The Marvel Universe is expanding, again. After revealing a beloved sitcom actress in Episode 5 of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, two more casting announcements sent waves across the Marvel fandom: Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman is in talks to appear in the upcoming Secret Invasion series, as is the Khaleesi herself, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke.
Who are Colman and Clarke playing? There are big questions surrounding each possibility, and one tantalizing option could resolve a huge cliffhanger from WandaVision.
You Have My S.W.O.R.D.
Marvel’s Secret Invasion comics deal with the S.H.I.E.L.D. offshoot agency S.W.O.R.D., previously seen in WandaVision. In the comics, the organization is led by Abigail Brand, a badass special agent with a curious backstory. The hybrid daughter of a mutant mother and alien father, she inherited the X gene and has the mutant ability to summon a blue flame that can cut through metal, as well as an alien tongue that allows her to speak most languages.
These skills proved handy in Secret Invasion as she rescued Mr. Fantastic from a Skrull ship, after which he exposed the true severity of the invasion. After this mission, Abigail returned to her life of leading S.W.O.R.D, dispatching other heroes like Jessica Drew, whose superhero identity of Spider-Woman was stolen by the Skrull queen Veranke.
The role works perfectly for both Clarke and Colman. Let’s start by focusing on the latter.
Considering Colman’s other roles as leaders of organizations such as Angela Burr, the leader of an international arms trade investigation task force in The Night Manager, or as Queen Elizabeth herself in the most recent seasons of The Crown, Brand is the perfect fit. It would provide some meaty action scenes as well, not to mention the chance to match wits with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
That said, Brand is a bit younger than Colman in the comics, and Marvel does love to age characters down rather than up. With the erstwhile Daenerys Targaryen herself, Emilia Clarke, joining Secret Invasion, perhaps she would be best-suited to take on the role instead, swapping her dragon fire for some mutant fire.
Either way, this character could do big things for the MCU — and also answer a leftover question from WandaVision.
Who is the new S.W.O.R.D. commander?
Including Abigail Brand in the series would solve a huge mystery. In WandaVision, one of the main antagonists was Tyler Hayward, the director of S.W.O.R.D. who gets arrested while Darcy Lewis cheerfully remarks “have fun in prison!”
With Hayward presumably behind bars, who is leading S.W.O.R.D. now? Monica Rambeau? She wasn’t happy with her terrestrial assignment in WandaVision, so would she be happy leading an entire organization?
Abigail could take over and bond with Monica over their powers. Should Monica be a fellow mutant, they could spark the beginning of a long-awaited X-Men renaissance. After all, in the comics, Abigail had a fling with Beast. Bringing her in would mean an easy gateway for S.W.O.R.D. to move into its next stages and for Marvel to expand to possibly include the one thing we’re anxious for — X-Men.
The only question is who will bring Brand to life: Colman or Clarke — or maybe someone else? As it stands, two powerful performers have entered the scene, both of them beyond capable of bringing this rich character to life.
WandaVision is now streaming on Disney+.