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S.W.O.R.D. (comics)

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 Peak, headquarters of S.W.O.R.D.
Art by Steve 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

Publication historyEdit

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

Fictional organization biographyEdit

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 is 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, 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 are unable 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", which supposedly was connected to the prophecy stating that Colossus will destroy the planet.

Agent Brand finally informed Kitty that Lockheed is working for S.W.O.R.D. as their undercover agent. Feeling betrayed, Kitty had trouble trusting Lockheed again for some time.

"Secret Invasion"Edit

During the "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]

"Dark Reign"Edit

During the 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.[1][2] 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.[3]

The series was cancelled with issue #5. The first issue started with estimated direct sales of 21,988,[4] but that had dropped to 15,113 by the second issue.[5]

The Peak is later evacuated after it is damaged by the Apocalypse Twins.[6] The debris from the station nearly destroys Rio de Janeiro, but is safely vaporized by Sunfire.[7]

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.[8]

The rebuilt station is overtaken by alien symbiotes and Brood warriors. The station's personnel are taken for hosts.[9]


Current Members:

Former Members:

Collected editionsEdit

The S.W.O.R.D. series has been collected into the trade paperback S.W.O.R.D.: No Time to Breathe (120 pages, July 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4076-X). The related Beta Ray Bill series has also been collected into Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter (104 pages, October 2009, ISBN 0-7851-4232-0).

In other mediaEdit


S.W.O.R.D. was originally intended to appear in the 2011 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor in a deleted post-credits scene where Erik Selvig tells Jane Foster and Darcy to "cross reference... with the S.W.O.R.D. database" but due to film rights complications with 20th Century Fox which at the time owned the X-Men and certain members of S.W.O.R.D. such as Lockheed and Abigail Brand (until the acquisition of 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets by Disney in 2019) this was cut.[10]

In the post-credit scene of 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home, a large space station orbiting Earth housing various Skrulls and a vacationing Nick Fury can be seen, which is very reminiscent of the S.W.O.R.D. base known as the Peak VII, although Marvel has yet to confirm if its related or not.[11]


S.W.O.R.D. appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Welcome to the Kree Empire".[12] Carol Danvers and Abigail Brand are shown as agents of S.W.O.R.D. where Kang the Conqueror's captured ship Damocles is operated as S.W.O.R.D.'s base though S.W.O.R.D. is still having trouble accessing everything aboard Damocles. The ship is then compromised by invading Kree soldiers led by Kalum Lo, who use the slave Sydren, a technical expert, to access the computer of Damocles so that the Kree can gain control of the ship. When Damocles is reclaimed from the Kree by Abigail Brand, Sydren is freed by Abigail in exchange that he joins up with S.W.O.R.D., which he does. S.W.O.R.D. then manages to compromise the Kree warship while the Avengers defeat Ronan the Accuser. In "Secret Invasion" (based off the 2008 storyline of the same name), the Skrull posing as Henry Peter Gyrich sets up a bomb on the S.W.O.R.D. base. Sydren detected the bomb as he orders everyone to get out before the base explodes.

Video gamesEdit

  • S.W.O.R.D. is featured in the 2009 video game Marvel Super Hero Squad. It appears as an evil version of S.H.I.E.L.D. that Silver Surfer encounters in an alternate dimension.
  • S.W.O.R.D is featured in Marvel: Avengers Alliance Tactics (a spin-off of Marvel: Avengers Alliance). The Game was shut down in October 2014.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ George, Richard; Jesse Schedeen (August 10, 2009). "Taking Control of S.W.O.R.D." IGN. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  2. ^ Strom, Marc (August 10, 2009). "Chicago Con '09: S.W.O.R.D. Ongoing". Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  3. ^ S.W.O.R.D. #2 (February 2010)
  4. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual–November 2009". ICv2. December 7, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  5. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual–December 2009". ICv2. January 12, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Uncanny Avengers #7
  7. ^ Uncanny Avengers #8
  8. ^ Wolverine and the X-Men #6 (April 2012)
  9. ^ Spider-Man and the X-Men #5 (2015)
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Moreau, Jordan (July 5, 2019). "11 Easter Eggs Hidden in 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' (SPOILERS)". Variety. Archived from the original on July 6, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  12. ^ Flynn, Caleigh (April 23, 2012). "'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Welcome To The Kree Empire' – Recap". Science Fiction. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2019.

External linksEdit