Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova Keys

by Norman Robinson III

080521B-300x157 Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova KeysThe Yelena from the movie Black Widow is sexy, intelligent, and more importantly fun. But are Yelena Bulova keys worth owning? Can you collect them safely after the movie has already been released? Is there any upside to this character in the MCU? Every woman’s to-go kit is not the same; take Yelena Bulova for example. Along with her cosmetics, hairspray, tweezers, and compact, she also has the latest “wrist cartridges containing tear-gas pellets, a radio transmitter, a spring-loaded cable, and a small device capable of emitting high-frequency electrostatic charge” (Marvel Fandom). Yelena_Belova Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova Keys

Everyone needs an electrostatic charge for that pesky intruder or two who happen to run on batteries.  Let’s not forget the Kevlar body armor or the bracelets that release her “Widow’s bite!” This Pale Little Spider is no joke. Especially as played by Florence Pugh, she simply killed it in the movie Black Widow and insured years of happy comic key hunting.

Yes, Yelena is the woman for any occasion. Kill a would-be supervillain, overturn the machinations of the Red Room, or simply adapt to the perils of your average Russian family get-together with face cloaking tech and a smirk. But let’s get into these keys.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6IjVhOWU4ZjdlLWQwMDEtNDVjMi1iOGJhLTFhZGJmNDQ0ZjUwMC5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119 Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova KeysInhumans (Vol. 2) #5

This comic book is the first cameo appearance of the new Black Widow. Funny thing, though a 1999 book, it has considerable value now. This character was created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee.

This book is the “salad bar” of characters appearing. We have Bill Clinton, the U.S. Army, to the United Nations and topping it off with Black Widow (Yelena Bulova). In it the “first salvo has been fired in the assault on fabled Attilan will the Inhumans respond in kind?”

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImQ2YmFkNDhhLWZiYmMtNDZlNS1iNjhiLTc5Zjk4MjQ1ZjkyYi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119 Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova KeysBlack Widow #1

This comic book is the full appearance of Yelena Bulova. This comic book was created in 1999 by Devin Grayson (script) and J.G. Jones (pencils and inks).  It was published under Marvel Knights and, strikingly, is not as valuable as the Inhumans #5 above for some unknown reason.

The storyline is interesting, with a new Black Widow being given orders to eliminate Natasha Romanova; all over a little thing called the Super Soldier Serum.

Pale Little Spider Profits…

Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return 90 days
Inhumans (Vol. 2) #5 9.8 (It should be noted that 9.4 has actually gone up in value, during 90 days positive +24.5%) $729 238 -5.6%
Black Widow #1 9.6 $124 84 -10%


The difference here is rather striking. After all, one would expect the first full appearance to have at least more value than the cameo. In this case, the cameo is actually still growing in value after the movie. This crazy cameo conundrum can only mean one thing right? There are fewer copies of Inhumans (Vol. 2) #5. Well, that would be wrong; not according to the CGC Census. It has almost twice as many issues slabbed as the full appearance, though print runs can vary and it would not surprise me to find out Inhumans has fewer overall copies.

800 Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova KeysConclusion

I suppose the reason for this crazy cameo could be rather mundane. The Inhumans (Vol. 2) #5 is Yelena as the first Black Widow (Even though they don’t even show her face!) This means weirdly that Black Widow #1 is only the first appearance of Yelena, not Black Widow Yelena. I know bizarre.

Be that as it may, either or both of these books should be in your to-go kit as an investor. Especially, after the solid performance of Florence Pugh guaranteed this character’s survival in the MCU. After all, let’s not forget that last post-credit scene (Black Widow), watch out Hawkeye!

052721D Cameo Conundrum: Yelena Bulova Keys

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Tony August 7, 2021 - 3:57 pm

Don’t forget the variant covers for Black Widow 1 both have Yelena on the cover and are worth significantly more than the normal cover shown in the article. One cover is just a cover B and the other is a DF limited variant.

David Nix August 8, 2021 - 5:54 pm

Amen. *A* blonde “Black Widow” appears in a handful of panels on 3 pages of Inhumans #5. As far as I can tell, the sources identifying her as Yelena in the issue fall under the following disclaimer:

“Take note, True Believer! This crowd-sourced content has not yet been verified for accuracy by our erudite editors!
– Marvel Editorial Staff” (

Put me in the camp of Inhumans #5: First cameo (?), Black Widow #1 (1999) 1st full appearance/1st cover appearance.

Kenloi October 17, 2021 - 5:51 am

Black widow 1′ yelena blond’ variant is the one to buy..A hold book. Does anyone know print runs?


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