Marvel's Yelena Belova looking up from a cooking pot, surprised.

Marvel Is Giving Us Everything I Love About White Widow Yelena Belova

5/5 Yelena looks.

It feels good to be in the mind of Yelena Belova. Written by Sarah Gailey with art from Alessandro Miracolo, Marvel’s new White Widow #1 sets us in a world where Yelena tries to live a life that is a little quiet for the White Widow. The problem? She’s bored.

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Sassy, funny, and in the midst of an evil corporation coming to Idylhaven just in time to make Yelena feel like she wasn’t making a huge mistake, the comic really highlights all the things that I love about Yelena, in a new solo run following her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. The kid sister of Natasha Romanoff has always had a lot on her plate, mainly that she had a legacy on her shoulders that wasn’t easy to live up to. And what Gailey managed to do with Yelena was make her a character that could balance the world on her shoulders while wearing a pair of shorts and hating that an Avenger rolled into town and ruined her vibe.

White Widow really grasps what I think a lot of heroes look for in the world of Marvel, and that’s a sense of normalcy, especially with the “younger siblings” of the Avengers. Nat’s sister has always had to live in Black Widow’s shadow. Natasha may have had red in her ledger, but Yelena had that and then some working against her, and White Widow lets Yelena come into her own in this first issue in a way that’s fully hers.

Complete with new friends, a new home, and a Marvel pet that will instantly have fans of Marvel comics wanting to love him (as we are want to do), Gailey and Miracolo’s work capture what I fell in love with when it comes to Yelena almost instantly and carried it through this first issue beautifully, making it an easy read with a beautiful setup.

Time for phase two

New Yelena Belova Comic called "White Widow" from Marvel

Yelena’s humor is a driving force for this entire first issue, coloring the page just as beautifully as Miracolo’s art. Pained by her boredom from living in Idylhaven after leaving New York, Yelena is thrown into action because of a new mystery plaguing town. Whether it is her spy senses kicking in or Yelena’s need for something to do making her help out, that’s what really makes this comic work. It’s funny because Yelena is only really helping because she has nothing better to do with her time.

Yes, she does have a dog named Bint Clarton, because it’s Yelena Belova. After all, she did want a dog and we can’t have expected anything less from her in naming him.

And I just really love how Gailey brings Yelena to life. That’s my Yelena, the sassy younger sister who thinks she knows what she wants until she gets it, then kind of regrets it. Has the dog and then says “Maybe I made a mistake.” Gets that idyllic life and is instantly bored. It’s fun and exciting, and it makes me so excited to see where the rest of Gailey’s White Widow run will take us.

(featured image: Marvel Comics)

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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 current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.