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Could The Falcon And The Winter Soldier's Madame Hydra Tie Into The Secret Invasion Show?

In the fourth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) faced the consequences of their visit to Madripoor, while John Walker (Wyatt Russell) absolutely lost his mind and beat Flag Smasher to death with Cap's shield. In episode 5, audiences finally witness the aftermath of these events, as well as a long-awaited cameo. For their anticipation, viewers got to see... Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. A big-name guest star, sure, but who is this character?

While Val's importance might slip past the average Marvel Cinematic Universe fan, longtime comic readers might recognize the name as the civilian identity of one of the many women to lead the evil organization of HYDRA as Madame Hydra. While Ophelia Sarkissian is one of the most popular femme fatales to hold that title, Fontaine is just as infamous, partially because she played a key role in the Skrull invasion that kicked off the Secret Invasion event. Let's just say she wasn't feeling like herself at the time.

Of course, this raises the question of whether the MCU incarnation will follow in the comic version's footsteps. The answer is a resounding maybe.

The Skrulls prove we can't be sure what to expect from the MCU's Madame Hydra

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't a straight adaptation of Marvel comic continuity. In fact, it runs parallel to it. All of Marvel's stories across various media fall within a broader multiverse. You've got the main Marvel comic universe (known as Earth-616), the zombieverse, and the Hostess Snack Cakes-verse, just to name a few. The MCU is merely another facet, and it follows the same laws that define all the other universes' relationships. In short, every character is the same across all continuities... until writers decide otherwise.

In the main 616 Marvel universe, Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine was introduced as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. She formed a romantic relationship with Nick Fury, but as is common in the spy business, Fontaine wasn't all she claimed to be. Fury eventually discovered the woman he fell in love with was a Skrull spy who served as the vanguard for an approaching invasion. While the real Fontaine was eventually recovered, the lightning of bad luck struck twice, as she was a sleeper agent who eventually became Madame Hydra.

Since Contessa de la Fontaine has just premiered in the MCU, it's too early to determine how much she'll follow in her comic counterpart's footsteps. After all, when the Skrulls were introduced in Captain Marvel, they at first seemed like the evil invading conquerors from the comics, but the movie's big plot twist revealed they were refugees — the "conquerors" angle was just Kree propaganda.

As it turns out, Louis-Dreyfus' cameo on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is something of an anachronism, as she was reportedly intended to make her big debut in the Black Widow movie (according to Vanity Fair), which was initially expected to debut in the summer of 2020. But, now that release dates have been shuffled around, audiences are watching events unfold out of order. Maybe Black Widow will answer important questions — or pile more on top of them.

Skrull or not, Marvel has a lot in store for Contessa de la Fontaine

While a Secret Invasion show is definitely in the works, details are scarce. The program will star Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, and Kingsley Ben-Adir reportedly as the unknown main villain, but that's where information begins and ends. If Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine is indeed a Skrull, she would more than likely appear on the show, but since neither she nor Julia Louis-Drefus have been announced for the program, nobody can say one way or another. Then again, a shapeshifting spy would be bad at their job if they made those kinds of big reveals. Still, Skrull or otherwise, Fontaine might hold the Marvel Cinematic Universe's future in her hands.

According to a Vanity Fair article, the heads of Marvel have "big plans" for Fontaine, but they aren't ready to divulge these plans just yet. The article's writer postulates Fontaine could be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Power Broker and/or forming her own team of supervillains – specifically, the Thunderbolts. After all, Baron Zemo is a member of that team in the comics, and Fontaine offered John Walker a new job, so it would make sense for her to act like an anti-Nick Fury. Of course, given Marvel's obfuscation, turning Fontaine into a Skrull spy would make just as much sense.

No matter what lies behind Fontaine's façade, audiences probably won't find out until the Marvel Studios braintrust feels like it.