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, 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 is focused on data analysis and network security.
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 Margaret Carter in with him to command the fledgling group's field agents. For decades the agency 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 confront 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.
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.
Equipment: S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel have 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.
Transportation: S.H.I.E.L.D. maintains 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. 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.
Weapons: Regular S.H.I.E.L.D. field agents are 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.
- The film version of S.H.I.E.L.D is introduced in the 2008 film Iron Man.
- 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.
- In Iron Man (film), 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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