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In the 2017 Continuum universe, the Rescue Rangers were originally lab animals experimented on by Black Heron. In one of these experiments, she used a device to substantially raise their IQ level. The intent of this experiment was to find a way to decrease Scrooge McDuck's intelligence; however, the rodents became so intelligent that they were able to construct an airship and escape containment, going on to become a dedicated team of heroes helping foil F.O.W.L.
Behind the scenes
The DuckTales 2017 versions of the Rescue Rangers were introduced in the episode Double-O-Duck in You Only Crash Twice!.
As recounted by Francisco Angones on Twitter, the first story concept of the Rescue Rangers in the DuckTales reboot was that they would be “underground resistance fighters that tagged their logo wherever they helped, like Zorro”. This was shot down by Disney due to their not wanting the Rangers to appear in an unrelated context at the same time that they were developing, and beginning to announce, a Rescue Rangers live-action film. The writing crew ended up using the plot device of Black Heron experimenting on mice to make them more intelligent as a way to sneak "a band of Intelligent Rodents" back into the scripts, allowing them to get far enough in development before the executives caught on that when they did, they saw how harmless and "cool" the idea was, and greenlit it anyway.