Just as a warning, if you haven’t seen The Falcon and the Winter Solider or Black Widow, prepare for some minor spoilers. The spoilers contain a character reveal, a couple of scene recaps, and a post-credit scene recap. Alright, I’ve done what needs to be done and you’ve been warned.
— SPOILER WARNING —
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier not only brought back characters like Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and Baron Zemo — it also introduced us to new characters, ones that aren’t exactly who they appear to be. The Falcon and the Winter Solider introduced us to Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who appears to be in recruiting mode.
What is she recruiting for? Nothing has been explicitly mentioned, but with the likes of the U.S. Agent and Yelena Belova in her pocket, and not to mention the Abomination’s cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Tens Rings, it kind of looks like she’s forming the Dark Avengers.
Who is Valentina de Fontaine?
In the comic books, she was initially a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Agent Valentina Allegra de Fontaine was a formidable force who gave the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. a run for his money and after earning his respect, became his love interest. It was later revealed that she was a double agent, working for HYDRA. Once she usurped leadership from Viper (HYDRA’s leader at the time), she took on the moniker Madame Hydra.
After all that backstabbing and being a double agent, it was then revealed she was actually a triple agent, working for a Soviet espionage group named Leviathan. Eventually, her lack of allegiance caught up with her and she was later apprehended by Interpol.
Who are the Dark Avengers?
The Dark Avengers were originally created by Norman Osborne (aka the Green Goblin) following the Skrull Invasion. He claimed he was a reformed villain and took on the role of the Iron Patriot to assert his leadership role at H.A.M.M.E.R. (a replacement agency for S.H.I.E.L.D.) and made the decision to form the Dark Avengers in spite of the original Avengers.
What he creates becomes a dark and perverted reflection of justice and is made up almost entirely of anti-heroes. The roster for the Dark Avengers has included Bullseye (a proxy Hawkeye), Venom/Spider-Man (formerly Scorpion), Daken (Wolverine’s son), the Kree warrior Nor-Varr (a proxy Captain Marvel), Yelena Belova (a proxy Black Widow) Sentry (a proxy Captain America), and Ares the Greek god of war (a proxy Thor, the god of thunder).
How this plays a part in the MCU
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has wasted no time in finding dark talent for whatever scheme she is cooking up. With presence in The Falcon and the Winter Solider and Black Widow, you can’t help but feel like there’s something bigger at play here.
At the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we see de Fontaine impatiently waiting alongside John Walker’s wife. Walker, formerly dubbed the new Captain America (only to have it stripped away immediately after violently murdering a member of the Flag Smashers following the murder of Lemar Hoskins/Battlestar), comes out in what looks exactly like his Captain America suit — only completely blacked out. de Fontaine says to him, “Things are about to get weird, and that when they do, the world won’t need a Captain America, no — they’ll need a U.S. Agent.”
While she just recruited a new member to her mysterious group, she had already been working with former Red Room assassin, Yelena Belova for some time. In the post-credit scene of Black Widow, we see Belova visiting the gravesite of former Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff. de Fontaine joins Belova at her side and hand delivers Belova’s next assignment — Clint Barton/Hawkeye, baiting Belova by telling her that Hawkeye was the person responsible for her adoptive sister’s death.
Again, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has had her run-ins with espionage and being a turncoat. She’s not one to leave out details and yet she failed to tell Belova the whole story behind Romanoff’s death.
It’s hard to say when we will see de Fontaine again, but many theorize that she will recruit Agatha Harkness from WandaVision as her magical muscle and perhaps Venom (following Spider-Man: No Way Home)? Remember, the Dark Avengers are a dark mirror held up to the original Avengers. Just keep that in mind when you watch the MCU movies within the next year or so.
In other entertainment news, Bill Murray confirms he’ll be in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Ironheart will debut in new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever film.
Photos via Screen Rant and Disney+/Marvel