In several episodes there are references to cartoonist Gary Larson, creator of the comic strip "The Far Side". On one episode, Dr. Reginald Bushroot is teased by two fellow scientists, a Dr. Gary and a Dr. Larson. In another cartoon, aliens identify themselves as being from "the far side of the planet Larson".
This show not only spoofs elements of the Batman films and comics and the Shadow, but the intelligence organization, SHUSH, also parodies Marvel Comics' SHIELD, a super spy organization that often requests the aid of superheroes, especially Captain America, on missions. Darkwing Duck's outfit was also influenced by the Scarlet Pimpernel.
A few episodes of Darkwing Duck were banned. The most infamous was season 3's "Hot Spells" which only aired once on ABC. The plot line involved Gosalyn trying to gain magic powers like Morgana, and, in the process, selling Darkwing's soul to the devil. Another banned episode was "Aduckaphobia", which was believed to be banned because it parodied Spider-Man.
The first season and syndicated version were released at the same time. Because of this, the nefarious five archenemies appeared in the daily stripped shows before their origin stories appeared in the weekly show. It was several years before the first season was integrated into the syndication schedule.
An earlier version of the show was originally going to be called "Double-O-Ducks". This idea was scrapped, as it turned out that "Double-O" was a copyrighted name, created by Ian Fleming, and owned by Albert R. Broccoli, producer of the James Bond films.