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Darkwing has just as dim a view of existence as his partner Dreadwind, he's simply more proactive about it. After all, he figures if everything is pointless, depressing, and inevitably leads to a life of painful and ceaseless suffering anyway, he might at least make sure others are getting it a lot worse than he is. You can always count on Darkwing to attempt to make a bad situation worse for everyone involved, and to complain about it all loudly while he's at it. He's binary-bonded to the hot-headed Nebulan thief Throttle.
He can combine with his fellow Dreadwind to form the superjet Dreadwing.
- French name (Canada): Ailenoire
Marvel Comics continuity
Darkwing and Dreadwind were Decepticon mercenaries, affiliated with no army or unit full-time. For their own reasons, however, they were interested in finding the location of Scorponok and his crew of Decepticon warriors. Tracking the group to the planet Nebulos, Darkwing demanded the Nebulans give them the information on Scorponok's whereabouts. When they refused, Darkwing and Dreadwind began a campaign of terror on the planet that only stopped due to precautions the Nebulans had taken to poison their fuel supplies, a measure of foresight to prevent Transformers from returning to their world after the last war. Darkwing and Dreadwind froze up, becoming little more than a curiosity and tourist attraction in an open square.
Their luck changed thanks to a jealous and vindictive scientist named Hi-Test, who had worked on the fuel-tainting process but received none of the glory. Working with a thief named Throttle, Hi-Test stole information from his former boss Hi-Q, and used it to create a new form of bio-mechanical engineering called the Powermaster Process, which would cybernetically enable him and Throttle to binary bond with the Decepticons, becoming their engines to restore their ability to move and intake energy. Reaching an agreement with the Nebulans, Darkwing agreed to become binary bonded to Throttle, and the new Decepticon Powermasters began ransacking Nebulos once again. Their antics were eventually stopped only when a group of Autobots arrived on Nebulos, and underwent the same binary bonding procedure with Hi-Q and his staff. Darkwing, Dreadwind and their partners were driven off of Nebulos.
Next, they took up a job as middlemen and "robot-spotters" for the Mecannibals. Because Master Mouth and his brood lived off of eating robots, Darkwing and Dreadwind posed as mere jets, allowing Hi-Test and Throttle to act as the primary partners in their dealings. After their ruse was uncovered by Sky Lynx and the Autobot Pretenders, however, the Powermasters found themselves on the run from their former bosses.
Returning to Cybertron, they took a job working for deposed Decepticon leader Megatron, who hired them to retrieve a special cargo from Earth: the deactivated body of Starscream. Or maybe, NOT so deactivated. Upon arriving at Starscream's crash-landing site in South America, Darkwing and Dreadwind found him still up and about. The power of the Underbase was maintaining a bare minimum of functioning, but enough to make him dangerous. After the Decepticons were trounced, Hi-Test and Throttle managed to siphon the Underbase power directly from Starscream's corpse, taking his dead body off-line while giving them enough power to recharge their partners and make it back to Cybertron. Megatron planned to use Starscream as an unthinking instrument of destruction, but things just never go as planned. After Starscream was disabled and Megatron vanished in the explosion of his tower, Darkwing and Dreadwind found themselves out of work again.
The two wandered rather aimlessly after that. They apparently spent quite a bit of time over-energizing at Maccadam's Old Oil House.
When Primus gathered all his children to do battle with Unicron on Cybertron, Darkwing marked this solemn occasion by guffawing loudly at something Dreadwind was telling him and thus pissing off several Autobots. Despite this frivolity, when the battle began Darkwing and Dreadwind were front and center. They joined the Autobots Highbrow and Cloudburst in taking the fight right into Unicron's face, and Darkwing was quite eager to bash him up. After the planet-eater was destroyed, Darkwing and Dreadwind joined up with the Decepticons under Bludgeon's command. They were responsible for killing off their old sparring partner Getaway on the planet Klo, but went into exile with the rest of the Decepticons after the return of Optimus Prime turned the tide on that planet.
(Note: Several UK Annual stories depict Darkwing and Dreadwind as working for different Decepticon groups on Earth, but the continuity of these stories is difficult to wrangle. In one story they work for Scorponok, along with the Combaticons. This could only have happened after Scorponok took full control of the Decepticons of Earth after the Underbase Saga but, while the Combaticons were not destroyed on-panel by Starscream, it is generally believed that all non-organic enhanced Transformers were disabled. A story from the next year's annual starred the two Powermasters alongside the Seacons, so it could only have taken place before the Underbase Saga, but also the Targetmaster Quake, who was on Cybertron under the Triumverate's command at that time. While some creative massaging of the facts could put these stories in continuity, it's probably best to consider Darkwing and Dreadwind officially unaffiliated with any army until after the war with Unicron. Their sudden appearances among the various Autobots and Decepticons summoned by Primus does indicate they were on either Earth or Cybertron immediately prior, though. )
Darkwing was badly damaged while defending his commander Bludgeon against the returning Megatron. After resuming leadership of the Decepticons, Megatron had Darkwing rebuilt in a much larger and more powerful form. Darkwing made his debut with the new body by obliterating the inoffensive Rheanimum miners of Tykos.
Dreamwave Comics continuity
IDW comics continuity
A few hundred years ago, Darkwing and Dreadwind were part of the last "big push" for control of Cybertron. Shortly after the Battle of Thunderhead Pass, they were led into battle by Razorclaw and the Predacons.
Darkwing was commander of the Decepticon Infiltration Unit on Nebulos, alongside his partner Dreadwind and Thrust, Skullcruncher, Crankcase, Ruckus and Roadgrabber. Their infiltration was apparently still in the early stages when the rogue Decepticon juggernaut known as Thunderwing came crashing down on the planet. Darkwing sent most of his troops into battle, knowing the show of resistance was futile but necessary to convince Megatron later that they fought for their territory. Still, he and Dreadwind remained and participated in the fight, but quickly departed after the last of their comrades was deactivated.
- Darkwing (Powermaster, 1988)
- Accessories: "Throttle" Powermaster engine, left & right laser guns
- Darkwing transforms into a Panavia Tornado GR1 fighter jet. He is locked in this mode until his packed-in partner Throttle is placed into the engine socket on his back (or until you push down the relevant buttons in said socket). Once "unlocked", he can also form the back half of the "Dreadwing" super-jet.
- Dreadwing (Decepticon, 1994)
- Dreadwing transforms into a "flying wing" style stealth bomber with an under-slung six-missile gatling cannon. He can also transform into a treaded "tank" mode. In jet form, he can combine with his packed-in partner Smokescreen's jet mode to make a complete aircraft.
- The same mold is used by BB, Robots in Disguise Dreadwind, and Gigant Bomb. The mold was also intended to be used for Megatron in Generation 2, but was never released.
- Although the Generation 2 Dreadwing toy was used as Darkwing's upgraded form in the Marvel comics, the toy's American and Japanese bios leave pretty wide open the possibility of this Dreadwing being a separate character.
- Dreadwind and Darkwing show up in several commercials.
- They appeared first, of course, in commercials for the Powermasters. This footage was chopped up and used in several different-but-similar Powermasters commercials, and focused on the new Optimus Prime, the non-Prime Autobot and Decepticon Powermasters, or their appearance in Marvel Comics.
- They appeared again in the animated introduction to the first Pretenders commercial. The narration claims that a series of defeats forces the Autobots to develop Pretender technology, and as the Pretenders rise from their operating tables, Dreadwind and Darkwing break in and approach them. (The Pretenders are considerably smaller than Dreadwind and Darkwing, lending evidence to the idea that the commercials' Pretenders are human-sized.)
- Later, they're the victims of the new Micromasters. Optimus Prime unleashes an army of Micromasters upon a Decepticon base, they slip past the guard, and once inside they crawl up both Dreadwind and Darkwing and overwhelm them.
- Footage from the first commercial, depicting Dreadwind and Darkwing in vehicle mode chasing Getaway and Joyride in vehicle mode, was used at the beginning of the commercial for the Triggerbots and Triggercons. This animation seemed to be meant to represent these other toys. Don't pay too close attention, kids!