WandaVision: What Is SWORD?
The introduction of SWORD in Marvel's WandaVision has been teased for a while, but what is the mysterious organization and how has it been altered to fit the Disney+ series?
This article contains spoilers for WandaVision episodes one and two.
Now that WandaVision is finally streaming on Disney+, Marvel fans have plenty of questions about what’s really going on in the MCU spinoff series, and we’re here to help!
In the opening two episodes of WandaVision, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and her beloved Vision (Paul Bettany) settle down in the quaint town of Westview to start a new chapter of their lives amidst various amusing sitcom tropes. The familiar black and white aesthetic from TV past creates an upbeat tone for Scarlet Witch and the previously extremely dead Vision to play cutesy games of husband and wife, but there is also a creeping presence from outside this strange new reality, one that is determined to break through Wanda’s fourth wall – that of SWORD.
Created by Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon in Astonishing X-Men, SWORD is a counterterrorism and intelligence agency that acts as a kind of ‘space version’ of SHIELD in the comics, but in WandaVision, SWORD’s acronym has been amended: it now stands for ‘Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division’ instead of ‘Sentient World Observation and Response Department’. SWORD is definitely ‘observing’ what the hell is going on with Scarlet Witch, and the organization is infiltrating her weird alternate reality in more ways than one.
SWORD first pop up in the closing moments of the WandaVision premiere when a shot pulls out from an old CRT TV playing the current sitcom setup of Wanda and Vision’s new life. An unidentified man is seen watching the duo, and SWORD’s logo is marked prominently on a notebook in front of him. In the second episode, we see the SWORD logo again on a mysterious red and yellow toy helicopter that falls from the sky, and Wanda is clearly freaked out by this Pleasantville-esque encroachment on her monochromatic world.
The second episode also features the inclusion of at least one SWORD agent. In the final minutes, a man dressed in a beekeeper outfit climbs out of a manhole in the road near Wanda and Vision’s picturesque house. On the back of his suit? The SWORD logo. His emergence disturbs Wanda greatly and she immediately rewinds and alters reality to remove him from the equation, falling back into her now-colorized sitcom life with Vision. It appears that Wanda does have a certain level of control here, but has she alone created this idealized scenario to be reunited with Vision, or is there a different puppet master pulling the strings?
Another reasonable SWORD connection in WandaVision is Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). We previously met Monica as a child in 2019’s Captain Marvel, and now she appears to be working with SWORD as an adult. In Wanda’s new reality, Monica tentatively introduces herself as ‘Geraldine’ and wears a particularly striking silver broach that resembles the swirl of a wormhole or magic portal. We can certainly expect interactions between Monica and Wanda to escalate in future episodes and become more essential to the plot of the series.
But following the first two installments of Marvel’s first MCU spinoff series, we’re ultimately left to wonder what – or who – is the ‘weapon’ that SWORD is concerned about in WandaVision. “Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?” might be a question that will haunt both Scarlet Witch and curious Marvel fans until WandaVision begins to unravel.
New episodes of WandaVision will be streaming weekly on Disney+.