Since her debut in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel fans have been wondering what the deal is with Contessa Valentina Allegra De Fontaine, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ mysterious puppet-master who sponsored John Walker’s upgrade to U.S. Agent. She made her second MCU appearance in the post-credits scene for Black Widow, in which it was revealed she had Yelena Belova on her payroll too. The scene saw Val giving Yelena her next “target” – Hawkeye.
If you’re sending an expert assassin like Yelena after an Avenger, that kind of suggests you’re a villain, so Black Widow seemingly answered the question as to which side Val is really on. However, maybe it’s not so clear cut. As pointed out by The Direct, a small detail about her BW cameo may reveal the surprising truth that Val isn’t a bad guy after all. And it’s all to do with the fact that she has an iPhone.
Knives Out director Rian Johnson has previously revealed that Apple are happy for movie and TV productions to make use of their products, however they forbid villainous characters from being allowed to be seen with Apple tech. Sure enough, the killer in Johnson’s mystery movie is the only suspect not seen with an iPhone at some point. And it’s true of the MCU as well. Justin Hammer, Zemo and even a complicated character like Sharon Carter have been shown making calls on other brands of phones.
But if Val isn’t a villain, then what’s going on? Well, one option is that she’s actually sending Yelena to recruit Hawkeye to her team of violent heroes – note that he’s in his Ronin suit in the image she shows her. On the other hand, The Direct pitches that Clint Barton could potentially be a Skrull. That would be a pretty wild twist, but the idea that Val’s shady actions could be in service of protecting the planet from an alien invasion is an intriguing one.
It’s likely we’ll see Val again in Disney Plus’ Hawkeye, so hopefully that will give us further hints at her masterplan. But, for the moment, Black Widow may have subtly revealed she’s not as bad as she seems.