Athletic Profile: Fenton Crackshell, Quack Pack, Wide Receiver, Cornerback.
Fenton Crackshell, Investment Adviser, formerly Chief Bean Counter at the Duckburg Bean Factory, Fenton is now Scrooge’s accountant.
Scrooge values Fenton’s ability to count faster than the speed of sound, although Fenton’s judgement is not always very sound. He once dumped all of Scrooge’s cash into Lake Doughbegone, hoping to turn it into liquid assets.
Fenton Crackshell (also known as GizmoDuck) is a character who was introduced in the second season of DuckTales. He later made guest appearances in its spin-off Darkwing Duck. He is also the tritagonist of the second cliffhanger, Justice Ducks Unite.
Fenton/Gizmoduck establishes that by the start of Darkwing Duck, Launchpad McQuack has left the employment of Scrooge to work for Darkwing full time.
Fenton Crackshell, also known as GizmoDuck, first appeared on DuckTales as a literal bean counter, but he quit that job to work for Scrooge McDuck as his accountant. The character was voiced by Hamilton Camp in his TV appearances, and by Eric Bauza in DuckTales Remastered. Fenton’s ambitious ideas and hasty decision-making create serious problems for his boss. He is doggedly determined to make amends each time by any means necessary, which can create even more complications until he ultimately succeeds. His one talent in which he excels is counting. A mere glance at any amount of anything and he will come up with the correct quantity, regardless of how large the number or the situation where the quantity is presented. For instance, he stunned Scrooge McDuck by instantly counting the pellets being fired from his shotgun, and McDuck confirmed this skill by challenging Crackshell to determine the value of some coins he tossed in the air, and Crackshell was accurate to the penny. He was even able to defeat the fastest supercomputer in the universe, Master Electronic Leader (also known as M.E.L.), in a contest of counting ball bearings.
Later on, Fenton finds a robot suit called GizmoDuck made by Gyro Gearloose. The code word to activate it is “blatherskite,” a word which Gyro assumes no normal person would use. (Unbeknownst to him, one of Fenton’s most frequently used sayings was “blathering blatherskite”.) As fate would have it, Fenton wanders too close to the suit and utters his favorite expression, thus gaining a secret identity as a superhero. From then on, Fenton always uses “blathering blatherskite” to become Gizmoduck, despite only needing the second word — it is possible that Fenton failed to realize he does not have to say the entire phrase, since Gyro was the only one present when he activated the phrase. This was further reinforced when his mother’s remote control caused all the Gizmoduck armor to fall off Fenton, and attach itself to her when she mentioned the word blatherskite as part of her phrase “blathering blatherskite”. Fenton’s self-discovery as how to attach and disattach the armor served to show another of his savant abilities; he realized one of the words his mother spoke acted as a key code and repeated her last few sentences verbatim to find it; his memorization skills are outstanding.
The only characters privileged to know that Fenton is GizmoDuck are Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack, who hears Scrooge reveal his identity after being saved, and Fenton’s mother, whom he refers to as M’ma. His mother usually wears a bathrobe and watches television in a rundown trailer, where she lives with her son (and sometimes serves as GizmoDuck as she has the same favorite exclamation as her son). Fenton is in love with Gandra Dee, Scrooge’s bean factory receptionist. As Fenton, he is Scrooge’s accountant, but as GizmoDuck, he is chief security guard for the money bin and Scrooge’s personal bodyguard.
Fenton has appeared as a guest star on Darkwing Duck on occasion as Launchpad McQuack’s old friend from Duckburg as both identities. However his suit seemed to be smaller than the one from DuckTales, and lacks the black coloring in the upper arms. He appears more as GizmoDuck than himself, and is a superhero rival of Darkwing’s. Fenton played a pivotal role in Boom! Studios ongoing Darkwing Duck comic book, in the final story arc Dangerous Currency, which was a crossover between Darkwing Duck and DuckTales.
Originally, GizmoDuck was intended to be an artificially intelligent robot (and indeed in the series Scrooge originally intended to use a security robot designed by Gyro until he realized “it didn’t have a brain” — it was so mechanistic it wouldn’t even let Scrooge himself into his money bin), but the idea was later changed to the current one, akin to Iron Man or RoboCop, although the reference leans toward the latter due to his first nemesis, GICU-2, being a parody of Robocop’s ED-209.
Strangely, Fenton never appeared in the DuckTales comic book series, despite continuous letters asking that he appear. He did, however, appear in the comic stories printed in Disney Adventures, mostly showing up in Darkwing Duck stories, as well as the DuckTales video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Following the bankruptcy of Gladstone and the acquisition of printing rights for Disney acquired by BOOM! Comics, the DuckTales name and comic book line was revived. Fenton made appearances in the new Ducktales, in which the nephews now know that Gizmoduck is Fenton and seek to be his successor. Fenton, however, decides to train Webby as a “girl Gizmoduck”, seeing as she is the most mature of the bunch.
GizmoDuck (along with Bubba and an unused character named Space Duck) were created by Tad Stones around the same time Chip ‘N’ Dale were added to Rescue Rangers. GizmoDuck was originally called Robo Duck, which coincidentally is his name in Japan and the Netherlands, and also explains the “R” shaped insignia on his chest.