A group of villains published by Marvel Comics. The Hand were first published in Daredevil #168 in 1981.

The Hand are a ninja clan bent on gaining power. Lead by their mystical leader known only as the Beast, the Hand employ both martial arts skills and dark magic to meet their goal of domination. Part of the Hand's use of mystical forces makes the body of one of their members turn to dust upon death so that they can not be examined.

The Hand has for years been opposed by a group of warriors, whose only goal is to thwart the plans of the Hand. The leader of this group was an elderly blind man who was called Stick after his preferred weapon, a staff. Stick and the warriors that he trained sought to keep the Hand from gaining any ground in their battle for power. Occasionally, Stick took on outside students who could learn from his knowledge. Two of these students became key in helping Stick and his warriors oppose the Hand: Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios.

Elektra Natchios began her training as a warrior with Stick, but he eventually turned her away after he determined that she was too full of anger and hate to learn. Elektra took up with the Hand at this point hoping to prove her worth to Stick. She was corrupted by the Hand's training and was tricked into killing one of her old teachers during a training exercise. She fled the Hand, but used her abilities to become a top paid assassin.

Years later, the Hand sought to destroy the opposition of Stick and his students once and for all. The Hand attacked Stick and the his students along with Daredevil and his former partner the Black Widow. The battle was going badly for the heroes until Stick and one of his students absorbed the life forces of all of the Hand warriors present, causing themselves to explode.

The Hand has been used by others over the years and come into conflict with other heroes like Wolverine, the Punisher, and Captain America. They have also clashed again with Daredevil while the hero attempted to save the life of a child that is believed to be Stick in his reincarnated form.

The idea of the Hand was used a few years later as the template for a group of ninja led by the archvillain of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shredder. This thinly veiled knock-off group was given the name the Foot. So much for originality.

I have been given a bit of grief from my fellow comics readers about my portrayal of the Foot as "thinly veiled knock-off." Many have been quick to defend TMNT and their characters as a tribute to Frank Miller's Daredevil run rather than a derivative comic using Miller's work as a template. I will acknowledge that it may have been intended to be so but unfortunately the result was, in my opinion, poorly written and poorly drawn, making it a poor hommage.

But to each his own.

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