Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for Black Widow.
If you were worried Black Widow would skip out on the time-honored tradition of a Marvel post-credits scene, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, the Black Widow post-credits scene tells us quite a bit about what’s next for Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova.
So, let’s break down exactly what happens and what it could mean.
The Post-Credits Scene
In the Black Widow post-credits scene, we see Yelena Belova visiting Natasha’s grave with her dog Fanny (a possible nod to one of the aliases Natasha is given earlier in the film). Although Black Widow is largely set before Avengers: Infinity War, it’s obvious from this detail that the post-credits scene is set sometime after Natasha dies in Avengers: Endgame.
It’s a very emotional scene where Yelena tenderly rearranges the tributes left at Natasha’s grave and hugs the gravestone, whistling to her like they used to as kids.
The tender moment is interrupted by none other than Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Valentina blows her nose and rudely comments that she’s allergic to the Midwest, seemingly confirming that Natasha’s grave is in her “home” state of Ohio.
As previously reported, Marvel always planned for Valentina to show up in Black Widow, but because of the release being pushed back, she ended up making her debut in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
We learn that Yelena is working for Valentina, and seems somewhat unhappy with her, telling her she shouldn’t bother her during her holiday time. She also asks her for a raise, saying Valentina seems desperate.
Instead, Valentina offers her a new mission — and the target is the man responsible for her sister’s death. The tablet she hands Yelena has a photo of Clint Barton on it.
What It Means for the Future of the MCU
Yelena will next show up in the upcoming Hawkeye series, although details on the size of her role have not been confirmed.
Given some of the other announced casting for Hawkeye it doesn’t seem like Yelena will be the main big bad for the show. It’s too early to say what her role will be, or if her story with Clint will carry over into another MCU project.
The other piece of the puzzle that seems to be falling into place based on this post-credits scene is the team Valentina is bringing together. In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, she also approached John Walker to work for her.
Could Valentina be setting up her own team of anti-heroes/villains? Some have speculated that this team will be the MCU’s version of the Thunderbolts or the Dark Avengers.
The Thunderbolts have a somewhat complicated comics history, as they first presented themselves as reformed villains who actually still were villains. The original team was led by Baron Zemo, adding another connection to the MCU. Eventually, the team does become real heroes and are later led by Hawkeye Clint Barton.
The Dark Avengers was a team made up of primarily former villains who adopted the mantle of heroes. The team was formed in the comics after the “Secret Invasion” storyline, which will also be adapted for the screen in an upcoming Disney+ series.
Whatever Valentina is up to, it’s clearly not good if she’s after Clint. With Hawkeye scheduled to be released later in 2021, fans won’t have to wait long to find out.
Do you think Yelena will end up a villain? Let us know in the comments.
Black Widow Is now in theatres and available on Disney+ Premiere.