The Peak, headquarters of S.W.O.R.D.
Art by Steven Sanders.
Group publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAstonishing X-Men vol. 3 #6 (December 2004)
Created byJoss Whedon (writer)
John Cassaday (artist)
In-story information
Type of organizationIntelligence agency
Base(s)The Peak
Abigail Brand
Agent Deems
Henry Peter Gyrich
Series publication information
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateJanuary – May 2010
Number of issues5
Creative team
Writer(s)Kieron Gillen
Penciller(s)Steve Sanders
Inker(s)Craig Yeung
Letterer(s)Dave Lanphear
Colorist(s)Matt Wilson
Creator(s)Kieron Gillen
Steve Sanders
Editor(s)Daniel Ketchum
Nick Lowe
Joe Quesada
Collected editions
No Time to BreatheISBN 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) / Disney+ miniseries WandaVision.

Publication history

S.W.O.R.D. was first introduced in Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #6 and was created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.[1]

Fictional organization biography

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.

In "Unstoppable"

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.

In "Secret Invasion"

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]

In "Dark Reign"

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.

S.W.O.R.D. volume 1

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.[2][3] 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.[4]

The series was cancelled with issue #5. The first issue started with estimated direct sales of 21,988,[5] but that had dropped to 15,113 by the second issue.[6]

The Peak is later evacuated after it is damaged by the Apocalypse Twins.[7] The debris from the station nearly destroys Rio de Janeiro, but is safely vaporized by Sunfire.[8]

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.[9]

The rebuilt station is overtaken by alien symbiotes and Brood warriors. The station's personnel are taken for hosts.[10]

S.W.O.R.D. volume 2

Cover to S.W.O.R.D. (vol. 2) #1, by Valerio Schiti.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
Main character(s)Abigail Brand
Fabian Cortez
Wiz Kid
Creative team
Written byAl Ewing
Artist(s)Valerio Schiti
Jordan D. White
Assistant Editor
Annalise Bissa
Head of X
Jonathan Hickman

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.[11]

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:

  1. First Stage – Translocation: a circuit of five mid-to-long range teleporters which acts as the anchor for translocation. [Back-up: Nightcrawler and Magik]
  2. Second Stage – Retrieval: a circuit of six mutants with combining their protection and augmentation powers to reach different points in space.
    • The Control – Wiz Kid: unify the first stage circuit of teleporters and adjust the mutant circuits in operation. [Back-up: Forge]
    • The Power – Khora the Burning Heart; Fabian Cortez (formerly): provide the boost required for the circuit operation.
    • The Shield – Armor: generate a protective exoskeleton that extends to the entire circuit. [Back-up: Skids]
    • The Guide – Manifold: trans-locate the entirety of the second stage circuit while saving his energies for the retrieval.
    • The Eye – Peeper: spot specific particles of their target. [Back-up: Doc]
    • The Foundry – Risque: create a small field around their target condensing and containing it to help bring it back to Earth. [Back-up: Zorn]


Volume 1

Former members of S.W.O.R.D.
Character Alias Joined in Notes
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
Cecilia S.W.O.R.D. #2
K'eel R'kt Infinity: Against the Tide: Infinite Comic #1 A Skrull science officer that was rescued from the Builders by Silver Surfer.

Former Members:

Volume 2

Issues Characters
#1 - #10



In other media



S.W.O.R.D. was originally intended to be mentioned in the MCU film Thor via 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.[17]

Video games

Collected editions

Volume 1

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

Volume 2

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

See also


  1. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 366. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  2. ^ George, Richard; Schedeen, Jesse (August 10, 2009). "Taking Control of S.W.O.R.D." IGN. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Strom, Marc (August 10, 2009). "Chicago Con '09: S.W.O.R.D. Ongoing". Marvel.com. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  4. ^ S.W.O.R.D. #2 (February 2010)
  5. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual–November 2009". ICv2. December 7, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  6. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual–December 2009". ICv2. January 12, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Uncanny Avengers #7
  8. ^ Uncanny Avengers #8
  9. ^ Wolverine and the X-Men #6 (April 2012)
  10. ^ Spider-Man and the X-Men #5 (2015)
  11. ^ "Al Ewing Takes Mutantkind Beyond the Stars in 'S.W.O.R.D.'". Marvel Comics. September 23, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Avina, Anthony (2019-09-26). "10 Most Powerful Secret Organizations In Marvel Comics, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  13. ^ Eckhardt, Peter (2022-09-15). "The Avengers' 10 Best Allies In Marvel Comics". CBR. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  14. ^ Flynn, Caleigh (April 23, 2012). "'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Welcome To The Kree Empire' – Recap". Science Fiction. Archived from the original on October 19, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  15. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 12, 2020). "S.H.I.E.L.D. Series Finale Mystery: Is [Spoiler] Now an Agent of S.W.O.R.D.?". TV Line. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  16. ^ Barnhardt, Adam (January 12, 2021). "WandaVision: SWORD Has New Name in the MCU". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  17. ^ Bacon, Thomas (March 9, 2019). "Thor Almost Introduced S.W.O.R.D. To The MCU". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 3, 2019.