Yelena Belova, also known as Black Widow, is a Marvel Comics character who makes her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Black Widow film, and she is played by Florence Pugh. She is an expert martial artist and markswoman. She is Natasha Romanoff's adoptive younger sister.
Yelena Belova was created by Devin Grayson and J.G. Jones.
- A a product of the Red Room’s ruthless training program, has a secret history with the Black Widow that she is determined to address. When Yelena finds herself caught in a world with dangerous threats behind every corner, her only chance at survival may be through a tenuous truce with the person she blames for a lifetime of torment—Natasha Romanoff.
At a young age, Yelena Belova was a candidate for the Red Room, a Russian shadow program that trained elite assassins known as Black Widows run by General Dreykov. From ages three to six, Yelena was part of an undercover scheme during which operatives Alexei Shostakov and Melina Vostokoff infiltrated Ohio in the United States, with Yelena and fellow but older Black Widow candidate Natasha Romanoff posing as the duo's children. Due to her own age, Yelena was unaware of the true nature of her fake family and grew attached to them. In 1996, Shostakov and Vostokoff completed their mission and blew their cover. The team escaped to Cuba. Once they arrived, Natasha showed that she had grown attached to Yelena by trying to prevent her recruitment into the Red Room.
Although both Natasha and Yelena fell within the five percent of recruits that surived the Red Room training, they became separated early on. Natasha was eventually able to defect to S.H.I.E.L.D. and later the Avengers, breaking free of her mental conditioning. Yelena however was part of the next generation, for whom condition was not psychological but rather chemical. She remained in the Red Room until 2016 when on an assignment to recover the antidote for their mentral control she became doused with it herself and went on the run.
With no one esle to turn to, Yelena mailed the remaining antidote samples to Natasha, who herself was on the run from after defecting from the Avengers due to the enactment of the Sokovia Accords. Natasha found Yelena in Budapest and leared from her that Dreykov was not dead as she assumed and that the Red Room was still fully operational. Determined to free the rest of the trainees but lacking the means to locate the Red Room Academy, Yelena and Natasha broke Alexei out of the Siberian prison, who in turn led them to Melina, resulting in their "family" reuniting for the first time in twenty-one years.
As part of the plan to bring down the Red Room, they were captured and taken to the floating Academy that served as Dreykov's headquarters. Melina's knowledge of the facility enabled Yelena to escape, recover the antidote samples that were captured alongside them and release it into the group of Black Widows, instantly snapping them out of Dreykov's control. Because Melina had destabilized the structure, everyone was forced to make a frantic escape but Yelena forsook her chance to sabotage Dreykov's escape craft, finally killing him for good. She was rescued by Natasha who, after making the successful landing, said goodbye to her family and tasked them with replicating the antidote and freeing the rest of the Widows across the world.
In a post-credits scene, Yelena visits Natasha's grave and is still active after her sister's death in Vormir. Valentina Allegra de Fontaine approaches her and assings her target on her next mission, stating that he is the one responsible for Natasha's death: Hawkeye.
Yelena appears in this show.
When Baron Strucker reactivated the Red Room, he trained Yelena to be the next Black Widow. Baron Strucker later sent Yelena and some HYDRA Agents to abduct Bruce Banner and bring him to his base in Siberia. When Black Widow arrived, she fought against Yelena upon learning about her history and how Baron Strucker is using the Winter Soldier program to turn Bruce Banner into Winter Hulk. Upon Captain America and Iron Man arriving, they helped Black Widow to fight Yelena Belova, Baron Strucker, and Winter Hulk. Yelena later goes against Baron Strucker's orders and knocks him out. While Captain America and Iron Man fought to keep Winter Hulk from reaching a civilian location where a HYDRA base is, Black Widow continued her fight with Yelena even when she activated the mind-controlled washouts of the Red Room. Upon disabling the mind-controlled Red Room washouts, Black Widow defeated Yelena who managed to get away.
Yelena returned as the Crimson Widow, attacking the Avengers so that they would imprison her in the Vault. There she escaped, and with the help of Typhoid Mary and Zarda, attempted to free every supervillain in the prison. She was ultimately defeated by Wasp and Captain Marvel when her team was unable to work together.
- In the comics, Yelena Belova was a spy who was trained in the Red Room and took on the Black Widow alias as she was assigned to kill Natasha Romanoff before becoming an ally of hers. After being killed by Romanoff, a clone of Belova was created who took on the alias of the White Widow.