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Is the Hand interesting?
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The Overlord
Paradiso


Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Is the Hand interesting? Reply with quote

I have heard complaints about the Netflix Marvel shows that say the Hand are not interesting villains in that show, but here is my question, were the Hand ever that interesting?

Really even going back to the Miller era, the Hand seemed more like a plot device then anything else, almost none of the Hand ninjas or Hand leaders received any sort of characterization, its generic evil Ninja goons and their generic evil leaders who have motives that never really got expanded upon in the DD title. The only kinda interesting villain that is wholly associated with the Hand (I do not consider Elektra a Hand character, considering all the time she has spent fighting them) is the Great Beast demon from the Elektra mini series, but really that's it and the Beast is not an amazing character, but a serviceable one. Kirigi is just a plot device, IMO.

In general it seems like the Hand is just there to have excuses for martial fight scenes and super natural stuff, but almost no one in the Hand is interesting.

At this point, I almost wonder if the Foot from TMNT is better realized then the Hand (they were created as a parody of the Hand) because in the original TMNT comics there was a story about a cycle of revenge between the Foot and the Turtles that defined that comic, the Hand never got as thematic, IMO.

I kinda see why they made Kingpin the leader of the Hand, because now you finally have a interesting character leading the Hand, IMO. Kingpin is more interesting then the generic baddies usually running the Hand.
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 1994
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First: The Kingpin is the leader of the Hand now? I trade wait so I'm a little behind but that's ridiculous.

Second: While it's true that The Hand are a pretty thin excuse to have Daredevil fight ninjas and to inject a bunch of ninja mythology into Daredevil I think you're missing the point which is: to have Daredevil fight ninjas and inject a bunch of ninja mythology into Daredevil! Way too often the fact that superhero comics are aimed primarily at kids is forgotten (adults can enjoy them too obviously but they are primarily for kids). I remember when I was a kid and first discovering Daredevil and I came across Hand stories and I was like "THIS IS AWESOME! DAREDEVIL IS FIGHTING NINJAS!!!!". To a child (and Frank Miller apparently) ninja = AWESOME!

Plus, I think you're sort of selling The Hand short in terms of characterization. On a very general level they are aesthetically fantastic. The name ("The Hand!") is fantastic. Design wise they look wicked. Them turning into weird smoke is cool.

More specifically, that creepy leader that Elektra killed was cool (in a creepy villain way). That unkillable one that also got killed was cool. And that's without even getting into all the related stuff. Without The Hand there is no Chaste. Which means no Stick and no Stone or Wing or Claw or all those dudes.

And without Stick there's no "Daredevil is kinda a ninja" which would be a huge loss. Because Daredevil kiiiiiinda being a ninja is wicked.

The Hand has been used very, very poorly many, many times but as a concept they're still pretty cool.
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Mike Murdock
Child's Play


Joined: 08 Sep 2014
Posts: 979

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james castle wrote:
First: The Kingpin is the leader of the Hand now? I trade wait so I'm a little behind but that's ridiculous.


Might I suggest checking out somewhere around Daredevil #500. It's not anything recent.
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 1994
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
james castle wrote:
First: The Kingpin is the leader of the Hand now? I trade wait so I'm a little behind but that's ridiculous.


Might I suggest checking out somewhere around Daredevil #500. It's not anything recent.


Just looked it up. Looks like Fisk (and Typhoid Mary? (comon)) took over after Shadowland. Which explains why I blocked it out.
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The Overlord
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Joined: 22 Aug 2004
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james castle wrote:
First: The Kingpin is the leader of the Hand now? I trade wait so I'm a little behind but that's ridiculous.

Second: While it's true that The Hand are a pretty thin excuse to have Daredevil fight ninjas and to inject a bunch of ninja mythology into Daredevil I think you're missing the point which is: to have Daredevil fight ninjas and inject a bunch of ninja mythology into Daredevil! Way too often the fact that superhero comics are aimed primarily at kids is forgotten (adults can enjoy them too obviously but they are primarily for kids). I remember when I was a kid and first discovering Daredevil and I came across Hand stories and I was like "THIS IS AWESOME! DAREDEVIL IS FIGHTING NINJAS!!!!". To a child (and Frank Miller apparently) ninja = AWESOME!

Plus, I think you're sort of selling The Hand short in terms of characterization. On a very general level they are aesthetically fantastic. The name ("The Hand!") is fantastic. Design wise they look wicked. Them turning into weird smoke is cool.

More specifically, that creepy leader that Elektra killed was cool (in a creepy villain way). That unkillable one that also got killed was cool. And that's without even getting into all the related stuff. Without The Hand there is no Chaste. Which means no Stick and no Stone or Wing or Claw or all those dudes.

And without Stick there's no "Daredevil is kinda a ninja" which would be a huge loss. Because Daredevil kiiiiiinda being a ninja is wicked.

The Hand has been used very, very poorly many, many times but as a concept they're still pretty cool.


I just think it be easy to keep the aesthetics that like people like about the Hand and make them more interesting, give them a leader with a defined personality, rather then the Hand being run by a cabal of generic evil disposable villains.

Like I said, its a shame I find the Foot more compelling and thematic then the Hand, considering they were created as a parody of the Hand.
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Dimetre
Ninja


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 899
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I wouldn't characterize the Hand as a plot device, I agree with the Overlord that they weren't really ever front and centre in the comics. During the Miller era, the main plot was saving Elektra from the Hand. It was Daredevil and Elektra. The Hand was sort of an amorphous evil that needn't be the focus.

More recently, when they slaughtered the family Wilson Fisk adopted in Europe, again, they were instrumental in the story, but Kingpin was the focus.

After that, during Andy Diggle's run, we met more members of the Hand, but I have blocked a lot of that out of my memory.

I think the Hand are an effective anonymous evil organization for stories, much in the same way Hydra is. I think they could use a break after Shadowland and all of the Netflix shows, but it appears they're not getting one.

I think the Netflix-viewing public are finding the Hand uninteresting simply due to overuse. I think they were okay in the two seasons of Daredevil. They fought like ninjas, and attacked in dense waves. However, in Iron Fist and The Defenders they were just generic thugs. I honestly think that those last two series shouldn't have involved the Hand at all.
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Mike Murdock
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Joined: 08 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the Hand work well with a hierarchy. I mean, they should have a leadership but the higher up you go, the more nebulous it becomes (with the Beast being chief among that). That being said, there have been plenty of stories where they were not ancillary, including the back half of Miller's run.
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Francesco
Underboss


Joined: 08 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the whole "Kingpin leader of the hand" spontaneously died off and is now no longer the case.
The most recent appearences of both Kingpin and the Hand do not show Kingpin have anything to do with the hand anymore.
Besides, a storyarc in Wolverine by Jason Aaron explained that Fisk wasn't even really in control of the real Hand after Shadowland.

As for what I think about the Hand, they're kind of a one trick pony, even moreso than the average recurring villain. And their "one trick" is the least threatening thing ever in fiction, the "Bunch of faceless mooks gang up on our hero".
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james castle
Devil in Cell-Block D


Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 1994
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dimetre wrote:
I think the Netflix-viewing public are finding the Hand uninteresting simply due to overuse. I think they were okay in the two seasons of Daredevil. They fought like ninjas, and attacked in dense waves. However, in Iron Fist and The Defenders they were just generic thugs. I honestly think that those last two series shouldn't have involved the Hand at all.


There's a lot to dislike about the Netflix series' but near the very top of my complaints is the constant and repeated "you mean...The Hand?". Yes. The Hand. They are the only big bad villains at play anymore. So yeah, this is a plot by The Hand. It gets cartoonish after a while.
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George Barett
Flying Blind


Joined: 11 Oct 2017
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Location: Lakonia, Greece

PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings to all Fellow Fans.

This is trial attempt to see if my comment will appear as posted, this 2nd time.

I do believe that The Hand as a concept is most interesting. Indeed, since having base in factual history, it has the capacity of a plethora of possibilities for the expansion of it's theme and even reinvention of some of the more dubious elements.
Those being mainly the the mysticism, which many cite as a primary reason for their disenchantment with the concept through it's creation of a major barrier between The Hand and the fanbase's reception of their believability and effectiveness as a major threat.

The Hand also has suffered from over-misuse, and as mentioned by others here, has seen little in the way of thematical progression since their introduction. Basically left to stagnate. I think that they would greatly benifit if given the attention they've been denied and which can so easily be formulated by exploiting the readily accessible ingredients found in their aforementioned actual history based roots. This would be key for resulting in lending them that much needed more grounded presentation.

Thank you for hearing me, and if this attempt post's then I can expand on this further.
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