The MCU Sneakily Confirmed Yelena's Black Widow Mission Was A Success

The Marvel Cinematic Universe confirms Yelena Belova's Black Widow mission was a success thanks to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The first two movies in Phase 4 largely focus on telling their own stories, but each of them also has connections to the broader MCU canon. This includes paying off teases from the past and teasing the future, with Shang-Chi secretly confirming that Yelena's Black Widow mission was a success.

Yelena's story in Black Widow began with her defecting from the Red Room after she was freed from General Dreykov's mind control. She quickly found herself working with Natasha Romanoff shortly after to take down the Red Room once and for all. By the end of Black Widow, Yelena and Natasha successfully took down the program that ruled their lives for so long. This also saw them free other Black Widows at the Red Room from Dreykov's mind control, but the movie also teased that there were hundreds of other Widows who still need deprogramming. Natasha gave Yelena this mission and now the MCU has already confirmed it was a success.

Related: Black Widow Sets Up Yelena To Avoid The MCU's Worst Natasha Romanoff Mistakes

The tease of Yelena's success comes courtesy of a cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The movie's underground fighting competitions brought back multiple MCU characters, and this includes quick cameo from Jade Xu, who played an unnamed Widow in Black Widow. She's shown fighting an Extremis soldier and will take home some money if she wins the battle. Shang-Chi doesn't reveal if Jade Xu's Widow does win, but her presence at Xialing's club is a strong indicator that Yelena succeeded. Her character was with Yelena at the end of Black Widow and presumably could've worked with Yelena to free the rest of Dreykov's Widows. If she is now fighting for money and off on her own, then that is likely because the mission is already complete.

The possibility of Yelena's mission already being complete might seem like it happened too fast to some since Shang-Chi is the first MCU movie to come out after Black Widow. However, it is important to remember how much time has passed in the shared universe between these films. Black Widow takes place in 2016, but Shang-Chi is set after Avengers: Endgame in 2024. That gives Yelena and the other Widows 8 years to make more of the mind control antidote and travel the world curing their sisters. While five of these years are during The Blip, the mission could still easily be achieved regardless of whether or not Yelena was snapped by Thanos.

If Yelena's Black Widow mission is finished, this does make it unclear if the MCU will actually show Yelena on this mission at all. Her immediate MCU future will see her hunt down Clint Barton in Hawkeye per Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine's orders. This appearance will continue to shape Yelena's MCU story and possibly move her beyond the mission to save other Widows. That might mean that the Black Widow sequel - or wherever Yelena appears next - won't touch on this mission anymore, which makes this tease in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings all the more important.

More: Why Black Widow's Yelena Is Key To Hawkeye (Not Just To Kill Him)

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