Spoiler Alert: This story includes plot details and post-credits scene from Black Widow.

Can a movie that takes place years ago Avengers: Endgame really pushing the Marvel Cinematic Universe forward? No but Black WidowThe post-credits scene is surely trying.

The long-awaited film centered on Natasha Romanoff of the Avengers – Marvel’s longest-running female superheroine – is finally in theaters. I liked a lot about it, but even if the pandemic hadn’t delayed the film’s release by more than a year, its story would still be long overdue.

Black Widow is a prequel whose timeline in the MCU falls years before End of Game, where the character ultimately dies a dramatic (and controversial) death. Unlike a lot of other single-player Marvel Avengers movies, this doesn’t really advance his individual story; instead, it fills in the gaps in a life we’ve heard of but rarely seen in the MCU.

Yet in the grand tradition of almost every other Marvel movie to date, Black Widow has a post-credits scene. The studio has long used end credits scenes to tease future films and future MCU storylines. Despite Black WidowAs a somewhat static “backstory” chapter, its credits scene manages to hint at a possible future storyline and the emergence of a villain we’re just getting to know. It also cements and strengthens the bonds between Marvel movies and TV series within the MCU. Rather than focusing on Natasha, however, he pivots a bit to explain how Florence Pugh – who plays her fellow assassin Yelena – could retain the Black Widow title in the future of the MCU.

What happens in the Black Widow credits scene

Black WidowThe credits scene opens with Yelena driving down a dirt road with an adorable dog. She finally reaches her destination, which turns out to be Nat’s grave. The gravestone is adorned with flowers, indicating that Nat’s sacrifice and tenure as an avenger did not go unnoticed.

The scene places us in the present, some time after Nat’s death in End of Game. This means the last time we saw Yelena in the MCU timeline was right after. Civil war and years before Thanos’ invasion in Infinity war, when Yelena and Nat broke up and Yelena set out to save the many women who had been brainwashed to become black widows like them.

Yelena goes to Natasha’s grave to pay homage to someone who has become her sister. Suddenly, she is joined by Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who asks Yelena if she wants to avenge Nat’s death. Yelena says yes. Valentina shows Yelena a photo of a man she believes is responsible for Nat’s death. The camera, accompanied by suspenseful music, reveals that the person pictured is Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). This is when the scene abruptly ends.

What this credits scene means for the future of the MCU

Technically speaking, Valentina isn’t entirely wrong when she tells Yelena that Clint is responsible for Nat’s death. In End of Game, Clint and Natasha were tasked with retrieving the Soul Stone to complete the Infinity Gauntlet and reverse Thanos’ snap. The tricky part is that in order to get the Soul Stone you have to sacrifice a Soul.

Clint and Nat both fought to be the one to sacrifice themselves, but it was Nat – stating that she should be the one to die, in large part because Clint had a family to support – who ultimately traded her life. against the soul stone. So, of course, in a very loose interpretation, Clint and his family are the reason Nat died. If he hadn’t had a family, and if Nat hadn’t been close to them, she might not have been so forced to throw herself off a cliff and save the world.

But from what we know of Valentina in the Marvel comics, she’s an infamous gamer and mastermind. Additionally, in his recent appearance on Marvel’s Disney + TV series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – which marked her official on-screen introduction to the MCU – she seemed to sow doubt and subterfuge in her recruiting of Captain America II, John Walker.

So with Valentina not giving Yelena the whole story in Black WidowIn the credits, it looks like she’s planning a clash between Yelena and Clint.

The inevitable showdown between Yelena and Clint is unlikely to happen in any of Marvel’s upcoming films; the next titles on the studio program are The Eternals, Shang Chi, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, none of which will highlight Clint or Yelena. Enter Hawk Eye, the next TV series on Disney + which does not yet have a specific release date but is slated to air later in 2021.

Few details are known about Hawk Eye, except that Renner will reprise her role as the main character and Hailee Steinfeld will play Kate Bishop, a young sniper who takes the title Hawkeye in the Marvel comics.

If Yelena shows up Hawk Eye and up against Clint and Kate, there may come a time when she learns the full extent of Clint and Nat’s deep friendship. If Yelena were to realize that Nat loved Clint and his family so much, and that she wanted to do whatever she could to help her team, she would have the full story rather than the half-truth that Valentina would have told her. .

Such a reveal would be the chance to set Yelena up as part of the next iteration of the Avengers – and open the door to her (and Pugh’s) future in the MCU.

There is also a potential parallel between the Nat / Yelena and Clint / Kate duos, as it looks like Marvel intends to pass the Black Widow and Hawkeye titles on to new people. In Black Widow, Nat and Yelena recognize that they are sisters, even though they are not related by blood. Clint and Kate have sort of a dynamic older brother-younger sister in the comics, and it’s likely the same dynamic will continue. Hawk Eye. There will be a lot of nifty symmetry in future MCU storylines if Pugh and Steinfeld ultimately become the next iterations of Black Widow and Hawkeye, staying true to the character story and continuing their legacy.

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