Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova Returns as Marvel’s White Widow in New Series
Marvel Comics has recently announced that Yelena Belova, the Russian assassin known as the White Widow and an ally of the Black Widow, will be receiving her own standalone series. The highly anticipated White Widow #1 will be released prior to her appearance in the upcoming MCU film Thunderbolts, where she will be portrayed by the remarkable Florence Pugh. This exciting new series, written by Sarah Gailey (known for works such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Eat the Rich) and illustrated by Alessandro Miracolo (recognized for his work on Obi-Wan and Yoda), was initially unveiled by The Mary Sue, accompanied by a stunning cover art by David Marquez.
The White Widow series promises to be an enthralling chapter in the complex life of Yelena Belova. Marvel describes her as an antihero, a “Superspy. Rogue agent. Shadow of the Black Widow.” Although the character of Yelena Belova was introduced in the comics almost 25 years ago in 1999, her popularity was largely confined to the Black Widow fandom. However, Florence Pugh’s portrayal of Yelena in the 2021 Black Widow film and subsequent appearances in the Hawkeye TV show propelled her into the spotlight, making her a household name.
White Widow #1 is scheduled to hit shelves in November, and fans are eagerly anticipating this new series that will delve deeper into Yelena Belova’s intriguing journey. Yelena’s life mirrored that of her archrival, the Black Widow, as she was orphaned at a young age in Russia and subsequently taken in by the Russian Government. Forced to endure the grueling “Red Room” program, Yelena underwent rigorous training to become a flawless assassin. Initially introduced as a formidable foe of Natasha, she worked for Russian sanctioned agencies such as the Black Widow Ops program and GRU, and even became entangled with the villainous A.I.M. However, Natasha was able to reveal to Yelena the harsh reality of life as a Black Widow – always a pawn in someone else’s game with sinister motives, devoid of control over her own life.
Since then, Yelena Belova has operated as an antihero, leading a captivating and intense existence. Sarah Gailey, the writer of the upcoming solo series, expressed her excitement about White Widow, stating, “I am thrilled to launch White Widow into her own series! Yelena Belova is an extraordinary character who deserves independence, community, and the opportunity to define her own path of justice. Collaborating with the Marvel team has been a joy, and I cannot wait for readers to discover what Alessandro and I have in store!”
While Yelena Belova has experienced moments of independence in the past, she has rarely been granted the freedom to act solely as a Widow. It was in Kelly Thompson’s acclaimed 2020 Black Widow series that Yelena adopted the codename White Widow, finally aligning herself as an ally to Natasha. Yelena proposed a plan to recruit and train young women to join their cause, initially met with resistance from the Black Widow. However, Natasha eventually embraced the idea. With the upcoming White Widow series, fans hope to witness Yelena’s journey in recruiting and training these young women as she steps out of Natasha’s shadow.
White Widow represents a turning point for Yelena Belova, who has weathered numerous challenges throughout her perilous life. Finally at peace with her former adversary, the Black Widow, Yelena is now forging her own path, wherever it may lead. The series will offer a platform to explore her past, present, and potential future, paving the way for a fresh chapter in the story of this iconic antihero. Marvel Comics’ White Widow #1 is set to debut on November 1st, 2023.
– The Mary Sue
Marvel Comics has recently revealed that Yelena Belova, the Russian assassin called the White Widow who is an ally of the Black Widowwill be getting her own solo series. White Widow #1 will launch before the character stars in the upcoming MCU film Thunderbolts, played by the impeccable Florence Pugh.
The upcoming White Widow series — from writer Sarah Gailey (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eat the Rich) and artist Alessandro Miracolo (Obi-Wan, Yoda) — was first unveiled by The Mary Sue alongside an absolutely gorgeous cover from David Marquez. The series will be a fresh chapter for the complex Yelena Belova, with Marvel describing the antihero as, “Superspy. Rogue agent. Shadow of the Black Widow.“
While the comics version of Yelena Belova debuted almost 25 years ago in 1999, her popularity mainly remained within the Black Widow fandom. Florence Pugh brought her to life in the 2021 Black Widow film — and then Hawkeye TV show — boosting the character’s popularity and making her a household name. White Widow #1 will hit shelves this November.
Yelena Has Always Been One Step Behind The Black Widow
Yelena Belova’s life started similarly to her archrival’s, the Black Widow. Orphaned at a young age in Russia, she was taken in by the Russian Government and forced to live and train in the torturous “Red Room” program to become a flawless assassin. Yelena was originally introduced as a fierce enemy of Natasha, working for Russian sanctioned agencies like the Black Widow Ops program and GRU and even becoming deeply involved with the villainous A.I.M. Natasha was eventually able to show Yelena the truth of life as a Black Widow: always a tool for someone else with horrific motives, and never being in control of one’s own life.
Since then Belova has acted as an antihero and has lived a truly intense and fascinating life. The writer of the upcoming solo series Sarah Gailey had this to say about White Widow:
“I am beyond exhilarated to launch White Widow into her own series! Yelena Belova is an incredible character who deserves independence, community, and the opportunity to kill on her own terms. Getting the chance to work with this team at Marvel is a thrill. I can’t wait for the world to see what Alessandro and I have in store!”
While Yelena Belova has lived an independent life before, she has rarely been given the freedom to independently act as a Widow. Yelena assumed the codename White Widow in Kelly Thompson’s acclaimed 2020 Black Widow series, finally acting as an ally to Natasha. Yelena proposed a plan to recruit and train young women to join their cause, and while the Black Widow at first opposed this idea, she eventually relented. Hopefully the new White Widow series will explore Yelena’s recruitment and training of these young women as she steps out from Natasha’s shadow.
White Widow Must Choose Her Own Path
While Yelena Belova has been many things throughout her dangerous life, she is finally at peace with her former enemy the Black Widow and is now finding her own path, wherever it may lead. White Widow will finally give Yelena the opportunity to have her past, present, and potential future spotlighted, paving the way for a new life for the iconic antihero.
White Widow #1 from Marvel Comics debuts on November 1st, 2023.