WARNING: This article contains full spoilers for Black Widow.
Black Widow fans have now seen the entire Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) story after it was brought to an end with her first and only solo movie. While the origins of the deadly assassin were explored in the film, this will be the last time viewers see the hero on screen. The same cannot be said, however, for newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).
What does Yelena’s end-credits scene mean?
The post-credits scene of Black Widow shows Yelena driving to Natasha’s grave. The headstone reads: “Daughter, sister, Avenger.”
After taking a moment to remember Natasha, Yelena’s silence is interrupted by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
The character was first introduced in the final episodes of Disney Plus show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
During the Disney TV show, Valentina recruited US Agent / John Walker (Wyatt Russell) into her own version of the Avengers – the Dark Avengers.
In the post-credits scene, Valentina gives Yelena “her next target,” which confirms she has already signed up to work with the malevolent dealmaker.
Yelena is then handed an iPad that has a photo of the person she has to kill: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
Valentina adds that she thought Yelena might want to “get even” with the person who killed her sister (Natasha).
The Hawkeye TV show also introduces Kate Bishop for the first time – Clint Barton’s protege.
With both Clint and Kate taking on Yelena, the upcoming TV show will no doubt focus a lot on the aftermath of Natasha’s death.
This follows criticisms that her sacrifice was not addressed in Endgame, which ended with a funeral for Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), but neither Widow nor Vision (Paul Bettany).
However, considering Yelena is surely going to be a part of the MCU for the long haul, and the Avengers are missing a Black Widow, she will no doubt switch sides at some point in the series.
In the meantime, Yelena could learn a lot from Barton.
Renner has previously spoken out about how the Hawkeye series will explore how to be a “superhero without superpowers”.
With Kate already working as his replacement, could he also attempt to recruit Yelena onto the Avengers?
Black Widow is in cinemas now and hits Disney Plus with Premier Access on Friday.
Hawkeye arrives on Disney Plus later this year.