As it focuses on introducing new heroes and changing organizations in Phase Four, Marvel Studios announced that a Lightning film was in production and will conclude Phase Five. While team members have yet to be confirmed, a new hero fans are hoping to see in this group is Yelena Belova, who is set to take on her sister’s moniker and become the next Black Widow.
Yelena quickly won the hearts of fans with her moving story, fun personality and eccentricities. Between her appearances in Black Widow and Archer hawkshe showed that she had a lot of potential for the future, and fans continue to show their love through Yelena’s memes.
Despite being a new character, fans have already attached themselves to Yelena with everything they have. The MCU doesn’t have the best history with female characters – given that each of the early avengers died, turned evil, or both at this point – so fans are desperate to make sure the same doesn’t happen to Yelena.
It says a lot that after 14 years in the MCU, many fans have discovered that such a new character is their favorite. This meme plays with Rosa’s quote from Brooklyn Nine-Nine about her new puppy, to which she develops a ridiculously strong attachment in no time. Likewise, fans are extraordinarily attached to Yelena’s character, wanting to keep her safe from the pain and loss the MCU can bring.
Since Natasha has been around since 2010, it’s hard to believe it took her this long to learn about her sister. But the delay can be forgiven because they are so good together. Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh do a great job as sisters, with their mannerisms communicating the affection between the two characters.
They may have gone straight into a fight when they first met after so long apart, and they can tease each other mercilessly. Natasha and Yelena might be better MCU brothers than Thor and Loki, and that’s saying a lot given how little time they’ve had together.
It’s not fair how little time Natasha and Yelena were together. After going to great lengths to set up secret codes and connections between the sisters, Black Widow brought fans back to the present day to remind them that they would never share screen time again.
Much like Rue and Katniss in Hunger Games, the whistle was a way for Natasha and Yelena to tell each other they were there and to tell each other they were fine. When Yelena whistles at the end of Black Widow, fans were hoping to hear a response. The silence that follows makes Natasha’s death that much more painful as fans see her loss through her sister’s eyes.
at the beginning of Black Widow, fans find that Yelena thinks of “American Pie” as her song, which represents her time with Natasha and her adoptive parents. They play as they leave this life behind, and Alexei sings with her years later as proof that he loves and honors their time together.
Natasha was the person Yelena loved the most, still thinking of her as her sister years later, even after the torment she went through. This meme imagines Yelena looking to connect with Natasha using her music, with Natasha’s death as the joke. It’s certainly dark humor, but it seems fitting that Yelena may have sung at Natasha’s grave in a way that captures the song’s true meaning – about loss and the death of a dream.
Once Yelena’s tragic story was revealed, it was clear that she would be a hit with fans. Yelena had so much joy in Black Widowespecially when she was with Natasha, and it’s distressing to think that she would lose that with Natasha’s death.
But his attacks on Clint and the potential villain aren’t going to scare fans away. Fans loved Bucky despite or even because of his trauma, and Yelena is the same. This meme, playing along the line “I’m going to create an environment that’s so toxic,” emphasizes just how strong the poster feels in its love for overly traumatized characters.
In contrast to Black Widowwhere Yelena was the fun, chaotic one compared to Natasha, the version of Yelena that fans see in Archer hawk it’s broken and dark. However, she quickly takes a liking to Kate Bishop, whom she makes noodles for and scolds for her limited silverware.
The dynamic between the two has given Yelena a whole new side, as she really seems to care about Kate despite only having known her. This meme hints at their relationship, with Kate being “sun” and Yelena being “sun protector”. Fans can only hope they see more of the duo as they were by far the best duo in Phase Four.
Although Yelena is canonically aroace in the comics, making her a rare example of asexual representation in the media, there are many fans who have seen sparks flying between her and Kate. Between the amusing banter, mutual admiration and Yelena’s insistence on calling Kate by her full name, there’s definitely reason to believe the two can be together.
The MCU has very little queer representation, so it would be wonderful to see a prominent Sapphic couple coming out. Archer hawk, especially if they find a way to do that without erasing Yelena’s sexuality. This meme shows the pair from Kate’s point of view, from their first date to Kate asking Yelena to have a drink with her. When Yelena agrees, it’s a moment of joy, until Kate realizes that Yelena still plans to kill Clint first.
Despite being a lot of fun, Archer hawk is haunted by the tragedies that came before him, particularly those that impacted Clint. But Kate refuses to let him sulk all the time, and Yelena ends up becoming part of her group. This meme reimagines the trio as Carl, Russell and Dug from Aboveand honestly it’s not a bad comparison given all the serious issues the animated film covers.
Like Carl, Clint is looking to right his wrongs and honor the one he lost, with a very negative outlook on life. But he can’t get very far before he’s joined by the chaotic and enthusiastic Kate, who matches Russell’s energy perfectly. Yelena may seem a little over the top as a talking dog, but she strays from her mission to support Clint and Kate, realizing that the best way to honor Natasha is to take care of her loved ones rather than seek revenge – a strange character arc. similar to that of Dug.
Given how many fans fell in love with Yelena and Kate together, as friends or in a romantic context, they started to imagine what their future teams would look like. In this meme, Kate tries to make jokes while Yelena stays serious, focused on the mission.
While they were both happy to joke around during the fight with each other, it’s clear that Yelena is more serious when it comes to her job. Maybe she could bring some of that focus to Kate, who is sometimes a little too scattered. It would be great to see how their dynamic changes when they’re working together instead of on opposite sides.
Kate struggled to maintain a professional distance between herself and Yelena, and the same can be said for the fans. This meme slightly edits the scene where Kate tells Yelena “Stop making me like you” to make her the fanbase telling her to “Stop making me love you”.
In either case, Yelena simply shrugs her shoulders and says, “Sorry, I can’t help it.” She’s full of charm, and it’s impossible for fans to look at her with anything less than fondness. Between her relatable jokes and her fierce connection to the women in her life, Yelena may well be the best example of female representation in the MCU, and fans can’t help but love her for it.