The Hand began several hundred years ago as a ultra-nationalist clan of Japanese warriors. They were corrupted from within by demon-worshippers known as the Snakeroot and their master, the Beast. The influence of the Snakeroot is so strong that today there's no distinction between the Hand and the Snakeroot. Much like HYDRA and AIM, the Hand has fractured into many smaller clan and organizations over the years, often operating independently of each other. In recent years, several characters have acted as the rulers of the Hand after the death of the last Grandmaster, including Elektra, Daredevil, Kingpin, and Sabretooth.