“I’ve got red in my ledger. Now I need to wipe it out”
And we’re back with our recurring feature titled RED LEDGER, where the staff of MCUExchange convenes to say something nice and constructive about things in the MCU that people haven’t been necessarily kind to. Today, we’re all about the much-maligned Netflix cannon fodder, The Hand.
First things first, Ninjas are cool. That’s an undeniable fact. Of course, there’s a scale for coolness and The Hand probably aren’t very high on that scale, but they’re still Ninjas and that automatically makes them cool. On a more serious note, they’re also an essential part of Daredevil’s story and core motivation. They’re the reason Stick is so intense with Matt’s training because he’s preparing him to face The Hand. And all of this is a great way to begin seeding the world of Iron Fist and ultimately leading into The Defenders. So The Hand ended up being the connective tissue that brought all of the Defenders together. So I guess we have them to thank for the epic team-up. – Alex Lurie – Feature Writer
Personally, I quite liked the introduction of the Hand as The Defenders‘ very own HYDRA. They could have been enemies that were brought back regularly and are so varied that they could’ve done many types of stories It made sense to introduce them in Daredevil, especially with their tight ties to Elektra and him in the comics, before revealing their major role in The Defenders. The one aspect that was a bit off was the fact that they turned them into the mortal enemies of the Iron Fist but it did give him a bit more agency in his show. Their role as the main villain in The Defenders sadly left a lot to be desired. They brought back some characters we have met but threw in some random additions that did not get much character development throughout the mini-series. We got an amazing performance from Sigourney Weaver that built up quite a bit of mystery but sadly went nowhere. We got some interesting aspects of their mythology, such as their ties to K’un-L’un and the secret behind their resurrections, but it felt overexplained. An aspect that makes the Hand so fascinating is their strong ties to the demon Beast that they worship. Weaver seemed like a perfect choice to be the current person to hold that title and be possessed by the demon. The direction they went wasn’t bad but it felt like something was missing. Luckily, just like HYDRA, the Hand could return at any time and can be given a new direction. The organization lost most of its leading members so they could easily start worshipping a demon that offers them a chance to climb back to the top. – Joseph Aberl – Editor
The only good thing that I can think about it is that it gave us ninjas and Sigourney Weaver, and she was a hugeeeee get for Defenders. It also gave us great fight scenes in Daredevil season 2. We got to see a stylized fight choreography that we otherwise might not have. Matt Murdock wasn’t just battling thugs with guns anymore, having ninjas in the mix really allowed us to see awesome comic book fight scenes we otherwise would have missed. – Kevin Carter – Feature Writer
I’ve said it over and over again: my favorite parts of the Daredevil mythology are the mystic stuff. I’ve been always enamored by the idea that heightened esoteric layer of intrigue exists in Matt Murdock’s crime-ridden world without breaking it. When they Stick introduces the Black Sky to Matt and Madame Gao does her palm trick to the Man in Black in the first season of Daredevil, it makes the world richer and deeper. So I’m a sucker for the Hand. As shameful as they were treated in The Defenders and Iron Fist, so much of my enjoyment with these Netflix shows have to do with the mystic Hand elements. Plus, how many incredible fight scenes did we get because of this evil alliance? Nobu vs. DD is a major series highlight. What I’d give for them to have a second chance in doing it correctly. Give us The Beast, you cowards! – Charles Villanueva – Editor-in-Chief
The Hand’s plotline might have gotten a little repetitive at some point in The Defenders, but it did start out as a mysterious, promising antagonist group for the Netflix heroes. Its reach spread through various shows, and connected Iron Fist to Daredevil satisfyingly. And hey, you know what? If the whole Elektra/Black Sky thing had been done just a little bit more organically and less confusingly, that subplot could have been the best of the Netflix corner of the MCU, and maybe even one of the best of the MCU as a whole. That’s what The Hand was: unmatched in terms of promise. – Tiago Fiszbejn – News Writer
Wow, alright, this is a hard one. So, The Hand, when they were first revealed in the second season of Daredevil, had promise. The fact that they were a straight-up ninja army was delightful in the incredibly grounded universe of the Netflix shows. Nobu himself, returning from the dead, was also great and he was, at the very least, an intimidating and formidable opponent for Matt Murdock. Then there was the mysterious hole The Hand was digging. While it’s obvious now that the showrunners and writers had no idea what to put at the bottom of that hole in The Defenders, it was a neat visual and was appropriately ominous. Even if it did lead to disappointment. The Hand were also built up even more when it was revealed that they invaded and destroyed K’un-Lun. It’s a shame they dropped the ninja aesthetic for boring board of directors. – Pierre Chanliau – Editor
Though The Hand went out in The Defenders with a portrayal so dysfunctional that it discredited their level of influence and made their members’ immortality less believable, I still believe that there were some very good ideas that just weren’t developed fully or executed correctly. I always thought that the concept of different factions was an intriguing one, and it could have been great if we had more intriguing leaders behind them and more of a background on how their beliefs and motivations differed from each other. Their development in Defenders really suffered from the need to develop the heroes and their relationships within the team, and this was probably the only Netflix series that should have been longer. In the end, like them or not, you can’t deny that The Hand did give us a few of the best fight scenes in the MCU. – KJ Callahan – Feature Writer
Have something nice to say about The Hand? Join the fun and let us know in the comments!