Midland Circle was a building located in Hell's Kitchen, New York City that was constructed on top of hole the Hand dug in order to harvest dragon fossils, an ingredient necessary for the Resurrection Elixir. The building also served as the headquarters for Midland Circle Financial, a front organization used by the Hand. The building was destroyed by the combined efforts of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Colleen Wing and Claire Temple in an effort to destroy the Hand for good.
A Deep Hole
- "Um, last year, when I was investigating the Hand, the, uh, trail led me to a construction site, which is now Midland Circle. Uh, there was a hole there. Hundreds of feet deep."
"In the middle of New York?"
"And you're just now remembering this?"
"You sense anything at the bottom of that hole?"
"I don't think so. I kept tabs on it. Once the building was finished, my sense was the hole was gone."
- ―Matt Murdock, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Stick
Seeking for new source of the Resurrection Elixir, the Hand learned about dragon bones covered under the surface of New York City. Murakami then decided to sent his second-in-command, Nobu Yoshioka to investigate and find the way to extract bones. Yoshioka then found the location of bones below the tennant block and cooperated with Wilson Fisk in order to get rid of the building.
Using his illicit methods, Fisk purchased the building and handed it to Yoshioka's men. The Hand then infiltrated the Roxxon Corporation and used their assets to transport dirt and workers from Japan to the construction site named Midland Circle, what was established instead of the tenant block. Under Yoshioka's and Murakami's commands, Hand members began digging an enormous hole in Midland Circle in order to make their way to the dragon bones.
Investigating the Hand activities, Daredevil and Elektra tracked the trail leading to Midland Circle. Defeating several guards, they found a hole inside the construction site. After they realized how deep that hole was, they were ambushed by the Hand ninjas. Ninjas managed to defeat intruders, heavily injuring Elektra before they were saved by Stick who quickly massacred all the remaining Hand members and ordered Murdock to escape from the construction site.
Covering the Hole
Several months later, digging was finished and Alexandra Reid ordered to cover their activities in New York more carefully. Shutting down several shell companies owned by the Hand, Reid transferred their holdings to Midland Circle Financial and hired Duncan + Dotter Design to design the headquarters for the company on Midland Circle construction site. Architect John Raymond was tasked to design the building however he eventually learned about the Hand and their plans for Midland Circle and secretly collected some C-4 explosives to destroy the building before went off the grid.
At the next year, the building was completed, and the Hand used it as their headquarters in New York while workers found out that underground with dragon bones was shut by a wall made by the Order of the Crane Mother. Reid together with Madame Gao was searching for way to bones while controlling Hand activities from Midland Circle.
Midland Circle was visited by Danny Rand, CEO of Rand Enterprises who investigated Hand activity and learned about transactions to Midland Circle Financial. Rand then headed to the main office and during the board meeting, confronted Reid. Rand declared his intention to expose the Hand and revealed himself as Iron Fist. However, Reid then ordered her subordinates to capture Rand in order to use his Chi to break the wall. He defeated many of his opponents before they began to overwhelm him with their numbers. The timely arrival of Cage prevented that from happening. Both fighters joined forces and proceed to fight their opponents.
Meanwhile, Murdock, who had followed Jones into the building, heard the gunshots and started heading upstairs while Jones followed him. By the time that they arrived upstairs, they found Cage and Rand defeating their attackers. Before they could escape, they were attacked by Elektra and more Hand reinforcements who tried to prevent their escape. They fought together for the first time and proved to be a deadly and competent team. Elektra managed to overpower Murdock and nearly killed him before she was knocked by Rand and together, the four escaped from Midland Circle.
After the Showdown
After the battle, Elektra stood before a mirror in her room, looking at her reflection. She was joined by Reid who insisted that it did not matter how she had died, but how she lived from now onwards as the Black Sky, although Elektra expressed her desire to know more about her own previous life. Reid noted that through her life and death, Elektra had landed right where she belonged, with her and the Hand, and that she was the Black Sky who had served the Hand.
Later, Elektra then began examining several of the weapons which were now on display there, taking a particularly close look at the pair of Twin Sai that were there. Elektra then found Sowande entered the room with two Hand warriors who immediately insulted Elektra by reminding her of how she had let the intruders escape. Annoyed, Elektra proceeded to easily subdue Sowande's men, even managing to break one of their backs before walking out.
After her meeting with Murakami, Reid returned to Midland Circle where she was fitted with a new gown ready for a future gala, however during the fitting Reid began to feel sick and ordered those in the room to leave her alone as she quickly made her way to her desk to take pills to ease her suffering. Reid then decided to make a call to cancel her plans for the night so that she could instead focus on more important matters, such as tracking down Iron Fist so that she could get closer to uncovering the dragon bones.
Upon failure at the Royal Dragon, the Hand members returned to the Midland Circle. Elektra had carefully sharpened her sword on the floor before overhearing Reid entering the room. In the blink of an eye, Elektra armed herself and stood tall, wielding her sword underneath Reid's throat. Reid took away her blade once Elektra had then explained that she had learned she preferred immortality and the destiny of raising the Black Sky. While Elektra expressed her gratitude to Reid, she was then informed that she was living the life that she was always meant to lead, and that if she was unable to eliminate the targets she is assigned, she would be no use to the Hand as Reid threatened her life with Elektra's own blade, as Elektra vowed that she understood what Reid meant.
Elektra and Reid then were both then unexpectedly interrupted by Murakami. Murakami informed them that Sowande had been taken captive by the Defenders. Reid had remained calm however, promising that Sowande would return and that Bakuto was also on his way back. Once Reid left the room, Elektra glared at him for a while, with Reid telling Murakami that she would continue to speak with him later.
Back in the Midland Circle, Gao was asked by Bakuto if they were no longer on speaking terms since he had last kidnapped her, however Gao insisted that as long as they were all still part of the Hand, they would be on the same side. Gao asked Bakuto if he remembered K'un-Lun before noting that the only way they would be able to return would be if they captured the Iron Fist, questioning why Bakuto had recently targeted Colleen Wing instead of Rand. Gao claimed that Bakuto had a weakness for his own students, to which he argued that he simply did not need to blind his underlings like Gao did to her Steel Serpent slaves to make them loyal to him.
They then were then joined by Reid who promised to confront Bakuto over his failures soon enough, but first Murakami informed the group that the Iron Fist had recruited Daredevil onto his side. Although Gao questioned his claims, noting that Daredevil had not been in the city for months, Murakami insisted it was the truth. While Bakuto questioned why Daredevil was a concern, Murakami noted his relationship with Elektra was what concerned him, as Gao confirmed that she had fought beside him in their battle against Yoshioka before her death and rebirth, while Murakami noted that Elektra had also loved Daredevil in her past life. Murakami questioned Reid's recent choice to bring Elektra back with the Elixir, claiming that this decision had put all the members of the Hand at a greater risk than ever before, despite Reid claiming she felt safer with the Black Sky by her side.
Murakami claimed that Reid no longer thought of her own allies, with Bakuto noting that they were always stronger together. When Gao pointed out that Sowande had been captured by the Defenders Reid insisted that he would soon return, despite the others noting that for the first time they were all in danger of death. Reid insisted that even without Sowande they would survive, as they were all expendable, as Bakuto noted that included her. Reid was accused of forgetting their mission to return to K'un-Lun, as Gao noted that while she was afraid of not returning from death, the others wished to go home.
Reid insisted it was not the case, while Murakami threatened to soon overthrow her, claiming it was perhaps time to continue their mission without the Black Sky or their leader, which Bakuto and Gao seemed to agree with while Reid considered her next actions. Considering what had been said to her and fearing the threat of her own allies turning against her, Reid went to Elektra's room to have a private word with her. However upon entering the room, Reid discovered that Elektra had managed to escape.
Reid then returned to her residence where she attempted to relax by playing some of Johannes Brahms' classical music on her own phonograph player. However, while the music was playing the record began to skip repeatedly, causing Reid to take it off the player and examine it closely to find what was causing it to skip. With not even her record playing, Reid was forced to once again consider her own mortality as she turned off the player and sat in silence in her residence.
The First Casualty
Reid was informed that Sowande's severed head had been found in one of his warehouses, so Reid gathered together all of the other Hand leaders to view it as she noted to them that Stick was likely to be the one to blame for killing Sowande. Although Gao and Bakuto suggested that Sowande's death could have been avoided if they had just tried to find him, Reid insisted that he had gotten himself captured and showed almost no remorse.
Reid noted that their many years together had rarely been peaceful and that they had survived several assassination attempts from one another. Murakami noted that they had been unified until Reid had brought the Black Sky into their organisation. When Bakuto demanded to know where Elektra was, Reid claimed that she was being kept hidden under the belief that one of them would try to destroy her, or she may attempt to kill them. Gao stood up for Reid, claiming that they must honor Sowande by continuing their mission and following their one true leader.
While taking her pills, Reid was visited by Gao who noted that while Reid position of the Hand's leader was one of great power, she understood that it was also a great burden, hence why she had convinced the others to follow her leadership, under the term that they would find the Iron Fist without the interference of the Black Sky, whom they had lost confidence with. When Reid accused Gao of losing her faith, Gao noted that it was unlike Reid to show such weakness.
Gao said that she agree with fellow leaders, noting that the Black Sky had always been Reid's goal and now it had just failed, which Reid still disagreed with. Gao however then argued that since bringing Elektra back with the Elixir they were still no closer to finding the Iron Fist or returning to K'un-Lun as was planned. Reid tried to argue that Elektra is more powerful than they could imagine, although Gao still noted that the others would not accept this. Gao claimed that she was Reid's only remaining ally in this fight and then left Reid to speak with Murakami and Bakuto about their decision.
Reid gathered the other leaders of the Hand and presented them with Rand captured by Elektra, welcoming him into their own headquarters. While Rand still insisted that their war was not yet over, Reid had argued that war only worked when both sides believed they were the good guys, noting that all they desired was to return to K'un-Lun and live in peace, although Rand had then furiously claimed that he had already seen K'un-Lun having already been destroyed by the Hand while he was away.
Reid claimed that Rand had seen what he had wanted to see, claiming that they were not so different although Reid argued that all they wanted was to return to their homes and now they could do that together, without the fear of death hanging over them. Amused by Rand's refusal to assist them, Reid told him that this was indeed the end of their war and promised him that he would soon serve her before ordering her men to take the furious Rand away while he still struggled to free himself from his bonds.
Turning to her allies, Reid claimed they could return to their work, although Murakami still argued that little had gone as planned under Reid's leadership. Although Gao defended her by noting that they finally had the Iron Fist, Murakami claimed that it was not worth the risk to their own lives in the wake of Sowande's death. Reid became frustrated hearing her allies arguing, with Bakuto noting that their sole focus must be reclaiming the Elixir as soon as possible while Gao noted that the Defenders would likely come for Rand and must not be underestimated.
Reid then turned around and told them not to underestimate her leadership, before ordering Elektra to hunt down and kill Cage and Jones, along with Daredevil. While Elektra left the room, Reid addressed the Hand leaders, pointing out that while they had finally fallen into line, she had been the one who had neutralized all of their enemies within the Chaste and brought them the Iron Fist. Reid went on to claim that it was because of her that the Hand had continued with their mission throughout history while they had all fought among themselves many times.
However just as Reid was claiming that she had proven herself time and time again to be the one true leader of the Hand, Elektra then returned into the room and plunged her sai into Reid's back and through her stomach. Elektra then told the group that she was taking over command before she sliced off Reid's head, ending her life once and for all.
Two Hand members then were ordered to take Reid's corpse away. Meanwhile, Bakuto confronted Elektra telling her that this was not how they did business, to which Elektra informed him that this had now changed. When Bakuto and Murakami vowed to do what needed to be done to protect the Hand, threatening to destroy Elektra, she noted that this was the first challenge they had face without the Elixir to bring them back from death. Bakuto then watched as Gao argued that Reid's death must be explained to their partners, but Elektra showed little interest in this, calling them living underground in hiding the complete opposite of having power.
Bakuto then noted that Elektra knew nothing of power, claiming that she did not even exist until Reid had given her back her self. As Bakuto noted that the Hand had existed for as long as it had because they remained careful of maintaining themselves and their lives. Elektra however told Bakuto that she did not care anything for the Hand, and instead claimed she only cared about gaining the Dragon bones hidden underneath New York City so that she and the others could live forever, promising that nothing, not even death, would be able to stand in her way.
- "Where did they take Danny?"
"Midland Circle makes the most sense."
"What from the architect?"
"He was planning on blowing up the building. Collapsing it straight down into the hole."
"They're still digging?"
"No. Digging stopped, but there's some structure, some dome-shaped thing."
- ―Luke Cage, Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones
In order to save Rand, Murdock, Jones and Cage escaped from the 29th Precinct Police Station and then headed to the Midland Circle. Through a back entrance, they were confronted by Gao, Murakami and Bakuto, waiting for their arrival. After a brief converse, the three fought, Jones and Cage against Gao, while Murdock juggled Murakami and Bakuto. Though both were feeling pinned and too easily overpowered by Gao, they managed to knock her to the ground.
Murdock was evenly matched by both opponents but was briefly assisted by Wing, whom fended off Bakuto. In an effort to retreat, an exposed pipe released a flammable gas, Bakuto utilizing his katana to set it ablaze through a spark. Gao, Murakami, and Bakuto left the area; Cage covered the fire with his hand and bent the pipe closed. After everyone recollected, Cage questioned Wing's presence, her response expecting gratitude for her help.
Meanwhile, Elektra took restrained Rand beneath Midland Circle, explaining the blockage that held an ingredient for the Elixir. Though Rand protested that he would not assist the Hand in breaking through, she brought up how they chose their respective paths in life, choosing to run from their destiny while she unstrapped him. They fought fiercely against one another. Eventually Elektra angered Rand to the point that he summoned the Iron Fist. Elektra managed to led Rand to inadvertently opened the sealed door. They both crashed through the opened way to the dragon bones.
Reuniting with Wing and Temple, Murdock decided to chose Wing's plan to use Raymond's C-4 to destroy the Midland Circle and take down the Hand once and for all. Despite Cage's doubts, Temple and Jones agreed with Murdock. Cage then reluctantly agreed to the plan, provided that only the Hand will get hurt by the explosives. They then decided to split up - Cage, Murdock and Jones went to save Rand while Wing and Temple went to plant the explosives at the support columns. Walking through the hallways of the Midland Circle, Murdock heard some activities below the building. Cage then broke the wall, exposing the elevator to the bottom of the hole.
Meanwhile, Gao traveled down to the underground where she found Elektra had successfully opened the door, thus exposing the bones of the dragons that had been hidden for so many years directly underneath the city. Gao then explained to Elektra that the Dragons had once roamed the land of K'un-Lun and now these fossils were all that remained. Although Elektra wanted Rand dead, Gao recommended that they first remove the bones and then kill him.
Searching for fugitives, the New York City Police Department led by Strieber surrounded Midland Circle. Misty Knight later was informed about explosives stolen from evidence locker. Strieber realized that building is going to be exploded and ordered to bring bomb squad and Emergency Service Unit to the location. He then led officers to the entrance in order to storm the building.
Wing and Temple carried the interior map of Midland Circle and the bombs stolen from the evidence locker. As they studied the document, they placed each bomb at the base of a few support columns. However, the two were met with the arrival of Bakuto, taunting that he knew Wing was there and wanted to talk. Wing then attacked Bakuto as the two began clashing swords. The pair continued fighting around the boiler room, as Bakuto slashed her across the back. While Wing remained on her feet, she and Temple were assisted by Knight who had arrived on the scene. Knight ordered him to drop his sword. When he refused, Knight fired several shots into Bakuto's chest. Bakuto was able to brush off the gun shots before he managed to subdue Knight while she was reloading before returning to his duel with Wing.
Bakuto then subdued Wing before holding Temple's throat between his swords. Knight then charged in to aid Temple, resulting in Bakuto slicing off Knight's right arm. While she fell to the floor, Wing had charged forward and attacked Bakuto. Wing had managed to steal her own sword back from Bakuto before cutting his throat with it. While Bakuto stood in horror at his student gaining the upper hand, Wing took her moment to end their fight by slicing off Bakuto's head with a single swing with her sword.
Once down to the cave, Jones distracted Elektra and the Hand members before they were attacked by Murdock and Jones. They also reunited with Rand and together they faced the Hand in the last battle. Defenders managed to defeat all hostiles, including Gao and Murakami, and only Elektra was left to fight them. During the battle, Murdock heard that the charges were set. He urged his team to escape from the caves and decided to stay behind to try and convince Elektra to surrender. Before they left, Murdock took Rand aside and quietly asked him to protect New York.
Now alone in the cave with Elektra, Murdock took off his helmet and began fighting defensively in an attempt to convince his former lover to stop and leave with him. Murdock fought a difficult struggle to convince Elektra. He finally succeeded just as the cave began crumbling. Elektra apologized for causing him so much pain and they shared a kiss. While the rest of his allies were approached by the NYPD, charges exploded, destroying Midland Circle and burying all Hand members under the surface of the city. However, Murdock managed to survive the cave-in when his unconscious body was swept by the waters of an underground sewer out of ruins.
|Appearances for Midland Circle|
In chronological order:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Defenders: 1.04: Royal Dragon
- ↑ Daredevil: 1.09: Speak of the Devil
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.07: Semper Fidelis
- ↑ Daredevil: 2.08: Guilty as Sin
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Defenders: 1.03: Worst Behavior
- ↑ The Defenders: 1.05: Take Shelter
- ↑ The Defenders: 1.6: Ashes, Ashes
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Defenders: 1.07: Fish in the Jailhouse
- ↑ The Defenders: 1.08: The Defenders
- ↑ Daredevil: 3.01: Resurrection