The Hand are an organization that feature in Marvel Comics.
It was older than their homeland of Japan with the Hand dated back four billion years ago where it was created by its founding fathers that were rumoured to had lived by the modern age. (Wolverine v3 #29) The nameless ninja clan that became the clan first gathered in the Valley of Mercy and Wrath in Japan. (Elektra v1 #15) One origin claimed that they formed in the year 1575 in Japan by a boy named Kagenobu Yoshioka who had lost his father who was a samurai and his mother had to resort to sexual relations in exchange for money. During this time, his mother was assaulted by a Portuguese merchant who intended to have his way with her but was kill by the young Kagenobu. To save her son, his mother claimed to the authorities that she had killed the foreigner leading to her being executed though the child Yoshioka was taken in by Sensei Saburo Ishiyama of the Ishiyama Sword School. Kagenobu would be at the school for ten years before departing as a ronin in order to see the rest of Japan. (Elektra: The Hand v1 #1) By 1597, his travels had led to him concluding that Japan had fallen under the corruption perpetrated by foreigners and weak leaders. Around this time, his former Sensei Saburo had died and asked Yoshioka to take charge of the school. Whilst there, Kagenobu envisioned the creation of the Hand with their emblem being modeled after his own that was from the bloodied handprint of his mother before she was taken away from him. He would compare the Hand as representing the five islands of Japan that would unify in order to cleanse the land of foreigners. (Elektra: The Hand v1 #2) His recruitment saw him bringing together his teachings and uniting them with five other rebel groups in the country with their hidden goal being the elimination of outsiders from Japan. (Elektra: The Hand v1 #3) Ultimately, the organization would take a life of its own when it turned against Kagenobu after he fell in love with the half-caste Eliza Martinez who was the child of a Japanese woman and a foreigner that Yoshioka had been training at the school. (Elektra: The Hand v1 #5)
During the 1600's, the Hand sought to claim the island of Madripoor as a base of operations due to its strategic position. They were opposed by Clan Yashida who embodied heroic ideals during these years with Renchi Harada managing to stop the Hand from their attempt at turning the island into a base. This became the start of the ancient feud between the two sides. (Old Man Logan v2 #34) At some point, a splinter faction emerged that became an offshoot of the Hand with these warriors taking the name of the True Believers. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #421) Another group that broke from the Hand formed a group called the Fist that wanted bigger and more organized plans that involved bringing down the United States. (Spider-Man 2099 v3 #17)
A young Gorgon later sought out the Hand in an attempt to join their ranks and his skill led to him being quickly accepted into their order. (Wolverine v3 #26)
Many years ago, Wolverine battled the Hand and massacred many of their warriors thus depleting their ranks. Around this time, they were hired by the Founder of the Red Right Hand who took one of the Hand warriors as an instructor for the Mongrels. (Wolverine v4 #13)
They later came to New York City in pursuit of their blood enemies in the True Believers with their in-fighting attracting Elektra who had no interest in stopping their conflict but wanted to stop it from claiming the lives of innocents. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #424) Junzo Muto of the Hand sought to force K'un-Lun to materialise in Tokyo where he intended to conquer it and use it as a platform to conquer the world. (Iron Fist & Wolverine: The Return of K’Un Lun v1 #1)
Matsu'o Tsurayaba sought to forge an alliance between the Hand and the empire of the Mandarin. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #256)
In an effort to re-organize the Japanese criminal underworld, the Hand sought a partnership with Clan Yashida to further their goals. Thus, they returned the captive Silver Samurai to his Yashida ancestral hope in the hopes of forming an alliance with him and Hydra forces under Madame Hydra. The meeting was witnessed by Ronin with the Hand pursuing him leading to a battle at Stark Industries Osaka branch where the New Avengers were staying leading to a fight with the superhero team. (New Avengers v1 #12) During the superhero Civil War in America, Elektra led the Hand in targeting Ronin who was killed and captured with it being shown that the person under the mask was Maya Lopez. She was then resurrected by the Hand and being brainwashed to become one of their warriors when she was rescued by the New Avengers. (New Avengers v1 #27) However, she fell to the dark magic that enchanted her mind causing her to turn on her rescuers when Elektra brought the Hand against the heroes. Doctor Strange used a spell to remove dark magic thus freeing Echo who then killed Elektra but it was revealed that the leader of the Hand was actually a Skrull infiltrator. After her body reverted to her true form, the Hand departed the scene and left the body behind as they had been unaware of their masters true nature. (New Avengers v1 #31)
After the death of 'Elektra', it was discovered that she was actually a Skrull. With her death, factions erupted that began feuding with one another as the four ninja lords fought one another. (Daredevil v2 #112)
A dissident faction within the Hand led by Azuma Gōda who sought to establish himself as leader of criminal operations in Asia. To achieve that end, he targeted the new Silver Samurai Shingen Harada where he intended to have him betray Clan Yashida and turn against the Yakuza. (Wolverine v2 #302) In reality he sought the destruction of the Tokyo branch of the Hand and the elimination of the Yakuza heads to help install himself as the invisible king of crime in the East Asia sphere. Once done, he intended to activate the thirteen master assassins of the Hand that were in Japan as sleeper agents to serve as his new enforcers. After disappearing, Azuma was betrayed by his bodyguard Sabretooth leading to his death whereupon Creed assumed his position of becoming the invisible king of crime in the region after killing the other criminal organization heads. (Wolverine v2 #303)
The Hand became tired in what they deemed petty power plays of Fisk and questioned his leadership. This led to the Arbiters reanimating an assassin to destroy the master with him attempting to destroy it to prove his worth. (Savage Wolverine v1 #6)
Attempting to reclaim their property, a number of their ninjas made their way to Chinatown where they struck at the Church of the Sheltered Hand as they targeted the crime boss Tenfingers. (Daredevil v5 #2)
Gorgon sought to forcibly take over Clan Yashida and had the Hand attack the corporate headquarters of the Yashida Corporation where they targeted Shingen Harada. The Silver Samurai managed to slay the assassins sent after him but this was a distraction to allow the Scarlet Samurai to strike him from behind. (Old Man Logan v2 #31) A lieutenant of the Hand who was a member of the Orphans of X took a large number of ninjas to attack the home of Muramasa the swords-smith in an effort to kill X-23. Upon learning of this violation, Gorgon intervened where he killed the lieutenant and apologised to Muramasa with him giving a piece of his soul to the swordsmith along with the promise to transport Laura anywhere she along with her compatriots desired with protection provided with them accepting the offer. (All-New Wolverine v1 #29) They later attacked New York City where they critically wounded Mayor Wilson Fisk and began targeting the police force leading to Acting Mayor Matt Murdock calling in on the city's vigilante heroes to fight against the threat. (Daredevil v1 #601) This attack resulted in a deadly demonic gas being released across the city as the Hand overwhelmed local law enforcement. Mayor Murdock himself was infected with the gas but was saved by Father Jordan who had called support from his allies in the Ordo Draconum (Order of the Dragon) to help stop the Beast from taking New York. (Daredevil v1 #604) Working with the city's vigilante heroes, they helped Daredevil strike at the representation of the Beast thus defeating the Hand and restoring peace to the city. (Daredevil v1 #605)
This cabal of assassins were contracted to sow seeds of terror on behalf of unnamed interests. (Daredevil v1 #296) When one of the Hand has fallen then they were no more as their bodies simply dissolved into nothing leaving a potent smell in the air. (Daredevil v1 #174)
There were five individuals that served as the highest masters of the Hand. (Elektra v1 #15) Leadership of the Hand was held by an individual that held the position of Shogun. Beneath them were the Daimyo that operated as regional warlords. It was said that the five warlords operated as five fingers of the fist that made the Hand unstoppable. Thus, their support was crucial for a Shogun in operating the entire organization. (Daredevil v1 #505) Certain figures were given the position of an Arranger who acted with the authority of the master of the Hand. The organizations culture meant that they extended the respect of the master to their representative who was able to speak with their voice and authority. (Scarlet Spider v2 #12.1) Senior warriors were known as Jonin who led a number of Genin. (Daredevil v1 #174) Jonins were masters that were anointed in the souls of hundreds of Genin. (Punisher War Journal v2 #21) Taipan were high assassins in the Hand that studied their targets and anticipated their actions. (Punisher War Journal v2 #20) When suffering large losses, the Hand were known to use their women as breeding stock to birth new offspring to be raised as warriors. (Wolverine v4 #13)
They were an order of master assassins that knew the many ways of murder. (Daredevil v1 #174) It was said that the Hand protected a cold heart. (Wolverine v3 #26) Killing and distrust were two elements that were a great part of the Hand. (Daredevil v2 #112) This occult clan of assassins brooked no reprisals and did not dispense refunds. (Elektra v1 #14) Hardened masters of the Hand were noted for being skilled in the arts of murder and invisibility. Some were able to build deadly viruses out of the air by folding diseased molecules whilst others had their very flesh bringing about death to those that touched it. (Wolverine v2 #303)
There was a group of elderly masters of the Hand that were known as the Sickly Ones. (Wolverine v3 #26) The 4th Chamber were considered among the most loyal and fiercest of the Shinobi warriors of the Hand. (Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted: Infinite Comic v1 #1) One group within their organization was known as the Underhand that consisted of ninjas that were undead beings. (Thunderbolt v1 #148) Half-dead warriors known as the Fist were beasts created through the infusion of evil mystical energies. They were described as corpse engines that were rarely created as it took a hundred Hand warriors to be sacrificed to the Beast to make a single Fist. (Daredevil v5 #5) Another group was the Nail that were five women chosen from old bloodlines for their fighting prowess and had killed for the Hand for thousands of years. (Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow v1 #1) The Death Touch Cult were a group within the Hand that consisted of cyber-ninjas that were warriors with cybernetic enhancements made to their bodies. (Wolverine v2 #108) A further division were the Mind Ninjas that wore masks and guarded sacred ancestral caves and used toxins that attacked the minds of their enemies. (Wolverine v2 #302) The True Believers were seen as loathsome aberrations that had strayed from the true path of the Hand leading to them being considered blood enemies to be killed. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #424) An important figure in the clan was an individual who took the position of Hon that were keepers of the secret and sacred history of the Hand. These individuals became a living tome of the clan inscribed on their flesh turning them into a living document that was passed down the centuries as they became the last arbiter of the shadow clan. The Hon were living storybooks of arcane and myth which included them being a tome on histories and strategies as well as were a manual on deadly sword techniques. Their importance led to them being trained warriors tasked with defending themselves as they were given a sacred duty in protecting the knowledge of the Hand. (Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted: Infinite Comic v1 #5)
At times when the Hand were discontent with their leader meant that they were able to invoke the ancient ritual of the Arbitration. During such times, Arbiters reanimated cadavers who were tasked with eliminating the ruler whose leadership was in question. If they succeeded in killing the reborn assassin then the leader proved that they were strong enough to continue leading the Hand. Failure meant death and the leader dying in disgrace. (Savage Wolverine v1 #6)
Their mission was to dishonour god by destroying what he had made with their objective taking a hundred different forms over the many years. They destroyed friends, enemies and everything in order to honour the Beast. (Wolverine v3 #29)
To show their devotion, inductees were told to plunge their hands into the Blood of the Beast with this normally killing the unworthy from the pain experienced by the act. (Scarlet Spider v2 #12.1) They were able to summon a demonic agent of their master known as the Retainer with this requiring the sacrifice of several warriors to bring the creature to the mortal world. (Shadowland: Power Man v1 #4)
The Hand had knowledge of various mystical arts and magic. One among these was a spell scroll that could be used to control the Zugaikotsu warrior that was the name they gave to the Ghost Rider. However, there was a reason the Hand did not summon him as he did not like being used. (Shadowlands v1 #3) One item used by the Hand were masks that were actually demons in mask form. These entities were worshipped and anyone that wore the 'mask' willingly under the light of he full moon would manifest the demon. (Wolverine: First Class v1 #14) On some occasions, they replaced the limbs of their members where they exchanged them with demonic versions such as the Demon-Fist of Oni-Shima. (Elektra v1 #17) They at times coated their weapons such as shuriken's in a special poison unknown to the rest of the world with this giving the effect of a kind of cancer that caused the person to slowly dissolve over a period of time. (Daredevil v1 #187) Toxins of the Hand were developed over the course of centuries and designed by the wickedest minds in Japan with them being designed to trap even the strongest of minds in a maze of their own memories. (Wolverine v2 #302)
The ancestral home of the Hand was a mist-shrouded valley that lay in-between the mountains of Mercy and Wrath in Japan. This site was where a group of ninjas eventually formed the Hand. (Elektra v1 #14) By the modern day, it was shunned by the righteous and ignored by the police. Those that entered the valley without the Hand's permission faced death and it was impossible to find unless one had been there before. (Elektra v1 #15) Japan was held as being the traditional seat of power of the Hand. In Japan, they operated from a fortress called the Jigoku-Chu castle. (Daredevil v1 #505) In a secret city within a forbidden forest they trained their soldiers with this place only being visible to the outside world for thirteen minutes after dawn. (Wolverine v3 #29) They maintained a number of resurrection chambers that were used to revive their slain as undead warriors. (Jean Grey v1 #5)
- Izo :
- Kirigi :
- Iron Monk : a male master assassin of the Hand who wore the garb of a priest and used iron sutras as a weapon. (Wolverine v2 #108)
- Kuroyama : a giant male assassin, he was called the Black Mountain. (Elektra v1 #14)
- Lady Bullseye :
- Akuma :
- Junzo Muto :
- Akatora :
- Elektra :
- Matt Murdock :
- Hirochi :
- Makoto : large black haired male Daimyo that was in charge of Eurasia operations. (Daredevil v1 #505)
- Takashi : a grey haired male Daimyo that was in charge of Japan operations. (Daredevil v1 #505)
- Yutaka : a male Daimyo wearing a demon mask who was in charge of African operations. (Daredevil v1 #505)
- Bakuto : a young male Daimyo that wore a suit along with guns that was in charge of South American operations. (Daredevil v1 #505)
- Izanagi : former Daimyo of South America who was Bakuto's Sensei but was later killed by his student in secret who replaced him. (Daredevil v1 #505)
- Azumi Ozawa : female Japanese swordswoman who joined the Hand and formed the Nail. (Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow v1 #1)
- Lady Gorgon : female with short dark hair who was a Jonin. (Punisher War Journal v2 #21)
- Izanami :
- Azuma Gōda : a young black haired Japanese male who headed the Tokyo branch and was dissatisfied with the Kingpin's rule leading to him forming a dissident faction that attempted to go rogue. (Wolverine v2 #302)
- Kojima Haruki : a black haired adult male who was the secret son of the Hand's eldest house where he operated as a member of the Japanese government's secret police till he was killed by Sabretooth. (Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted: Infinite Comic v1 #3)
- Osen Ono : a long-black haired woman who was the Hon in the modern age that was targeted by Silver Samurai for elimination so he could gain control over the Hand. (Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted: Infinite Comic v1 #5)
- Shuten Döji : a demon-masked former member of the Hand who formed his own cadre of followers and kept himself alive until he was assassinated by Deadpool. (Deadpool: Assassin v1 #1)
- The Hand were created by writer/artist Frank Miller where they made their first appearance in Daredevil v1 #174 (September, 1981).
- The Foot Clan in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were based on the Hand.
- In the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Daredevil 2004 v1 #1 (2004), the Hand received an entry in the handbook where it was said to be at least a millennium old ninja assassin guild. They were said to be guided by jonin masters that were under the leadership of the Five who worshipped the demon-god known as the Beast.
- In What If? Daredevil Vs. Elektra v1 #1 (2009), an alternate What If world was shown where Daredevil was killed rather than Elektra. The Hand were engaged in a long war against the Chaste where they successfully killed their foes. It was later responsible for taking the dead body of Matt Murdock where they resurrected him as their servant. The now evil Murdock became a warrior who called himself the Advocate where he later took over the organization leading to a confrontation with Elektra who had formed a new incarnation of the Chaste.
- In Daredevil: End of Days v1 (2012), the Church of the Hand appeared in an alternate future where Daredevil had died. Ben Urich went to them in order to find the meaning of Daredevil's last words 'Mapone'. However, this brought him under threat from Hand ninjas that pursued him until he was saved by a new Daredevil along with Punisher.
In other media
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Hand made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Daredevil, the Hand (Japanese: Yaminote) were introduced as antagonists in the live-action Netflix television series where the presence was shown prior but they did not appear until the second season. They were named and backstory was mentioned in the episode "Guilty As Sin". It was said that centuries ago that a crime lord had discovered a treasure that revealed the secrets of immortality. With it in their hands, they killed their master and established a criminal organization that existed in the underworld that sought to rule the world. At one point, they murdered the inhabitants of a village with only a boy as the survivor who vowed revenge against the Hand. He then formed the Chaste to counter them and they waged a shadowy war against the Hand. Among the objectives of the Hand was the creation of a Black Sky but these attempts were thwarted by the Chaste. It was revealed that the Black Sky was the god of their prophecies that was expected to lead them to victory with this person being Elektra. In Hell's Kitchen, they were mistaken for the Yakuza and were one of the factions that Wilson Fisk courted in his rise as the Kingpin of crime.
- In Iron Fist, the Hand appeared in the live-action Netflix television series where they were a secret society operating in the world. The inhabitants of K'un-Lun considered the Hand enemies and trained the Iron Fist as their weapon against it. However, they were considered a fable similar to Satan and his demons. It was revealed that their ability to resurrect people led to the individuals incapable of being killed as they simply returned back to life with each time them becoming more mentally unstable to the point that they killed those closest to them. In New York, they approached the dying Harold Meachum and offered to save him from his cancer by having him die whereupon they resurrected him. This was to keep him under their debt under the condition that he appeared dead to the world and if he broke this rule they threatened to kill his children. The Hand were said to had infested the Rand Corporation and were using it to achieve their hidden goals. They dispatched a warrior to confront the returned Danny Rand where they challenged him to the da jue zhan grand duel.
- In Defenders, the Hand returned as antagonists in the live-action Netflix television series. Their origins were revealed to lie in K'un-Lun long ago when its elders had discovered the secret of using their chi to heal themselves. However, several of their number intended to use this power to live forever and regenerate their bodies over the years with this being seen as heresy leading to them being cast out of their home. These five heretics were Alexandra Reid, Madame Gao, Bokuto, Sowande and Murakami who became the five fingers of the Hand with them returning to their respective homelands to build their secret global criminal empire. The Chaste were later formed in response with them seeking to defeat the Hand. It was said that whenever the Hand's founders gathered together that a great culling took place and that they had been responsible for numerous catastrophes in history with these events being written off as natural disasters. After acquiring the Black Sky, Alexandra sought to bring about the culmination of their plans in New York with her targeting the Chaste and also looking to acquire the Iron Fist.
- In Elektra, the Hand appeared as antagonists in the live-action movie. They were said to be an ancient force of evil that had existed in the war that fought for the Treasure. Its ninjas were clad in black which contrasted them from the Chaste who wore white. When killed, their bodies disappeared in bright green flames and smoke. Members of the Hand that failed in their duty were expected to kill themselves. By modern times, they were led by Master Roshi where among its members included his son Kirigi, Kinkou, Tattoo, Typhoid, and Stone. The Council of the Hand sought to acquire the Treasure that took the form of a young girl named Abby Miller. After the initial failure in getting the Treasure, Kirigi decided to take matters into his own hand and acquire it alongside his fellow elite ninjas.
- In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Hand were seen in the background of the Shadowland stage arena where they sat around the throne of their master Daredevil in the fighting video game.
- In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the Hand appeared in the setting of the Facebook video game and receive a dossier entry on their background. It was said that their roots dated back to feudal Japan but they stopped being a ninja clan when they were taken over by worshippers of the demonic Beast which transformed them into a world-wide criminal organization divided into five 'fingers' or spheres of influence that controlled a different part of the globe. Among their warriors were Hand Assassins, Hand Dragons, Hand Ninjas, Hand Scorpions, Hand Shadows, Hand Shinobis, Hand Soldiers, Hand Spies and Hand Warriors. Izo, Bullseye and Elektra were shown to be associated with the Hand.
- In Marvel Heroes, the Hand appeared as antagonists that battled the players characters. Their leader was Gorgon and Elektra was a master assassin working with them. They were in control of Madripoor until hostilities erupted with HYDRA as both factions sought to claim an ancient stone tablet.
- In Marvel Strike Force, the Hand appeared as antagonists and as support characters in the mobile video game. Among the different types of warriors included Archers, Assassins, Blademasters, Sentry and Sorceresses. A playable character in the game included Nobu who was a mysterious ninja master that summoned his Hand minions to assist him in battle.
- In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, the Hand were an ancient ninja cult that appeared in the setting of the Wii video game. They were said to had resurrected Elektra in the past and were operating in Shadowland where they were conducted an arcane ritual to manifest their master the Beast. Elektra attempted to stop the ritual but was used as a vessel for the Beast until she was freed by the Avengers.
- Daredevil: Ninja:
- New Avengers v1':
- Secret Warriors v1:
- Wolverine v4:
- Savage Wolverine v1 #6: (2013)
- Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted: Infinite Comic v1:
- Avengers World v1:
- Savage Avengers v1: