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Black Widow post-credits scene, explained

The Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is now available for all Disney Plus subscribers, and its stinger gives us a hint about a quest for revenge.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
3 min read

Natasha and Yelena's sisterly bond resonates beyond the events of Black Widow.

Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

Black Widow sent Natasha Romanoff on a long-awaited solo mission when the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (and its exciting post-credits scene) hit theaters in July. Director Cate Shortland's film sees the superspy (Scarlett Johansson) confronting her shadowy past, and it became available for all Disney Plus subscribers on Wednesday. 

That old life includes fellow espionage agents Yelena Belova, Melina Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov (Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour), with whom she reunites.

The main adventure -- see our separate ending explainer and unanswered questions article for more on that -- jumps back to the period just after Captain America: Civil War, but the post-credits scene takes place at a more recent point in the timeline. Let's take a look at some SPOILERS.

Marvel Studios

Revenge mission

Sometime after Natasha gave her life to get the Soul Stone and help thwart Thanos' dastardly plans in Avengers: Endgame, Yelena takes her dog Fanny to visit her grave. This is presumably in Ohio (their shared childhood home) and the grave appears to be under a cherry blossom tree, just like the tree that Dreykov said Natasha's biological mother was buried beside. 

The words "Daughter, Sister, Avenger" are inscribed in the headstone.

Val in Falcon and Winter Soldier

Val's plan remains a mystery, but she appears to be putting together a team of exceptional people with axes to grind.

Marvel Studios

This quiet moment is interrupted by Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who blows her nose and says she's allergic to the Midwest. Val has Yelena's next target: Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye.

"Maybe you'd like a shot at the man responsible for your sister's death," Val says, before handing her a tablet with Clint's photo on it. "Kind of a cutie, don't you think?"


The events of Avengers: Endgame are coming back to haunt Hawkeye.

Marvel Studios

It seems like the upcoming Disney Plus Hawkeye series just got its villain (or one of its villains, at least). We don't know why Val wants Clint dead, but he could be just the first target in a plot to replace the Avengers with her own pawns.

Sometime between the events of Black Widow and the period after Avengers: Endgame, Yelena started working for Val --- she bemoans Val showing up during her "holiday time." We previously saw Val in the last two episodes of Disney Plus show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, when she recruited fallen Captain America John Walker and gave him the name US Agent.

Val remains a big ol' question mark. In the comics, Val worked for SHIELD but was revealed to be a Russian sleeper agent. She also infiltrated Hydra for SHIELD and assumed the identity of Madame Hydra, but her true allegiance lay with the Russians (maybe).

We don't yet know who MCU Val is working for and what her plan is, but her comics history offers plenty of options. She could be helping to restore Hydra or working for some clandestine extra-governmental group.

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Given her recruitment of highly trained people who've had a rough time -- Yelena spent years as a brainwashed killer and Walker lost the shield for publicly killing a guy -- it's possible Val is trying to create an MCU equivalent of the comics' Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers. Both of these superteams were made up of villains, unbeknownst to the world at large.

It's likely Yelena will try to kill Clint only briefly during his series, in a classic "heroes fight due to misunderstanding, then team up" comic-style scenario, since he came to blows with Natasha as he tried to die in her place -- he and Yelena will probably end up mourning her loss together. The show (which will also introduce Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop) is scheduled to hit Disney Plus on Nov. 24.

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