Yesterday, while searching for something new to download on my Nintendo Switch, I came across a game in the Nintendo Store that really caught my eye – Duck Game by Adult Swim Games. Not only did the game look like tons of fun, but it also got me thinking about how Ducks as a whole are some of the most underrated heroes in the history of pop culture.
Think about it. Ever since you were a small kid, you will have switched on your television set and indulged yourself on the latest antics from Donald or Daffy, and although both were overshadowed by Mickey and Bugs alike, they were and always will be pop culture icons.
But the Disney and Warner Bros stalwarts weren’t alone. History is literally littered with other magnificent mallards that deserve to be recognised for something other than their contributions as an incredible filling for your favourite savoury pancakes.
So join us on our journey as we take a look back at the dopest ducks of all time.
Gizmoduck first appeared in the original Duck Tales series and was the head of Scrooge McDuck’s personal security team assigned to keep an eye on his treasured money vault. With his unique armour and robotic appearance, Gizmoduck is one of Duckberg’s most beloved and iconic heroes, and in a TV show saturated with ducks, he is one duck we cannot help but remember.
We’ve got to give credit to good old Count Duckula. As the latest in a long line of vicious vampire ducks, he has an awful lot to live up to. So when he bucks the trend of chewing on necks and instead decides he’d rather nibble on a broccoli stalk then he showed kids all over the world that it was OK to be yourself, despite what others might have to say about it. He also had a wicked time travelling castle, which also wins him bonus points in our list.
Dux appeared in the 2019 video game Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, and was a complete badass to boot. Wondering the perilous wastelands after a deadly plague sweeps the earth, Dux is a sarcastic, human-duck hybrid mutant with some of the coolest survival skills you can imagine. Unlike many of the ducks in this list, Dux actually looks like a real duck, but don’t let that fool you. This is one duck you definitely don’t want your kids feeding breadcrumbs to.
Dux may be a new addition to the list, but he’ll definitely go down in the annals of time as one of pop cultures dopest ducks.
Growing up watching cartoons, Dead-Eye Duck was the first Duck I ever encountered that was a complete badass. Looking like Daffy Duck’s angry cousin, and talking smack like we’d never seen, Dead-Eye was the trigger-happy former pirate who joined the crew of the Righteous Indignation to help in the on-going war against the scourge of the Toad Empire. He also had 4 arms and would give Rocket Raccoon a run for his money if the two ever came face-to-face.
HOWARD THE DUCK
If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s, then you’ll no doubt remember a low-budget movie from the lovely people at Marvel Comics called Howard the Duck. You’ll probably also recall how the movie bombed at the box office and soured Hollywood on the idea of adapting comic book superheroes for a very long time.
But before he was stinking up the local Showcase, Howard was tearing down walls in the world of comics and amassing quite the cult following for himself. Designed by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik in 1973, the character would go on to appear in a number of beloved Marvel titles, sharing page time with the likes of Man-Thing, and She-Hulk. He would also appear sporadically in some of Marvel’s biggest titles and made a big-screen comeback in the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
The character may have been small, but his personality was big enough to catch the eye of comic book fans all over the world, and we’d wager he’s the most infamous duck on this entire list.
It was a difficult decision as to who would take the number 1 spot on this list. Howard the Duck is by far our favourite waterfowl on the list, but if we’re talking about the dopest duck ever then that honour likely has to go to Eric T. Duckman.
As the long-suffering patriarch of the Duckman family, Eric struggles to keep his life on track after the death of his wife Beatrice. In between frequent bouts of self-loathing and ardent egomania, Duckman also works as a private ducktective for hire, although his cases often play second fiddle to the complexities of his home life.
Devised by some of the minds at Klasky Csupo, the character was the most human of all the anthropomorphic quacks on this list and is an often overlooked icon of the late-night TV circuit of the 1990s. The character pushed the envelope to places no other duck dared to go, and even now, some 2 decades after he disappeared from our screens forever, we’re still talking about him.
Who was your favourite pop culture duck? Don’t drive yourself quackers, just swim on over to the comments section and let us know your thoughts.