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MCU Major Organizations In Comics And Live Action

By Mohit Srivastava
August 27,2022

The Marvel Universe consists of many organizations and agencies. Some of them are government owned while some are private companies. These have often made their appearances in Marvel’s live-action projects (MCU) too and have a significant impact on its storyline. In this article, we shall be discussing some of these organizations, their details, and how their live-action adaptations differ from their comic book counterparts.

So, let’s begin.

1. A.I.M.

AIM and Aldrich Killian in MCU

The A.I.M. is short for Advanced Idea Mechanics. It’s a privately funded think tank dedicated to acquiring and developing power through the latest technological advancements. They secretly work to overthrow the governments of the world by supplying weapons and arms to radicals and subversive organizations. In the comics, it was founded by Baron von Strucker during World War II. It was earlier referred to as only ‘Them’ and was a branch of HYDRA.

In MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), it was first mentioned during Iron Man 3. There it was shown that the agency was founded by Aldrich Killian and was funded by the US government. However, Killian used it to develop a weapon known as Extremis and used the fake face of Mandarin to hide its operations. Aldrich even tried to recruit Tony Stark to his team but Stark refused. In the end, Killian’s plan was thwarted by James Rhodes and Stark, the latter of whom defeated all the Extremis soldiers, while Pepper Potts killed Killian.

2. HAMMER

The HAMMER and Justin Hammer in MCU

HAMMER Industries is a British aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies company that has its headquarters in London, UK. Justin Hammer is its President and CEO. In the comics, after the demise of Justin Hammer, his daughter (Justine Hammer) rebranded the company as DETROIT STEEL and made it into a newer weapon supplier firm. During the “Dark Reign” storyline, it was revealed that HAMMER was originally created by Norman Osborn (aka Green Goblin) when he was put in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. after eliminating an alien threat.

In the MCU, The HAMMER Industries along with Justin Hammer have made their appearances in Iron Man 2. Therein it was shown that Justin Hammer was a business rival of Tony Stark and his Stark Industries. Justin was trying to develop his own version of Iron Man armor, but could not. Furious, Hammer recruited Ivan Vanko (aka Whiplash), to attempt to replicate Stark’s Arc Reactor technology. But this backfired as well when Vanko betrayed Hammer, This led to Hammer being incarcerated inside of Seagate Penitentiary for his involvement in Vanko’s actions.

3. HYDRA

HYDRA and Red Skull in MCU

The main arch-enemies of Captain America and the counter-terrorism agency S.H.I.E.L.D. It was founded back in the 4th century B.C. (by a Pagan God named Hive) and then was reincarnated during World War II. During the war, it was founded by Johann Schmidt with the help of his associate named Dr. Arnim Zola. It was formed with the official approval of the Nazi Führer, Adolf Hitler, to aid his supernatural, extra-terrestrial, and meta-human experiments.

In the MCU, HYDRA appeared as the main group of villains in the movie Captain America: The First Avenger. It was led by Johann Schmidt, the Red Skull. They were stated as being part of the Nazi’s deep science division and used the power of Cosmic Cube (aka Tesseract). It was later revealed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that many HYDRA soldiers have long infiltrated government agency – SHIELD. Captain America (Steve Rogers) with the help of his friends – Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes) and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) thwarted their plans of worldwide destruction and destroyed their base Triskelion.

4. S.H.I.E.L.D.

SHIELD and Nick Fury in MCU

The acronym SHIELD originally stood for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, and Law-Enforcement Division. In 1991, it was later changed to Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division. It was founded after the defeat of HYDRA in World War II by Howard Stark, Chester Phillips, and Peggy Carter. In the comics, its British counterpart was known as S.T.R.I.K.E. (Special Tactical Response for International Key Emergencies) and its Chinese counterpart is called the S.P.E.A.R.

In the MCU, it was shown to be led by Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and the World Security Council. Fury then went on to form Avengers, a response team of enhanced individuals, to fight against future other-worldly and deadly threats. SHIELD was comprised of many highly trained agents like Agent Phil Coulson and Agent Maria Hill. They are equipped with advanced technologies and weapons like Jets, Hellicarriers, Quinjets, etc.  Throughout the years, SHIELD has made multiple significant appearances in many MCU projects.

In the comics, it has multiple divisions and subsidiaries-

  • SWORD (Sentient World Observation and Response Department): for extra-terrestrial threats,
  • WAND (Wizardry, Alchemy, and Necromancy Department): for matters related to magic,
  • ORCHIS: dedicated to keeping Mutants in check,
  • STAKE (Special Threat Assessment for Known Extranormalities): to prevent the earth from supernatural threats.

5. S.W.O.R.D.

SWORD and Maria Rambeau in MCU

As mentioned above, S.W.O.R.D., or Sentient World Observation and Response Department work with S.H.I.E.L.D., especially in matters dealing with extraterrestrial threats. In the MCU, S.W.O.R.D. was founded by Maria Rambeau in 1995, under the United States Government, focusing on manned missions and extraterrestrial operations. They appeared in Disney+’s WandaVision as the major antagonistic organization during the events of Westview.

Tyler Hayward was shown to be the acting director of SWORD’s Earth division who eventually used the dead body of Vision and attempted to reactivate him under Project Cataract. In one of the poster credit scenes of Spiderman: Far from home, it was shown that Nick Fury was the main director of SWORD. He headed the SWORD’s space headquarters known as the Peak with the help of his Skrull friends. Unlike comics, the MCU’s SWORD acronym stands for ‘Sentient Weapon Observation and Response Department.’ One thing is definitely certain – SWORD will play a major role in both comic books and the MCU going forward.

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