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Black Widow post-credits scene explained: What just happened?

Black Widow post-credit scene explained: Who was that and what just happened?
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

OK, now that you've watched the Black Widow post-credits scene, we're guessing you have some questions. And if any of you are just here to spoil yourselves because you don't want to go to a theater or spend $30 on Disney Plus Premier Access, well, take this as your big honking SPOILER WARNING!

Because beyond the below links lie an explanation for who said what to whom, in that last post-credits scene. This is the kind of moment that folks who are not watching every single new Marvel show or movie may not get, so it's good to have an explainer. 

The bulk of Black Widow's story is, in fact, prelude — taking place after Captain America: Civil War, and before the two-part epic of Infinity War and Endgame. But since all things Marvel must tie-in to one another, the post-credits scene brings us up to modern day, after Endgame. 

Here, we saw Yelena (Florence Pugh) visiting Natasha's grave to pay respects. She was not alone, though, as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (don't call her Val), played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, then recruits her for a revenge mission. It's time to hunt the hunter, as Val is getting Yelena to take down Hawkeye. 

Wait, what? Yes, as we know, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) died on Vormir, to save Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Yelena doesn't exactly know this, and we're guessing she might find out later this year in Disney Plus' Hawkeye show. Yes, while Marvel movie post-credits scenes used to build up the upcoming Marvel movies, now they build up plot-points for Marvel TV shows.

Wait, who is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine?

The Black Widow post-credits scene brings back Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

Val's back, not that we'd call her Val (Image credit: Marvel Studios / Disney Plus)

We're guessing you didn't watch the Falcon and The Winter Soldier episode 5. That was JLD's first MCU appearance as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, or as comic book fans know her: Madame Hydra. 

Back then, Val was recruiting John Walker for a new mission, and would later christen him as USAgent in the Falcon and Winter Soldier finale. It appears she's collecting misfit fighters, as if to play puppet-master. We're curious if Yelena and John Walker work together, or without awareness of each other's intent. 

All of this is to say that Black Widow's post-credits scene confirm what Disney has been trying to make clear. The MCU Disney Plus shows matter in the overall picture of things, and you're going to be left a bit confused if you don't follow along.

Basically, Disney's saying to heck with your Marvel fatigue.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.