Warning: While the story below centres mainly on collectible Marvel cards, it could contain slight spoilers for WandaVision, particularly if you’ve been avoiding trailers for the show. Go ahead at your own risk!In the comic book universe, S.W.O.R.D. stands for ‘Sentient World Observation and Response Department’. However, new official collectible card designs released by Topps show a different meaning for that acronym: ‘Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division’.
The cards – which are being released for the Marvel Collect! app – are tied into the release of Marvel’s WandaVision, and also directly reference Teyonnah Parris’ Monica Rambeau as a S.W.O.R.D. agent. That name change for the agency could be meaningful for the first MCU streaming series.
Where S.W.O.R.D. is usually engaged in monitoring potentially hostile worlds, there have been hints in trailers for WandaVision that point to Scarlet Witch being potentially imprisoned. Alongside visual clues that suggest this is the MCU’s take on the House of M storyline (in which an out-of-control Scarlet Witch begins manipulating reality), and Wanda’s bereavement after Vision’s death, and it may be that S.W.O.R.D. has turned its attentions on controlling particularly powerful individuals in the MCU – sentient weapons, if you will.It’s worth pointing out that the MCU also changed what S.H.I.E.L.D. stood for, so this isn’t unprecedented – although the swap from ‘Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate’ to ‘Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division’ is a little less meaningful in effect.
We’ll likely have to wait for answers on how impactful that name change is as WandaVision progresses. The MCU show begins streaming on Disney+ from January 15, and it’ll begin with a two-episode premiere, before airing an episode a week until its 9 episodes are complete.
While it’s not clear if the show will receive a second season, we know that it will tie directly into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which itself will tie into the untitled third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie. That Spider-Man movie may well be bringing Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland’s Peter Parkers together – is it possible we’ll see Scarlet Witch opening the multiverse and causing a crossover? Here’s hoping!