears that there was a Darkwing Duck movie being made, and much to his dismay that character he used to play would be done by an actor named Drake Mallard. Jim tried to steal the spotlight by any means necessary, which culminated in a fight against Drake in costume and setting the stage on fire. He was on the verge of killing Drake with a chainsaw until Launchpad stopped him, reminding him that he was not a villain. When the stage set is about to blow up, Jim and Drake rush toward Launchpad, with the former thinking that he would be upstaged if Drake saved his longtime fan. He pushes both of them out of range of the volatile electrode, but not in time to get himself away, and is caught in the explosion.
Everyone assumes that Jim was killed when the stage set exploded. However, it was later shown that he survived and escaped into the sewers, but has become completely insane; his purple Darkwing costume having turned black, yellow, and red. Jim, now madly convinced Drake sabotaged everything to humiliate him, resolves to play the part of his adversary, becoming Negaduck.
In the Boom! Studios comic series, a flashback in "The Duck Knight Returns" reveals Negaduck discovers Darkwing's secret identity and nearly killed him, but was apprehended by the Crime Bots before he could do so. The story's revised script in Darkwing Duck: The Definitively Dangerous Edition notably also reveals that Negaduck, unlike the prime Darkwing Duck, has no secret identity of his own.
In "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings", Negaduck teamed up with Magica De Spell and, with her help, kidnapped alternate versions of Darkwing from other worlds and then brainwashed them into wreaking havoc on the prime version of St. Canard (except for DarkWarrior Duck, who was already evil). Later on, he is then merged with Paddywhack, before eventually being split down into particles by Megavolt's Tronsplitter.
He eventually returns in "Orange is the New Purple", the opening story arc of the Joe Books continuation, in which he tricks Darkwing into showing up at St. Canard's new maximum-security prison and then triggers an attack that sends the prison into lockdown, trapping Darkwing inside with all of his enemies. It is later implied that he has big plans in store and is now using the prison as his new secret hideout, but due to the comic being canceled, it is unknown what he is planning, or how he returned to his original form.
- As previously mentioned, Negaduck hails from the Negaverse. The "Negaverse" is also the title of the antagonist group in the DIC English dub of the Japanese anime Sailor Moon (who, in the original Japanese version, were originally two separate groups called the Dark Kingdom and the Black Moon Clan). It is unknown if the staff at DIC Entertainment was aware of the use of "Negaverse" in Darkwing Duck.
- The word "nega" that's part of Negaduck's name is a pun to the word negative. For example, Negaduck is the opposite of Darkwing Duck, his dark side, or evil doppelganger.
- In "The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck", a parody of the outer space origins of Superman, Negaduck and Darkwing Duck is shown to be cousins who are sent off by their parents in space ships to different worlds; Darkwing goes to Earth and Negaduck goes to a pirate planet.
- Interestingly, despite his ruthlessness, Negaduck never succeeded in conquering St. Canard.
- A planned episode for the show's third season would have had Negaduck possessed by Paddywhack who goes up against Darkwing. Although that episode was never made, the idea was used for the climax of the "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings" arc in the Boom! Studios Darkwing Duck comic.
- It was shown in "Disguise the Limit" that Negaduck wears black boxer shorts with white skull and crossbones designs.
- Negaduck also has framed Darkwing Duck for arson, burglary, hijacking, kidnapping, cat-kicking, insider trading, and spitting on the sidewalk.
- According to a conversation with Tad Stones on Twitter, Bushroot has a higher body count than Negaduck (though Bushroot's first victims, Dr. Gary and Dr. Larson, were eventually revived in the Joe Books comic).
- In 2017's DuckTales, Negaduck's real name is Jim Starling, which is a reference to Jim Cummings, Darkwing, and Negaduck's voice actor. It could also be a reference to Jim Starlin, a Marvel comic artist or presumably both.
- Negaduck is the third character where Jim Cummings reprises his role from the original in a remake or adaptation to something, after Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in Christopher Robin.
- Tad Stones has stated that he regrets making Negaduck the leader of the Fearsome Five, due to his tendency to steal the spotlight, and that if done again, he would've instead put Splatter Phoenix in the group.