Black Widow may have technically been a prequel in the Marvel timeline, but the characters it introduced will have a far-reaching impact on the stories to come. Specifically, Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova will be back in further installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4. The post-credits sequence hinted her return would come soon, likely first in the Disney+ series Hawkeye. But fans have many questions about Yelena’s whereabouts all this time, especially when it comes to the Snap and the Return, which raises the question: Was Yelena dusted in Avengers: Infinity War?
Warning: Spoilers for Black Widow follow. Since the MCU’s return in January 2021, the specter of “The Blip” has overshadowed everything. Disney+’s first two Marvel series — WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — hinted at the horror and chaos unleashed by having half the population of the Earth disappear and then reappear five years later. But the more recent stories — Loki and Black Widow — have sidestepped it, as they were set either before the event or out of time with it.
In the case of Loki, the ever-shifting timelines and multiverse suggest that story will tie back into the future films without having to touch on those lost five years. But Black Widow is different. Although the post-credits scene skipped directly from pre-Infinity War to post-Endgame to have Yelena sitting beside Natasha’s grave, fans have many questions. Was Yelena around during the five-year space before Natasha gave her life to bring humanity back? Or was Natasha grieving the disappearance of her spiritual sister (and their adoptive parents, Melina and Alexei) on top of her Avengers crew?
Marvel Studios recently held a watch party on Twitter for those who have purchased the film via the Disney+ Premier Access program, with Marvel Studios’ president and CEO, Kevin Feige, as the special guest. Feige fielded questions from fans during the event, covering everything from whether the Red Guardian and Captain America really fought to the vest that Yelena gave Natasha at the end of Black Widow.
When a fan asked whether Yelena was dusted in Infinity War, Feige hinted there’s much more for fans to learn about her.
One would imagine that Yelena was indeed dusted in Infinity War because that would make her return and discovery of her sister’s death all the more complicated. But the truth is, there’s a 50/50 chance she was part of those who remained. If so, fans might find out how much closer she and Natasha became during that period, which would also add to her grief over her sister’s passing.
But the real question is whether this information will come out in Hawkeye or a future Marvel title. Thus far, fans only know Pugh will appear in the upcoming Disney+ show. If Hawkeye doesn’t tell the story of Yelena’s time during The Blip, then fans have more to look forward to. Could a Black Widow 2 be on the horizon?
Black Widow is streaming on Disney+ Premier Access and playing in theaters worldwide. Hawkeye is slated to debut this fall on Disney+.