The "Foot Clan" is the collective name for the Demon's Feet, two specialist factions within the Safinat Dakhma (commonly known as the "League of Assassins," the "Society of Shadows," the "Shadow Serpents," the "Leviathan," and a dozen other permutations). The two factions which make up the Foot Clan are the Stepping Foot and the Standing Foot.
The Standing Foot
The Standing Foot is more commonly known as the Sentinels of 'Eth Alth'eban or Ra's al Ghul's personal guard. The Standing Foot preserve the security of 'Eth Alth'eban and the safety of the Demon's Head above all else. They are also in charge of protecting the Lazarus Pits designated for use by the Demon's Head and perform other tasks as determined by Ra's al Ghul. The Standing Foot answer to the current Ubu, who traditionally only answers to Ra's al Ghul. Though fools may mistake the Standing Foot for mere sentries, they are so much more than simple guardians. The Stepping Foot is also charged with the internal investigation of assassins who Ra's al Ghul suspects of having gone astray and enforces discipline of Ra's al Ghul's edicts.
Finally, should Ra's al Ghul die (for good) or become disabled due to injury or captivity, the Ubu of the Standing Foot is given control of the Safinat Dakhma until a proper, permanent successor is ordained. Though this privilege has never been exercised on a permanent basis, the Ubu has assumed control of the League on a number of occasions, notably the Ubu known as Bane assumed control of the Safinat Dakhma while Ra's al Ghul was incarcerated. Bane quickly named Talia al Ghul as the presumptive heir, a move which was met with challenge by Nyssa al Ghul who accused Bane of giving Talia the nomination due to Talia and Bane's romantic history.
An edict of the Demon's Head is treated as sacred rules by the Standing Foot. Upon induction into the Standing Foot, all members are given the name of another member of the Standing Foot in secret. They are told never to divulge the name of their target, but to always be suspicious of them, observe them whenever possible, and if they are ever found to be in blatant violation of an edict: to kill them immediately. This tradition makes the Standing Foot assassins some of the most devout and loyal subjects, fitting for those who Ra's al Ghul would trust with his exceptionally long life.
Notable Members of the Standing Foot
- Ubu: Bane
- Ricardo Diaz, Jr - Respected Master, Chief Inquisitor, & Bane's Brother
- Ben Turner - Master Assassin & Ricardo Diaz's best friend
- Larissa Diaz - Master Assassin & sister of Bane and Ricardo Diaz
- Constantine Drakon - Master Assassin
- Marina Maru - Master Assassin
- Hamato Yoshi (Deceased) - Former Ubu, Murdered by Oroku Saki
The Stepping Foot
The Stepping Foot is the larger of the two Foot Factions. When most law enforcement agencies refer to the "Foot Clan," they are usually referring to the Stepping Foot Faction. The Stepping Foot is the much more visible division of the Foot. The Stepping Foot is not limited in scope to 'Eth Alth'eban, Ra's al Ghul, and other sites or persons determined to require special protection by the Ubu or Ra's al Ghul. The Stepping Foot's mission is to develop "footholds" across the globe which act as fronts for League activity. Many footholds are also developed within an interest in science, conducting research which helps the League prosper in an ever-changing world.
The Stepping Foot is led by the Naht. The Naht is responsible for protecting the League's future prosperity. To that end, the League affords the Naht many freedoms not granted to other assassins: such as the ability to negotiate alliances with strange entities or even kill other assassins who stand in the way of progress. Any drastic measures taken by the Naht may be subject to review or sanction at the discretion of Ra's al Ghul. An example of these sanctions is when Ra's al Ghul penalized the current Naht, Oroku Saki, for killing his adopted brother and the then Ubu Hamato Yoshi. Though any other assassin found guilty of such actions may have been executed (or worse), Oroku Saki was only formally excised from any chance of inheriting the title of Ra's al Ghul by an edict issued by the Demon's Head, an edict which future inheritors of the title of Ubu are honor-bound to observe.
The Stepping Foot is known to have footholds in the United States, Japan, France, Australia, South Africa, and Mexico. The Stepping Foot also has a special rank exclusive to their faction: the Rahn. The Rahn are given a rank somewhere between the Syd Qatal and the Qatal al Ruban. This rank is bestowed upon allies and contracted minions who, while not members of the Safinat Dakhma, are deemed crucial to the Stepping Foot's goals and thus given a rank which allows them to command the Foot's resources. The Rahn are usually considered to be expendable by anyone with a rank above their own, particularly outside of ranks of the Stepping Foot.
Notable Members of the Stepping Foot
- Naht: Oroku Saki
- Hattori Tatsu - Respected Master, Overseer of Star City's Foothold, & Saki's Right-Hand Man
- Chikara - Master Assassin, Mystic, and Oroku Saki's Wife
- Oroku Karai - Master Assassin, Oroku Saki's Daughter
- Victor Fabrice - Master Assassin, Overseer of Nouvelle Lumière's Foothold
- Masato (Deceased) - Former Naht, Mentor/Tutor of Oroku Saki & Hamato Yoshi
- Old Hob - Former Rahn+, Given command of the "Mighty Mutanimals"
- Koya - Rahn, Oroku Saki's former pet, & Mighty Mutanimal
- Bludgeon - Rahn, Oroku Saki's former pet, & Mighty Mutanimal
- Bebop - Rahn, & Mighty Mutanimal
- Rocksteady - Rahn, & Mighty Mutanimal
- Alopex - Rahn, Karai's former pet, & Mighty Mutanimal
- Baxter Stockman - Rahn, & Chief of Research at TCRI
- Jennika Smith - Former Member, Qatal al Ruban & Member of Karai's Entourage
In the mid-1980s, the Foot was overseen by two prominent followers of Ra's al Ghul. The purpose of the Hands was to do the Head's bidding, but the Foot kept the Demon standing and was also tasked to invest in technology and research to keep the League modern and secure. One of the Foot's leader was Hamato Yoshi, an honorable man who followed Ra's al Ghul as he believed that the world was in peril and sacrifices needed to be to ensure the good of all. Yoshi was opposed by his partner, Oroku Saki who sought power and often used fear and violence to secure it. After coming to believe that Saki is acting ruthlessly, putting the League in jeopardy, Yoshi confronts him and tells him that if he does not change his ways, he will take his concerns to Ra's al Ghul. Before Yoshi has the chance, Saki sends his best warriors to accompany him on a mission to put Yoshi and his entire family to death. Yoshi's wife, Tang Shen, is attacked and severely wounded, and with her last breath, she beseeches Yoshi to protect himself and their young sons. But, try as Yoshi might, challenging Saki to one on one combat, Saki uses dirty tactics and has his men murder the boys in front of Yoshi before running Yoshi through as he screams in horror. As Yoshi dies, he calls upon his ancestors' spirits to find a way to bring Yoshi and his sons back from death to curse Saki for his treachery.
Two decades later, Yoshi and his sons' spirits are reincarnated in Star City in 2003 as a gray rat and four turtles in a subsidiary research laboratory belonging to STAR Labs ran by Baxter Stockman, a scientist who has secretly allied himself with the Foot Clan and their new alien allies, the Utrom. Stockman's partner, Dr. O'Neil, is unaware of Stockman's criminal dealings as he is too focused on raising his daughter: April O'Neil. April spends a lot of time at the lab and takes a liking to the turtles, naming the turtles after Renaissance artists when she is doing a report on the Renaissance.
One night, in 2006, members of the Foot Clan break into the facility to threaten Stockman who they suspect is stalling for more money. Dr. O'Neil, having forgotten his keys, returns to the lab causing the Foot Clan to quickly hide and in so doing accidentally knock over a canister containing a mutagen Stockman and O'Neil had been working on. The canister smashes open and leaks onto the shelf, dripping over the cage of the lab rat and the aquarium containing the four turtles. O'Neil gets his keys and leaves and soon after The Foot leave Stockman to his work. Stockman likewise leaves for a long holiday weekend, unaware of the mutagen contaminating the test subjects.
Hamati Yoshi, aided by the mutagen causing his rat body to rapidly grow and become more human-like, quickly begins to remember fragments of his past life and begins to train the turtles, who he recognizes as his sons and are also likewise affected by the mutagen, in the art of ninjutsu. But for all he remembers of his past, his identity as Yoshi eludes him and he thus keeps the name Splinter, the same name Dr. O'Neil had given him.
Splinter and his sons escape the lab and flee to the sewers, where they make their home and train in secret. As time progresses, Splinter recalls more details of his past, cued in on seeing signs of Foot Clan activity in this new city. Realizing that the Foot Clan threatens the city, and possibly the world, Splinter decides in 2016, it is time for his now teenage sons to make their presence known.
Trivia and Notes
- The Foot Clan uses TCRI (Tele-Communications Research Institute) as their front. The Foot Clan emblem is incorporated into the TCRI logo.
- In Star City they control Oldtown, City Core and Saulk districts.
- The Foot Clan's current plan is the creation of mutagen and mutanimals, the disrupting Penguin's arms dealing and the destruction of the al Ghul dynasty.
- All of the Foot Clan's philosophy can be found in Ashi no Himitsu. Oroku Saki changed the manuscript with his own personal philosophy.
- In the comics TCRI stands for Techno Cosmic Research Institute.
- Victor Fabrice is a composite character of two french Savate Ninjas: Fabrice and his second-in-command, Victor.
- The Foot Clan symbol is from the 2003 animated series.
- Ashi no Himitsu comes from the IDW comics.