|Group publication information|
|First appearance||Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #6 (December 2004)|
|Created by||Joss Whedon (writer)|
John Cassaday (artist)
|Type of organization||Intelligence agency|
Henry Peter Gyrich
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||January – May 2010|
|Number of issues||5|
|No Time to Breathe||ISBN 0-7851-4076-X|
S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) is a fictional counterterrorism and intelligence agency appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Its purpose is to deal with extraterrestrial threats to world security and is the space-based counterpart of S.H.I.E.L.D., which deals with local threats to the world.
The organization appears in several forms of media, such as The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) miniseries WandaVision on Disney+.
S.W.O.R.D. was first introduced in Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #6 and was created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.
In the comics, S.W.O.R.D. was originally an offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D., but since the departure of Nick Fury as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., relations between the two organizations have become strained. The head of S.W.O.R.D. is Special Agent Abigail Brand. Its primary command-and-control headquarters are aboard the orbital space station known as the Peak.
S.W.O.R.D. had an undercover operative in the X-Mansion. In Astonishing X-Men vol. 3, #17, the identity of this undercover operative was revealed to be Lockheed.
The Astonishing X-Men, as well as Hisako Ichiki, Ord of the Breakworld, and Danger, are taken to deep space by S.W.O.R.D. and Agent Abigail Brand. S.W.O.R.D. psychics fail to detect Cassandra Nova in Emma Frost's shattered psyche. Though emotionally wounded, Emma recovered fast enough to be present for the team's departure to the Breakworld, where they planned to disable a missile aimed at Earth. Before they reached Breakworld, they were attacked by enemy vessels. After creating a diversion, the X-Men and Agent Brand landed on the planet, where Agent Deems was being tortured in prison.
Brand, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Beast landed together, while Wolverine, Hisako, Colossus, and Kitty Pryde landed elsewhere. Wolverine's spacecraft disintegrated in mid-air and they were forced to abandon ship. Kitty and Colossus phased through the pod to the planet's surface, where they landed unharmed. Hisako and Wolverine landed with the impact burning Wolverine's skin.
Another team composed of Lockheed, Sydren, and S.W.O.R.D. troops converged upon a place called "the Palace of the Corpse".
Near the end Agent Brand informs Kitty that Lockheed is working for S.W.O.R.D. as their undercover agent.
During the 2008 "Secret Invasion" storyline, S.W.O.R.D.'s headquarters called the Peak is destroyed by a Skrull infiltrator posing as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Dum Dum Dugan. Many agents die in the initial explosion, though others survive due to hostile-environment suits. Brand, encased in one of the suits, manages to make her way into one of the Skrull ships.[volume & issue needed]
During the 2008 - 2009 "Dark Reign" storyline, S.H.I.E.L.D. is reformed as H.A.M.M.E.R. under Norman Osborn. S.W.O.R.D.'s position under H.A.M.M.E.R. has not yet been revealed. In the Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter mini-series, Beta Ray Bill visits Agent Brand aboard the rebuilt Peak in order to obtain information about the whereabouts of Galactus.
During the 2009 Chicago Comic Con, it was announced that Kieron Gillen will collaborate with Steven Sanders on a S.W.O.R.D. ongoing series that began in November 2009. The new series starts with Henry Peter Gyrich being assigned as S.W.O.R.D. co-commander alongside Abigail Brand.
In the first arc, Gyrich is able to persuade the heads of S.W.O.R.D. to pass legislation to have all aliens currently living on Earth deported from the planet while Brand was distracted with another mission. He manages to take several notable aliens into custody including Noh-Varr, Adam X, Beta Ray Bill, Jazinda, Karolina Dean, and Hepzibah.
The series was cancelled with issue #5. The first issue started with estimated direct sales of 21,988, but that had dropped to 15,113 by the second issue.
The Peak is later evacuated after it is damaged by the Apocalypse Twins. The debris from the station nearly destroys Rio de Janeiro, but is safely vaporized by Sunfire.
The organization is shown as working smoothly and functioning when it sends a capture team to take custody of alien refugees and a paramedic assistance team to the Jean Grey School. Unfortunately, both teams are murdered by the same Brood-based threat.
The rebuilt station is overtaken by alien symbiotes and Brood warriors. The station's personnel are taken for hosts.
|Main character(s)||Abigail Brand|
|Written by||Al Ewing|
Jordan D. White
Head of X
S.W.O.R.D. was relaunched in December 2020 as part of "Reign of X". Written by Al Ewing and drawn by Valerio Schiti, the initial team consisted of Abigail Brand, Cable, Frenzy, Fabian Cortez, Magneto, Manifold and Wiz Kid.
S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Directorate) was restored when Abigail Brand resigned from Alpha Flight after the Alliance-Cotati conflict feeling that the space program wasn't properly utilized and when the mutant nation repowered the abandoned Peak space station. In cooperation with the Quiet Council of Krakoa, it became the mutant nation's representative to the outer universe.
With Abigail Brand as the Station Commander, S.W.O.R.D functions with a six-tier organizational structure:
S.W.O.R.D. also formed The Six, a multiversal far-retrieval circuit, utilizing mutant technology. There are two stages require for a full retrieval:
|Abigail Brand||Astonishing X-Men (vol. 3) #10||Leader|
|Sydren||A Drenx who is skilled in hacking and working on alien technology.|
|Agent Paulletz||Not known||Astonishing X-Men (vol. 3) #20|
|K'eel R'kt||Infinity: Against the Tide: Infinite Comic #1||A Skrull science officer that was rescued from the Builders by Silver Surfer.|
S.W.O.R.D. was originally intended to appear in the live-action MCU film Thor (2011), in a deleted post-credits scene wherein Erik Selvig tells Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis to "cross reference... with the S.W.O.R.D. database". Due to complications with 20th Century Fox, which owned the film rights to S.W.O.R.D. members Lockheed and Abigail Brand at the time however, the scene was cut.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|X-Men: S.W.O.R.D. - No Time to Breathe||S.W.O.R.D. (vol. 1) #1–5||July 7, 2010||ISBN 0-7851-4076-X|
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|S.W.O.R.D. by Al Ewing Vol. 1||S.W.O.R.D. (vol. 2) #1–5||September 7, 2021||ISBN 978-1302927516|
|X-Men: Hellfire Gala||Marauders (vol. 1) #21, X-Men (vol. 5) #21, Planet-Size X-Men #1, S.W.O.R.D. (vol. 2) #6 and material from Classic X-Men #7||March 1, 2022||ISBN 978-1846533365|
|S.W.O.R.D. by Al Ewing Vol. 2||S.W.O.R.D. (vol. 2) #7–11, Cable Reloaded #1||February 15, 2022||ISBN 978-1302931469|