Who is Yelena Belova in Black Widow?
Black Widow, the first film in the MCU’s Phase 4, is finally coming out on July 9 so let’s talk about Yelena Belova.
Who is she? What’s her relationship with Black Widow? How does she fit into the MCU as a whole? Let’s dive in.
By now, we know that Yelena Belova is being played by Academy Award nominee Florence Pugh.
Pugh is a phenomenal actress with movies like Midsommar and Little Women in her resume at only 25 years old.
Black Widow will introduce her to the MCU and surely set up her character for future appearances, but more on that later.
As for who is Yelena Belova, the simplest answer is… the MCU’s new Black Widow.
Yelena Belova in the MCU
Yelena Belova, like the MCU’s original Black Widow Natasha Romanoff, was trained in the Soviet facility known as the Red Room.
The Red Room is a covert Soviet training facility that creates highly specialized spies. We got a brief glimpse of it in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Wanda Maximoff induced a nightmare on Natasha, but Black Widow is set to give fans a more in-depth look at the Red Room.
READ MORE: Black Widow Cast: Who’s in the next MCU movie?
Since the movie is yet to be released, we don’t know a whole lot of how the MCU will approach Yelena’s character, but we do know she will act as a sister figure to Natasha.
Director Cate Shortland said that while Black Widow acts as a swan song for Natasha, it’s also the launchpad for Pugh’s Belova.
Yelena Belova in Marvel Comics
Yelena Belova was created by Devin Grayson and J. G. Jones and first appeared in Inhumans #5 in March of 1999. She was trained as a spy in the Red Room and was originally a villain to Natasha Romanova.
Throughout her time in the comics, she’s walked the line between good and evil and has been a part of multiple organizations including S.H.I.E.L.D., Vanguard, and HYDRA.
READ MORE: Who is Red Guardian in Black Widow (2021)?
She is the second modern-era character to use the Black Widow name.
While she doesn’t have any superhuman powers, she is in peak athletic condition and has extensive knowledge of military, martial arts, and espionage.
Future in the MCU
While Black Widow will be Yelena’s introduction to the MCU, it definitely will not be the last time we see her.
We fully expect Natasha to “pass the baton” to Yelena by the end of the movie and for her to become the new Black Widow in the MCU.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see Pugh suiting up with the rest of the Avengers. Just because she uses the moniker of Black Widow, that doesn’t mean Yelena will be a straightforward hero.
Rumors are flying that Marvel Studios may be developing their version of The Suicide Squad known as the Thunderbolts and, if true, Yelena would be an excellent fit.
READ MORE: When does Black Widow take place in the MCU?
Pugh is also set to reprise her role of Yelena in the upcoming Hawkeye show on Disney+.
Catch Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 9.