Published December 7, 2020

S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., S.W.O.R.D., and More: A Tour of Marvel Acronyms

What does W.A.N.D. stand for? What about S.T.A.K.E.? Or G.R.A.M.P.A.!?

Hey, True Believers! You know how those government agencies just love their acronyms—the FBI, the CIA, the PTA, etc.—well, here in the Marvel Universe, ol’ S.H.I.E.L.D.’s gonna hafta yield to the newest adventures in acronyms makin’ its way to you this week in S.W.O.R.D. #1!

 S.W.O.R.D. #1

You’ll find out what S.W.O.R.D. stands for and more when you pop your peepers on its pulse-pounding pages soon enough, but until that mighty moment, we thought we’d run some fun past you in the form of a few of our favorite Marvel government groups—and just for grins and giggles, they all have a supernatural side to ‘em! R.E.A.D. O.N.!

W.A.N.D. goes way out to whack away the wackiness!

Y’know, it’s gotta figure that a snazzy unit like S.H.I.E.L.D. would be set up to cover just about any kind of trouble you can imagine—and speakin’ just for ourselves, we can imagine quite a bit here at the House of Ideas! So, in that jugular vein, we offer up S.H.I.E.L.D.’s supernatural section, the Wizardry Alchemy Necromancy Department, also known as W.A.N.D.! 

It’s sheer lunacy to us that these guys have only ever had one appearance, that being their star-turn in THUNDERBOLTS ANNUAL (2013) #1, but hey, they made the most of it! Y’see, one time when Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, went wacko, W.A.N.D. head honcho Pandora Peters called in the T-Bolts to take him out…the hard way!

Thunderbolts Annual (2013) #1

Thunderbolts Annual (2013) #1

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Hoo-boy, was that a frantic fracas! The team went everywhere and nowhere hunting up mystic artifacts to face Strange one-on-one, but when they cornered the conjurer in his Bleeker St. mansion, he turned out to be a transdimensional “True Faerie” by the unlikely moniker of King Oberoth’m’gozz! Say that three times fast, Bunky! Anyway, after the dust settled, ol’ Pandora popped in to wipe the Thunderbolts’ memories of it all, so we're not even sure if the whole blamed mess even happened!

G.R.A.M.P.A. wants you to get off its lawn!

Who thinks up these nutty names? The origins and operations of the Global Reaction Agency for Mysterious Paranormal Activity is gotta be one of the mothers of all mouthfuls, so someone somewhere realized it lined up to be labeled G.R.A.M.P.A., and they’re off to the races!

The group, s’far as we can tell, features absolutely no senior citizens, but did their dazzling debut in AMAZING FANTASY (2004) #15, wherein we ravishing readers were introduced to the operatives known as Ace and One-Eyed Jacquie—yes, of course she wears an eyepatch—who together shuffle around together as a sub-section of G.R.A.M.P.A. called Blackjack. You see what we did there? “Shuffle”? As in playing cards? Sigh…

Amazing Fantasy (2004) #15

Amazing Fantasy (2004) #15

    • publishedNov 31, 2005
    • added to marvel unlimitedJan 32, 2008
    • penciller (cover)
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Anyway, the two awesome agents have gone up against threats all over the glompin’ globe using, get this, faux versions of such one-of-a-kind artifacts like the Ultimate Nullifier, the Inifinity Gauntlet, the Serpent Crown, and the Cosmic Cube! Last time they were seen was in MIGHTY AVENGERS (2007) #36 when they invaded the Infinite Avengers Mansion—remember that?—and wound up whompin’ on Ultron!

S.T.A.K.E. has more scary somethings than you can shake a stake at!

We have to take a moment here to really give up for S.H.I.E.L.D. These guys have more sub-sections than Irving Forbush has slabbed comics he can’t read! You’d think one department for ghoulish goings-on would suffice for ‘em, but no! They also have S.T.A.K.E., the Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities! Just think of what they have for unknown extranormalities! The mind boggles!

S.T.A.K.E. first pierced our hearts in S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9 and appeared to be the formal designation for the so-called “Howling Commandos,” a terror-team made up of—wait for it—Dum Dum Dugan, the Man-Thing, vampire Nina Price, Warwolf, zombie Jasper Sitwell, the Manphibian, and Hit-Monkey! Whew! Sounds like they need to start investigating themselves!

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9

S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #9

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Hmm, we’re starting to wonder if divulging all these delicious details about these super-secret sewing circles might place us in the cross-hairs of one of ‘em…wait. Comes a knock at our door! Who’s there? Who? Oh, it’s W.H.O.! Sure, why not!

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