Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at those undead ninjas: The Hand
Appearances in Heroclix: Wizkids Marvel, Avengers Assemble, Deadpool, The Invincible Iron Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Giant Size X-Men, Hammer of Thor, Secret Invasion, Universe, Critical Mass, Xplosion, Clobberin Time, Infinity Challenge
First Appearance: Daredevil #174
Notable Members: Daredevil, Elektra, Black Tarantula, White Tiger, Gorgon, Psylocke, Wolverine
Created by: Frank Miller
In 1588, Kagenobu Yoshioka became sensei of the Ishiyama Sword School. As he grows frustrated with a corrupt government, he transforms the school into a training ground for samurai whose goal is to put power back into the hands of the Japanese people. And it is at this time that the Hand is born with each of the inner circle of the Hand operating from one of Japan’s five main islands.
An ancient clan known as the Snakeroot clan seem to trace their bloodline back to godlike creatures that the Japanese call Tengu. The Snakeroot clan murders Yoshioka and takes control of the Hand, imposing a cult worship of the demon known as the Beast on it. Using black magic, the Hand then work as mercenaries while also seeking greater power for themselves.
Following World War II, members of the Hand plot to overthrow the Japanese government, assassinate the prime minister and install an anti-communist government by forming Hydra. Shortly after joining Hydra, Baron von Strucker seizes control of the organization and splinters off from the original founders. Despite this, the two groups have maintained close ties for the intervening decades. The Chaste has formed as a direct adversarial group to the Hand. Led by Stick, the Chaste has helped train some of the Hand’s most dangerous foes (and unwilling allies) Daredevil and Elektra.
Eventually, the Hand targets Stick directly hoping to elimate the Chaste by killing their leader. This plan ultimately succeeds but at the cost of much of the Hand’s leadership, as Stick performs a dangerous ritual that destroys the Hand ninjas attacking him at the cost of his own life. Stick, however, is able to return to life through reincarnation. With the help of Daredevil, the Chaste manage to safeguard Stick’s newly reincarnated form from the Hand and escape to raise him.
Over the years, the Hand has often come into conflict and molded the history of Wolverine, Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, and Psylocke specifically. Elektra eventually assumes leadership of the Hand only to be revealed as a Skrull imposter. Without a warlord, the Hand courts both Daredevil and the Kingpin as new leaders. Kingpin seems poised to take the position when Daredevil arrives and accepts the mantle. He later recruits Black Tarantula and White Tiger.
Daredevil seeks to use the Hand as a force of good and builds Shadowland as both a fortress and prison. During his time as leader of the Hand he comes into conflict with many of his former friends and allies that believe he has been corrupted by the Snakeroot clan. The heroes, such as Iron Fist and Luke Cage, learn that Daredevil has become possessed by the demon the Hand worships: the Beast. The Beast Daredevil attempts to resurrect Bullseye as a Hand agent and is then sieged by a large group of heroes. Iron Fist is eventually able to exorcise the Beast with his chi punch, leaving the Hand in disarray. As a result, the Kingpin and Typhoid Mary take command of the Hand and Shadowland.
During Doctor Octopus’ time in Spider-Man’s body, he attacks Shadowland with his Spiderlings. Though he kills or captures many of them, several of the Hand ninjas escape and join up with the Goblin Nation.