What’s the matter with Scarlet Witch? That seems to be the million dollar question at the heart of the plot in the new Disney+ series WandaVision, and while we expect that we will be seeing a slow rollout of clues over the next two months, the two episodes that debuted this week have provided some interesting hints at what it is that’s going on. The biggest among these, arguably, is the revelation of the organization that has been tasked with monitoring the larger situation.
In simple terms, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is clearly making moves to establish the existence of S.W.O.R.D. – the Sentient World Observation and Response Department from the comics that is specifically designed to help protect Earth from and keep an eye on extraterrestrial threats.
We don’t actually hear the name of the organization mentioned in the first two episodes of WandaVision, but there is no doubt that they are somehow involved due to something we see at the end of each chapter: the S.W.O.R.D. logo. It can first be spotted on a screen at the end of the premiere when we pull out of the sitcom world to see that events are being broadcast/monitored, and it pops up again when the mysterious beekeeper emerges from the sewer (you can see it screen printed on his back). Combined with the interrupting calls for Wanda to explain what’s happening to her, the implication seems to be that the agency is in charge of containing the whole situation – whatever the hell it may be.
Relatively speaking, S.W.O.R.D. is a recent addition to the world of Marvel Comics, having been introduced in September 2004 – created by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, and introduced during their “Astonishing X-Men” run. Led by a woman named Special Agent Abigail Brand, the organization is both a part of, and autonomous from S.H.I.E.L.D., with the two meant to focus on separate jurisdictions – S.W.O.R.D. in the cosmos, and S.H.I.E.L.D. on Earth. In addition to playing a general supporting role in the background of the Marvel Universe, it has been at the center of its own on-going series twice – the first running for only five issues from November 2009 to March 2010, and the second launched last month.
The main center of operations for the agency is known as The Peak, which is not a building, but instead a space station that remains in orbit around Earth. They are equipped for both diplomacy and military action, and in the comics have been featured during some major events – the most notable being the Skrull infestation known as Secret Invasion (which will soon be getting its very own series on Disney+, as was announced during Disney’s Investor Day late last year).
Where things go with S.W.O.R.D. in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is presently unclear. We first got a hint that it was coming together in the end credits of Spider-Man: Far From Home, where it was shown that Nick Fury has taken up residence in the cosmos, and the timing makes sense given A) the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and B) the need for the Earth to take action in the wake of Thanos’ attack in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
As for what it means for WandaVision, the presence of S.W.O.R.D. would suggest that whatever is at the heart of the mystery driving the series is alien in nature… but that also might be a misdirect. The show might be legitimately trying to get us to think that the threat is extraterrestrial because of the organization’s presence, when instead something else is in play that goes beyond their capabilities (eventually getting to a place where the narrative can be folded into what’s happening in the upcoming Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness a.k.a. the next confirmed big screen appearance of Scarlet Witch). With only two episodes available right now, all we can do is speculate and wait for more information to drop.
The good news on that front is that we’ll be getting new installments of WandaVision weekly from now until March (at which time we will see the launch of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier). If you’re now hooked on the Disney+ series, you’ll want to mark your calendars for Fridays at midnight PST/3am EST going forward. We here at CinemaBlend will be watching incredibly closely and providing you with in-depth coverage of everything that’s happening, so after you see the latest episode each week be sure to head back here!