Piece by piece, it would seem the Marvel Cinematic Universe is willing an anti-hero team into existence. Disney+'s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier brought us US Agent (Wyatt Russell), an evil — or unhinged, at the very least — version of Captain America, and Black Widow introduces another potential building block. With fans clamoring for Marvel's version of The Suicide Squad, could an anti-hero team-up be in the cards for the House of Ideas?
There are spoilers for Black Widow below. If you've yet to see the Marvel Studios flick, proceed with caution, otherwise you will be spoiled.
As we saw in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is busy assembling a team for unknown motives; and even if it's not a team, she's certainly in the progress of hiring agents for her own needs. As we saw then, she managed to get John Walker/US Agent aboard with her ideas, as the hero himself even decided to rebrand himself with de Fontaine's approval.
That's not her only appearance in the MCU either. Now that Black Widow has been unveiled to the masses, the character returns in a post-credits scene that's been dominating chatter on social circles. Sometime after the death of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Endgame, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) is visiting her grave when de Fontaine appears and gives her an assignment: she needs to kill Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner).
Two Dark Avengers down — half a dozen to go.
Who are the Dark Avengers?
While the Thunderbolts are a team of villains or anti-heroes posing as themselves, the Dark Avengers are similar characters adopting the superhero monikers of their heroic counterparts. Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr., they first appeared in the self-titled Dark Avengers #1 in 2009 and went on to have an illustrious run over the four years.
Formed by Norman Osborn — yeah, that Norman Osborn — the initial Dark Avengers lineup included Captain Marvel (Noh-Varr), Ms. Marvel (Moonstone), Venom (Mac Gargan/Scorpion), Hawkeye (Bullseye), Wolverine (Daken), Sentry, Ares. Osborn himself then combined Captain America and Iron Man into Iron Patriot, a suit he then wore himself.
Coincidentally enough, Black Widow also featured the return of ThunderBolt Ross (William Hurt), and it's unclear if de Fontaine is working with him or on her own accord. Either way, it would appear Marvel Studios is getting closer and closer to revealing its own antihero team whether it be Ross' Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers.
Black Widow is now in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
Which characters would you like to see makeup the MCU's Dark Avengers? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!
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