This morning’s episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the penultimate before next week’s finale, promised the arrival of a comic book character played by a “famous actor,” according to the showrunner. And although it technically happened, the arrival of said character was a little … strange. But there is some kind of good reason for this.
Spoilers follow for today’s episode.
The cameo in question was none other than the arrival of Julia Louis-Dreyfus de Veep playing Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
Yeah, she’s not exactly Sue Storm in terms of the name most people usually know from the comics, but Valentina has a pretty long history in the comics where she was:
- A SHIELD agent who finds himself in a relationship with Nick Fury.
- Part of the “Femme Force” led by Sharon Carter.
- Infiltration of HYDRA to eventually become known as Lady Hydra.
- Ultimately, being revealed as a Russian agent for all of your stays at HYDRA and SHIELD.
Now that last one should raise a few eyebrows, and my title should start to make sense.
According to Vanity Fair, the pandemic disrupted the appearance order of Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina, who was actually to appear for the first time in Black Widow, which was due out last spring at this point. However, after numerous pandemic delays, the film is now releasing in July.
Louis-Dreyfus was not announced as part of the cast of Black Widow, but she would appear in the film, and as a “Russian asset” it stands to reason that she may be part of the. same organization that trained Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova.
Black Widow, of course, takes place long before the Falcon timeline, but the theory now is that Valentina is now acting like a “bad HYDRA recruiter,” a sort of anti-Nick Fury assembling the Avengers. So between Black Widow and Falcon, I’m guessing maybe she’s recruiting the “Evil Black Widow” (Yelena Belova) and “Evil Captain America” (John Walker, forging a shield without Vibranium). In the comics, Belova was part of HYDRA at one point, while I don’t believe Walker / US Agent ever was, but it stands to reason that the MCU can be a bit out of the script, in using comic book characters but modifying their original. stories a little fair so that they all intersect. And I can already see on the horizon that you might envision Loki joining this squad as “Evil Thor”.
There’s only one episode left in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so we’ll see what role Valentina plays there. I guess it’s possible that Valentina also takes on the role of Power Broker, but I’d still be amazed if it wasn’t for Sharon, who seemed to be set up with just one phone call this week.
So that cameo kinda came out of nowhere but maybe it would make more sense if we had all watched Black Widow before. Keep an eye out for Valentina and Louis-Dreyfus in July.
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