By Jim Beard
Uniting the Hand, an ages-old cabal of mystical ninjas, probably won't be the easiest thing Daredevil's ever accomplished, but he may die trying.
The Man Without Fear brings together the newest fist of the mighty Hand in this February 7's DAREDEVIL #505, but things weren't always this chummy between our red-suited super hero and this faceless horde of fighting warriors. Once upon a time they stood as the greatest of enemies, their skirmishes sucking in many of DD's closest friends and nearly destroying his life.
Their story stretches back centuries, to feudal Japan and the beginnings of the evil Hydra. The Hand's reach is ageless and their grudges long-kept...
Summoned by the Kingpin, the Hand descended on attorney Matt Murdock, secretly Daredevil. Marked for death, Murdock's case entered the court of Elektra as the former Hand member rushed to Daredevil's aid, though in doing so she brought a death sentence down upon her own head.
After the Hand kidnapped a City Commissioner and Daredevil teamed with Ghost Rider to cut them off, the Man Without Fear and the Hand's rivals, the Chaste, pooled their efforts to defeat the ninjas and rescue their unfortunate captives.
The so-called "Dead Man's Hand" continued to be dealt from the bottom and Daredevil fought on against its collective danger. Finding himself in a casino our hero witnessed the combined might of the deadly Hand warriors and equally ruthless Yakuza mobsters as the Punisher waited in the wings.
The Hand desired their greatest opponent, Daredevil, to be their new leader. When he refused the offer, the rudderless warriors extended the invitation to the former Kingpin of Crime, who agreed to meet with them while Matt fought for his friends' lives. Then, racing to the meeting, our hero made the hardest of decisions and agreed to lead the Hand if they cut all ties to the Kingpin forever.
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