The Peak, headquarters of S.W.O.R.D.
Art by Steve Sanders.
|Group publication information|
|First appearance||Astonishing X-Men vol. 3 #3 (January 2005)|
|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.
Fictional organization biography
S.W.O.R.D. is a counterpart of the better known S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, 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.
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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.
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]
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. 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 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 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 media
S.W.O.R.D. appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Welcome to the Kree Empire". 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", 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.
- 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.
- George, Richard; Jesse Schedeen (August 10, 2009). "Taking Control of S.W.O.R.D." IGN. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
- Strom, Marc (August 10, 2009). "Chicago Con '09: S.W.O.R.D. Ongoing". Marvel.com. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
- S.W.O.R.D. #2 (February 2010)
- "Top 300 Comics Actual–November 2009". ICv2. December 7, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- "Top 300 Comics Actual–December 2009". ICv2. January 12, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- Uncanny Avengers #7
- Uncanny Avengers #8
- Wolverine and the X-Men #6 (April 2012)
- Spider-Man and the X-Men #5 (2015)