WandaVision: What's Going on With SWORD?

Comic books love secret societies and clandestine organizations. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe first launched, it had Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and SHIELD. Now that WandaVision is the latest pop culture phenomenon from Marvel Studios, SWORD has become a household name. Like some other characters and teams we've gotten in the MCU from the House of Ideas, the live-action version of the group deviates from the source material a decent amount.

In fact, there are some things going on with the organization that we ought to talk about right about now. Spoilers up ahead for WandaVision, so if you've yet to catch up with the series, proceed with caution!

As expected, WandaVision is taking its time introducing fans to the space-faring organization SWORD. Prior to Episode Five, we had only seen the group's headquarters, and we had only been introduced to acting director Tyler Hayward (Josh Stamberg). Outside of that, not much was revealed.

Then, out of the blue, the lid begins to get blown off in "On a Very Special Episode..." Here, we see that Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) previously infiltrated SWORD headquarters prior to the events of the series to steal Vision's dismantled android body.

So begins a massive trail of questions the show has to answer in the remaining four episodes.

Despite Wanda having taken Vision's corpse a week and some change prior to the start of the series, SWORD never initiated a manhunt for the Avenger. In fact, they weren't aware of what the Scarlet Witch was doing until Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) called in and requested backup.

We see in Episode Five that Maximoff was able to walk through the main lobby of SHIELD HQ and break into the room where they were "operating" on Vision's body, in a scene reminiscent of "VisionQuest" from the Marvel Comics lore. Even then, they weren't aware of what she was up to, nor did SWORD know where she was.

More interesting than not, however, is that Hayward himself explicitly states he had to get permission from a higher authority to share the security camera footage with those in the SWORD camp near Westview. If that's the case — who does Hayward report to?

If you think back to the Captain America: The Winter Soldier era, you'll remember SHIELD answered to the Security Council, and that's how HYDRA was able to infiltrate the government agency. Is history going to repeat itself here?

Then there's Hayward himself, where things aren't matching up quite yet. The show goes out of its way to paint him as the villain, with selective editing taking place in Episode 5 that puts him back on-screen whenever the group mentions HYDRA or a terrorist organization. That's not even considering all the hexagons involved with the guy, either.

We know Maria Rambeau has been dead for three years, as she lost her battle with cancer two years into The Snap. Since Hayward's presumably been the head of SWORD all the time, why is he still an acting director three years after the fact? We recognize the government moves at a crawl, but still — things don't add up.

Sooner or later, we're bound out a lot more about SWORD. Until then, we'll just be over here speculating and theorizing...

The first five episodes of WandaVision are now streaming on Disney+.

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