Standing for Sentient World Observation and Response Department, SWORD is an autonomous subdivision of the more well known SHIELD. Their first appearance coming in Astonishing X-Men: Vol 3 #6, here are some things you need to know before they show up in the much anticipated Disney Plus series.
1. History & Purpose
Yes, both SWORD and SHIELD monitor threats on Earth. The only difference is SWORD deals with threats that are more Extraterrestrial, whereas SHIELD is strictly domestic. SWORD also formed after the departure of Nick Fury from SHIELD. After that, tensions began to form.
Also monitoring counter terrorism and intelligence measures, SWORD is a bit more secretive as well. Representing the Earth’s galactic diplomacy, they obviously deal with a lot of threats that want to take out the Earth. So morality is low on their list, and they tend to go in the pragmatic direction. SWORD and SHIELD are so vastly different that when compared, SWORD was said to have made SHIELD look like Boy Scouts.
With the possibility that SWORD made a potential appearance at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, it wasn’t that far behind that they would be making another appearance in the Marvel Universe.
2. Impact On WandaVision
The first and most obvious reason for SWORD being around is to monitor the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. A big purple guy comes to Earth with the intent of ruling it and all of it’s inhabitant? Definitely seem like a big galactic terrorism problem looking back. All agents involved will want to make sure an invasion that size never happens again.
Having mentioned that, seeing that WandaVision will also tie in with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, SWORD may eventually end up paying a visit to Stephen Strange as well. His cosmic powers did help the Avengers beat Thanos, and his powers are at the point where they can warp reality. That would put the organization on high alert to make sure Strange didn’t go overboard changing too much after Endgame.
Though, their biggest threat is Wanda herself. Fans saw her power against Thanos in Endgame, even in Infinity War, Wanda is one of the strongest Avengers. For all fans know, SWORD may have even been monitoring her power during the events of Captain America: Civil War where she tried to stop an explosion, killing Crossbones in the process. What with dealing with the loss of Vision still, Wanda is definitely is not in a stable mindset. Creating an alternate reality for her to cope could definitely set off SWORD’s warning signal. And as is starts to fail, with Wanda realizing she’s losing her mind, SWORD could be her only hope in stopping her from creating a House of M scenario, killing people and heroes alike.
3. New Recruits
Set photos have revealed that SWORD definitely is making an appearance on WandaVision. And with the cast being revealed at last year’s D23, we know who is already a part of SWORD, who has potentially been recruited by the organization, and who could be a SWORD liason.
Monica Rambeau, who we last saw in Captain Marvel, is all grown up now and probably one of SWORD’s top Agents. There is still not a lot know about what her character’s purpose is, but one guess could be that she was assigned as Wanda’s handler. Cased to check in on her every now and again. That being said, there’s potential that Monica could also get her own respective superpowers and help Wanda fight against SWORD.
Another familiar face from the MCU making an appearance in the show is Jimmy Woo, who was last seen in Ant-Man and the Wasp. A former SHIELD Agent, he ended up working for the FBI. However, his excellent credentials could potentially get recruited by the organization and have him end up being partners with Monica to help monitor Wanda.
A face we haven’t seen since the Thor movies is Darcy Lewis. Her part is still a mystery in the series, though a guess could be that seeing that her forte was Political Science, Darcy’s part with SWORD could be Public Relations: making the organization look good, or and Intelligence Analyst: monitoring the threats to the Earth and presenting them to Monica and Jimmy.
Doctor Erik Selvig is the wild card in this because at the end of Avengers: Endgame, he was one of the many brought back when the Avengers found all of the Infinity Stones to undo The Snap. His documentary NOVA: Rosen Bridges with Erik Selvig was an Easter Egg in Spider-Man: Far From Home. If anyone knows anything about Space and Extraterrestrial events, it would be him. His expertise could lead to him being recruited as SWORDS special consultant, but time will tell.
4. Other Character Appearances
In the comics, SWORD has a plethora of potential characters that could make an appearance on WandaVision that could either help or hinder the already known players on the show.
The most recognized and notable is Abigail Brand, Lt. Commander of Alpha Flight, and a mutant, just like Wanda. With the ability to harness blue flames and speak alien languages, SWORD could be completely blind to these facts; which could allow Abigail to bend the rules for Wanda, should she be taken into custody. This could lead these two to becoming friends, and Wanda gaining an ally should the worst happen.
One of SWORD’s scientists that could be brought onto the show is Dr. Kavita Rao. Her character might be the answer to stopping Wanda from causing the House of M event by creating a mutant “cure”. This cure would take away Wanda’s powers so she wouldn’t hurt herself as well as other people. Though, fans that know Wanda’s character development from the movies as well as that comics, taking a cure might not sit well with her.
A potential villain Wanda could go up against with SWORD is Ord of the Breakworld . SWORD at first offers him a diplomatic deal to eradicate the mutant gene while the organization would look for the mutant that was responsible for his home planet’s destruction. Unbeknownst to them, Ord would actually want to completely get rid off all mutant kind. It would be up to Wanda, Monica and the others to stop him.
Someone else Wanda and SWORD could team up against is its Co-Director, Henry Peter Gyrich. One would think being a Director of an organization that works with heroes, that said person would help those heroes. Nope Gyrich kidnaps several notable heroes that protect space to send them home where they belong. It would be up to Wanda to not only stop him, but with Monica’s help, prevent the other heroes from behind sent back to their homes.
5. The Future of SWORD
With the organization only making two official appearances, the future of SWORD is uncertain. One potential possibility could be that with the success of WandaVision, it could piggy back off its successor, and get it’s own Disney Plus series. With the right person at the helm and good writers, it would be a good addition to the Marvel collection.
In the comics, SWORD exists at the same time as SHIELD. However, in the MCU, after the Winter Soldier, it is possible, SWORD started to gain momentum behind the scenes. And with it being confirmed that the SHIELD universe is another timeline in the multiverse, and the final season premiering May 27th, having another prime time Marvel show on seems like a long shot. Though streaming services like Netflix or Hulu could swoop in and make SWORD an original, with help from Marvel.
In the post credit scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home, they were not shy teasing the appearance of SWORD, what with Fury and Maria Hill being seen helping the Skrulls. Having them appear as a main plot point in WandaVision is a stepping stone to having them appear in many more projects of Phase 4 in the MCU.
WandaVision is by far one of Marvel and Disney Plus’s highest guarded secrets. Few details are know about the plot, and only a few set photos crumbs have been giving to the fans to see. As far as fans’ concern, the hype being built up around the show should definitely pay off
WandaVision is set to premiere in December of 2020.