Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina in Wakanda Forever is key to Marvel’s next phase

For all of the superheroes and villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s by no means a scarcity of standard (seeming) folks working for the world’s numerous authorities organizations. In truth, one of many MCU’s newest additions to the clandestine ranks is Contessa Allegra de Fontaine, performed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld and Veep fame. If you’ve saved up with Marvel motion pictures, you already know that Fontaine simply retains popping up in one hero’s story or one other.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier marked the primary look by in the MCU, however not the final; she additionally popped up in Black Widow’s mid-credits sequence the place she recruited Florence Pugh’s Yelena into her service. And now she’s again once more in the Black Panther sequel. So the place’s all of it going?

[Ed. note: This story contains major spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.]

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Image: Marvel Studios

Fontaine’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever look is essentially the most substantial position but for Louis-Dreyfus’ time in the MCU, nevertheless it rides the identical line of subtly sinister that she’s already captured so nicely in her first two cameos. In the film, Fontaine is the brand new head of the CIA and the direct boss of her former husband Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), who’s been secretly passing alongside data to Wakanda ever since Shuri saves his life in the primary film.

In her quest to assist the United States receive Vibranium, Fontaine spends most of this film as an enemy of Wakanda, suspecting them of sabotaging different nation’s makes an attempt at mining the mineral. She and Everett finally aren’t too consequential to the plot, however in the grand scheme of issues, this looks as if little greater than a pitstop for Fontaine as she strikes towards her next appearances and her bigger ambitions.

As devoted Marvel followers know, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier units up Val as an anti-Nick Fury, recruiting John Walker’s disgraced “Captain America” for an unstated initiative that might use his extra violent instincts. The MCU might observe the comics nearly anyplace from right here.

Who is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the comics?

“Who are you working for now, Contessa,” Nick Fury asks Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. “I work for myself now. I know who I am,” she answers, in Secret Warrios #3, Marvel Comics (2009).

Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli/Marvel Comics

Well, relying on if you ask this query, she’s both an Italian jet-setter turned long-time SHIELD agent or… Madame Hydra.

First launched by Jim Steranko in 1967 for a Nick Fury and Captain America crossover story, author Steve Englehart introduced Valentina into Captain America comics correct in 1972. She’s a minor sufficient character with a protracted sufficient historical past that the MCU might decide up nearly any facet of her adventures and take a giant swing.

Valentina dated Nick Fury for a bit whereas she was a SHIELD agent. (Pro tip: Don’t date your coworkers when you belong to a company the place 50% of the workers are sleeper brokers.) She additionally ran an all-female undercover agent workforce for some time. It’s ultimately revealed that her Italian heritage was a canopy story and that she was actually a Russian operative — that doesn’t appear to be the best way the MCU is going, however who is aware of!

The last item Valentina did in Marvel Comics continuity was to defect and develop into a senior chief of Hydra, taking over the often used title “Madame Hydra,” till she betrayed Hydra to one other clandestine worldwide spy operation. If the Marvel Cinematic Universe needed Hydra to elevate its serpentine head once more, Valentina is also a method to do it.

Or, the MCU might go in a totally completely different route that doesn’t have something to do with the stuff comics writers have performed with Valentina earlier than. Her next confirmed look is in see her once more in 2024’s Thunderbolts, which is able to, in idea, see her oversee a workforce of less-than-noble, Avengers-adjacent fighters. Confirmed for the workforce are Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Red Justice (David Harbour), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), and Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Could Black Panther’s Everett Ross or one other member of Wakanda be alongside for the experience?

Don’t even trouble guessing: if there’s something we all know for positive in regards to the MCU iteration of Valentina, it’s that she will principally do no matter she desires, wrangle whoever she desires, and pop up anyplace.

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