The name Storm Shadow refers to several versions of the same character.
For a list of the other versions, see Storm Shadow.
Storm Shadow has both been a G.I. Joe and Cobra character in the A Real American Hero series.
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Storm Shadow is best known as the Cobra Commander's ninja bodyguard and assassin. He can trace his lineage through thirty generations of assassins. He is a classic character study in conflict. Storm Shadow's primary reason for joining the evil Cobra organization is borne not out of greed but a need for vengeance. The Commander has attained his loyalty on the promise of eventually revealing the identity of his uncle's killer.

His sword-brother, Snake Eyes, finally convinced him to let go of revenge and even has joined the Joe Team, engaging in many missions and adventures. However, on a routine mission, he was captured by Cobra and brainwashed into their service once more. Now, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow find themselves at odds once more.



A Real American Hero Comics Continuity[]

Marvel Comics Continuity[]

Tommy Arashikage underwent ninja training, including the ability to use a bow and arrow better than almost anyone else, before enlisting in the US Army and serving in the Vietnam War. He was a member of a Long Range Recon Patrol along with Snake Eyes, Stalker,[1] Wade Collins, Dickie Saperstein and Ramon Escobedo.[2] The war served as a virtual continuation of his training.[3]

Tommy struck up a strong friendship with Snake Eyes, and talked of his uncle's business in Japan that he would join after the war, hinting there was a place for Snake Eyes as well. During a mission the LRRP was attacked and only Snake Eyes, Stalker and Storm Shadow escaped.[1][2] As they headed to be picked-up by a helicopter the patrol came under fire. Snake Eyes was hit and the photo was damaged by a bullet. Believing Snake Eyes to be dead, Stalker ordered the helicopter to withdraw but Storm Shadow charged out and saved Snake Eyes's life.[1]

After the war Tommy returned to Japan and became the "Young Master" in the Arashikage ninja clan under his uncles, the Hard Master and the Soft Master. Snake Eyes would later join them. Snake Eyes proved even better than Tommy, but sometimes let Tommy save face in fights. However Tommy was always better at the bow, able to hear so well beyond the line of sight. He was also willing to use it to kill, a point on which he disagreed with Snake Eyes.[1]

Snake Eyes was growing in the favor of the Hard Master and there were rumors that the adopted member of the clan would inherit the leadership rather than the Hard Master's own nephew. One evening the Hard Master was teaching Snake Eyes "Darkened Room" techniques when Snake Eyes heard a third person in the courtyard. But the Hard Master didn't believe there was any danger and went behind a screen to continue the training, imitating someone and challenging Snake Eyes to identify the impression. It was in fact an impression of Snake Eyes himself. Suddenly an arrow came through the screen and killed him. The Soft Master rushed into the courtyard to see Tommy rushing away with a bow and assumed he was chasing the intruder. But the arrow was one of Tommy's and only he had the skill to aim by sound and force to fire it. However the dying Hard Master denied Tommy's guilt. In fact the arrow had been taken from a squirrel that Tommy killed that morning. Tommy had seen a masked bowman fleeing onto a Cobra helicopter and was pursuing him. Tommy never returned and the family business disbanded. Later they learned that Tommy had become a Cobra agent using the English translation of the family name: "Storm Shadow". The Soft Master would for a long time believe that it was Tommy who killed the Hard Master, but had really been targeting Snake Eyes.[1] Many years later the truth would be learned.

Storm Shadow joined the Cobra Organization with the intention of rising high enough in the ranks to learn who had killed his uncle.[4] He served as the organization's lead ninja at the Silent Castle where he first encountered Snake Eyes as an adversary when the latter infiltrated the castle after Scarlett had been was captured. At first the two did not recognize each other, but Storm Shadow glimpsed Snake Eyes' tattoo.[5] Later when Cobra Commander was captured and held prisoner by the Joes in the American Rockies, it was Storm Shadow who undertook a retrieval operation. However due to loss of fuel on the C.L.A.W. used, Storm Shadow had to stay behind while the Commander escaped, and was captured.[6] Storm Shadow was taken to Alcatraz Island, but he soon escaped. When Snake Eyes visited Gung-Ho in hospital the latter mentioned seeing the same tattoo on the Cobra ninja and remembering his name as "Storm Shadow". Snake Eyes immediately realized the ninja was Tommy and sought to discover more about his former comrade.[7] Snake Eyes met with the Soft Master in Spanish Harlem to learn that the old ninja had kept the arrow that killed his brother.[1] They were suddenly interrupted by Storm Shadow who snatched the arrow and fled. Snake Eyes pursued him and Storm Shadow told him the truth of what happened on the day of the murder.[4]

Storm Shadow continued working his way up the Cobra hierarchy, becoming Cobra Commander's main bodyguard at a time when several plots were being hatched by other leading Cobras. Cobra Commander told Storm Shadow that because he knew the identity of the Hard Master's killer he knew the ninja could be trusted to keep him alive.[8] At a celebration rally Storm Shadow had to keep Cobra Commander alive but a member of the Cobra Youth Brigade called Billy got close enough to Cobra Commander to pull a gun on him. Only the intervention of Destro saved the Commander, who made him and boy look closely enough to recognize each other as father and son.[9] The boy was subsequently confined by Cobra, but freed by Storm Shadow who took the boy to his secret hideout where he trained him in the art of the ninja. Billy subsequently left to return to Springfield in the hope of repaying Storm Shadow by discovering the Hard Master's killer.[10] However in Springfield the boy was badly wounded in a missile attack on the car he was in[2] and spent a long time in a coma. The Soft Master was killed in the same attack,[11] but before he died he sent word to both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow that he had discovered the identity of the real killer. From the information available that deduced that whilst everyone thought the Hard Master had been was killed by a ninja because the killer was able to hear through a wall, pull a very powerful bow to fire an arrow through a wall, the Hard Master and a practice pole in one shot, all this could have been done with technology - "with a compound bow fitted with sound amplification-directional-ranging equipment" - and by someone who could change his appearance to walk onto the grounds unnoticed. They realized the real killer was Zartan and headed to Cobra Island for vengeance.[12] On Cobra Island Zartan unknowingly eluded them.[13] The two turned their attention to escape but although Snake Eyes was recovered by a Joe team, Storm Shadow was shot several times by the Baroness.[14]

Storm Shadow's corpse was preserved for the experiments of Dr. Mindbender,[15] who used it to create Serpentor. In the process Storm Shadow was brought back to life.[16] He joined the Dreadnoks in an attack on the Pit to free Zartan, but instead of seeking revenge he instead sought out Snake Eyes, explaining that although healed in body his soul was in pain and he wanted to escape. Snake Eyes gave him the key for what was left of his cabin in the High Sierras.[17] Subsequently Snake Eyes was captured by Cobra and held in their New York consulate building. Storm Shadow teamed up with Scarlett and Timber to rescue his old friend.[18]

Later Storm Shadow served on the G.I. Joe team, often alongside Snake Eyes and also with Ninja Force on missions such as evacuating Destro and the Baroness from the Silent Castle[19] and storming the Cobra occupied town of Millville, USA.[20] They fought their way through the town,[21] and rescued Scarlett, whose cover as a defector to Cobra was now blown.[22]

Storm Shadow subsequently undertook a solo mission to invade the Silent Castle and rescue both the Baroness and Billy, but he was captured by Cobra and brainwashed into being loyal to Cobra Commander once more.[23]

Devil's Due Comics Continuity[]
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G.I. Joe Reloaded[]

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G.I. Joe vs. Transformers[]

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Action Force (British) Comics Continuity[]

Storm Shadow shared the same history with Snake Eyes as in the Marvel US continuity.[1][4][24]

Whilst serving in Vietnam Storm Shadow and and an 18-year-old soldier called Donald Jefferson were captured by General Loi. They were tortured and Jefferson died. Storm Shadow escaped, vowing vengeance.[25]

Storm Shadow was part of the Cobra team who went to purchase weapons from Destro's organisation Military Armaments Research Systems (MARS) at a boat party in London. He discovered Barbecue laying charges and knocked him out and then threw the Action Force member into the Thames. He then reported to Cobra Commander that the charges had been primed and there was no time to defuse them or evacuate the weapons and the Cobra's fled. Later Flint and Footloose wondered why Storm Shadow had failed to make sure Barbecue was dead and who had set the charged.[26]

In a subsequent Action Force attack on Cobra's London base Storm Shadow wounded Gung-Ho before being captured. As the ninja was led away Scarlett recognised the tattoo on his arm.[27] Storm Shadow was taken to Alcatraz Island, but he soon escaped. Meanwhile Snake Eyes learned of the tattoo from Gung-Ho and immediately realised the ninja was Tommy and sought to discover more about his former comrade.[28] Snake Eyes visited the Soft Master to discuss the past, then encountered Storm Shadow who told the truth of what happened the day the Hard Master died.[1][4] Storm Shadow continued serving as a key member of the Cobra Organisation.[29]

Snake-Eyes af3

Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes in combat.

Some time later Storm Shadow was part of a Cobra team sent to London to capture Flint at a rendezvous with Trent but Scarlett took Flint's place and was captured instead and taken to the Silent Castle.[30] Snake Eyes followed and invaded the castle, whilst Scarlett freed herself. They both battled Storm Shadow before escaping.[31] Afterwards Destro confronted Storm Shadow about the latter's failure to kill Snake Eyes and Scarlett, but the ninja responded that "there is no greater evil than to kill indiscriminately". The two Cobra agents argued and fought, with Storm Shadow overpowering Destro. He demanded to be told who killed the Hard Master and Destro responded that it was "an Action Force plot to discredit Cobra". After Storm Shadow went off to brood, Destro recommended to Cobra Commander that the ninja be sent to Asia.[32]

In Asia Storm Shadow Shadow encountered Snake Eyes once again in a jungle when both led missions to recovered a fallen spy satellite. Snake Eyes was attacked by a tiger,[33] but saved by Storm Shadow who found he could neither kill his old comrade nor lead him to die. They agreed to destroy the satellite to provide a stalemate.[34] The two would later team up to deduce the identity of the Hard Master's killer and invade Cobra Island in an abortive attempt to bring vengeance on the killer. Storm Shadow was killed in the process but later revived as a by-product of the creation of Serpentor. He reconciled with Snake Eyes and then sought peace.[35]

Storm Shadow later returned once more to Asia when he received news that General Loi was still alive. He penetrated the general's security, disposing of all the bodyguards, but when he confronted the general he told his foe that he would not kill him yet, but just wanted to show that he would always be able to find Loi. Storm Shadow departed, leaving his foe to live in fear. Loi took a pistol and committed suicide.[36]

Storm Shadow served as Cobra Commander's bodyguard once more, but doubts about his loyalty remained. To prove his loyalty he was sent to execute millionaire T.P. Dexter, a mission he found distasteful, but instead first discretely tipped off Action Force who substituted Dexter instead. With false news of Dexter's death reported, Storm Shadow's loyalty remained intact.[37]

Storm Shadow continued to serve Cobra and was the only agent Destro respected and feared. Storm Shadow was part of a Cobra team sent to Jordan to capture a downed G.I. Joe the Action Force Phantom X-19 stealth fighter. Destro was also seeking the fighter and ordered Raptor to kill the ninja. One of Raptor's eagles attacked Storm Shadow, scratching the ninja with claws dipped in poison but the Joe medic Lifeline saved Storm Shadow's life. Storm Shadow and Raptor found they had to work together to escape the city of Tehtrad, but vowed to one day kill Raptor.[38]

Blackthorne Comics Continuity[]

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Dreamwave Comics Continuity[]

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Hasbro Comics Continuity[]

Write up

Animated Continuity[]

Sunbow Animated Series[]

1 stormshadow

Storm Shadow from the A Real American Hero animated continuity.


Storm Shadow with Snow Serpents

Unlike the comic, the cartoon series never explored the relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. He was often being bandied about as a counterpart to G.I. Joe member Spirit, and later on against G.I. Joe member Quick Kick. The former's first encounter with him ending in a draw, then a voluntary defeat, when they ended up in the hollowed out cavity of a coral reef while each combatant's faction was attempting to recover a device known as the Hydromaster, one of three components of the Weather Dominator and accepted a truce when Spirit correctly suspected that the cavity led to a waterspout.

Quick Kick, who had yet to be an official G.I. Joe operative at the time, became his opponent while pursuing Alpine and Bazooka at the Mountain of Glass.

During the second season, Storm Shadow remained loyal to Cobra Commander after Serpentor took control of Cobra. He served as the Commander's bodyguard and assisted him with his various schemes to overthrow Serpentor.

In the movie, Storm Shadow is seen in two frames when Serpentor yells at all the Cobra characters in the beginning.

DiC Animated Series[]


He returns in the DiC produced G.I. Joe series but this time on the side of the Joe Team and as a member of the Ninja Force, reflecting his status in both the toy-line and comics at that time. He came to side with the Joes because the cartoon ended after G.I. Joe: The Movie and so the comic dictated the path of the toys. Had the third season continued after the movie, Storm Shadow would still have been a Cobra. Cobra Commander makes several comments in the episode "Shadow of a Doubt" about Storm Shadow being a traitor. Storm Shadow claims that he only joined Cobra to find out who had dishonored his ninja clan. Aside from that, he is given little back story in the animated series. The relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow is best showcased in the season 2 episode "The Sword"; it is shown that they both respect each other's ninja skills and abilities. Storm Shadow was voiced by Scott McNeil.

Direct-to-Video Series[]

According to Spy Troops & Valor vs Venom, these movies seem to ignore the previous continuity and deal more with current toys and cartoon continuity. Storm Shadow is now again a Cobra Ninja, like in previous Sunbow cartoons, however, unlike previous times, he now faces Snake Eyes.


Generation 1
Storm Shadow v1 Version one (1984)

The Storm Shadow action figure was part of the 1984 series of A Real American Heroes action figures. The character's immense popularity made him available for three years, with production stopping in 1987.

Appearance: white face mask, short-sleeved tunic, wrist wraps, pants, and boots; black diagonal strap; red Cobra insignia on left chest

Accessories: black quiver-backpack with engraved arrows; black wakizashi knife; black katana sword; black bow; small black nunchuks. page/Filecard

Storm Shadow v2 A Real American Hero (1988)

Reflecting the change of Storm Shadow's status quo in the comics, Storm Shadow was now a G.I. Joe member.

Appearance: white ninja suit with hood and face mask, all with dark grey urban camo; dark grey rope across chest; red tattoo on right forearm; white boots

Accessories: large, square red backpack with clips on side for sword; black high-tension Yumi bow with telescopic sights and sculpted arrows; dark red sword with ribbed hilt (not neon red, and shorter than Budo's); black, three-tined claw attaching to wrist. page/Filecard

Ninja Force Storm Shadow Ninja Force (1992)

A Ninja Force subset was released in 1992 that featured a new Storm Shadow figure and designated him Ninja Force leader.

Appearance: black helmet and face mask with cloth hood; green shirt and pants with black stripes; black straps, gloves, belt and boots

Accessories: black sword with long hilt and thick, curving blade; long, black nunchuks; black figure stand.

Variations: Early releases did not have torso tabs to restrict movement. page/Filecard

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Shadow Ninjas (1994)
A Shadow Ninjas version of his 1992 action figure was released in 1994. It featured a spring-loaded action feature that enables Storm Shadow to perform a ninja move.
Shadow Ninjas filecard
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Commando Team (The Real American Hero Collection 1997)
In a celebration of the A Real American Hero's 15-year anniversary, a Storm Shadow figure was released in a Commando Team three-pack that included Snake Eyes and Lady Jaye. This figure utilized the mold made for his original figure.
Commando Team filecard
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The Real American Hero Collection two-pack (2000)
For the first time in the toys since the very first Storm Shadow action figure, the character is re-aligned with Cobra. The same mold used to produce his Ninja Force version is utilized here. He is carded together with Snake Eyes.
RAH Collection filecard
Generation 2
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G.I. Joe vs. Cobra (2002)
Storm Shadow was among the characters that was given the new 3.75" architecture in the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra (toyline) series. He is carded together with his G.I. Joe counterpart Snake Eyes.
G.I. Joe vs. Cobra filecard
Generation 3
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  • Storm Shadow mini-bust
  • 12" Hall of Fame


  • In a survey of readers of the Action Force weekly comic, Storm Shadow was voted "Favourite Cobra character" by a landslide.
  • The character's working name was "Ghost Shadow," which may explain the white gi.
    • And his last name, presumably, would have then been "Yureikage."
  • In Spain, his name was simple Sombra: "Shadow"

See Also[]

External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Snake-Eyes: The Origin
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Crossroads
  3. A Letter from Snake-Eyes
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Snake-Eyes: The Origin Part II
  5. Silent Interlude
  6. The Commander Escapes!
  7. Zartan!
  8. The Mountain!
  9. Celebration!
  10. Judgments, Walk Through the Jungle & Ties That Bind
  11. Unmaskings
  12. In Search of Candy
  13. Who's Who On Cobra Island
  14. Sea Duel
  15. Slaughter
  16. Serpentor & The Battle of Springfield
  17. Snap Decisions
  18. Hush Job
  19. Unfoldings!
  20. Goin' South
  21. Sucker Punch
  22. Final Transformations
  23. Slam Dance in the Cyber-Castle!
  24. Intelligence Profile in Action Force 41.
  25. Old Scores
  26. Gun Boat!
  27. Fast Feud!
  28. Zartan! The Action Force comic began its reprints of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero at this point and additional material tied the stories into the Action Force continuity.
  29. Covering the US stories The Mountain!, Celebration!, Judgments, Walk Through the Jungle & Ties That Bind.
  30. Consequences
  31. Silent Interlude The printing of Silent Interlude amidst stories from approximately a year and a half later is the most significant deviation in the UK reprints from the US order.
  32. Truth
  33. Law of the Jungle Part One
  34. Law of the Jungle Part Two
  35. Covering the US stories In Search of Candy, Who's Who On Cobra Island, Sea Duel, Slaughter, Serpentor, The Battle of Springfield & Snap Decisions. From this point onwards the Action Force continuity follows the same track as that of the US comics with some additions.
  36. Old Scores
  37. Mark of the Assassin!
  38. Action of the Tiger!

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