WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANY SPOILERS FROM ‘THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER,’ EPISODE 5 DO NOT KEEP READING.
Producers of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier left breadcrumbs and hints about a cameo that was coming in episode five, but it’s safe to say they still surprised everyone with their big reveal. Nobody expected Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld and Veep fame to make her Marvel debut as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
In the episode, John Walker was stripped of his title as Captain America and given “an other than honorable discharge.” While he was being consoled by his wife, in came a woman with a peculiar amount of knowledge about Walker’s circumstances.
She introduced herself first as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine before adding Contessa at the beginning. She revealed that she already knew Walker took the Super Soldier Serum and that he no longer had the shield that was taken from him by the eponymous duo at the beginning of the episode. So who is this mystery character?
Who Is Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the Marvel Comics?
The de Fontaine character first appeared back in 1968 as an Italian-born agent in training for S.H.I.E.L.D. She quickly became a love interest for Nick Fury and had a flirtatious relationship with Captain America. The femme fatale was eventually revealed to be a Russian mole who took the mantle of Madame Hydra. That title was previously held by Ophelia Sarkissian, who appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It was later revealed that de Fontaine was working for a Soviet terrorist organization called Leviathan, a group that was briefly featured in the show, Agent Carter.
How exactly “The Contessa” will fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen, but it’s probably safe to assume that she’ll be a villain in multiple titles.
Valentina Allegra de Fontaine Is Set to Appear in ‘Black Widow’
Before a pandemic forced delayed movie releases and shuffled premiere dates, Black Widow was set to hit theaters three months before The Falcon and The Winter Soldier kicked off the MCU’s slate of Disney Plus shows. When Marvel rearranged their shows and movies, they made sure that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was still just three months apart from Black Widow. Now, it seems, we know why.
According to Vanity Fair, Louis-Dreyfus is set to appear in Black Widow this summer and will likely have a major role in the MCU beyond that film. That makes sense given Black Widow is a prequel of sorts, set after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
The upcoming movie about Natasha Romanoff will delve into how the Russian-born agent became the Black Widow and will feature Florence Pugh playing Yelena Belova and David Harbour playing Red Guardian. Given the amount of influence the Soviet Union (and presumably Hydra) will have on the movie, it makes sense that Madame Hydra will play a role.
With only one episode left in The Falcon and The Winter Solider, de Fontaine may not make another appearance in the season finale. But the unexpected cameo will certainly have an impact on the future of the MCU and it won’t be the last we see of Madame Hydra.
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