Black Widow is finally here. The much anticipated and often delayed Marvel film launches the MCU into Phase 4 with the titular hero’s first solo outing. Fans are no doubt excited to meet some new characters, learn more about Natasha’s past and return to the familiar cinematic universe of gods, heroes, villains and, of course, post-credit scenes.
Speaking of post-credit scenes, there’s one at the end of Black Widow (obviously) and it sets the stage in a big way for the future of the MCU. Just a warning, there will be spoilers about the film and the film’s post credit scene discussed in detail within this article. Continue reading at your own risk… Still here? Great. Let’s continue.
Black Widow primarily takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before the events of Avengers: Infinity War. The film follows Natasha on the run from the American Government after refusing to follow the guidelines of the Sokoviah Accords which stated “The Avengers shall no longer be a private organization. Instead, they’ll operate under the supervision of a United Nations panel, only when and if that panel deems it necessary.”
However, the post credit scene takes place years later, after Natasha’s death in Avengers: Endgame. In the scene we see Yelena, as played by the always fantastic Florence Pugh (Little Women) standing in a graveyard. She’s mourning at a tombstone which is revealed to be Natasha’s. A woman approaches. Fans who have been following the MCU’s Disney+ series will recognize her as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus) from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Valentina more or less asks Yelena if she would like to get revenge on the man who caused Natasha’s death, before showing her a picture of Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye.
The scene is relatively quick and perhaps even tame compared to some post credit scenes we’ve seen. Yet, it reveals quite a bit about the MCU’s future. Primarily, it implies that Yelena will play a major role in the upcoming Hawkeye series for Disney+. The new series is set to release later this year and details involving the film’s plot have been kept largely under wraps, as is the case with most MCU projects.
Fans have speculated that the casting of Florence Pugh as Yelena suggested that the character would play a larger role in the Cinematic Universe moving forward. Pugh may not be a household name (Yet); however, she is quickly rising to mainstream stardom with performances in Midsommer, Fighting With My Family, and her Academy Award-nominated role in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women.
In Marvel Comics, Yelena Belova was a spy who used the Black Widow moniker after Natasha Romanoff. She even lead her own solo “Black Widow” story arc published under Marvel MAX (Marvel’s “Mature” rated comic line) in the early 2000’s. So the idea of Yelena taking over the role of Black Widow in the MCU and joining the Avengers seems completely plausible, and even likely. As the members of the MCU’s original Avengers are being phased out, fans will be eager for interesting and entertaining new characters to take their place. And Yelena proved to be exactly that in Black Widow.
The post credit scene also links Marvel’s Disney+ series to the films in a way that is undeniable. It was always known that the Disney+ series were a part of the MCU and would impact the films; however, this is our first time seeing the two worlds merge on screen. By bringing Valentina Allegra de Fontaine into Black Widow we have our first new character from a series jumping into the films. That merging of series and cinema will likely grow stronger from the events of Loki and Hawkeye.