Thanks to the character of Yelena Belova, Black Widow subtly proved how well Deadpool can work in the MCU. Natasha’s younger sister Yelena has quickly become an audience-favorite character with her performances in Black Widow and Hawkeye, bringing high energy to the role with funny quips that set her apart from many of her peers. Yelena’s personality has not only stolen every scene she’s been in, but also made her a lot more like Deadpool than the majority of superheroes in the MCU so far.
Although Deadpool is far from the only superhero to ever break the fourth wall in a comic book, his meta-commentary both on the page and on-screen have established him as someone who never follows the rules. The first two Deadpool movies made sure to honor this by regularly stopping the story just for him to comment something — often inappropriate for children — directly to the camera and the presumed audience beyond. But Disney’s ownership of Fox has left many wondering how it might affect Deadpool’s future and whether the Merc with a Mouth will fit into the MCU.
The overwhelmingly positive audience response to Yelena’s characterization in Black Widow and beyond proves that Deadpool would fit well in the MCU. Yelena spent a majority of her screen time in Black Widow making fun quips about the Avengers, and her most recurring joke critiques Natasha’s “superhero pose” where she crouches down with one arm in the air and flips back her hair. Yelena even mimicked the position at one point, only to immediately scoff at how ridiculous it was. That kind of self-referential humor isn’t quite fourth-wall breaking, but it is meta, and Deadpool even made a similar observation about one of the bad guys in the first Deadpool movie when he called out her “superhero landing” right before she jumped. In this way, Black Widow made Yelena a little more like Deadpool and showed that it’s possible for a meta-critiquing character to work in the MCU.
Marvel’s trend of PG-13 ratings has led to concerns that an MCU Deadpool movie would censor what some believe is the best aspect of the character. Even Ryan Reynolds has commented that he would only be open to a third film if it remained R-rated. Still, the mature content is arguably less essential than maintaining Deadpool’s iconic fourth wall breaks and self-referential nature. It can be hard to predict how his self-aware puns would mesh in the MCU — especially considering how seriously most MCU heroes approach their roles — but Yelena proved that it can work. Her meta-commentary in Black Widow laid the groundwork for a Deadpool that fully embraces these qualities.
Further, it proves to Marvel the need to move forward with Deadpool 3. Yelena’s meta jokes in Black Widow are exactly what endeared her to audiences, who embraced her refreshingly flippant and cheeky attitude. Early reports about the planned Deadpool 3 movie have been promising, thanks to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s confirmation that it would remain R-rated. Also promising is that Bob’s Burger writers, the Molyneaux sisters, are penning the script. Hopefully, Deadpool will be able to retain his recognizably snarky quips, even if he’s not delivering multiple f-bombs while doing so.
Next: What Deadpool 3 Being R-Rated Means For MCU’s Future (Will More Movies Be?)
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