The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, also known as by its acronym S.H.I.E.L.D., is a United States extra-governmental military counter-terrorism and intelligence agency, tasked with maintaining global security.
Founders: Howard Stark, Chester Phillips, Peggy Carter
Founded in the wake of the Allied victory over the Axis powers and HYDRA in World War-II, S.H.I.E.L.D. was organised to protect the United States, and later the entire world, from all possible threats. With its advanced weapons and extraordinary agents, S.H.I.E.L.D. was the greatest military power on the Earth.
Run by Nick Fury and the World Security Council in the modern age, S.H.I.E.L.D. had to deal with the significant rise in enhanced individuals, dangerous advanced technology, and alien contact.
But all the problems S.H.I.E.L.D. had to solve eventually led to the formation of the Avengers, a response team that was recruited to save the world during the alien invasion of the Earth in 2012. The agency became publicly known after the Battle of New York, partially because of the Rising Tide website.
In 2014, through the actions of Captain America, the world became aware of the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated and largely controlled by the terrorist organization HYDRA. After the battle in which S.H.I.E.L.D.'s primary headquarters, the Triskelion, was heavily damaged, all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s classified files were dumped on the Internet, and the agency was disavowed by its commanding governments and labeled a terrorist organization.
Many S.H.I.E.L.D. officials were taken into custody and subjected to rigorous questioning. However, despite the massive manhunt on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s agents, a few operatives scattered across the world in most secret bases remained loyal to their oath.
But the team most responsible for the survival of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the team of Agent Phil Coulson, who valiantly led his teammates against the forces of HYDRA led by the traitors John Garrett and Grant Ward, winning the battle in which Garrett's plan ultimately failed. After that battle, Nick Fury appointed Phil Coulson the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and tasked him with rebuilding the agency from scratch.
S.H.I.E.L.D. was formed shortly after World War II as a successor to the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR), an Allied deep science agency which fought against the Nazi-sponsored special weapons division HYDRA during the war.
The founders of the new agency were Chester Phillips, the director of the SSR, Howard Stark, an industrialist of great wealth and a scientific genius, and Margaret "Peggy" Carter, the former partner of the American war hero Steve Rogers, known as Captain America.
Shortly after the war, as part of Operation Paperclip, S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited the scientists of Nazi Germany as a think tank for the newborn agency. The infamous Arnim Zola was among the recruited scientists, but he used his new position to secretly rebuild HYDRA. With no one suspecting, HYDRA secretly grew within S.H.I.E.L.D., orchestrating many crises in the world over the next decades.