How Valentina's big reveal in 'Wakanda Forever' sets up 'The Thunderbolts'

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The Thunderstorms the film begins to take shape and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever provided some major clues about a key player in this film and an antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Julia Louis DreyfusValentina Allegra de Fontaine, better known as Val.

The black Panther the sequel primarily focuses on the kingdoms of Wakanda and Talocan, an underwater kingdom ruled by the film’s antagonist, Namor (Tenoch Huerta). But Shuri (Letisha Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) briefly venture to the United States to confer with Okoye’s “favorite colonizer” Everett Ross (Martin Freeman). Unfortunately, in order for Ross to give information to the Wakandans, he must go against the orders of the new CIA Director.

In an unexpected twist, we discover that the new director of the CIA is Val, the woman who recruited morally questionable characters like John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Elena Belova (Florence Pugh) c black Widow to some super team.

Up until this point, the audience had been led to assume that Val was just some rich supervillain who started a group to fulfill his own corrupt purposes. But now that she is the head of the CIA, her plots to kill Hawkeye and steal the Vibranium are sanctioned by the government. (Bad news for Hawkeye!) What’s more, the film reveals that Ross and Val were married.

Here’s everything you need to know about Valentina and what her position as CIA director means for the long-awaited 2024. Thunderstorms movie.

review: There is a gaping hole in the center of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever– and it’s nobody’s fault

What did Valentina Allegra de Fontaine do?

(L-R) Wyatt Russell, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Gabrielle Byndloss in <i>The Falcon and the Winter Soldier</i> (Chuck Zlotnick—Marvel Studios)” class=”fix-layout-shift”/><br />
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(LR) Wyatt Russell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Gabriel Bindlos in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Chuck Zlotnik—Marvel Studios

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe show and movies, Val has made several cameo appearances that have made her one of the MCU’s next great villains.

She first appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and poses as a member of an organization interested in people with superhuman powers. Her first recruit is John Walker, a man who briefly assumed the mantle of Captain America after the disappearance of Steve Rogers. After taking the super soldier serum, John Walker becomes overzealous in his patriotic duty. He was eventually stripped of his title after killing someone who surrendered to him. Val approaches Walker after he is publicly disgraced and offers him a spot on a team she is building. He dons an all black Captain America style suit and Val refers to him as an American agent.

Read more: What’s next for the MCU after that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Val pops back in end credits scene black Widow. She approaches Elena Belova as she mourns her sister Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) at a cemetery. Val tells Jelena that he has a new target for her, and the audience can infer that Jelena is working as an assassin for Val. Val asks Jelena if she would like the chance to kill the man responsible for her sister’s death and shows Jelena a picture of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye.

Jelena later appeared on the show Hawkeye intending to kill Clint. But she has a heart-to-heart with Clint’s protégé Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), and later with Clint himself. In these discussions, she realizes that Natasha has sacrificed herself to save the world. She also conducts her own investigation and discovers that Kate Bishop’s mother, Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga), hired Val to kill Clint. In the end, Jelena decides to spare Clint and go back to spending time with her adorable dog. We don’t know how this decision will affect Jelena’s relationship with Val.

How does Val running the CIA change things?

Still from the movie black widow.  (DisneyPlus)

Still from the movie black widow.

Disney Plus

Perhaps the fact that Val was available for hire means that she wasn’t actually a member of the CIA as soon as the events of Hawkeye. It seems unusual for the CIA to hire a director from outside their ranks, but Everett Ross mentions that the director is brand new. Val appears to have infiltrated the US government. This wouldn’t be the first time bad guys have managed to hold high-ranking positions in Washington DC in the MCU. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the head of the World Security Council, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), is revealed to be a secret agent of the Nazi organization HYDRA.

Now Valentina can claim all kinds of evil deeds from the American agent and others are sanctioned by the government. We know little about Val’s motivations: During the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever she admits she dreams of a world where the US controls the precious metal vibranium and can use it against its enemies.

Read more: from Hawkeye to Spider-Man: Far From HomeThe MCU blurs the line between hero and villain

Who are the thunderbolts?

(L-R) Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, David Harbour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jake Scheyer and Kevin Feige at D23 in 2022, presenting <i>The Thunderbolts</i> (The Walt Disney Company via Getty Images)” class=”fix-layout-shift”/><br />
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(L-R) Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Hannah John-Kamen, David Harbour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jake Scheyer and Kevin Feige at D23 in 2022, presenting The thunderbolts

The Walt Disney Company via Getty Images

The Thunderbolts are essentially an anti-hero version of the Avengers team. They are made up of villains, heroes and ani-heroes with conflicting goals. Despite their differences, they first come together to protect the world after a cataclysmic event that results in the deaths of several Avengers. The movie version of Thunderbolts will presumably try to fill the void left by the Avengers seemingly splitting up (or taking a break?) after the losses of Iron Man and Captain America.

Marvel revealed the lineup of the MCU team at the 2022 D23 Expo:

Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

Julia Louis-Dreyfus attends the Disney and Pixar premiere "Forward" on February 18, 2020 (Gregg DeGuire—FilmMagic)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus attends the premiere of Disney and Pixar’s Onward on February 18, 2020.

Gregg DeGuire—FilmMagic

In the comics, the Thunderbolts are led by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, played by the late William Hurt in the MCU films. Ross was involved in the development of the super soldier serum that led to the creation of the Hulk and devoted years of his life to the pursuit of Bruce Banner. In the service of this mission, he turned Emil Blonsky into an Abomination.

Ross has made some other questionable decisions over the years, including working with minor military contractor and Iron Man rival Justin Hammer. Nevertheless, Ross was appointed Secretary of State and c Captain America: Civil War led the writing of the Sokovia Accords, which would limit the actions taken by superheroes. The Accords divided the Avengers along ideological and personal lines, and Ross tried to hunt down Black Widow and jailed Captain America’s other allies, though Cap quickly bailed them out.

Hurt sadly passed away earlier this year. Instead, fans are speculating that Val will most likely lead this group.

Read more: Everything you need to remember black Panther Before you see Wakanda forever

Elena Belova

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Florence Pugh enters black Widow

Marvel Studios

Jelena will probably take over Black Widow’s mantle in a future film. But first she has to fight Val. Val gave her false information Hawkeyeso it’s unclear what Jelena will bring back to her team.

The Winter Soldier

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Sebastian Stan inside Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Chuck Zlotnik—Marvel Studios

Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is a morally complex figure. Once Captain America’s best friend, he was brainwashed by HYDRA and used as an assassin. He even killed Iron Man’s (Robert Downey Jr.) parents. Bucky spent a lot The Falcon and the Winter Soldier struggling with his history of mass murder and trying to make amends. Perhaps he will join the Thunderbolts in hopes of repenting for his past mistakes.

American agent

Wyatt Russell in <i>Falcon and the Winter Soldier</i> (Chuck Zlotnik—Marvel Studios)” class=”fix-layout-shift”/><br />
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Wyatt Russell entered Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Chuck Zlotnik—Marvel Studios

John Walker has many flaws. His privilege blinds him. His ego drives him. His anger corrupts him. And yet, he will be a major player in the Thunderbolts squad. Whether John really hopes to reform is yet to be seen. Considering Bucky and John clashed The Falcon and the Winter Soldiertheir Thunderbolts team will be reluctant at best, explosive at worst.

Red Guardian

a miracle

Russia’s answer to Captain America, the Red Guard (David Harbour) is the first super soldier created by the Soviet Union and acts as a surrogate father to Natasha and Yelena. The two women broke the Red Guardian out of prison black Widow to help them in their mission to free the brainwashed Black Widow assassins they once trained together in the Red Room in Russia. The Red Guardian will likely add not only brute force but comic relief to the Thunderbolts movie.

Ghost

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Spirit (Hannah John-Kamen) c Antman and the Wasp

Movie Frame/Marvel Studios

The antagonist in Antman and the Wasp, Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen) is more of a misunderstood anti-hero than a villain. An accident killed Ava’s parents and changed her own molecular structure. The good news is that she can turn invisible and has been doing covert missions for SHIELD. The bad news is that the changes to her body are killing her. The search for a cure collides with Ant-Man’s mission. At the end of Antman and the WaspAva is temporarily cured.

Boss


black Widow introduced another misunderstood anti-hero, Antonia Drakev (Olga Kurylenko). Her father, General Drakev, runs the Red Room in Russia, where he brainwashes and trains female assassins called Black Widows. A victim of her father’s manipulation, Antonia is trained as a mercenary who can mimic the movements of anyone she fights. At the end of black Widow, Elena and Natasha kill General Drakev and save Antonia. Antonia joins Jelena and the other Black Widows in their escape. Presumably, she would happily join any group Jelena is a part of.

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Write to Eliana Docterman c [email protected].

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