Marvel Studios loves a good post-credits scene, and with Black Widow — its first feature film in almost two years — it once again offered a tantalizing teaser. After the credits finished rolling, audiences got to catch up with present-day Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), and learn a bit about her future path in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Prior to the post-credits scene, the whole of Black Widow took place in the past, sometime between the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. In the present, Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) is dead, after sacrificing herself in Infinity War in order to allow Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to escape with the Soul Stone. Because she didn’t die in Thanos’ snap, she didn’t return at the end of Avengers: Endgame — in other words, she’s gone for good.
So when we catch up with Yelena (and her dog, Fanny) in the post-credits scene, she’s still very much mourning the loss of her “sister,” Natasha. Below, a quick summary of the scene — and what it means for Yelena, Hawkeye, and the future of the MCU.
What happens in the Black Widow post-credits scene?
Yelena and her pup Fanny are paying their respects at Natasha’s grave when Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (aka Val, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) appears. Val enlists Yelena to get revenge against Hawkeye, who she says killed Natasha. (Apparently, the reality of the situation — that Natasha willingly sacrificed herself — isn’t widely known.)
Who is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine?
In the comics, Val is a Russian triple agent. According to Marvel, she’s ultimately loyal to Leviathan, a terrorist network based in Russia, but at various points works as a double agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra. At the latter, she assumes a prominent role, and becomes known as Madame Hydra.
But as Marvel fans well know, characters from the comics often look quite different from their onscreen counterparts. Thus far, Val’s identity has been largely shrouded in secrecy. She first appeared in the series Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as a mysterious advisor to John Walker. She introduces herself following his dismissal as Captain America, and explains that he’s become interesting to “certain people.” She leaves a mysterious card, and asks him to answer when she calls in the future.
What does this mean for Hawkeye?
How this will all play out in the Disney+ series remains to be seen, but it certainly seems clear that Hawkeye’s made himself a dangerous enemy. Yelena definitely has an axe to grind — and now that she’s free and clear of the Black Widow Program, she’s free to pursue