Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Marvel Phase 5 To End With ‘Thunderbolts’

At SDCC 2022, Marvel confirmed that Thunderbolts will be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) Phase 5. When Thunderbolts was officially confirmed to be in development in June 2022, the news wasn’t too unexpected as Marvel had been dropping hints for awhile. The biggest hint they dropped was the introduction of the mysterious Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). In the comics, Valentina was a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. operative before she ended up joining Hydra and being dubbed Madame Hydra. Eventually, it was revealed that she had actually been a Russian spy during her entire S.H.I.E.L.D. stint.

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In the MCU, is seems that Valentina, or Val, as she is nicknamed, is similarly up to no good. She made her debut in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where she surprisingly approached the disgraced John Walker (Wyatt Russell). Despite Walker having fallen from grace after taking on the role of Captain America, injecting himself with the super soldier serum, and publicly murdering a man, Val appears very interested in him. In fact, she gives him the moniker U.S. Agent and promises to be in touch with him later.

In Black Widow, Val makes another appearance. This time, though, she approaches the grieving Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Val sets her after Hawkeye (Clint Barton), by blaming Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) death on him. What exactly Val was doing, wasn’t immediately known to viewers. However, it wasn’t lost on fans that both Walker and Belova are members of the Thunderbolts in Marvel comics. Now, we can speculate even more on their potential roles, with Thunderbolts both confirmed and given an official spot in MCU’s future.

Marvel Phase 5 to end with Thunderbolts

At SDCC 2022, Marvel confirmed that Thunderbolts will be closing out Marvel’s Phase 5. Marvel revealed that Phase 4 is ending with the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in November of 2022. Hence, starting next year, the MCU will move onto Phase 5 with the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. So far, Phase 5 will release 5 MCU films and 6 TV series, before it gives way to Phase 6. Meanwhile, Thunderbolts will have the special role of ending Phase 5 and leading into Phase 6.

Right now, not much more is known about the Thunderbolts. Since they were an anti-hero team in the comics, fans are anticipating that actors who portrayed semi-villainous characters in the MCU may be joining the cast. If true, then Val, Walker, and Belova may have roles in the film. Additionally, with all of Phase 5 before it, we’ll likely be introduced to be more characters who can make up the Thunderbolts team.

(featured image: Disney)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.