Yelena Belova in Black Widow

Here’s What Yelena Belova Deserves Out of Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’ Movie

It’s official! At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, there was more talk about the Thunderbolts that’s happening at Marvel, and while we don’t have confirmation on who is going to be a part of the team, we have an idea of who is going to be roped in though given the comic history of the team and who is already in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of those members is Yelena Belova. Introduced in Black Widow, Yelena was the younger sister of Natasha Romanoff, and the two reconnected to rescue the rest of the Widows from Dreykov. Played by Florence Pugh, she was a character that I instantly connected with and wanted to protect, but more than that, she was a fascinating new take on the Black Widow mantle, and knowing that she was going to play a bigger part in the overall MCU was exciting.

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But what has happened thus far has established Yelena as a reluctant part in whatever Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine is doing. So, her involvement in the upcoming Thunderbolts movie isn’t that surprising, and while again, we don’t know if she is there, Yelena is still around and clearly part of whatever team that John Walker joined at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

More than her being a part of the movie, I want this to be Yelena’s first outing that’s her own in the sense that I want it to be her own mission, and not something she’s doing for her sister. There was a version of the Thunderbolts where Black Widow was part of the team in disguise, and so, having that happen with Yelena instead could be amazing. I also just want more Yelena content in my future.

What would be fun to see for Yelena

Much like her sister, Yelena is a smart-ass in the sense that she uses humor to deflect how she’s feeling. It happened in Black Widow, and it happened in Hawkeye, and so, we would most definitely see more of that if she was part of the Thunderbolts movie, but I also just want to see her take on villains like John Walker. While I think she might have a bit of fun with Baron Zemo, I think that John Walker is the kind of character that she’d end up hating so much that she’d take him on herself because he is that much of an annoying character.

Pair that with Yelena’s already prevalent distain for Valentina, and it just seems like the perfect movie to explore what Yelena wants out of this “superhero” gig and where she needs to go next. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is without its Black Widow right now, and I’d love it if Thunderbolts had Yelena finding her own footing and deciding to follow in her sister’s footsteps and become the Black Widow for the new Avengers team, especially since we have at least two more Avengers team-ups on the horizon in Marvel’s Phase 6.

I just really want more of Yelena Belova in my life, and she deserves her time. If that means her fighting back against Val and John Walker in the Thunderbolts movie then I’d be more than happy about it.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.