After the record-breaking success of Avengers: Endgame, MCU fans are breathlessly waiting to see where the franchise will go next. According to a recently-discovered easter egg from Avengers: Infinity War, the answer is space. The easter egg was discovered on the back of the beeper Nick Fury uses to send a distress signal to Captain Marvel at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, in the form of an engraved logo for S.W.O.R.D.
Fans of Marvel comics will recognize S.W.O.R.D. as the extraterrestrial wing of S.H.I.E.L.D. Just like S.H.I.E.L.D. works with the Avengers to protect the Earth from threats, S.W.O.R.D. operates on a cosmic level, with a different roster of heroes sometimes referred to as the Space Avengers.
The logo for S.W.O.R.D. showing up on the Captain Marvel beeper at the end of Infinity War is the most direct acknowledgment in the MCU so far that the organization exists and will have a part to play in future films. Another hint was provided in one of the post-credit scenes in Spider-Man: Far From Home, where we see Nick Fury relaxing aboard a spaceship, which is most likely the headquarters of S.W.O.R.D.
The biggest role that S.W.O.R.D. plays in the MCU so far does not actually appear in the films but in the finale of the TV show Agents of SHEILD. In the finale, the character of Daisy finds herself embarking on a new adventure with Sousa and Kora, with the three going on a mission in deep space, which could be one of the first steps for S.H.E.I.L.D. to evolve into the space-faring S.W.O.R.D., although that takes place in an alternate reality.
The mainstream reality of the MCU will see S.W.O.R.D. playing a much more active role in WandaVision. Set photos from the upcoming Disney+ series have shown what appears to be a military base bearing the S.W.O.R.D. logo. It is also being speculated that the character of Monica Rambeau, who first showed up in Captain Marvel as a child, and who will be part of WandaVision as an adult, is a member of S.W.O.R.D.
All these hints have been years in the making, indicating that Marvel Studios is going all-in on expanding the Avengers domain to now include the rest of the universe. Of course, if the superheroes are going into space for their future adventures, that can only mean the next big threat is going to be coming from there as well.
Fans are hoping that means one thing, that the planet-eating giant Galactus and his herald the Silver Surfer are going to be the next big threat to the MCU after Thanos. Then there is the introduction of the multiverse into the franchise that is being teased with the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
All in all, exciting times are ahead for the Avengers and those who had doubts that the movies would be able to beat Endgame in terms of spectacle can rest assured that things are only going to get bigger and better in terms of superhero spectacle, as the MCU expands to include not just the planet, not just the universe, but the entire multiverse. Reddit is responsible for delivering this latest look at Easter eggs in the Avengers universe. You can see the SWORD logo on the back of the prop pager in the photo below.