It started shortly after "Talespin" went on the air, but "Darkwing Duck" certainly still falls into the group of beloved Disney cartoons produced by the studio during the mid-80's to the early '90's (see also: "Duck Tales" and "Rescue Rangers".) The series focused on Darkwing Duck (Jim Cummings), a masked avenger that keeps the streets of Canard City safe. In other words, the show was a cute "Batman"-style series for kids who were too young for "Batman".
In the 2-part pilot, Darkwing finds himself with a pair of assistants: pilot Launchpad McQuack (carried over from "Duck Tales" and once again voiced by Terence McGovern) and orphan Gosalyn (Christine Cavanaugh). Each week, Darkwing leaps into action (with his catchphrase, "Let's get dangerous!") against different villians. Unlike most superheroes, Darkwing sometimes let his ego get the best of him. However, he still manages to piece together the clues and get things together in time to solve the mystery.
The series didn't hold up for me quite as well as "Talespin" did - and neither reach the heights of "Duck Tales" - but the series was still a lot of fun to watch again after all of the years. As with the other Disney animated shows of the time, it provides memorable characters, generally involving plots and fun dialogue.
"The Tick" enjoyed a three season run in the mid-'90s, largely fueled by the fact that the show was enjoyed by adults just as much as it was children - it offered wacky battles between our heroes and a series of increasingly weird villians, but could also be quite clever. The series, which certainly didn't take itself too seriously, starts off with a superhero convention in Reno, where a series of judges look over the latest batch of superheroes and assign them a city.
After The Tick accidentially levels the convention center with his demonstration, he's assigned..."The City", where he meets up with Arthur, a mild-mannered accountant who walks around in a moth suit and becomes the Tick's sidekick. The two - along with occasional help from fellow superheroes like Die Fledermaus and American Maid. Villains included such inspired creations as Venus and Milo, Brainchild, El Seed, Betty Queen of the Ants, Multiple Santa and others.
Over a decade after its release, "The Tick" certainly doesn't seem dated. The show's sharp humor, memorable catchphrases ("Hug your destiny!") and the stellar vocal performances still get a big laugh. Definitely a recommended set for both adults and older kids. View a clip from "The Tick" here.
Note: Episode 215 of "The Tick Vs." is not included in this set.
The Tick Vs. Vol. 2:
14. 2- 1 9 Sep 95 The Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
16. 2- 3 23 Sep 95 Armless but Not Harmless
17. 2- 4 7 Oct 95 Leonardo da Vinci and His Fightin' Genius Time Commandos!
18. 2- 5 30 Sep 95 Coach Fussell's Lament
19. 2- 6 21 Oct 95 Bloomsday
20. 2- 7 4 Nov 95 Evil Sits Down for a Moment
21. 2- 8 11 Nov 95 Heroes
22. 2- 9 18 Nov 95 Ants in Pants!
23. 2-10 25 Nov 95 The Tick Loves Santa!
24. 2-11 3 Feb 96 The Tick vs. the Big Nothing
25. 2-12 10 Feb 96 The Tick vs. Reno, Nevada
26. 2-13 17 Feb 96 Grandpa Wore Tights
Darkwing Duck Season 2
1-28 14 Oct 91 All's Fahrenheit in Love and War
1-29 15 Oct 91 Whiffle While You Work
1-30 16 Oct 91 Ghoul of My Dreams
1-31 21 Oct 91 Adopt-a-Con
1-32 22 Oct 91 Toys Czar Us
1-33 23 Oct 91 The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck
1-34 24 Oct 91 Up, Up, and Awry
1-35 25 Oct 91 Life, the Negaverse, and Everything
1-36 28 Oct 91 Dry Hard
1-37 29 Oct 91 Heavy Mental
1-38 30 Oct 91 Disguise the Limit
1-39 31 Oct 91 Planet of the Capes
1-40 1 Nov 91 Darkwing Doubloon
1-41 4 Nov 91 It's a Wonderful Leaf
1-42 5 Nov 91 Twitching Channels
1-43 6 Nov 91 Dances with Bigfoot
1-44 7 Nov 91 Twin Beaks
1-45 8 Nov 91 The Incredible Bulk
1-46 11 Nov 91 My Valentine Ghoul
1-47 12 Nov 91 Dead Duck
1-48 13 Nov 91 A Duck by Any Other Name
1-49 14 Nov 91 Let's Get Respectable
1-50 15 Nov 91 In Like Blunt
1-51 18 Nov 91 Quack of Ages
1-52 19 Nov 91 Time and Punishment
1-53 20 Nov 91 Stressed to Kill
1-54 21 Nov 91 The Darkwing Squad
VIDEO: "Darkwing Duck" is presented by Disney in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The show does show some wear at times, although these instances are not too distracting. Flaws include some slight specks, marks and minor dirt on the elements used. Colors look bright and well-saturated , with no smearing or other issues. No pixelation and no edge enhancement were seen, but some slight shimmering was occasionally spotted.
"The Tick Vs." is presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio by Disney. Picture quality is generally pleasing, as the picture looks consistently crisp throughout much of the episodes, save for a few minor soft spots. Some minor shimmering appears at times, but otherwise, the picture looked clean and clear. Colors appeared bright and nicely saturated, never appearing smeary.
SOUND: Both shows offer a clear, crisp stereo soundtrack.
EXTRAS: "The Tick vs." set offers a lithograph, but no extras on the DVD itself. "Darkwing Duck" also offers no supplements.
Final Thoughts: While I don't think "Darking Duck" or "The Tick" rank up with Disney efforts like "Duck Tales", the shows still remain fun and funny animated adventures worth checking out. Recommended.