This card is arguably one of the most iconic monsters in the game, along with "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", mainly because they were the signature cards of the the main characters of the first TV series anime.
This is most likely the single most supported card of all, with fifteen cards specifically stating "Dark Magician" as part of their effect, in addition to the "Magician" theme its design has inspired.
The lore text of this card may not refer to its ATK and DEF, but to its high amount of Spell and Trap Cards it has access to. Many of its support cards give "Dark Magician" high offensive power and defensive power, if they may not alter this cards stats.
This card can be seen as a magical counterpart and partner to "Buster Blader". "Dark Magician" has a support card "Skilled Dark Magician" which works exactly the same as the support card of "Buster Blader", "Skilled White Magician". In addition, "Miracle Restoring" can work for either this card or "Buster Blader". Both also wear somewhat similar armor, and are the Fusion Materials for "Dark Paladin".
As its card text implies, this monster has the highest ATK and DEF total combined sum for a Normal Monster "wizard" (male Spellcaster). "Cosmo Queen" is a Normal Spellcaster with higher combined ATK and DEF, but as a female, she is not a "wizard".
The alternate-art "red" "Dark Magician" used by Arkana in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga may be seen here. Despite having the same name, he is not the same card as the "purple" "Dark Magician" always used by Yugi Mutou, as he has a different eight-digit passcode.
Three of the artworks of "Dark Magician" (LOB/SYE, SDY and Arkana version), picture his staff green, whereas in one version (SD6/PCY) and on "Dark Magic Attack" his staff is red and blue.
In some Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS Yu-Gi-Oh! games, it is possible to have six copies of "Dark Magician" in the same Deck, as the games do not recognize alternate artwork cards as being the same.
On the French Champion Pack: Game Five print of "Thousand Knives" (and in the French dub of the anime), this card is called "Magicien des Ténèbres". All French TCG prints of "Dark Magician" and all other French prints of "Thousand Knives" call it "Magicien Sombre".
This card's second OCG artwork is taken from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Duel 35: "The Magic of the Maze!", specifically from the panel showing this monster being Summoned, albeit with minor changes in detail.
This card's third OCG artwork is taken from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Duel 103: "Magician Battle!". However, it is derived from 2 separate panels showing Pandora's copy of "Dark Magician". The first panel is where the 2 "Dark Magicians" are shown together with their displayed ATK values, after Pandora Summons his copy of "Dark Magician" for the first time. The second panel is on the same page, showing the same "Dark Magician".
For this artwork, the upper body of Pandora's "Dark Magician" from the first panel (barring his head) is flipped horizontally, while the head from the second panel is used as is, barring minor details.
This card's fourth OCG artwork is taken from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Duel 102: "The Fatal Duel!", specifically from the panel showing this monster being Summoned.
This card's sixth OCG artwork is taken from Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World Duel 63: "The Master of Servants", specifically from the panel showing this monster being Summoned.
This card has appeared either in play or on card artwork in all of the anime series. (Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei), Yu-Gi-Oh! (NAS), Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal).
The protagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Yuma Tsukumo, has a card called "Gagaga Magician", who is very similar to "Dark Magician" in appearance. He also has a female card called "Gagaga Girl", who is the apprentice of "Gagaga Magician" like how "Dark Magician Girl" is the apprentice to the "Dark Magician".
This card along with "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" are the only 2 cards to have had an official Chinese print before the release of Duel Starter Deck standardized Chinese as an OCG language. Its Chinese version originated in Japan, therefore its Chinese name includes the character "黒" (black) which is an exclusive one to Japanese, compared to the Chinese counterpart, "黑".
This monster has the following distinctions from the other Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists' signature cards:
It is the only ace monster to not have a white color scheme (unless you count its skin color).
It is the only ace monster whose DEF is not 2000, except in the Bandai version.