Marvel Database

Quote1.png The principle S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded upon was pure. Protection. Protection. One word. Sometimes, to protect one man against himself. Other times, to protect the planet against an alien invasion from another universe. It's a broad job description. Quote2.png
Nick Fury[src]


The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division is a combined military, scientific research, and espionage agency with a mandate to protect the populace of the world from threats beyond the scope of standard national security agencies. It was reformed from the remnants of the Strategic Scientific Reserve in the aftermath of World War II,[3] and is made up of personnel from three disciplines: Operations (Ops) is the military, tactical and armed security division; the Science and Technology division (Sci-Tech) provides scientific research and medical support; Communications (Comms) is focused on data analysis and network security.[4]


In the waning days of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, the world powers behind the World War II-era group opted to expand the agency's scope in the post-war environment and to this end tasked Howard Stark, a prominent member of the S.S.R., with forming S.H.I.E.L.D. He quickly pulled Peggy Carter in with him to command the fledgling group's field agents.[3]

In the following years, S.H.I.E.L.D. enlisted scientists that had once worked for the enemy under a project named Operation Paperclip, and among these people was the Hydra scientist Arnim Zola. Rather than swelling their ranks with new found allies however, S.H.I.E.L.D. had unwittingly opened the door to elements of Hydra, people who subsequently proceeded to infiltrate all corners of S.H.I.E.L.D.[5]

For decades S.H.I.E.L.D. maintained a clandestine watch over the world, until the twenty-first century when they were suddenly confronted with a new age of superhuman threats and were forced to expand again.

Avengers Initiative

After Tony Stark escaped from captivity in Afghanistan using special armor he had built, Agent Phil Coulson repeatedly attempted to talk to him but failed. Later on, Pepper Potts informed Agent Coulson of Obadiah Stane's armor. Coulson and several other agents attempted to arrest Stane, but were defeated. Coulson later provided a cover story for Stark, one which Stark refused to use. S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury informed Stark of the Avengers Initiative.[6]

In the following year, S.H.I.E.L.D agents Phil Coulson and Natasha Romanoff, alongside Fury, watched over Stark. Stark panned the agency as running a "superhero boy band". He later learned that his father had been a founding member.[7]

General Thunderbolt Ross used the S.H.I.E.L.D. servers to help him track the emails from the fugitive Bruce Banner.[8]

The World Security Council ordered S.H.I.E.L.D. to send an agent to ask General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross to release Emil Blonsky into their custody. They saw him as a war hero and a perfect addition to Fury’s Avenger Initiative, and blamed the fight in New York City against the Hulk on Bruce Banner. At Sitwell's urging, Coulson reluctantly sent the consultant Tony Stark to annoy the general so that Blonsky would remain in prison. The next day, Sitwell informed Coulson that their plan had worked and that the Abomination would remain locked away.[9]

S.H.I.E.L.D. investigated the discovery of Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, on Earth. When Thor broke into the S.H.I.E.L.D. compound to recover his hammer, he was found unworthy and the hammer refused to obey him. Thor was then captured and interrogated. After releasing the Asgardian, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents then moved to investigate a series of arcane rings carved into the earth not far from the compound. They were interrupted from their investigation by the arrival of the Destroyer, a colossal sentinel sent by Loki to eliminate Thor. The Destroyer, having swept the S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel aside effortlessly, was soon beaten by Thor. Thor then informed S.H.I.E.L.D. that they could count him as an ally.

Dr. Selvig was taken to a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility where he met Nick Fury. Fury asked Selvig to study the recently-discovered Tesseract, an object of limitless power. Selvig agreed while Loki watched.[10]

S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives in the Arctic discovered Captain America's frozen body in the Red Skull's airship from WWII. Rogers awoke in a room designed to appear as if it were still the early 1940s. Deducing that he was being tricked, he escaped to Times Square, where he was confronted by S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Nick Fury. Fury informed him that he had been asleep for nearly 70 years, and that their intention was merely to ease his entry into modern times.[11]

When Loki stole the Tesseract and escaped along with several enslaved S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, Director Fury reactivated the Avengers Initiative to counter the threat. Agent Romanoff was sent to bring in Dr. Banner, Agent Coulson was sent to retrieve Tony Stark, and Fury himself approached Steve Rogers, all in the hope that together these individuals might combine their respective talents to help with the problem of Loki and the missing Tesseract.

S.H.I.E.L.D. assisted Rogers in his capture of Loki, and then provided a prison on the helicarrier once Loki had been apprehended. It transpired that Loki had intended to be captured however, a ruse to sow the seeds of discord throughout the ranks of the forces assembled against him. His mind-controlled agents later attacked the helicarrier to free him, heavily damaging it in the process. The attack became a bitter defeat for S.H.I.E.L.D, although Fury turned one of its defining losses into the motivational push that Stark and Rogers needed. In short order the remaining heroes set off in pursuit of Loki, and began referring to themselves as the Avengers.

During the Chitauri invasion in Manhattan, the World Security Council ordered the deployment of nuclear missile to the city in the hope of stopping the invasion. Nick Fury was able to stop a jet carrying a nuke from taking off, but was unable to prevent another. With Fury's help, Iron Man was able to prevent the other missile from detonating over New York City. After the Avengers' victory and departure, S.H.I.E.L.D. continued its normal military activities.[12]

Fall of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Following the battle for New York, the government granted S.H.I.E.L.D. more funds to invest in homeland security, for which "Project Insight" was created, a security network formed by three heavily-armed helicarriers to protect the Earth. But Hydra actually desired to use them to target and kill approximately 20 million people selected by Arnim Zola's algorithm, any individual which would pose a threat to Hydra's new world order.

Fury discovered something dubious was going on and hired the mercenary Georges Batroc to hijack a S.H.I.E.L.D. boat related to Project Insight, so during the rescue mission, Black Widow would secretly recover confidential files. After recovering the data, Nick attempted to open the files but discovered they were sealed, even to him. He persuaded his friend and World Security Council member Alexander Pierce to delay Project Insight as he presented his suspicion that S.H.I.E.L.D. could have been compromised.

Pierce, secretly the leader of Hydra, deployed the Winter Soldier to kill him. After being attacked by the Winter Soldier, a heavily wounded Fury contacted Steve Rogers, and told the Captain not to trust anyone as S.H.I.E.L.D. had been compromised, before seemingly perishing. Fury also gave Rogers the flash drive containing the files Black Widow had recovered.

Following Fury's apparent demise, Pierce talked with Captain America, and discovered Rogers had hid something from him. Pierce deployed other corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to capture him, but Rogers fought them off and went into hiding along with Black Widow. Pierce came close to ending their threat when he was alerted their infiltration of an old S.H.I.E.L.D. facility at Camp Lehigh, but again they evaded S.H.I.E.L.D.'s efforts to kill them. With the continued failure of conventional tactics, Pierce turned the assignment over to the Winter Soldier instead. The Winter Soldier was more successful. Leading a team to deal with Rogers and his friends, S.H.I.E.L.D. finally caught the troublesome heroes, but lost them again when Maria Hill sprung them from captivity.

Pierce proceeded with his plan, but as S.H.I.E.L.D. was getting prepared to deploy the helicarriers, Captain America infiltrated the Triskelion and revealed by loudspeaker the true extent of Hydra's influence and prompted every clean agent to stand up against Hydra. While Captain America and Falcon attacked the helicarriers, Black Widow mounted a strike at Pierce, who had drawn members of the World Security Council to him at the Triskelion. There, she revealed Fury's survival, and forced Pierce to help Fury unlock sensitive S.H.I.E.L.D. data, which she then uploaded to the Internet.

The helicarriers were destroyed, and Hydra's secrets were released to the world. However, Pierce attempted to use a remotely-controlled miniature explosive he had hid in Black Widow's clothes to force Fury to let him go. Using a micro-EMP, Black Widow disabled the bomb, and thus Nick Fury had the liberty to shoot Pierce, killing him. The Triskelion was also destroyed by one of the crashing helicarriers.

In the end, S.H.I.E.L.D. was left in ruins. The Triskelion had been wrecked and its hangars flooded.[5] S.H.I.E.L.D.'s East African headquarters and a holding known as the Treehouse had fallen squarely into the hands of Hydra, while the Hub along with three other facilities were claimed by loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives in the scramble to assert control. Even the academy, with its bevy of young recruits had become a battleground.[13] In the midst of the fallout, world governments have branded all of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its remnants as a terrorist organization. In response, Agent Coulson, the highest-ranking SHIELD operative left, enacted Odyssey Protocol, prompting many personnel opted to go into hiding, sell their services in the private sector or turn to people they could trust. Leading figures of both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra were among the dead or missing, along with numerous lives that had once been the backbone of the world's premiere world security agency.[5][13][14]

The new S.H.I.E.L.D.

Coulson was later appointed director of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. by Fury, tasked with rebuilding the agency from the ground up and was given the Toolbox to accomplish it.[15] The new S.H.I.E.L.D. began with hiring small bands of mercenaries, as well as recruiting loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. However, the new S.H.I.E.L.D. remained vastly outnumbered by Hydra, as well as being persecuted by the world at large, unable to tell the difference between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra.[16]

As Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. became a nuisance for Daniel Whitehall's Hydra faction, Hydra mercenaries, led by Marcus Scarlotti, framed S.H.I.E.L.D. for an attack on the United Nations. This prompted Senator Christian Ward to propose a multi-national police force to hunt down S.H.I.E.L.D. While Agent Melinda May lead the search for the Hydra agents responsible for the UN attack, Coulson met with Christian and made a deal; if Christian recanted his position and redeemed S.H.I.E.L.D. in the eyes of the world, Coulson would hand over his brother, Grant Ward, an agent of Hydra. Subsequently, S.H.I.E.L.D. learned that Belgium foreign minister, Julien Beckers, was a Hydra agent, who only opposed Christian's proposal to trick S.H.I.E.L.D. agents into thinking that they would be safe in his borders so they could be found and killed. Though May's team were able to capture Scarlotti and his accomplices and expose Beckers, six S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the Netherlands were all killed. Senator Ward later gave his speech at the UN, vindicating S.H.I.E.L.D. and condemning Hydra.[17]

Gonzales' faction of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Unbeknownst to Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D., another organization who considered themselves the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. had been formed, this one led by Robert Gonzales.[18] While Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. mainly operated in the same manner as the original organization, focusing on maintaining the secrets and protecting the public, Gonzales's S.H.I.E.L.D. ignored the secrecy in favor of openness in order to avoid the potential internal compromises that Gonzales felt allowed S.H.I.E.L.D. to be infiltrated by Hydra. This decision to avoid secrets included regarding any superhumans as potential threats, even if they had generally proven to be trustworthy individuals, such as Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Skye after she developed geokinetic abilities. They also disapproved of Coulson's directorship, believing his resurrection and temporary madness from GH.325 had compromised him. Gonzales' S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually captured the Playground, but Coulson managed to escape, planning on retaking S.H.I.E.L.D. from Gonzales. The two organisations eventually came together to track a Hydra cell that had abducted some of Coulson's superhuman allies. Together, they rescued the prisoners and destroyed Hydra's Arctic base. However, Coulson had an ulterior motive for infiltrating the base, which was to find the location of Loki's Sceptre, before passing the information to the Avengers to recover it from Hydra.

Although officially no longer acting as director, Fury retained some of his old S.H.I.E.L.D. contacts, and was able to deploy a helicarrier to assist the Avengers in Sokovia in their fight against Ultron, and in evacuating a city.[19]

Following Ultron's defeat, S.H.I.E.L.D. reorganized, with Coulson reinstated as Director with Gonzales' council as his advisors. Subsequently, a pair of Inhumans infiltrated the Iliad attempting to steal the enigmatic Kree Monolith, that they believed was designed to eradicate their kind. At Skye's urging, S.H.I.E.L.D. sent Gonzales to meet with the Inhuman leader, Jiaying to diplomatically resolve tensions. However, Jiaying, driven mad by Whitehall's experiments on her in the past, refused to allow her people to be indexed, killing Gonzales and using his gun on herself to trick her people into going to war with S.H.I.E.L.D.[20] Although she briefly convinced Skye to help her, the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. soon determined that Jiaying's true scheme was to unleash the Terrigen crystals on a large scale, forcing Cal Zabo to acknowledge that Jiaying was the true monster. Jiaying was eventually killed by Cal when she attacked Skye while the rest of the team focused on protecting the crystals.[21]

In the aftermath of the Inhumans' defeat, the Monolith was moved to the Playground, where an accident results in the artifact swallowing Agent Jemma Simmons. Additionally, Coulson proposed creating a team of enhanced individuals led by Skye, albeit performing their missions covertly to protect their own private lives.[21]

The Inhuman Outbreak

As a result of Agent Daisy Johnson sending a Terrigen crystals into the ocean, resulting in the chemical leaking into the ecosystem, which led to new Inhumans around the world receiving their powers. Thus, S.H.I.E.L.D. resolved to protecting these new Inhumans from the ruthless Advanced Threat Containment Unit and Lash.[22] After the ATCU mishandled the pursuit of Lincoln Campbell, as well as that they possessed a photo of Agent Johnson, Coulson arranged an alliance with the ATCU, offering S.H.I.E.L.D.'s expertise with enhanced people.[23]

S.H.I.E.L.D. also delegated their resources to other projects, such as hunting down Grant Ward, who was attempting to restart Hydra, as well as attempting to rescue Agent Simmons.[24]

After Coulson managed to gain the trust of the ATCU's leader, Rosalind Price, he had S.H.I.E.L.D. initiate Operation Spotlight to infiltrate the ATCU base to find out how many Inhumans they were holding and their progress on their supposed cure, while he gave Price a tour of the Playground. Agents Morse and Hunter discovered that no Inhumans were being held nor was a cure being made, but the ATCU was in fact crowdsourcing Terrigen to create Inhumans. After interrogating Price, Coulson learned that the ATCU was being secretly manipulated by a Hydra faction led by Gideon Malick. Additionally, Agents Simmons and Fitz discovered that Hydra was older than World War II and suspected that they were behind NASA's Project Distant Star Return.[25]

Subsequently, Price was assassinated by Ward, in which Coulson passed directorship to Alphonso Mackenzie, while he attempted to track down and kill Ward. But while he was gone, FitzSimmons were captured while investigating the Distant Star facility and interrogated on how to operate the Monolith. Coulson is able to locate Ward through his brother Thomas Ward, revealing that Hydra had reoccupied their castle on Gloucestershire and were plotting to open another portal to unleash an Inhuman king who was banished from Earth thousands of years ago. Mack mobilized Johnson's Secret Warriors to fight Hydra, as Coulson entered the portal to rescue Fitz and finish off Ward.[26] Coulson succeeded in his objective and returned to Earth with Fitz, escaping just before Zephyr One leveled the castle, destroying the portal.[27]

Three months after Price's death, Coulson met with President Matthew Ellis. Though he couldn't reauthorize S.H.I.E.L.D., Ellis semi-legitimized the outlawed organization by appointing a new head of the ATCU who would answer to Coulson, acknowledging S.H.I.E.L.D.'s experience in dealing with advanced threats.[28]

S.H.I.E.L.D. Projects



S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel had access to an extensive array of cutting edge technology. A supply contract with Stark Industries ensures that they have some of the most advanced weapons and equipment available.


Regular S.H.I.E.L.D. field agents were usually equipped with a 9mm pistol. A military branch used for heavy security has access to military grade personal armaments. A few select elite agents carry less conventional armaments, such as explosives, or bows. A S.H.I.E.L.D. project titled, "Phase Two", is dedicated to advancing high technology weapons by reverse engineering alien technology.


S.H.I.E.L.D. maintained a fleet of Acura vehicles for the regular deployment of field agents and scientists. S.H.I.E.L.D. editions of the Acura MDX, Acura TL, and the Acura ZDX are painted in black and equipped with sophisticated surveillance technology. Unmarked, non-standard vehicles further extend S.H.I.E.L.D.'s reach when missions require secrecy. The military arm of S.H.I.E.L.D. uses a range of surface vehicles suitable for urban security, and aircraft with combat capabilities extending to fighter jets and helicopters. This branch also has exclusive access to previously unknown aircraft types.

Prior to the deployment of the helicarrier, S.H.I.E.L.D. maintained mobile operations from a modified Globemaster aircraft with VTOL capabilities. After being mothballed, one of these was recommissioned as a mobile headquarters for a small multi-disciplined shield team who took to calling it the "Bus."

  • Zephyr One - A successor to the Bus, able to deploy Containment Module to contain superhuman powers, and can remain in the air for a prolonged period of time.


  • S.H.I.E.L.D. makes use of an additional logo in conjunction with their heavier military assets. It is displayed prominently on the bridge of the helicarrier and is stenciled on the sides of various military jets.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently working outside of the law, due to Aida's machinations to turn the public against them.


  • In Iron Man, Agent Coulson introduces himself as an agent of the "Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division," and states they were working on a shorter name (which ends up being the acronym "S.H.I.E.L.D."). Nevertheless in Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (which takes place chronologically before Iron Man), Howard Stark introduces the organization with the acronym "S.H.I.E.L.D."

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