Marvel May’ve Accidentally Revealed Black Widow’s Secret Villain

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Specialized emojis are a good way to drum up excitement for an upcoming movie on social media – it’s just more fun to use a hashtag if a little animated version of the character appears beside it. Usually, that’s all there is to it, but in the case of Black Widowone of the emojis connected to the film accidentally reveals the secret identity of Rachel Weisz’s character.

Marvel has just released five emojis to go along with the movie. #BlackWidow and #NatashaRomanoff speak for themselves, while #YelenaBelova and #AlexeiShostakov highlight the new characters played by Florence Pugh and David Harbour. However, it’s the one for Weisz’s role that drops the bombshell. Her specialized hashtag reveals that the character’s full name is Melina Vostokoff, an identity pulled from Marvel Comics’ history.

See the emojis for yourself below (you may need to open the tweet in a new window):

In the source material, Melina Vostokoff was a Russian agent who was forced to operate in the shadows of the much more celebrated Black Widow, which caused her to develop a fierce hatred for Natasha. She eventually left the service of her country and became a freelance assassin and mercenary, using an iron mask to shield her identity. Hence her professional alias: Iron Maiden.

In the Black Widow trailers, Melina has been depicted as one of Nat’s trusted Russian “family,” also including Yelena and Alexei/Red Guardian. Fans have been suspecting that she could be a traitor, though, as you can’t have a spy movie without a double-cross. The reveal of Melina’s surname seemingly confirms this and no doubt the MCU Iron Maiden will share her comic counterpart’s deep resentment of Natasha, which is why she turns against her.

There’s been some suspicion that Taskmaster could turn out to be a woman, maybe even Weisz, but we’re pretty sure that O.T. Fagbenle’s Mason is the one under the villain’s skull-like mask. Either way, Melina is not to be trusted and Natasha will likely find that out the hard way in Black Widowwhich arrives in theaters this May.

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