Marvel Studios ended 2021 on Disney+ with Jeremy Renner's first-ever solo project in Hawkeye, which brought much more than just the OG Avengers archer. Along with Hailee Steinfeld's official introduction as Kate Bishop and Vincent D'Onofrio making his mark as the Kingpin, Florence Pugh's sudden arrival in Episode 4 changed the story in a big way.
After Pugh's debut in July 2021's Black Widow, that movie's post-credits scene set her up for a dangerous mission in Hawkeye upon its debut five months later. Even though Hawkeye made fans wait for half of the show's run until Pugh showed up, her dialogue-less moment in Episode 4 and the action in Episodes 5 and 6 reaffirmed her status as a dangerous player in the franchise.
Yelena's Hawkeye debut came with an exciting new costume, even including a mask that paid tribute to the Black Widow's threads from the pages of Marvel Comics. A new image reveals that this wasn't the only look on the table for her, showing off a costume that would have given her a different accessory.
Yelena Gets a Cape in Unused Hawkeye Costume
Concept artist Josh Nizzi took to Instagram to share images of an unused costume idea for Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova in Marvel Studios' Hawkeye on Disney+. This look would have given Yelena a different set of black threads, which includes a large knife on her hip and a gun holster near her shoulder.
Also included in this costume is a black cape-like garment draped over Yelena's shoulders. There's at least one visible gun at the bottom edge of that cape, although it's likely that there are more places for weapons underneath.
Nizzi included the following caption with the images, hinting at this costume combining tactical gear with something that could be used for a New York winter.
"Here is an unused look I did for Yelena in Hawkeye. I was combining New York wet winter and tactical wear.
For reference, a full image of the costume Yelena wore in the final cut of Hawkeye can be seen below:
To Cape? Or Not to Cape?
Marvel Studios is known for giving its leading characters new looks with each new appearance in the MCU narrative, which was exactly what happened for Yelena Belova from Black Widow to Hawkeye. In that vein, Pugh's anti-hero was almost set to come back with even more accessories, although the overall look is largely similar to what fans have previously seen her wear.
The decision on the cape is an interesting one, particularly with this being the biggest variation from any Black Widow costume in the MCU's past. Whether Marvel Studios had an Edna Mode from The Incredibles to lay down a "no capes" rule is a mystery, but this extra garment was something that didn't make it past the drawing board for Yelena's return.
Pugh's final costume turned out as something almost identical to her outfit from Black Widow, although it boasted some extra padding and another vest to deal with the New York winter.
Now, the question moving forward is how long Pugh will utilize this suit in future MCU projects, even though it's a mystery where she will make her third appearance to date. No matter what she ends up wearing, Yelena knows how to keep her clothing options simple and tactically effective, which is on top of how formidable she is on her own as an assassin and fighter.