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This has gone too far. The ducks almost cost us the world today. And without the world, who would we larceny against? The pieces are finally in place. Time to come out of the shadows, take control and end Clan McDuck. If the McDuck family wants an adventure... we'll give them their last.
~ Bradford revealing himself as the leader of FOWL to the audience.
We are FOWL. We have to be smarter than that. We're not trying to destroy the world, we're going to steal it out from underneath McDuck's nose.
~ Bradford expressing FOWL's goals.
Director Bradford Buzzard is the overarching antagonist of the 2017 DuckTales reboot series, serving as the overarching antagonist of the first two seasons and the main antagonist of the third and final season.
Throughout most of the series, he was the chairman of Scrooge's company and one of the members of the board of directors along with Bentley and Buford until it's revealed in the Season 2 finale that he is actually a member of The High Command and leader of FOWL. He is also a vulture and one of Scrooge McDuck’s archenemies (alongside Flintheart Glomgold and Magica De Spell).
Before being revealed as the leader of F.O.W.L., Bradford was already presented as a greedy person who only cared about the money of McDuck enterprises, is described as cheap, and it shows as he continually pushes for Scrooge to make cuts to spending. Despite being part of Scrooge's board of directors and the chairman of the company, Bradford is shown to not have the best relationship with Scrooge, frequently arguing with him on many occasions, mostly about the budget of the company. Though despite this, he was shown to have been reasonable on some occasions, as he did allow Scrooge to search for Della Duck for over 10 years before shutting him down after it was clear all he was going to do was bankrupt himself, though Bradford was also shown to have smiled at it. Bradford also seemed genuinely disgusted at Glomgold for disrespecting Scrooge at his fake funeral, showing he possibly could have had some heart.
After revealing himself as the leader of F.O.W.L., Bradford is shown to be ruthless and uncaring, wanting nothing more than to take over the world and being perfectly fine with the idea of eliminating Scrooge's entire family just to achieve their goal. Bradford is also shown to have no problem with hurting children even before he was revealed as the leader of F.O.W.L.; he had suggested to Louie that they cut funding to the magic wards on a mysterious island in the Heron Sea. His facial expressions and body language imply that he knew exactly what he was doing when he tricked Louie into releasing the Bombie, a being that would hunt Louie down. After he reveals himself as the leader of F.O.W.L., he puts the triplets into situations that could get them killed several times. He also has an even stronger desire for money than shown before, wanting to commit grand larceny on a global scale, all to fund more of F.O.W.L.'s operations.
Just like with Scrooge, Bradford is also shown to have a poor relationship with the other members of F.O.W.L. He and Black Heron argue frequently, and Bradford is often annoyed by his other minion's lack of intelligence. He is also shown to mistreat his minions; for example, he placed a mechanism in Steelbeak’s metal beak, allowing him to clamp him when he feels like it. He also gets annoyed with the other member's supervillain-like schemes, believing they are doing nothing but drawing attention to F.O.W.L.'s operations.
Bradford is also shown to be a massive coward, running away from any danger he gets himself into and often relying on surprise or cheap tactics to win. For example, in "Let's Get Dangerous", he is more focused on escaping rather than putting himself in danger, and when Louie figures out he is the leader of F.O.W.L., he surprises the triplets, pushing them into the RamRod and runs away.
Bradford also doesn't believe himself to be evil, believing his plans will ultimately bring order and stability to the world. He dismisses the idea of F.O.W.L. being a group of supervillains several times, even when his agents see themselves as ones. He also originally called the organization O.W.L., believing that his goal was good, and only added the Fiendish part at the beginning when Heron refused to help if he didn't. Adding to this, when he was unmasked by the triplets as the leader of F.O.W.L. and they called him a crook, he tells them that "bad guy" is a matter of perspective. In "The First Adventure!", it is revealed Bradford was once an accountant for S.H.U.S.H, and did have good intentions in his goals, wanting to rule the world from behind the shadows because he saw how much stopping chaos was costing the organization, only founding F.O.W.L. when Ludwig von Drake dismissed his idea. Even in "The Last Adventure", when being turned into a monstrous form by the Sword of Swanstantine, Bradford furiously blames the Ducks for turning him into a 'base villain', only for the Ducks to furiously retort that he himself was always a villain as the Sword only reflects on his dark nature.
Despite Bradford's evil nature though, he is shown to at least have some level of standards, though often for pragmatic reasons. He is against villains like General Lunaris and Taurus Bulba's attempts to destroy the world as Bradford wants to rule it from the shadows. When Bulba's RamRod threatens to destroy the world, Bradford also chews him out on how that is not FOWL's goal, to which Bulba responds by going rogue, which Bradford seems to be genuinely unhappy with. He also thinks some things are too dangerous to be used, only wanting the Papyrus of Binding because he sees it as a threat to order. However, this all goes moot in "The Last Adventure" as Bradford has no qualms in turning the Solego Circuit into a black hole for his true plot to rid the world of all adventures.
It was later revealed that the true reason why he wanted to rid of all adventures was because he felt traumatized by the adventures that his grandmother dragged him into when he was a child, despite the fact that his grandmother wanted to instill a sense of true adventure for a better life. However, because Bradford only saw the dark side of adventure (the dangers that he and his grandmother went through), he refuses to see past through this as he genuinely believes that adventures are causing chaos to the world and that the only way to bring order is to end all adventures. It is also shown that he secretly despises Scrooge due to the latter's love of adventures, and that he is willing to harm Scrooge's family in order to coerce him to sign a contract that would forbid Scrooge from ever adventuring again.
Bradford's power-hungry nature proved to be his downfall as his disposal of Black Heron and his clones drove May and June to free Scrooge's family and battle against him; even Louie manages to exploit a major loophole in Bradford's contract by stating that family is the greatest adventure. This depowers Bradford and leaves him at the mercy of Flintheart Glomgold, Ma Beagle and Magica De Spell, who are all disgusted by his actions before turning him into an actual buzzard as punishment.
I created you to defeat Scrooge McDuck once and for all, and with this, you just did!
~ Bradford reveals to Webby that he created her to defeat Scrooge.
Please, no! I’m not a villain!
~ Bradford’s final words before being turned into a non-anthropomorphic vulture.
It had been said that Bradford is over a hundred years old like Scrooge.
Being one-quarter finch through his grandmother, Isabella Finch, Bradford is the second known interspecies hybrid character in the 2017 TV series' continuity, the first being Gladstone Gander.
Bradford is the overarching antagonist of the entire series, as it was him stopping Scrooge from continuing to search for Della that kicked off most of the events of the plot. He is also later revealed to be the founder of F.O.W.L., and has been acting in the shadows throughout the entire series. The finale reveals that he was the one who told Della about the Spear of Selene in the first place to create a rift between Scrooge and his family, adding to the first point, not to mention that Della's stranding would allow for General Lunaris to invade Earth (said invasion ironically being the very reason for Bradford and FOWL to initiate their direct attacks against the Duck family in the first place).
Despite knowing he was mostly indirectly responsible for Lunaris' invasion, Bradford instead blames the McDuck family for it.
Bradford is likely based on the middle member of the trio of The High Command as they both are the most prominent speaking, the one giving the most orders to the rest of F.O.W.L., and are the leader of the trio.
Despite his villainy, Bradford did have a few standards even before or after his true nature was revealed.
During Scrooge's (fake) funeral, his face at Glomgold when he barged to posture were those of pure anger and disgust.
Bradford chews out Bulba on the use of the Ramrod due to how it threatens to destroy the world, which he tells Bulba is not the intent of F.O.W.L. Not only that, he points out that the usage also risks Scrooge finding out, which ultimately happens.
Despite this, Bradford has no problem using the Ramrod with the universe at risk, despite trying to modify it.
A plot hole created by the first episode is that Bentley is shown seated center and speaking rather than Bradford. All subsequent episodes have Bradford seated center and speaking, with it later revealed that the other two are clones who cannot speak in full coherent sentences.
However, this could most likely either be just an oversight by the animators, or Bradford and Bentley had designs switched following production of the pilot.
Alternatively, it could also be a reference to "Dirty Money", the High Command's first actual appearance, where the right and middle members swapped places, let alone speaking roles (in fact, there’s a scene where said member is talking to Ammonia Pine alone), which is possibly a subtle hint to Bradford's main villain status in Season 3. Coincidentally in both cases, the middle and far right members places were switched, giving credence to the idea even further.
Although he lacked in adventures, Bradford’s grandmother should’ve been aware of her grandson’s trauma so that he wouldn’t have become the villain he was.
In fact, it can be argued that Bradford is a dark representation of how the boys, particularly Huey, could have ended up had they not have a moral compass or possibly even proper parental guidance. His reactions to his childhood adventures are ultimately what shaped his world views, and it seemed Isabella never attempted to help with his emotional issues the way Scrooge/Donald/Della did for the boys. He has most similarities to Huey due to Junior Woodchuck's history and love of order.
Unlike every other antagonist in the series, Bradford is the only one who doesn't see himself or his organization as evil, believing that stopping the McDuck family will help bring order to the world. Ironically, he is considered to be one of the most despicable and dangerous antagonist that the McDuck family ever faced; even other major villains despise him for using them as pawns in his own schemes.