Since Marvel Comics’ earliest days, the spy organization S.H.I.E.L.D has been a stalwart defender of the planet against criminal and terrorist threats. But in the early 2000s, the long-running organization got a little competition. With S.H.I.E.L.D defending the Earth from threats born within the confines of the world as we know it, who defends it from other worldly threats?
The answer came in 2003, when S.W.O.R.D. -the Sentient World Observation and Response Department – was introduced. Created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday for their 2004 run of
Who and What is S.W.O.R.D.?
S.W.O.R.D.’s task is to monitor all the known inhabited planets for possible threats, keeping tabs on races like the Kree and the Skrull, and countless others. Operating in secret, they remain an unknown organization to most of the world. Technically, so does S.H.I.E.L.D, but it seems by now the “secret” part of that secret organization has vanished. Early S.W.O.R.D appearances show them as an offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D., kind of like a sister organization. They appear to have full autonomy in later appearances, and don’t seem to answer to Nick Fury or Maria Hill.
S.W.O.R.D.’s director is Abigail Brand. The emerald-haired Brand is half alien, half mutant, and has the power to emit energy from her hands that can melt metal. The no-nonsense head of the organization often has to play nice with hostile alien empires, in order to protect the very vulnerable Earth. Brand runs the the show from a massive orbital space station known as The Peak. Brand has placed agents of S.W.O.R.D as spies into different superhero teams on Earth over the years. One of these spies was X-Man Kitty Pryde’s alien dragon Lockheed. For the Avengers, Brand planted Spider-Woman as her mole.
S.W.O.R.D. played a key role in Marvel Comics events, such as
Captain Marvel 2 Will Likely Feature S.W.O.R.D. (BIG MCU SPOILERS!)
The post credits scene for
I suspect that Nick Fury will recall Carol Danvers home and make her the head of S.W.O.R.D, similarly to how she headed up the Alpha Flight Space Program in the comics. Fury will likely sweeten the deal for her by telling her she gets to work with her favorite niece, “Lt. Trouble.” One thing is certain – S.W.O.R.D. is definitely being set up in the MCU. And that means the comic side of Marvel is about to get