Darcy Lewis

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Character
Name: Darcy Lewis
Occupation: Graduate Student
Title/Rank: Intern
Location: London
formerly: Norway
New Mexico, USA
Status: Alive
Relationships: Assistant to Jane Foster and Erik Selvig, Ian Boothby (Darcy's intern and love interest)
Fandom: Thor (film), MCU
Other: Darcy Lewis is played by Kat Dennings
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Darcy Lewis is a character in the films Thor and Thor: The Dark World, and although she was a minor character in the film - the fandom for Darcy is quite large.

Canon

Darcy is introduced as an the assistant to astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, and by association Erik Selvig when he joins them in New Mexico prior to the opening of the film. She is the one to tazer Human!Thor after he arrived on Earth. She's a political science grad student that only got hired by Jane because she was the only applicant. When Jane's notes and research was taken by S.H.I.E.L.D., she was shown to be more concerned about her iPod. She demonstrates some hacking ability in Thor and in the second Marvel Comics prelude to Thor: The Dark World.

Fandom

Darcy's role in the movie was relatively small, but she impressed fandom with her tazering of human!Thor. Partly because of this Darcy has been happily claimed by fandom as the best Mary Sue ever. Some fans suggest that Darcy's characterization has been influenced by actress Kat Dennings' role on the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. Much to the appreciation of the Darcy's fandom, Darcy gains a lot more screen time in the second film.

Darcy Lewis fans have also been known to cosplay her, especially for the Thor 2 premiere[1], usually partnered up with a Jane Foster.

Common Tropes & Themes

The main Darcy-related tropes involve her love of tazers, her iPod, her snarky attitude, and her amazing body. [2]

Darcy as a Mary Sue

Darcy is frequently accused of being a Mary Sue/self-insert. One nonnie on Fail Fandom Anon addresses this issue:

I think a fair amount of Darcy's popularity comes from the opportunities to write absolutely classic chicklit with her. You blinded me with political science is a great example: You get young, snarky, ambitious female character in the big city for the first time, learning to deal with hot men, getting access to awesome female role models, exploring a bit about how the Avengers fit into the world with normal people in it, and just coming of age. I mean, you get a lot of straight romance with her, but most of what I see really is much more about Darcy growing as a person than hooking her up with people.
And I love that! I've never actually seen coming of age stories written for female characters in this volume in fandom before. Hermione probably has as many, but the fics for her were much more likely to be focused on romance. She actually reminds me most, fandom-wise, of Draco: Fairly minor character who got extremely popular only partially because it seemed like he was going to be a much more major character than he was. Most of his appeal came from the ability to be snarky and the fact that he provided a window into a world that canon didn't explore with the whole old pureblood family thing.
I think a thing with that kind of character that most the people who hate their inexplicable popularity miss is the ability to explore the world that canon is set in from an angle the heroes can't. It's kind of a different mindset? Most fanfic is about exploring the main characters and their relationships. That kind of character tends to be looser about the character itself, but it on average explores the world that canon provides in much more depth than the stuff focused on the major characters, and that is a vastly underutilized resource in fanfic imo. I love worldbuilding, and it's hard to find good fic dealing with that.
And honestly, I am really irritated by the self-insert accusation. Not really because I think it's entirely wrong, but because I've never once seen a male character written in a similar self-inserty manner get that accusation. I've seen Clint's characterization criticized for everything under the sun but being a self-insert, and I think he is absolutely at least as much a self-insert as Darcy, and on average much more poorly written to boot. Sometimes she's a self-insert, great. So's Clint, so's Tony, so Harry Potter, so's Draco Malfoy, so's Neville, so's more characters than I can count. People self-insert across genderlines, universe, and I am really sick of the underlying assumption that only self-inserts of the same gender somehow count. [4]

The very traits people find appealing about Darcy can lead to her being written OOC, as one commenter on Fanficrants explains:

I've also seen her written as a very ditzy, patronizing caricature of a teenager, instead of a college-aged woman who is interning with a scientist and managing to do a good job despite it not being in her field. I've seen her reduced to her cup-size (which as a very busty woman, offends me on a personal level), and just....
Fandom treats her as if using Facebook means she's vapid and has no interests behind the surface or Internet memes. The woman is a political scientist, for god's sake, but good luck fandom remembering it. [5]

On the other hand, the only thing that really is written differently and might be OOC is Darcy's sexuality - since we can assume she’s a wise-cracking, tech-savvy chick, but we were not given much toward sexuality:

I think the only thing I’m not entirely sure about that has us all split is how comfortable she is with her sexuality. For one, I don’t think she’s as much of a “bad girl” as some fics lead on, but to each their own. I mean, take the CPR comment into consideration, and then that deleted scene with Fandral where she “enjoys the attention” … I think she’s semi comfortable with it and I doubt she’d jump into bed with anyone immediately like some write her, but that’s just me.
Overall, a lot of it is taking what we’re giving and building on it. We’re not entirely projecting ourselves onto her, or we’re not taking her and starting from scratch like we’re accused of. We have enough material that we do, in fact, have a lot to work with. Most people who question [it] just haven’t seen it that way. [6]

Shipping

Darcy is featured in a variety of both het and femslash pairings. All of them are fanon, due to the fact that in the first movie there is no knowledge that Darcy is in a relationship with anyone. She shows harmless attraction to Thor Odinson with Jane Foster in the first film, and in background/deleted scenes with Fandral. In the second Thor film, she gains an intern, Ian Boothby whom later becomes a love interest for Darcy.

She is commonly paired with Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Loki, Clint Barton, and Bruce Banner in het works, and Jane Foster, Pepper Potts, and Natasha Romanoff in femslash.

List of Darcy Ships

See more examples in Darcyland article.

Het

Femslash

Various crossover pairings feature Darcy as well, the most common would be with Johnny "Human Torch" Storm of the Fantastic Four Films, which is usually associated with the Darcy/Steve pairing due to the fact that Johnny resembles Steve (Chris Evans plays both characters which is the main reasoning for resemblance).

Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

See Darcyland for a list of Darcy pairings that have shipping fanworks.

Fanfic

Fanart

Fanvids

Meta

Archives and Communities

LiveJournal Communities:

Fannish Links

Resources

References

  1. FyeahDarcyLewis tag "cosplay"
  2. Unexpected things for fandom to fetish... (Accessed Aug. 6, 2012)
  3. SHIP DARCY WITH ALL THE THINGS tag on AO3
  4. Things You Would Not Admit Unanon (Accessed Sept. 24, 2012)
  5. Comment by ashen_key in the post Avengers Fandom, Please. Thread started November 14 2012. Last accessed Nov. 14, 2012.
  6. Comment by Watson_a_time in the post My Two Cents on the Why is Darcy this way in fanon