Reviews: Simply Indispensable

Sorry. My mileage varied.

This fic requires a Willing Suspension Of Disbelief in two areas.

One: the bullies. They are a posse of five girls who teased Darcy in high school, and pick up right where they left off when they meet her now. It takes a dedicated bully to even remember their chosen Butt Monkey from high school, especially after college and life have worked their magic on maturity levels. It takes a really stupid bully to continue harassing her when she is shown to be on a First Name Basis with Black Freaking Widow - especially in high society, when evidence of any bitchiness, however stupid, would be highly publicized. Both of these facts make these bullies really laughable to me on sight. Just why is Darcy so scared of them?

Which brings me to Willing Suspension Of Disbelief Number Two: Darcy. Sure, sure, Darcy gets a couple of wisecracks in - including a truly delicious subversion of the saying "behind every great man, there is a great woman." However, the author completely misses the fact that Darcy tazered the fuckin' God of Thunder, because he was freaking her out. The fact that he was Brought Down To Badass at the time and the fact that she didn't even know who he was do not diminish the utter Bad Ass of that moment. And she knows it.

Darcy might have been intimidated by girls such as these in high school, but that was in high school. The fanfic author outright states that she's graduated from college, she's obviously competent enough to deal with six of the world's most certifiable nutcases every day, she's electricuted the fuckin' God of Thunder, and I'm supposed to believe that she's intimidated by five shrews from her high school who haven't acquired any new material over the past four or so years?

Yeah, no. Darcy would be all "I tazered the fuckin' God of Thunder, bitches. STFU." And then she would just ignore them.

This Darcy is written as an immature young woman who needs six superheroes to stand up for her to some petty, unintelligent bullies, all to satisfy some pretty blatant wish-fulfillment on the part of the author. It just doesn't reconcile with Darcy's dauntless canon personality - the main reason I like her so much. Good grammar and spelling will not make up for that.

Painfully Obvious Wish Fulfillment

Since her introduction in 2011's Thor, Darcy has been used as fodder for countless wish fulfillment fanfictions. This story is no exception to the former. It's like when a kid is bullied on the playground and imagines his favorite superhero coming to give the bullies a taste of their own medicine; needless to say, that premise hardly makes for quality fic.

Wish fulfillment in itself is not bad, as it's the basis of all fiction. But for stories like this fanfic, where the author sacrifices characterization and believability in order to facilitate her own wishes, it can be uncomfortable to read due to author projecting her juvenile personal fantasies onto her favorite characters and her bullies.

And I say "her bullies" because the author has removed Darcy's character and replaced it with her own interpretation: a young woman, who, despite canonically tasering a stranger on impulse, cannot stand up to a group of laughably malicious peers. Darcy has been stripped of her canonical impetuousness and pluckiness that made her character enjoyable, though she has a few lines of witty dialogue hastily thrown in to attempt to convince readers otherwise.

Instead, she has been reduced to victim who needs to be rescued by the Avengers from blatantly unimaginative and unthreatening agitators. It's not difficult to conclude that the author has erased Darcy's characterization so she can vicariously live out her desires of the Avengers upbraiding her perceived tormentors. It's unfortunate that in the process, the author abolished the effectiveness of one the few capable civilian women in superhero movies.

Perhaps such implications were inevitable, as this fic was arbitrarily constructed to meet a kinkmeme prompt. However, I feel that if the author had bothered to individualize the bullies, writing them with unique traits instead leaving them as generic Rich Bitches, the story wouldn't be such transparent wish fulfillment.

The bullies were caricatures; the story could have been much improved had the author made an effort to write them as legitimate characters rather than human plot devices whose purpose was to set up a Hurt/Comfort fic. The bullies were painfully uncreative characters, who managed to be barefaced antagonists but at the same time, remarkably unmemorable, interchangeable, and frankly, dull.