The Hand(pop culture)
Although the way of the ninja dawned more than 800 years ago in feudal Japan, comics scribe Frank Miller created an elite group of ninja warriors, the Hand, during his Daredevil run during the 1980s. Miller introduced the Hand in Daredevil vol. 1 #168 (1981) as a highly trained band of ninja fighters, specializing in espionage and assassination. Unlike other ninja cells, which ply their skills as mercenaries and are content merely to survive, the Hand is driven by a desire for supremacy and domination. Refusing to be governed by any one leader, the Hand ninja roam the world with two goals: the elimination of their enemies or the acquisition of power. From early in their history, the Hand ninja depended on dark magic—imparted by their demonic master, the Beast (no relation to the furry member of the X-Men)—to supplement their honed skills. One spell turns a ninja Hand's body to dust shortly after his death, in order to prevent another being from looking upon his countenance. The Hand has loose parallels with DC Comics' League of Assassins, an elite band of ninja warriors that came to the screen as the League of Shadows in Batman Begins (2005). Despite such highly coveted skills and merciless ambitions, the Hand has its adversary in a clan of warriors, the Chaste, once led my martialarts master Stick, who trained both Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Elektra Natchios (the Greek assassin Elektra). With Stick dead, the Hand has consistently attempted to eliminate the Chaste in an effort to weaken Daredevil's allies. As such, Hand members have often found themselves in heated battle with Daredevil and/or Elektra and Black Widow—both in Daredevil's hometown of New York City and on their home turf. The Hand has also attempted to eliminate the remnants of Stick's ninja order to prevent any one of its members from locating the newborn child that is to be Stick reincarnated, and will no doubt continue to rise up against the Man without Fear. The Hand appeared in the live-action film Elektra (2005). Moreover, the Foot, an organization of evil ninjas in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (first the comics, then on TV and in film), was created as a parody of the Hand of Miller's Daredevil.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.