Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Widow’: Who is Yelena Belova?

As Marvel Studios has once again postponed Black Widow‘s release, it gives us some time to brush up on our comic history. The film will focus on Natasha Romanoff’s history with the Red Room. It is a top-secret Soviet institute that turned young women into elite assassins. Of course, Natasha was once a member before joining S.H.I.E.L.D. at an unknown point. The upcoming film will dive deep into the various characters from her past who all may have deep ties with the secret organization. So, let’s use this opportunity to dive deep into the various characters in 400 words or less.

Yelena is the youngest addition to the comics. She appeared in 1999’s Inhumans Vol. 2 #5. You read that right, she made her debut while Earth and Attilan were at war with each other. She also trained in the Red Room Academy, where she even believes she surpassed Natasha Romanoff. When we first meet her, she is sent to deliver a device that could help Attilan win the invasion. She ended up failing her mission against her bittered rival but learned a valuable lesson. At one point, she was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and swapped faces with Nathasha’s. Of course, she was not too happy with this and left the spy life behind her. She made a career as a lingerie model before being dragged back into her old life when she gets wrapped up in the export of stolen medical supplies. She would turn back to her original life which would lead to many confrontations with the Avengers. She would later take on the Black Widow mantle and temporarily join the Thunderbolts.

Marvel Studios managed to get Florence Pugh in the role of Yelena for Black Widow. There were teases that Natasha would potentially pass on the mantle to her before facing her fate in Avengers: Endgame. In the family dynamic teased through the trailers, she is the younger sister. She is very independent and quite confident in her ability. Of course, she was also trained in the Red Room and seems to know quite a bit about Taskmaster. We also get glimpses of her going through a procedure that could pull her towards the evil side. Pugh is a fantastic addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who hopefully will be around for more future projects.

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