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Massive Wakanda Forever spoilers solve a big MCU Phase 4 mystery

Updated Nov 10th, 2022 4:51PM EST
Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the first Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer.
Image: Marvel Studios

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is just a few days away, so now’s the time to avoid the internet if you don’t want to see any spoilers. It’s not just a big plot leak that might reveal all of the Black Panther 2 secrets. The reviews are also out and might contain key details from the movie.

Those who love MCU spoilers will certainly appreciate every single leak ahead of the film’s premiere. And they’ll be among the first people to finally figure out a big MCU Phase 4 mystery. That’s because spoilers from the Wakanda Forever plot leak and the reviews are enough to answer a lingering question.

Before we tell you the question and reveal the answer, you should know that big spoilers follow below. This isn’t just a leak at this point — it’s a confirmed detail.

Who is Valentina Allegra DeFontaine?

We’ve met Valentina Allegra DeFontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The character also appeared in the credits scenes of Black Widow. That might have been Val’s first appearance in the MCU chronologically. She meets Yelena at some point after the events in Endgame. And Falcon happens several months after Endgame.

We’ll then see Val lead the Thunderbolts in the movie of the same name. The big crossover will end the MCU Phase 4 in late July 2024, a few months after the Captain America 4 premiere.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
(L-R): Olivia Walker (Gabrielle Byndloss), Valentina Allegra DeFontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) and John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Image source: Marvel Studios

How is this all relevant for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? We’ll get to the spoilers part that will explain who Val is.

We already saw Val recruit several characters with particular skills. But she never explained where she got her authority from. We have no idea whether she’s working for the US government, although her Thunderbolts involvement hints at that.

Whatever Val is into, it’s a powerful, resourceful organization that needs individuals like US Agent (Wyatt Russell) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).

The big Black Panther: Wakanda Forever spoilers

The huge Wakanda Forever plot leak from a few days ago spoiled all of the sequel’s spoilers. We’ve covered several of them, including the identity of the next Black Panther and the emotional credits scene.

They also told us that Everett Ross’s (Martin Freeman) ex-wife, Valentina, is the head of the CIA. But the plot leak never identified Valentina. Here’s a quote from that leak:

Ross, meanwhile, is dealing with his new CIA Director, Valentina (she’s also his ex-wife), investigating the attacks in Boston and on the ship.

Many people would assume this is the same Val. I know I did, but I had no additional evidence. It could all be a coincidence rather than a huge Wakanda Forever Easter egg and a massive spoiler.

Trailer 2 gives us the best Black Panther teaser so far.
Trailer 2 gives us the best Black Panther teaser so far. Image source: Marvel Studios

But Variety’s review tells us that its Louis-Dreyfus’s Val in Wakanda Forever, confirming the spoilers:

Coogler has fun showcasing Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as the head of the CIA, who’s a lot more ruthless than her ex-husband, Agent Ross (Martin Freeman); in her snappy way, she stands in for today’s realpolitik America.

It all makes sense

We’ve always assumed that Val would be the equivalent of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the MCU adventures following Endgame. We know now that’s exactly the case.

Val has been recruiting her Thunderbolts all along. Even if she wasn’t the head of the CIA in Falcon or Black Widow, she certainly had a lot of power. Wakanda Forever happens several years after Endgame on the MCU timeline. We’re either in late 2025 or at some point in 2026. That’s more than a year since Val recruited US Agent and Yelena.

High quality render of the Thunderbolts concept art by Andy Park.
High quality render of the Thunderbolts concept art by Andy Park. Image source: Reddit

Meanwhile, Yelena is the head of the CIA, and the Wakanda Forever spoilers indicate she’ll be ruthless at that. She won’t just arrest Ross in Black Panther 2. She’ll also make it clear that the US is going after vibranium with her leading the CIA.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see her in action in the sequel and future MCU stories. She must complete her Thunderbolts team at some point.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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