The Disney+ series Hawkeye focuses on Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, as he trains Kate Bishop to be the next Hawkeye. In the final episode, there is a mysterious character referred to as “the Rolex woman” who appears and helps Hawkeye and Kate defeat Maya Lopez, aka Echo. This character has comic book ties and her appearance sets up future stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Rolex Woman’s Appearance
In the final episode of Hawkeye, Maya Lopez is set on killing Clint Barton to avenge the death of her father. As Hawkeye and Kate Bishop fight Lopez and her Tracksuit Mafia associates, a mysterious figure emerges in a black outfit with a gold Rolex watch. This woman helps Hawkeye and Kate defeat their attackers using impressive combat skills and technology like remote controlled arrows. She disappears after the fight without revealing her identity.
Her Costume and Abilities
The Rolex woman wears a black leather outfit with gold accents, belts, and buckles. She has long dark hair and aviator sunglasses. Her signature item is a gold Rolex watch which she uses to control trick arrows fired from a wrist launcher. She is an expert fighter, doing flips and spins while taking down enemies with punches, kicks, throws, and shots from her bow. She matches and exceeds Hawkeye and Kate Bishop’s archery abilities.
Comic Book Origins
In the Marvel comics, the Rolex woman is known as Yelena Belova. Belova is the second modern Black Widow, a product of Russia’s Black Widow Ops program that also trained Natasha Romanoff. Introduced in 1999, Belova considered Romanoff a traitor and sought to prove herself the superior Black Widow. She has similar skills and training as Romanoff, with expert martial arts, marksmanship, acrobatics, and more. Her primary tools include dual batons and a specialized belt filled with weapons and gadgets.
First Appearance and Early History
Yelena Belova first appeared in Marvel’s Inhumans #5 in 1999. She was established as a morally ambiguous spy and assassin for hire, walking the line between hero and villain. Over the years she interacted with agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA, sometimes as an adversary to heroes like the Avengers. She briefly held the mantle of Black Widow, believing herself superior to Natasha Romanoff.
Later Character Development
In the mid 2000s, Belova became more solidly an antihero and occasional ally of the Avengers. She helped characters such as Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, and even Romanoff herself on missions. Writer Greg Rucka’s run on Black Widow in the 2010s delved deeper into Belova’s past and motivations, portraying a more nuanced character seeking redemption.
CLUES THE ROLEX WOMAN IS YELENA BELOVA
Though the Rolex woman is never directly named in Hawkeye, there are several clues indicating she is Yelena Belova:
- Her appearance closely matches Belova from the comics
- She refers to Hawkeye as Barton, suggesting familiarity
- She has similar combat skills and training as Black Widow
- The Rolex could reference Belova coveting Romanoff’s Black Widow title
The biggest clue is that actress Florence Pugh was confirmed to be playing Yelena Belova moving forward in the MCU.
YELENA BELOVA IN THE MCU
Prior to Hawkeye, Florence Pugh debuted as Yelena Belova in the film Black Widow (2021). In the film she is the sister-figure of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, both having trained in the Black Widow Ops program. Belova initially antagonizes Romanoff but eventually teams up with her.
Black Widow Post-Credits Scene
The Black Widow post-credits scene sets up Belova’s future appearances. In the scene, Belova visits Romanoff’s grave after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine approaches her and manipulates her into targeting Hawkeye, claiming he is responsible for Romanoff’s death on Vormir. This sets up Belova’s appearance in Hawkeye seeking revenge.
Future in the MCU
As one of the few characters to know Romanoff’s full history, Belova stands poised to carry on her legacy in the MCU. Producer Kevin Feige has teased Pugh continuing her role in the long run alongside other new characters like Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop. Fans speculate Belova may appear in the rumored Black Widow sequel or team up with characters like Nick Fury. The Hawkeye cameo makes it clear that more is in store for Yelena Belova in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Belova and Romanoff Have a Complex Dynamic
Throughout their comic and cinematic history, Yelena Belova and Natasha Romanoff have demonstrated a complex relationship with many ups and downs:
Their Initial Rivalry
When first introduced, Belova resented Romanoff’s prominence as the Black Widow and sought to prove herself superior by defeating Romanoff and stealing her title. Their shared background created direct competition between the two.
Reluctant Allies At Times
Though rivals, necessity forced Belova and Romanoff to team up against shared enemies on occasions in the comics and MCU film. They slowly gained grudging respect for each other’s skills over the years.
Belova’s Eventual Redemption Arc
Later comics developed Belova further, depicting her attempts to gain redemption and live up to the example set by Romanoff’s heroism. This transitioned their dynamic from bitter rivalry to a sisterly bond.
Belova Honoring Romanoff’s Legacy
With Romanoff’s death in the MCU, Belova feels compelled to carry on her legacy as the Black Widow. This passed torch could complete Belova’s redemption arc across mediums.
Yelena Belova, aka the Rolex woman, has an integral role bridging the comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her appearance in Hawkeye sets up Florence Pugh reprising the character as a key player carrying on the Black Widow mantle. Belova’s complex relationship with Natasha Romanoff has evolved over many years from rivalry to redemption. Moving forward, she stands poised to honor Romanoff’s legacy as the new Black Widow in the MCU’s future. The Hawkeye cameo kicks off the next phase of Belova’s story, with many exciting possibilities still to unfold across comics and film.