The following contains major spoilers for Reckless #5, available now from Marvel Comics.
When Matt Murdock discovered he was at the center of an ancient prophecy that would determine the fate of humanity, he had no idea what it would mean to face one of the Marvel Universe’s most brutal heroes as well as its most murderous cult. Not only is Daredevil ready to wage war against The Hand for what might be the last time, but Frank Castle aka the Punisher is the one leading the other side of the fight. At the very least, Matt had believed that the Punisher was destined to be his greatest and potentially final enemy. It’s now clear that’s not the case, though whether that makes things better or worse isn’t known.
Reckless #5 (by VC’s Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Matthew Wilson, and Clayton Cowles) finds the titular hero and his allies hard at work planning their next move in the war against The Hand. While the ancient book Stick acquired had previously needed translation of its slowly unraveling prophecies, things have changed since Matt and Elektra sealed their fates with a bloodstained wedding. According to the most recent revelations, The Hand has been using his necromantic abilities to replace various world leaders in addition to his more usual assassination tactics. This has all been in an attempt to usher in the end of the world and the new reign of The Hand’s demon god known as the Beast, but none of it aligns with their current leader’s own beliefs.
The Punisher was never the true leader of the hand
Although Frank Castle has supposedly been leading The Hand for months, it’s obvious that things are much more complicated than they seem. The Hand may have drawn the Punisher into his midst by resurrecting his late wife Maria from him, but Castle still doesn’t share his penchant for wanton murder or relentless cruelty. In fact, Frank has rejected almost everything The Hand has tried to instill in him despite the fact that he is fast becoming the Beast’s next living vessel. The fact that Frank hasn’t completely fallen to the forces of evil still speaks to how strong his will really is, but that decision doesn’t seem to be up to him at all, especially now that Aka has revealed herself to be the true leader of La. Hand. .
Aka has long been one of the most formidable assassins The Hand has ever produced. He, too, has spent decades pulling the strings behind the lives of Elektra and Matt or at least trying to. When Elektra first joined The Hand, Aka was the one who gained her loyalty, and when Matt later showed up, Aka was the one who pressured Elektra to try and gain her trust. Of course, things didn’t go quite as Aka hoped, and his best attempts to control the pair would only drive them further away from The Hand than ever before. However, this hasn’t swayed Aka’s efforts and the time since he’s risen through the ranks of The Hand to become the shadowy figure who determines every move he makes despite the Punisher’s apparent position.
Daredevil discovered the true leader of the hand
The revelation that Aka is the true leader of The Hand could give Frank some sort of absolution in the days to come, though it won’t wash away the blood he already has on his hands. Assuming he figures out the truth himself, it might even be the thing that sees him finally make good on his promise to destroy The Hand. Unfortunately, he won’t do much in terms of removing the demonic influence that has already clawed its way into his soul. Then again, there’s no telling what Daredevil is capable of as the leader of The Fist, and curing Castle might just be the development they’ve been waiting for if it changes the fate that awaits them.
Just as the book has shown the heroes what The Hand has in store for them, it has also predicted the final confrontation between Daredevil and the Punisher that will determine the fate of the entire world. Now that they know that Frank isn’t the call-maker, their earlier interpretation of that prophecy might have been given a similar new understanding as well. If that’s what happened, then the Punisher could end up being The Fist’s next biggest asset when it comes to saving the world. If not, then Daredevil’s biggest fight is going to be even worse than he already imagined.