S.W.O.R.D in the MCU – Background and future
Wacky acronyms for agencies are such a Marvel thing, usually the name of a handy weapon. One more such agency is S.W.O.R.D. It is another intelligence agency in the Marvel universe. Below is what we know so far.
The S.W.O.R.D (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) is a fictional secret counterterrorism and intelligence agency in the Marvel Universe. It is a highly classified division of S.H.I.E.L.D (in the Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Disclaimer: Contains mild spoilers from X-Men comics and WandaVision from Disney+.
What does it do – This sister organization of S.H.I.E.L.D takes care of extraterrestrial threats towards Earth. For instance, they observe other planets & universes and nullify those menaces.
Because when S.H.I.E.L.D is not enough you need a S.W.O.R.D!
– Marvel Comics
Where is it located
The Peak, headquarters. It orbits around the Earth.
A fellow mutant, Abigail Brand, has been the Head for most of S.W.O.R.D’s course. Her core team members included mutants, animals, and humans. They consisted of Sydren (an alien). Lockheed (a spy dragon), Beast (scientist and love interest), Henry Gyrich (co-commander and traitor), and Spider-Woman (fled Earth after her reputation is ruined).
S.W.O.R.D has played a huge part in the X-Men comics series and universe. As they keep engaging with the characters, as antagonists and allies. Here are the major appearances and storylines associated with the agency.
Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 (2004)
Allies with the villain, Ord. They help him ward off a prophecy. In which a mutant destroys his planet, by agreeing to remove all mutant kind. The plan goes awry and they end up keeping Ord in captivity.
Secret invasion (2008)
In this storyline, a Skrull infiltrates and destroys The Peak. Thus, the explosion kills many agents, howeverAgent Brand manages to escape.
Dark Reign (2009)
During this plot (sequel to Secret Invasion), Norman Osborn reforms and takes over S.W.O.R.D & S.H.I.E.L.D by the name H.A.M.M.E.R. . In order to fuel his own agenda. He appoints several of his allies (villains like Loki) in key operational positions.
Independent Comics: S.W.O.R.D Series
Volume 1 (2009) – Gyrich makes an introduction to the team. He manages to convince the heads to remove all alien kind from the Earth. Consequently, this puts Agent Brand in danger. Towards the end, alien kinds take over The Peak and develop a whole community there. The series was discontinued due to dropping sales.
Volume 2 (2020) – Reintroduced as a crossover event in the recent X-Men comic book series Reign of X, with new mutant members on the team.
Spider-Woman-Agent of S.W.O.R.D
A Skrull ruins her reputation on Earth for which he faces a lot of backlashes. Jessica Drew joins S.W.O.R.D as a way to flee earth, approached by Agent Brand. The series follows her throughout her major missions with the agency.
Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes S2 (2012) (Animated series)
The new headquarters are in the spaceship, Damocles. There, Agent Brand and Carol Danvers fend off Kree soldiers and help the Avengers from space. The team’s name is Alpha Flight.
It appears via the agency’s symbol. In the promo material, the word ‘Weapon’ replaces ‘World’. It seems to keep an eye on Wanda and her new suburban life. Comic readers indicate its relation to the Wanda-centric comic, House of M. Though the exact role is not yet projected, it is the topic of core mystery.
In a deleted scene, Eric Selvig’s character briefly mentions S.W.O.R.D.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) (Maybe)
This is merely a theory floating around the internet after the post-credit scene. Here, Nick Fury is seen in an apparent Skrull-run-S.W.O.R.D-base. Marvel Studios has not yet confirmed anything.
Characters of the New S.W.O.R.D team
- Abigail Brand – Brand is a mutant who can coat her hands in an energy flame and speak many alien languages. She was in charge of the alien-fighting department.
- Manifold – Nick Fury picks Eden Fesi for his Secret Warriors programs. He was a part of a sub-team under Agent Brand. He can mold reality and teleport.
- Magneto – One of the most famous characters from the X-Men series. He can manipulate magnetic fields and even astral projection.
- Cable – Another fellow mutant, he manages to travel through time. He is called a superior, Alpha, mutant. This is because of his parentage. He possesses superhuman powers, telepathy and telekinesis.
- Frenzy – Joanna’s powers were activated to save herself from her abusive father. She helped to fight off the Skrull before being recruited under Brand. Her powers include Superhuman Powers like strength and durability.
- Wizkid – Confined to a wheelchair. Takeshi discovered his powers. He later goes on to develop bonds with other mutants and join Generation X, a teen mutants’ group.
- Fabian Cortez – Bored of his upscale life, he went on to join a mutant group, Upstarts. Which awarded points to its members to assess their abilities. He could manipulate other mutant’s powers. He was Manifold’s team member under Brand.
The Future of S.W.O.R.D in MCU
“In the startling aftermath of X of Swords, mutantkind will take the bold next step in claiming their destiny. By relaunching the Sentient World Observation & Response Directorate to deal with all things extra-terrestrial on behalf of Earth,” – Marvel Comics.
Moreover, there are multiple references to the agency in the new Marvel series on Disney+, WandaVision. These Easter eggs have hinted towards its inclusion in the MCU. Hence, the X-Men and mutantkind might join the Avengers sooner than expected.
Why did it not happen earlier?
S.W.O.R.D is explicitly linked to the X-Men series, since its birth. Along with this, the 20th Century fox Studios held the rights to the X-Men series and characters. This created logistical problems in both cases (Thor and Agents of SHIELD). While MCU tried to (unsuccessfully) corroborate it with the universe. Nevertheless, since Walt Disney acquired Fox Studios, this does not pose a problem anymore, as we can see in WandaVision.
In the end, Marvel fans are equally excited for this new addition via the antics of Wanda and Vision. As well as the upcoming comics.
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