Warning: Spoilers ahead for Black Widow! If you haven't caught up with Natasha Romanoff's solo movie, head to the theater or Disney Plus Premier Access, then come back!
Black Widow is here, and as you might expect, its post-credits scene sets up a future Marvel project. There's just one scene this time, while other Marvel movies have had two, but that doesn't make it any less important – in fact, it's a pretty good indication of what we can expect from an upcoming Disney Plus show.
Natasha Romanoff's solo movie introduced Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova, a former Black Widow herself, and Natasha's adopted sister. From the post-credits scene, it's looking like the character has a major part to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.
We've gone through the scene to find out what exactly it might mean for the future of the MCU, and how the moment sets up what's to come in a soon to be released Disney Plus series.
What is the Black Widow post-credits scene?
After the credits roll, we see Yelena at Natasha's grave – which reads "Daughter, Sister, Avenger." Yelena whistles, and there's a long pause, but no response. As she's mourning her sister, someone beside her loudly blows their nose. And who would it be but Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine?
Yelena and the Contessa clearly know each other, with the former Widow calling de Fontaine "Valentina," and complaining her holiday time is being interrupted. It's unclear how long Val and Yelena have been working together, or what exactly the nature of their business is. A clue to the latter is provided when the Contessa tells Yelena who her next target is. Val sends Yelena after the man the Contessa says is responsible for the death of Yelena's sister – and the picture de Fontaine reveals is of none other than Hawkeye.
How does the Black Widow post-credits scene set up the Hawkeye series?
In Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow and Hawkeye found themselves on Vormir, and in order to obtain the Soul Stone, one of them had to sacrifice themselves. The duo fought over who it would be to jump from the ledge, and eventually, Natasha outwitted Hawkeye and flung herself over. It's not really fair to say the archer is responsible for Natasha's death, then, but Val is probably manipulating Yelena for her own gain.
Hawkeye is getting his own Disney Plus show, which is set to arrive sometime this year. Pugh has already been confirmed to be appearing. From the Black Widow post-credits scene, it seems Yelena will be hunting down the Avenger, and after Val's words, she'll likely be seriously angry with him. Considering Yelena's formidable talents, Hawkeye has cause to be concerned...
It's still unclear what exactly Val is up to, though. She was first introduced in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but originally the plan was to have her debut in Black Widow, until the pandemic switched things around. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the Contessa recruited John Walker, who eventually became US Agent. It seems Val is setting up a team of highly skilled individuals, with speculation pointing to either the Dark Avengers or the Thunderbolts. If that's the case, we could be seeing a lot more of Yelena, even beyond the Hawkeye series – and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier executive producer Nate Moore has also indicated that Val will "be making more waves sooner rather than later." Expect big things to come from this mysterious character, then.
Plus, a quick exchange between Yelena and Val in this scene might shed more light on the Contessa's schemes. When Yelena asks for a raise, de Fontaine replies that she'd like one too. This implies that Val is working for an organization of some kind, and that there's someone even higher up the food chain than her. This is also somewhat ironic, considering The Falcon and the Winter Soldier established that the Avengers don't get paid.
Whatever is going on, Yelena is clearly working for Val – and Hawkeye should probably watch his back.