The much-awaited Black Widow (2021) movie features our favorite Avenger (played by Scarlett Johannsson) retracing her family roots and facing her past tormentors. It turns out that Natasha Romanoff did have a family after all, including adopted sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).
Similar to Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Black Widow is an equally wholesome and family-friendly movie, giving Johansson’s character agency and proper backstory. But given that Natasha canonically died in Avengers: Endgame so that Clint Barton could retrieve the Soul Stone in her stead, it raises several questions as to whether her character or Yelena will make further appearances in the MCU.
The post-credits scene suggests Yelena Belova and the mysterious Valentina are working together, especially when Valentina hands her a photo of Barton, goading her to take revenge. We first met Valentina in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier when she takes on John Walker, now stripped of his Captain America title and shield, and gives him a new role as the “U.S. Agent.” Fans speculate that she may be a future antagonist, working behind the scenes to set up the Dark Avengers or the Thunderbolts.
Moreover, like Natasha, Yelena’s also a trained spy, assassin, and fighter. While sparring with her sister, Yelena manages to stand her ground. Although they grew up together, Yelena and Natasha have very different personalities. Florence Pugh’s character is more spunky and less cynical. Now, with Black Widow’s story complete, Yelena may fill her footsteps, just as Sam Wilson took up the mantle of Captain America after Steve’s departure.
In fact, Pugh is already slated to appear in Hawkeye, the upcoming Disney+ series. Also, with the Sacred Timeline destroyed (following the events of Loki), it seems that Marvel is finally ready to play with multiverses and multiple realities, with the animated series What If? and the next Doctor Strange movie coming up.
If Yelena Belova will make a guest appearance in upcoming shows or become a recurring character, it remains to be seen. But either way, it appears Florence Pugh’s foray into the MCU has just begun.
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