In the MCU, everything matters.
From Iron Man 2's map marking the location of Wakanda to Stephen Strange's name-drop in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the smallest details have teased Marvel Studios' big future plans.
S.W.O.R.D.'s presence in WandaVision has riddled the sinister sitcom with blink-and-miss names within files. While a number of these names are references to the real-life production crew that has worked on the show, some allude to characters that have yet to make the jump from the page to the silver screen.
S.W.O.R.D. FILE TEASES WOLVERINE
WandaVision's sixth episode saw Kat Dennings's Darcy Lewis attempt to break into Director Tyler Hayward's secret S.W.O.R.D. files. As she hacks her way towards Monica Rambeau's file, Lewis passes a noteworthy name: Ray Johnson.
In the comics, Ray Johnson is an alias for John Wraith, better known as Kestrel, a teleporting mutant with an anti-aging factor. Kestrel is most famous for his affiliation with Team X, a collection of mercenary mutants that carried out covert missions for William Stryker. Team X consisted of notable names such as Silver Fox, Sabretooth, and Wolverine.
Rapper will.i.am. of the Black Eyed Peas previously portrayed Kestrel in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the character's only appearance in a live-action motion picture. That flick saw Kestrel work with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine throughout the movie, both on Team X and on Logan's personal vendetta against William Stryker.
MORE NODS TO WEAPON X
A full on Marvel Studios X-Men movie might still be years away, but Kevin Feige and company sure are keen on dropping nods of mutants' existence within the MCU.
Ray Johnson's file being in S.W.O.R.D.'s database indicates the organization has worked with him in the past, or he is at least on their radar. John Wraith is known to commit his fair share of crimes in the comics, so being on S.W.O.R.D.'s radar would make sense. While Wraith does dip his toes in villainy, he is overall considered an anti-hero.
S.W.O.R.D.'s status as the good guys is on the hot seat right now, but assuming they are a friendly organization, working with someone like Kestrel makes sense. Knowing that he's a team player on the page, it would only make sense his existence within the MCU would be alongside Team X.
S.W.O.R.D. may be a relatively infant organization, but who's to say they haven't worked with a group of mutant mercenaries before? After all, Marvel's original group of suits, S.H.I.E.L.D., had their strike force to do the heavy lifting.
The money tie with this Ray Johnson file is obviously Wolverine. Fans are beyond excited for Logan to make his way into the MCU, and while his debut may be further down the line, this file is the latest in a short trail of bread crumbs Marvel has been dropping that hint towards his existence.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is still about a month away, but promotional material has given fans a peek into what they can expect from the patriotic program. Trailers show Sam and Bucky heading to the nation of Madripoor, which in the comics, is a crime-ridden island significantly associated with Wolverine.
If that wasn't enough of a Weapon X tease, set photos from the star-spangled series have revealed the symbol of Ogun, a martial arts master and foe to Wolverine on the page.
Are the seeds being planted for a Phase 4 Wolverine debut? Time will tell.
WandaVision's sixth episode is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.