The Marvel Cinematic Universe original series on Netflix were linked by a common enemy in The Hand. The ancient, occult order of ninjas had secretly manipulated the course of history from the shadows for centuries before running into the various street-level superheroes defending New York City. This showdown culminated in the crossover miniseries The Defenders, with the ragtag team of heroes confronting The Hand's five commanders -- dubbed the Fingers of The Hand -- to save Manhattan from the organization's longstanding plot to harvest a dragon skeleton buried below the city.

Here is a quick overview of the five commanders of The Hand, including when they were first introduced and their final fate before the end of Marvel Television's partnership with Netflix.

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One of the most cunning of The Hand's five founders is Alexandra Reid, a woman who traveled to K'un-Lun looking for answers after the tragic death of her daughter. It is revealed Alexandra and her fellow founders used a serum known as the Resurrection Elixir to stay relatively unaged over centuries, with the serum derived from crushed dragon bones. Alexandra uses the last of the elixir to resurrect Elektra Natachios, claiming her to be the latest Black Sky, a revered figure among The Hand.

As she begins to reacclimatize Elektra to the world of the living and oversee her training to become The Hand's most lethal warrior, Alexandra learns her body is finally beginning to fail her. Desperate, Alexandra moves up the timetables for The Hand's plot to mine the dragon skeleton buried under Manhattan, causing concern among her fellow founders as well as their suspicions about Elektra. Ultimately, Elektra betrays and kills Alexandra, usurping her position in The Hand.

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The first Finger of The Hand introduced in the MCU is Madame Gao, an elderly Chinese crime lord introduced as a leading Manhattan mobster in the first season of Daredevil. Running The Hand's narcotics operation out of Chinatown, Gao proves to be a formidable fighter, easily subduing Matt Murdock in their initial confrontation while quietly controlling Wilson Fisk as he rises to power.

It is revealed that Gao had trained in K'un-Lun before being exiled with the individuals that would form The Hand for using their abilities towards selfish gains. Gao would later oppose Iron Fist and reveal herself responsible for the plane crash that led to his parents' deaths. After orchestrating a meeting between Davos and Joy Meachum to eventually pursue their mutual revenge against Danny Rand, Gao would eventually meet in her end in Midland Circle, crushed by falling rubble.

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Murakami was the most reluctant of Alexandra's associates to pervert the teachings of K'un-Lun for themselves before convinced by the others and joining them in their exile. Establishing a faction of The Hand in Japan, Murakami had Nobu representing his interests in New York City, even resurrecting his loyal subordinate after his initial death fighting Daredevil.

He was among the most suspicious of Elektra's resurrection due to her connection to Matt Murdock and Alexandra's ulterior motives. Despite this, Murakami still fought Jessica Jones on The Hand's orders, proving himself to be Jessica's equal despite her superhuman abilities. In the final battle, Murakami was mortally wounded attempting to stop the Defenders from escaping Midland Circle before being killed by falling rubble.

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Bakuto was introduced in the first season of Iron Fist as Colleen Wing's former martial arts mentor, later revealed to be a loyal agent of The Hand. He manipulated Colleen to grow close to Danny Rand, obsessed with his powers as the Iron Fist which were later revealed to be the key in unlocking the subterranean chamber to the dragon skeleton under Manhattan. Ultimately, Colleen sided with Iron Fist and Bakuto was killed.

Resurrected by The Hand alongside Elektra with the last of the Resurrection Elixir, Bakuto sought revenge against Iron Fist and Colleen for his earlier death. Bakuto pursued Colleen and her new friend Misty Knight after an initial confrontation against the Defenders, leading to Bakuto cutting off Misty's hand before being beheaded by Colleen, ending the villain's life for good.

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First introduced in The Defenders, Sowande was a student of K'un-Lun who retreated to South Africa after being banished from the mythical city. While Sowande accumulated power, he battled against Stick several times in his life before his eventual arrival in Manhattan to assist The Hand with their grand scheme by bringing Alexandra the corpse of Elektra.

In a faraway city without his full array of resources, Sowande began recruiting crews from Harlem to do his dirty work, attracting the attention of Luke Cage. Taking on the Defenders and Stick personally, Sowande would be defeated by Luke and interrogated before Stick beheaded the villain after he attempted to take Iron Fist hostage.

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