Thursday, November 26, 2015


Kiung-Fu grip of DEATH

In The League of Regrettable Superheroes (a great present for your loved ones this holiday season, you know!), I wrote about a seemingly omnipotent and omnipresent yet disembodied crimefighter named The Eye, a giant flaming ocular orb which directed human agents towards battling evil on its behalf. At the time, I did get to wondering if there were additional floating, sentient, villainy-smashing face parts out there like The Nose, The Lips and The Septum.

Well, color me surprised to have learned of the existence of the Eye's slightly most dexterous cousin, The Hand!

For only a few issues of Harvey's Speed Comics, the Hand waged a one --- mitt --- war on crime, hovering above evildoers and intimidating them with his disturbing antics.

Is the hand really big or just really close to the viewer?
Predictably enough, no origin is ever given for The Hand, nor would one probably truly suffice. The special effects in his first appearance, however, seem to imply that the hand in question belongs to a body, albeit one that's functionally invisible (Which doesn't explain the Hand's tremendous powers, its apparent power of flight, or the fact that it squeezes in through little tiny spaces a body could never follows).

What can The Hand do? Well, it's primary power is pointing, which it does as a sort-of scent -hound for the FBI. Appearing out of nowhere in public arenas and jabbing an accusing digit at secretive wrong-doers is how The Hand alerts his tagalong pals from the FBI to the presence of nefarious nogoodniks. This raises the question of how exactly The Hand passed the FBI's strict background check, but I digress.

In addition to pointing, The Hand readily appears and disappears as needed, can fly, can change size and - naturally - beat the holy living hell out of anyone it wants. An even more remarkable power is his mid-air penmanship - with a pointed finger, the hand can write in midair,  leaving burning messages for friend or foe alike. Sometimes, though, he just writes down what it wants on a card and hands it to the person in question. Probably because the "flaming airborne letters" tricks really scares the hell out of the guy at Circle K when all The Hand wanted was a pack of cigarettes (I assume he smokes Senor Wences style).

The Hand's last outstanding attribute is his brand - and hey, it's all about brands these days! By some arbitrary criteria not explained in the book, some criminals receive a bright-red mark of a hand across their foreheads, marking them forever as criminals under the threat of the hand. Yes, The Hand's final power is a savage bitchslap that leaves a welt. I'm sure the underworld trembled with fear.

"I'm tired of these jokes about my giant hand. the first such incident occurred in 1956 when..."

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