(Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Disney+ Marvel series “WandaVision” through the third episode)
Eagle-eyed fans watching the first three episodes of “WandaVision” have almost certainly noticed an odd little logo — a sword encased in a circle — pop up at least once in each episode. The symbol came to the forefront at the end of the third episode, when Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) noticed that Geraldine (Teyonah Parris) was wearing a necklace with that sword logo on it.
And then Wanda seemingly ejected Geraldine from the world.
The logo in question is almost certainly a reference to S.W.O.R.D., aka the Sentient World Observation Response Department.
What exactly is S.W.O.R.D.? Similar to S.H.I.E.L.D. (Marvel loves their acronyms!), S.W.O.R.D. is a counterterrorism and intelligence agency. Unlike S.H.I.E.L.D., which focuses on more earth-bound threats like Hydra and terrorists, S.W.O.R.D.’s main purpose is to deal with extraterrestrial and space-related threats.
S.W.O.R.D. was created by Joss Whedon and John Cassady, and first appeared in the 2004 comic “Astonishing X-Men #6.” In the Marvel Comics world, S.W.O.R.D.’s leader was an agent named Abigail Brand, and the group initially operated with an undercover agent named Lockheed out of the X-Mansion. Brand became the leader of the group when she intervened during Colossus’ intentions to destroy Earth, in what had the potential to turn into an interplanetary war. After that, Nick Fury made her top commander.
How might S.W.O.R.D. be relevant to “WandaVision?” Well, for starters, we have no idea what’s behind Wanda and Vision’s idyllic life. It’s clearly some sort of simulation, but we don’t know who’s doing it or why. It could be that S.W.O.R.D. is running the show. Or, if somebody else — like Wanda herself — is running things, then S.W.O.R.D. might be trying to help her escape.
There are few different disconnected threads here — Wanda and Vision’s sitcom world, folks monitoring that world, and folks interfering with that world like the beekeeper that we saw at the end of the second episode. The beekeeper had the S.W.O.R.D. logo on his back, and Wanda didn’t not react happily when she saw him.
And now we have Wanda seemingly booting Geraldine from the simulation after she noticed her necklace. So there’s at minimum a Wanda vs. S.W.O.R.D. situation happening on some level.
But it could just as easily be a situation with Wanda vs. S.W.O.R.D. vs. some unknown third party. Maybe some villain trapped her in this place, and S.W.O.R.D. is trying to get her out. We’ll see how it goes.
Something to consider while formulating your fan theories about this whole thing is that Wanda doesn’t have anything to do with space, and Geraldine — who we knew coming into the series is secretly a grown-up version of the little girl from “Captain Marvel,” Monica Rambeau — doesn’t have any comic book connection to S.W.O.R.D. Thus, these pieces don’t fit neatly together in a way that would make it easy to guess what’s going on here.
So here’s what we’ve got right now.
Wanda and Vision are living in some sort of simulation of an idyllic American suburb called Westview. This simulation is a physical place, because when Geraldine was ejected from it she materialized out of thin air — an alternate dimension in the multiverse maybe?
People on the outside are able to enter the simulation, as we saw with Geraldine and the beekeeper, and the simulation itself doesn’t seem to like these incursions. Wanda herself seems to have some kind of control over the simulation, since at least twice she has appeared to reverse time in order to delete situations that would cause Vision to question the nature of his reality.
But Wanda’s control doesn’t appear to be conscious. She doesn’t know how she got there, and struggles to remember her history. There could be a third party involved, since the voice on the radio Wanda heard in the second episode asked her: “Who’s doing this to you, Wanda?”
And, of course, the daughter of Captain Marvel’s best friend is involved but we don’t know why.
We’ve also got a big new wild card, in the form of mutants. S.W.O.R.D. history in Marvel Comics is heavily tied to that of mutants, and we know that with the X-Men in Disney’s hands that mutants will show up in the MCU sooner or later.
The comic book version of Wanda Maximoff, by the way, is a mutant. Could we somehow be witnessing the introduction of mutants to the MCU right now?
Having a S.W.O.R.D. reference in “WandaVision” isn’t exactly out of left field. There’s been growing speculation that S.W.O.R.D. will become a prominent part of Phase 4, particularly as it relates to “Captain Marvel 2.” As the credits scene in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” showed, that Nick Fury is currently in space with the Skrulls, setting up operations intergalactically.
Marvel never does anything by accident, and it makes total sense that it would use “WandaVision” to start planting those interconnected seeds.