The Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division (S.W.O.R.D.) is an intelligence agency based in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, operating both on Earth, and in space. During the blip, Hayward took over from founder, Maria "Photon" Rambeau, as the new director of S.W.O.R.D.. The organisation was first seen, in the Disney+ series, WandaVision, where they begun investigating the mystery of the trapped residents of Westview, and the resurrection of Vision.
S.W.O.R.D. was created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday in the comic books.
The organisation was founded by Maria Rambeau, who acted as Director. During this time period, her daughter, Monica Rambeau, grew up in the base of S.W.O.R.D., and went on to become an agent herself. During the blip, half of the universe's population disappeared, for a period of five years. In this time, Maria, lost her battle against cancer, and her role as Director, was taken over by Tyler Hayward. S.W.O.R.D.'s astronaut training programme was never the same, after half the personnel were lost in the Blip, and the other half lost their nerve, and so, following Hayward's promotion, and the changing landscape of the world, S.W.O.R.D. shifted away from manned missions and gave greater focus on their Sentient Weapon programme, through the creation of robotics, nanotech and AI. Maria Rambeau implemented guidelines, in the event vanished personnel ever returned, including, grounding her daughter to terrestrial missions only.
Following three weeks after the revival of the vanished, Monica is the first to return to work. She is assigned a missing persons case in Westview, New Jersey. A drone is sent into the town but disappears. When Rambeau finds herself trapped in the bordered town, a Response Base is set up outside Westview, to further work on the case of the town, and locate Monica. With no clue on what they're dealing with, S.W.O.R.D. call in people of different expertise, including an astrophysicist, nuclear biologist, someone working on artificial intelligence and a chemical engineer to help with their investigation. Darcy Lewis, manages to pick up a high level of CMBR on her equipment, and through the use of old television sets, the group uncover that the townspeople are trapped in some form of an alternate reality, in which they all play characters, in the style of classic American sitcoms, including Captain Rambeau. They also find Wanda Maximoff and Vision to be the subject of this world, and the only ones who keep their true identities. The group send in another drone, and find it has changed form. Communication through a radio is set up, so they can directly message Wanda, but find that everytime an aspect of the real world, clashes with the fake reality, the scene on the television is cut. Agent Franklin is sent through the sewage system, to get into Westview, and when he crosses the town border, his hazmat suit, is altered to that of a beekeeper, in order to fit in, with other aspects of the altered reality. During one of the groups observations, Wanda references her brother, to Rambeau, triggering Monica's memories, and she recalls how he was killed by Ultron. The scene on the television set is cut, and S.W.O.R.D. find that Monica has been expelled from the town. She reveals to the organisation, that Wanda is responsible for creating the new reality, and entrapping the townspeople.
S.W.O.R.D. have tests run on Monica as she recovers. Director Hayward gives a briefing to the S.W.O.R.D. personnel, on the trapped citizens of Westview, and the history of Wanda Maximoff. They continue their surveillance on her, and learn the time period has changed to the 1980s. An imaging drone is sent into Westview, that utilizes technology from the era, so that it doesn't transform upon entrance, and missiles are fired at Wanda. Soon after, Wanda leaves town, and breaks into the S.W.O.R.D. Response Base. Hayward has a team keeping aim at her, but she uses her powers, to turn Hayward's team, back onto himself. She warns them to leave her, and as she returns to Westview, the S.W.O.R.D. team, become free of her control, and lower their weapons from the Director.
The organisation later track down Vision, who is at the border of Westview. The group watch as he passes through and begins to disintegrate before them, when the Hex suddenly begins to expand. The entirety of the S.W.O.R.D. Response Base is transformed, into a circus, upon entering the alternate reality, with only a few members, managing to escape.
A temporary retreat, based eight miles outside of Westview is set up, to continue monitoring the Hex.
- S.W.O.R.D. Headquarters
- S.W.O.R.D. Response Base
- S.W.O.R.D. Temporary Retreat
As well as the FBI, Army, Air Force Office, and people working in different scientific fields, S.W.O.R.D. works alongside a group of individuals, who are not part of their institution.
- Main article: Jimmy Woo
Jimmy Woo, of the FBI was called in by S.W.O.R.D., to investigate the disappearance of Westview's residents. He worked alongside Monica Rambeau, until her disappearance in the town, and worked alongside S.W.O.R.D. and Darcy Lewis, to further investigate.
- Main article: Darcy Lewis
Darcy Lewis, is an astrophysicist, with a doctorate, and was one of four people, with an expertise in their field, to be called in by S.W.O.R.D., to help investigate the disappearance of Westview's residents, and Monica Rambeau.
- Drones: S.W.O.R.D. frequently use drones in their missions. During Monica Rambeau's missions in space, she was observed through the use of them. While investigating the case of Westview, Drones were flown into the town, to help uncover, what happened to the residents.
- Joss Whedon, who created S.W.O.R.D., also wrote and directed, the Marvel films, The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- In the comics, S.W.O.R.D. stood for Sentient World Observation and Response Department, with W's acronym, being changed to Weapons, for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- The colors of one of S.W.O.R.D.'s drones, match Captain Marvel's uniform colors. Maria Rambeau, who was the founder of S.W.O.R.D., was best friends with Carol Danvers.
- Prior to its introduction in MCU, a reference to the organisation was made, by Yo-Yo, in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, "Orientation Part 1".