To mix in time traveling while Danny battled a pure evil ghost, Butch Hartman realized the worst enemy for Danny Phantom to fight would be the worst enemy for any teenager - their future. Namely, an evil adult version of himself.  He was not originally revealed to be a villain in the advertisements for The Ultimate Enemy on Nickelodeon, due to the shock factor of Danny's future as his worst enemy.
Loss and Grief
In the original timeline, before Clockwork's intervention, Danny used his powers to cheat on the C.A.T (Career Aptitude Test). Suspicious of Danny, Mr. Lancer called the Fentons to the Nasty Burger for a meeting. Along with Danny were Tucker and Sam. Unfortunately, the Nasty Burger's vat of condiments exploded at that time and caused the deaths of Danny's family, friends, and the teacher. As a result, the grief-stricken boy was forced to move in with his arch enemy, Vlad, seeing as "he was the only person left on the planet who could possibly hope to understand his situation".
Despite the history of animosity between the two of them, Vlad treated Danny with a great deal of sympathy. Completely taken over by grief, Danny asked Vlad to get rid of his human emotions, thus getting rid of his human half. After the procedure, the separated Danny Phantom, now free of the conscience of his human half, and fully malevolent, overcame Vlad and removes his ghost-half and (for unknown reasons, although most likely because as purely evil Danny Phantom he wanted to torment Vlad Masters) he merges with it. Unfortunately, when Plasmius' evil ghost half mixed with him, it overwhelms him and the power overloads Danny's ghost self, resulting in the birth of Dan Phantom.
His first act of malice was the murder of his human half and blowing up Vlad's entire mansion, before unleashing ten years of pain and destruction on both Earth and the Ghost Zone.
After Dark Danny lives for ten years, destroying ghost after ghost and town after town, culminating in the desolation of Amity Park, the Observants ordered Clockwork to kill Danny in the past to prevent Dan's rise. Dispatching various ghosts from the future to eliminate Danny, Clockwork sets in motion a series of events that led young Danny to the future where he encountered his dark older self and fights him.
When Dan defeats his younger self he sticks his time medallion inside him to keep him stuck in the future, and sends Danny to the Ghost Zone. Danny then finds the old Vlad who tells Danny the story of how Dan Phantom was born. Danny then asks Vlad if he still has the Ghost Gauntlets. Vlad then rips the time medallion out of him.
Back to the Past
Meanwhile, Dan disguises himself as his fourteen year-old self and travels to the past via a leftover time medallion to ensure his future, namely cheating on the C.A.T. test. The only witness having figured out his true identity was his sister, Jazz since he reveals who he is when she founds him with the answers. After cheating on the C.A.T. via test answers (that Danny obtained previously by accident thanks to Clockwork's intervention), a suspicious Lancer calls his parents over to the Nasty Burger as demonstration of Danny's possible future. At the same time Sam and Tucker warn them of the oncoming explosion and Jazz, who, using the Fenton Ghost Peeler, exposed Dan to the rest.
After mocking Danny's parents about their not being able to discover their son's half-ghost status, he tied them all to the nasty sauce vat just as it was about to blow. Just then, Dan was surprised by the return of his younger self and battes him. Dan was unable to eliminate his younger since this would mean killing himself, so he fights him to "run out the clock untill his whole life falls a part". Even with the aid of the Specter Deflector and the Ghost Gauntlets, Dan still proved too much for Danny. Refusing to let down his friends and family, Danny unleashed the powerful Ghostly Wail which he gained when he was attacked by the future versions of his ghostly enemies. Dan was shocked as that power wasn't supposed to be developed for another ten years, to which Danny tells him the future apparently isn't as set in stone as he thought before unleashing a second Ghostly Wail which sent Dan crashing into a building. Upon emerging, battered and bruised, Dan was captured by the Fenton Thermos stating that he didn't need to escape since it was already to late to save them. Despite his victory over his evil self, Danny's failed to save everyone if not for Clockwork, who saved them at the last minute, sending Danny back in time to when the test began and giving him a second chance at changing his future.
Existing Outside of TimeDan was subsequently trapped in a Fenton Thermos, which was given to Clockwork after the battle. The Observants tell him that Danny and Dan are his responsibility now. Since he was taken out of the time stream by Clockwork, he now exists outside of time, even though Danny will never turn into him. By the end, Dan is seemingly attempting to escape the thermos, most likely to have his revenge. It has been stated that if Nick had not cancelled production of the series Dan would have indeed returned.
It was through his methods that Dan came into existence, though not intentionally. The only thing Vlad was trying to do was to separate Danny's ghost half from his human half. Unfortunately, it didn't go planned as both Danny and Vlad had hoped. Ghost Danny, furious at Vlad, stole the Ghost Gauntlets from him and separated him from his ghost self. That caused Ghost Danny in attempting to overshadow Ghost Vlad, which ended up forming them both into the most malicious and powerful ghost on the planet. For these misfortunes, Dan killed his human self and destroyed Vlad's huge mansion in the process. Doing so caused the former prideful billionaire to live in reclusive grief and misery, guilty over his past misdeeds and unhearty actions. When Danny met the older Vlad, He later played a crucial role ten years later when he helped the younger Danny return to his present by removing the unreachable time medallion Dan had placed on him earlier. Vlad even told Danny the following: "If any good came out of this, it's that ten years without ghost powers gave me the chance to see what a fool I've been." For that, Danny, in a way, realizes his sentiment for forgiveness and accepted his apology for all the bad things he's caused in the past. How Vlad survived the explosion caused by Dan is unclear.
Jack and Maddie Fenton
Dan's former parents, he attempted to kill them along with the others he once loved (and Mr. Lancer) so his future would come to pass. After being exposed by Jazz, Jack and Maddie rounded and threatened him, demanding to know where their son was. He ridicules them for their lack of observation on the connections between Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom before restraining and silencing them, planning to have them killed in the Nasty Burger explosion.
Like his parents and friends, Dan shares no love for his past sister although he did show an ounce of care/confusion when she reveals that she knew of him being a half ghost and was proud until he stole the answers to the CAT. Revealing his evil ghost form to her and stating his plan, he knocks her out and leaves to ensure his future. With the information that Dan revealed to her, Jazz writes a note to the younger Danny, attaching it to the Fenton Boo-merang where it searched for Danny after ten years of tracking him. Jazz later tries to confront Dan on two separate occasions with the Fenton Peeler, the latter ending his masquerade and revealing his true appearance. He then gags and restrains her to the Nasty Sauce vat.
Valerie is a prominent defender of Amity Park against Dan and other ghosts, keeping a vigilant watch over the city. When the towers that emit Amity Park's ghost shield are destroyed by Dan's ghostly wail, she encounters him again. She returns later when younger Danny enters the future with Sam and Tucker. Assuming him to be Phantom at first, the real Dan arrives and fights her briefly before throwing her into a building, only to be saved by young Danny. Dan finds her deplorable.
His two best friends no longer matter to him and he instead has tried to kill them via Nasty Burger explosion to continue his future despite their best efforts to thwart their ill-gotten future (Although at one point Dark Danny admitted to missing Tucker's sense of humor when he traveled back to Danny's time.)
Mr. Lancer was his least favorite teacher. He was also one of the people killed in The Nasty Burger explosion alongside with Danny's family and friends. His statue only reads "GONE" instead of "GONE, but not forgotten", but seems to be embedded into the ground.
The Fright Knight claims Dan as his new master, obeying his every command.
Dan mentions Clockwork, "meddling again", when he saw Sam and Tucker's time medallions. This is presumably because of a previous encounter that they may have had in the past ten years before Dan meets with his younger self, and traveled to the past to make sure he existed. Possibly, Clockwork was trying to stop Dan from doing something that can be dangerous.
In the end of the episode, he is left in the Fenton Thermos in Clockwork's Lair.
It would seem that Dan had been using The Box Ghost as a punching bag to the extremes as the once pathetic ghost was seen with a hook for his right hand and an eye patch covering his left eye. Due to his personality change, Box Ghost has gotten stronger and wants his revenge on Danny.
Ember claims that he is the reason why she became fat and lost her voice; Dan's Ghostly Wail destroyed her vocal cords.
Dan really hurt them in the last ten years. Since Skulker used machinery for fighting and to hide his true form and Technus used machinery for strength, they figured if they combined they could become more powerful against Dan.
Unlike most of Danny Phantom's enemies who have, to some degree, a moral conscience, Dan possesses no such trait; he is pure evil and craves destruction and chaos. He is effectively Danny's worst enemy, and is willing to kill to get what he wants, even if it is the people he once cared about.
His personality is sadistic, cruel, and heartless; this personality shift stems from the fact that Vlad's evil ghost-self completely destroyed whatever good might have been left inside the young ghost boy after the fusion. In addition, he will do anything in his power in order to exist. He is also arrogant and cocky (similar to Vlad), as he gravely underestimated his younger self, which naturally led to his downfall.
Since he came to be by merging with Vlad's ghost half, he has all of Vlad's and Danny's combined powers at his disposal. This makes him stronger than both Danny and Vlad, and apparently one of the most powerful and dangerous villains introduced into the series. He has gained both completely new abilities that neither Danny nor Vlad can do as well as increased power of his past ones. Below is a list of his currently known abilities.
- Ghost Sense: Dan can sense nearby ghosts and half ghosts. When his ghosts sense is activated, red wisps of mist come out through his nose. The reason why he still has this power is that the ghost sense was originally a power that only Danny possessed (being Tucker Phantom the only one who also had such power due to having the same as Danny), and he kept that power after melding with Vlad and the red color was due to his evil/opposite nature. (However, an "in universe" explanation could be that a heat core replaced Danny's usual ice core giving the red color.)
- Intangibility: Standard ghost power
- Intangibility Fusion: Dan is able to fuse objects inside people like he does when he fuse one of Clockwork's medallions into Danny's body through the use of his intangibility power. While fused, the object inserted is "intangible and unreachable wether you are a human or a ghost". It can, however, be removed by using the Ghost Gauntlets).
- Invisibility: Standard ghost powers.
- Flight: Standard ghost powers. He can fly faster than Danny and Vlad. During his last fight with Valerie, he was able to make a sudden dash of speed that can take his enemy unguarded.
- Pyrokinesis: He seems to have some sort of pyrokinetic power, not only because of his flaming hair, but also because when he comes out of the floor in the Fenton's basement, he creates several torrents of green fire.
- Supernatural Strength: Dan is obviously far stronger than Danny or Vlad. He is capable of easily lifting a tank (thereby, he can lift about 70 to 80 tons, and possibly even more). He can easily kill or mortally wound a normal person with his punches (even Valerie, who has trained against ghosts for years, was easily swept aside by a simple punch).
- Supernatural Durability: The tissues of Dan's body are much harder and more resistant to injury than those of an ordinary human, Danny and/or Vlad. As a result, he can withstand great impact forces, exposure to an oil truck explosion without damage, powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury, two of Danny's Ghostly Wails and he could even survive a multi-story building crumbling down at ground zero (though severely weakened). It is possible that he can also exist in the vacuum of space without any aid the same way Danny and Vlad do.
- Supernatural Agility: He is far more agile than Danny and Plasmius.
- Superhuman Reflexes: His reflexes are enhanced in a similar manner.
- Supernatural Stamina: Dan's ghost musculature produces almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity. As he is now a full ghost he can physically exert himself at peak capacity longer than his young counterpart, possibly even for days before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Healing Factor: Dan has been seen for sure healing in tough battles with Valerie. He pretty much can heal faster than Danny and Vlad.
- Overshadowing: Standard ghost powers.
- Ghost Ray: His blasts are composed of green (though it is much brighter than his younger self) and white ectoplasm. He can probably use the other colors like Vlad but this is unknown. Without using his full power, Dan can blow apart a good portion of a building (several stories) only further demonstrating his monstrous power. He even was able to fire a ghost ray that didn't harm the victim, but simply knocked them out.
- Ecto-Energy Strike: he can confine the energy of a ghost ray into his fist for a powerful punch with the same force of impact than a ghost ray.
- Ecto-Energy Waves: He can fire ghost rays in the form of powerful sliding waves of ecto-energy capable of knocking people several feet away.
- Ghost Stinger: Dan uses this ecto-electric attack to cause damage and pain. Like Vlad, he uses this attack to instantly drain Danny of power and pain until he turns back to his human form. He may also use it to knock out normal humans like he does with Jazz.
- Ghostly Wail: Dan's signature attack developed in The Ultimate Enemy. The unique ability to generate an extremely powerful ecto-sonic shriek from his vocal cords and mouth, a bit like a Banshee's wail. It sounds like moaning ghosts. The incredibly loud sound of the attack is accompanied by extremely powerful sonic waves of pure ecto-energy. It can cause terrible pain to ghosts and damage tangible matter. He is seen overturning tanks and cars, blowing away helicopters, crumbling buildings and shattering glass with this power. This technique is Dan's most powerful attack, and he is able to use it more than once without losing energy. At maximum power, his ghostly wail was able to cause earthquake-like tremors and was powerful and devastating enough to destroy all of the future Amity Park's ghost shield generators, causing them to explode. It's so powerful that when his younger self uses it against him, it's the only attack that visibly injures him.
- Duplication: Dan can easily create about three or four duplicates and possibly a few more. These doubles can be invisible when made. He is possibly almost as skilled as Vlad is with this power. Also like Vlad, he often uses his proficiency in duplication as a powerful advantage against an enemy.
- Ecto-Energy Constructions: Dan is capable of forming binds and ropes from ectoplasm and maybe more. In the video game, he can create a giant shuriken to attack enemies his from distance.
- Ectoplasmic Goo: He can shoot ectoplasmic goo from his fingertips in order to gag people like he did with his family and friend so they can't scream.
- Ghost Portal Creation: He can create portals into the Ghost Zone by merely waving his hand and banish them at will.
- Advanced Spectral Body Manipulation: Dan has the ability to change the shape of his body. Among these occasions include stretching along the waistline, creating holes in his chest, temporarily vaporizing his body, and turning his head 180 degrees.
- Gaseous Transformation: Dan can momentarily become an ectoplasmic vapor to pass through objects that could harm him even when intangible (I.E., Valerie's ghost hunting gear).
- Disguising: Dark Danny has the ability to change his shape into that of his younger self's human form despite no longer being a half-ghost. It is unknown if he can take any other form or not, along with gaining some powers.
- Supernatural Flexibility: Due to his ability to manipulate his body he is able to bend and twist far beyond the normal limits of human physiology.
- Telekinesis: Visible only in the form of green energy emanating from his hands and the subject of the telekinesis. He uses his telekinesis to render an opponent immobile by extending the TK field around them. As far as is known, he has to be standing face to face or at close range of the object to use his power.
- Communication Systeme Interference: Somehow he can hijack wireless communication systems like Valerie's future intercommunication device and talk to the users.
- Paralyzing Touch: By simply touching a victim he can knock them out.
- Chronolock: just like the Observants said "he exists outside of time", therefore if time should stop then he would not be affected.
There are other powers that he may have since he is the fusion of Danny and Vlad but that he didn't used in the movie, such as:
- Ghost Shield: A power that Vlad and Danny share. Since he never used this power in the movie it is unknown how strong it is in comparison with those of Danny and Vlad's.
- Teleportation: Vlad and possibly Danny share this power, so he must be able to do so.
- Power Augmentation: Vlad and Danny are able to momentously increase their physical strength, therefore he must have this ability.
- Repulsion Field: A unique power that only young Danny possesses, which allows him to expel energy from all his body in all directions.
- Ecto-Tornado: A power unique to Plasmius that allows him to create an giant tornado out of evto-energy, and posible a power that he got when taking Vlad's ghost half.
- Clockwork's Medallion: Although he doesn't use any weapon at all, he did use one of Clockwork's Medallions to travel in time, to make sure nothing changes his past. With the medallion he "can get where and when he needs to be". Since he didn't get rid of it, he might still possess it, thus having immunity to Clockwork's powers.
- "Run? Where are they going to go?"
- "Your time is up Danny, it's been up for ten years."
- "Nice try Jazz, but me, my future, I'm inevitable."
- "And lucky this all I need to get where and when I need to be."
- "Well, that's it, isn't it?"
- "I don't need to escape. And you are too late to save them."
- "You don't get it do ya? I'm still here. I still exist. That means you still turn into me."
- "I don't have to waste you. I just have to run out the clock until your entire life falls apart."
- "Like the new power? I call it my Ghostly Wail."
- "Hello Valerie, and goodbye!"
- "Strange; how one giant fireball of highly combustible condiments can... ruin your whole future."
- "Actually, that was me. And you, eventually."
- "You know, if I had an ounce of humanity left in me this would be a very touching little reunion; but of course, I surrendered my human half a long time ago."
- "In my weaker moments I sometimes miss your droll sense of humor."
- "Now who's up for--what did we used to do together?--playing some video games and raging against the machine?"
- "HAHAHAHAHA! I AM your boy!"
- "What kind of parents are you, anyway? The world's leading Ghost Experts and you can't even figure out that your own son was HALF GHOST!"
- "Hello?! Danny Fenton, Danny Phantom? Ever notice the similarity? Jazz did."
- "The Nasty Burger, still standing; for now."
- "Sam and Tucker, it's been a while. Ten years to be accurate."
- "So, to what do I owe this little blast from the past?"
- "Clockwork, meddling again."
- "I suppose out of respect for our past, I should let you live. But that's not how I work."
- "You always were smarter than I gave you credit for."
- "Actually, nobody's going anywhere. Not until it's time for you to be blown everywhere."
- "What makes you think you can change my past?"
- "Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, you are such a child! You promised?"
- "How? Is the answer A-The Fenton Portal? Destroyed it. B-The only remaining portal? The one that my idiot cheesehead arch-enemy has? Soon as I find it, that's gone too. Is it C-You? No, you can't stop me from cheating on the C.A.T and solidifying my future so is must be... D! None of the above!"
- When Danny trapped him in the Fenton Thermos, he said he didn't need to escape, since it was too late to save his family. This means that he could actually escape from the Thermos when he was being captured.
- It is possible that Dan can also generate a ghost shield stronger than Danny's and Vlad's ghost shields and teleport himself. However, he never showed any signs of these powers in the movie.
- It's possible that he may have some sort of weather control since we can see how the clouds suddenly becomes stormy when Jazz reveals his identity to their parents, although this could be just a dramatic effect.
- Apparently he fooled Valerie's future self once.
- Danny got his Ghostly Wail in his teenage form, while Dan got his ten years after him likely signaling a change in the time stream.
- According to Clockwork he did about two thousand bad things.
- Dan seems to share similar traits to the Marvel Comics villain, Venom. Both characters have much more powerful versions of the hero's powers (Danny Phantom for Dark Danny and Spider-Man for Venom), both are ruthless to get what they want, both wished to ruin the hero's life and also,
- Dan sticks his tongue out in a very Venom-like fashion, albeit his tongue is forked while Venom's is not and is not as large.
- Dan can also be compared to the Hulk villain the Maestro, as the Maestro was also an evil future version of the Hulk who was defeated when he underestimated his younger self.
- 'Dark Danny' appeared as an unlockable costume of Danny in Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots.
- During his dialogue with Jazz Fenton, he spins his head 180 degrees to face her, making a reference to the movie The Exorcist.
Danny Phantom Characters
|Danny Phantom • Sam Manson • Tucker Foley • Jazz Fenton • Jack Fenton • Maddie Fenton|
|Vlad Plasmius • Dan Phantom • Skulker • Box Ghost • Lunch Lady Ghost • Ember McLain • Nicolai Technus • Youngblood • Penelope Spectra • Bertrand • Prince Aragon • Executioner Ghost • Archer Ghost • Desiree • Freakshow • Lydia • Fright Knight • Hotep-Ra • Nocturne • Pariah Dark • Skulktech 9.9 • Vortex • Walker • Undergrowth • The Vulture Ghosts • Pariah's soldiers • Tucker Phantom|
|Dani Phantom • Frostbite • Wulf • Clockwork • Pandora • Cujo • Dora the Dragon Ghost|
|Klemper • Sidney PoinDexter • Amorpho • Johnny 13 • Shadow • Kitty • Observants • Dairy King • Box Lunch • Ghostwriter|
|Valerie Gray • Mr. Lancer • Dash Baxter • Paulina Sanchez • Kwan • Star • Guys In White • Damon Gray • Masters' Blasters|