Spoiler alert: What the 'Black Widow' post-credits scene hints about the future of the MCU

  • The film takes place between the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, but the end brings us back to a post ‘Endgame’ world
  • What does the future hold for Florence Pugh’s Yelena and the mysterious new character played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus?
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What’s next for the Marvel Universe now that we’re in a post “Endgame” world? Photo: Marvel Studios/TNS

Black Widow takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, but the film’s post-credits scene brings us back to present day with a heart-wrenching visit to Natasha Romanoff’s grave.

What to remember before you watch the film

Natasha’s “sister” Yelena (accompanied by her dog Fanny) barely has a moment to grieve before she’s joined by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who - due to the pandemic’s reshuffling of Marvel’s release schedule - previously made her debut in the penultimate episode of the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Scarlett Johansson, who stars as Natasha Romanoff, and Florence Pugh, who plays her sister Yelena, in a scene from Black Widow. Photo: Marvel Studios-Disney via AP)

The Contessa is a Nick Fury-esque figure shrouded in mystery who appears to be collecting skilled fighters with ties to former Avengers, including former Captain America, US Agent John Walker (Wyatt Russell) on the Disney+ series.

The character’s comic appearances date back to the 1960s, when she was first introduced in Marvel Comics’ Strange Tales No. 159. A spy skilled in combat, the Contessa was a top S.H.I.E.L.D. operative with some (romantic) history with Fury. Over the years, her storylines have seen her leading an all-female S.H.I.E.L.D. team and being replaced by shape-shifting Skrulls. Eventually she was revealed to be a double agent working for the villainous organisation HYDRA and even assumes the mantle of Madame Hydra.

Ultimately, “Black Widow” is a touching tale about family

Yelena reminds the Contessa that she is on vacation and tells her she needs a raise, implying that the two are previously acquainted. “You and me both,” De Fontaine replies before offering Yelena a chance to seek retribution on “the man responsible” for her sister’s death. She shows her a photo of Clint Barton and informs her that he is her next target.

It’s just the start for Yelena, played by Florence Pugh, in the Marvel Universe. Photo: Marvel Studios-Disney via AP

With the new post-Endgame phase of the Marvel Universe now in full effect, De Fontaine’s appearance seems to presage a team of antiheroes, perhaps an Avengers-offshoot, much like Fury’s initial introduction in the post-credits scene of Iron Man (2008).

We won’t judge - go ahead and rewatch the trailer for “Eternals”

It’s also a perfect segue into the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ series, which will also introduce the character Kate Bishop, a wealthy teenager who learns archery after she is brutally attacked. Florence Pugh is confirmed to reprise her role as Yelena for the series.

The as-yet undated show is expected to arrive on Disney+ later this year, with Jeremy Renner reprising his role as the titular archer. The series is the first stand-alone venture for Barton, the only one of the original Avengers who has not yet had a solo outing, and may see Renner pass on the title to Bishop.

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