G.I. Joe character
Storm Shadow as a Cobra agent
(Promotional artwork of 1st figure package ©Hasbro 2007)
Storm Shadow
Affiliation Cobra
Specialty Ninja
File name Arashikage, Thomas (Tommy) S.
Birthplace Fresno, California
Primary MOS Assassin
Secondary MOS Intelligence
Subgroups Cobra Urban Strike
Cobra Ninja Strike Force
Voiced by Keone Young (Sunbow)
Ty Olsson (Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom)
Tom Wayland (Sigma 6)
Eric Bauza (Resolute)
Year introduced 1984
G.I. Joe character
Storm Shadow as a G.I. Joe agent
(Promotional artwork of 2nd figure package ©Hasbro 2007)
Storm Shadow
Affiliation G.I. Joe
Specialty Ninja
File name Arashikage, Thomas (Tommy) S.
Birthplace San Francisco, California
Primary MOS Covert operations
Secondary MOS Martial arts instructor
Subgroups Ninja Force
Shadow Ninjas
Voiced by Scott McNeil (DiC)
Year introduced 1988

Storm Shadow is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe comics series and television shows. The character is best known for his history with fellow ninja Snake Eyes. Throughout their history, the duo have been everything to one another from the bitterest of enemies, to the most loyal of friends (and blood brothers) who would fight and die for one another.

A Real American Hero

Character overview

Storm Shadow's real name is Thomas S. Arashikage (トーマス・嵐影) (Arashi = "Storm" and kage = "shadow" in Japanese). Best known as the Cobra Commander's ninja bodyguard, and assassin at times, he is the only character to have changed sides several times; conflicted in loyalties between Cobra, G.I. Joe, and his blood-brother, Snake Eyes. He usually wears a white uniform and mask. When out of his uniform, he is shown to be Japanese, with black hair and dark eyes. In 2007, the character's creator, Larry Hama, revealed an alternate name for the character, Tomisaburo Arashikage (嵐影富三郎), in the solo series Storm Shadow.

Hasbro action figures



Storm Shadow is one of the few characters from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line that has been released as both a member of Cobra and a member of G.I. Joe. He first appeared in 1984 as a member of Cobra; but his second figure, released in 1988, was changed to being a member of G.I. Joe. A new version of Storm Shadow was released as part of the Ninja Force line in 1992. The figure was repainted and released as part of the Shadow Ninjas line in 1994.

His loyalties remained with G.I. Joe until his 2000 figure was released again as a Cobra agent. Since then, he has remained a member of Cobra. He is most often paired with his sword brother, Snake Eyes, in multi or comic packs. He had 26 different 3-3/4" figures released before the beginning of the 25th Anniversary line. He has been released two times (once as a mail-away figure; and once in a comic pack) unmasked and revealed to be Tommy Arashikage.

25th Anniversary

The year 2007 was the 25th anniversary of the launch of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, the third major reinvention of the G.I. Joe brand since 1964. To celebrate, Hasbro created two boxed sets of brand new figures, featuring modern sculpts with updated articulation (including the replacement of G.I. Joe's trademark O-ring construction). Storm Shadow contained some new, more intricate details that the original character didn't have. He was included in the Cobra set, along with Cobra Commander, Destro, Baroness, and a Cobra Trooper. He was also included in a two-pack consisting of Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes in their original costumes, and a reissued G.I. Joe #21 comic book, Storm Shadow's first appearance in the series. He was also included in the first wave of single pack figures in his 1988 G.I. Joe urban-camouflage ninja uniform, but still contained slight differences from the 1988 character outfit, since Hasbro decided to reuse most of the tooling of the first figure; hence, he didn't have long sleeves, the placement of his arm tattoo had been moved, and he was missing the recurve bow and the calves garments.

Comic series


Storm Shadow first appeared in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #21 (March 1984), and was created by Larry Hama.

Storm Shadow served in southeast Asia on the same LRRP team as future Joes Stalker and Snake Eyes. The intense nature of this service together forged a strong friendship between him and Snake Eyes. After Vietnam, Storm Shadow visited his family in Japan. His family, the Arashikage Clan, had actually been a fierce ninja clan, but for many centuries had remained clandestine. Hoping to learn the ways of the ninja, Storm Shadow studied under the tutelage of his estranged uncle, the Hard Master.Script error: No such module "Unsubst".

When Snake Eyes arrived in Japan following the death of his entire family in a horrific automobile crash, he was invited to study with the clan. He quickly began to surpass Storm Shadow's abilities and was the Hard Master's choice to succeed him as the head of the clan. This caused a rift between the two friends, and Snake Eyes decided that he would leave the clan. However, before he could, an assassin (who would later be revealed as Zartan) killed Storm Shadow's uncle while he was demonstrating a ninja technique. Storm Shadow, seeing the assassin fleeing in a Cobra helicopter, left the clan to follow the assassin. Due to his abrupt disappearance and the fact that the killer appeared to use a technique that Storm Shadow was a master of, Snake Eyes, the Soft Master, and the remaining clan members thought that Storm Shadow was to blame for the murder. Storm Shadow blamed Snake Eyes for the murder, as the Hard Master was using a ninja technique to imitate Snake Eyes, thus fooling Zartan into shooting the wrong target.Script error: No such module "Unsubst".

Years passed and Storm Shadow eventually was led to the international terrorist organization called Cobra. He was quickly made Cobra Commander's bodyguard and soon thereafter encountered his old friends, Stalker and Snake Eyes, as members of the American strike team, G.I. Joe, designed to destroy Cobra. After several battles with the Joes, Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes would work together to bring down the men responsible for the death of the Hard Master (Zartan, Cobra Commander, and Firefly). During their first attempt, while trying to flee Cobra Island, Storm Shadow was shot by the Baroness and believed to be dead. He was revived during Doctor Mindbender's creation of Serpentor. Finally, Storm Shadow was made an official member of the G.I. Joe team and regained his honor through countless acts of courage.Script error: No such module "Unsubst".

He would later return to Cobra after being captured and brainwashed along with several other former Cobra agents. He was frequently given continuous sessions of brainwashing to ensure his loyalty, and it took him a few years to finally shake off the programming and rejoin his sword brother, Snake Eyes.Script error: No such module "Unsubst".

Devil's Due

America's Elite

When the G.I. Joe team was rebuilt in G.I. Joe: America's Elite, Storm Shadow was added to the team due to his background. His expertise as a covert ops specialist and ninja have proven useful. However, what has proven more important to the team is the knowledge he gained as Cobra Commander's bodyguard. While Snake Eyes and Stalker have accepted him as a member, fellow team member Shipwreck is the most vocal about his suspicions considering the ninja's constantly changing loyalties. He is the first to learn of the Baroness being alive and being held in the basement of the new G.I. Joe command center, The Rock.

After Snake Eyes' death aboard Destro's sub, Storm Shadow went with the team in search of the body. He found the Red Ninja clan had raised Snake Eyes from the dead and had used some of their ancient techniques to place Sei-Ten in the body of T'jbang. After stopping Snake Eyes by placing Scarlett's life in danger, Storm Shadow temporarily left the team to assist the Red Ninjas in rebuilding and reviving their leader to set things right.

Storm Shadow

Main article: Storm Shadow (comic)

This seven-issue solo series, written by original writer Larry Hama, followed Storm Shadow after leaving the G.I. Joe team.

G.I. Joe Reloaded

File:Reloaded 10.jpg

Storm Shadow in his Reloaded uniform from the cover of G.I. Joe: Reloaded #10

In this alternate continuity series, Storm Shadow is similar to his original continuity counterpart in his Cobra roots, as he serves as the Cobra Commander's assassin/bodyguard. He does not wear a mask, and instead, is seen wearing a much different white uniform with a long jacket. He does face off with Snake Eyes, who in this series is his half-brother, and comments on Snake Eyes's traitorous nature. This series ended without fully exploring their relationship.



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. Also, he remained loyal to Cobra until the end of the Sunbow series. He was featured in the episode Excalibur, where he finds King Arthur's sword.[1]

During Season 2, he sided with Cobra Commander against Serpentor, and was seen helping the Commander in his various plots to overthrow Serpentor.

G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)

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


Storm Shadow 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 the comics at that time. He came to side with the Joes because the initial cartoon's storyline ended after G.I. Joe: The Movie and so the comic dictated the path of the toys. Had the series continued with a third season, 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 backstory in the animated series. The relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow is best showcased in the Season 2 episode, The Sword, when it is shown that they both respect each other's ninja skills and abilities. Storm Shadow was voiced by Scott McNeil.

Spy Troops & Valor vs. Venom

These two movies seem to ignore the previous continuity and deal more with the continuity of the toys and cartoon at that time. Storm Shadow is now, again a Cobra ninja as in previous Sunbow cartoons; however, unlike previous times, he now faces Snake Eyes.

Ninja Battles

In this movie, a new ninja is joining G.I. Joe and learns of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow's past in the Arashikage clan. The rivalry between the two ninjas is explained to some degree, and it shows how they have dealt with each other to this day. Most of the movie is narration over original artwork, and some scenes from the previous movies, as well as some new footage at the end.

G.I. Joe: Resolute

In the G.I. Joe: Resolute miniseries, Storm Shadow's past is revealed as his rivalry with Snake Eyes being the result of Storm Shadow fearing his uncle would teach the seventh move of the "Seven Steps to the Sun" to Snake Eyes instead of him because of his bloodlust, and then hiring Zartan to take out their master. By present time, during the attack of the U.S.S. Flagg, Storm Shadow murders Bazooka and places a scroll marked with the Arashikage symbol that issues to Snake Eyes a final duel at their former dojo. Revealing his true reasons for hating Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow pins him down using the sixth move. However, Snake Eyes's counters reveal he, in fact, had learned the final move from their master prior to his death, using it to kill Storm Shadow. However, in the DVD release of the film, the grave that Snake Eyes buried Storm Shadow in is shown to be empty and Storm Shadow is presumably still alive. Storm Shadow was voiced by Eric Bauza.

Sigma 6

Hasbro action figures

File card

Storm Shadow is Cobra's ninja master. He began his career in mainstream U.S. intelligence groups. Early on he went undercover into the Cobra organization and was brainwashed by the enemy. With powerful mind tricks, they convinced him that the groups he worked for were really traitors, and that Cobra forces were the good guys trying to stop them. He is a powerful ninja who has adapted his martial arts skills to suit his own evil purposes. A covert ops counterintelligence expert, he once performed undercover sabotage operations. Now as a member of Cobra, he uses this knowledge against the Sigma 6 team, always working to destroy them and anyone else who gets in his way.

Comic series

Devil's Due created a miniseries based on Sigma 6. It follows the style and the content of the cartoon series, spotlighting a different member of Sigma 6 and Cobra in each issue.

Animated series

The rivalry between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes is one of the focal plot lines of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6. There have been hints and references as to the cause of their enmity. The 4Kids TV website for Sigma 6 states that Storm Shadow was on an infiltration mission in a Cobra base and was captured and brainwashed into thinking the Joes and Snake Eyes were his enemies. Although Storm Shadow called Snake Eyes "brother," the exact nature of that relationship is unknown. Storm Shadow frequently blames Snake Eyes for the downfall of the Arashikage ninja clan. The exact nature of Snake Eyes's betrayal of the Arashikage is as yet unknown. In G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, Storm Shadow is voiced by Tom Wayland.

On occasion, he used ninja B.A.T.s as support troopers. This is in contrast to the A Real American Hero series, wherein Storm Shadow preferred highly trained humans as opposed to machines.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe character
Storm Shadow
Affiliation Cobra
Specialty Martial arts specialist
File name Thomas Arashikage
SN Classified
Rank Classified
Series G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Portrayed by Byung-Hun Lee (adult)
Brandon Soo Hoo (child)
Year introduced 2009

In the 2009 film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the young Storm Shadow is played by Brandon Soo Hoo and the adult by Byung Hun-Lee.[2] In this film adaptation, Storm Shadow is portrayed as a Korean ninja who has trained in Japan. The young Storm Shadow is seen speaking in Korean while training in Tokyo.[3] This small alteration in Storm Shadow's character was made to accommodate for the fact that he was played by Korean actors Brandon Soo Hoo and Byung Hun-Lee.

Movie plot

Storm Shadow has a long history with Snake Eyes going back to when they were kids, when he caught a starving Snake Eyes attempting to steal food. However, much to Storm Shadow's chagrin, Snake Eyes is immediately welcomed into the dojo. While Storm Shadow is initially superior, Snake Eyes persists and eventually earns the favor of the Hard Master. Shortly after, Snake Eyes is proclaimed the best student, and it is made to appear that Storm Shadow murdered the master and fled the scene. This turns their rivalry into bitter hatred as they find themselves on opposing sides.

Similar to his continuity counterparts in background and attire, Storm Shadow serves as McCullen's assassin and as both bodyguard and mentor to the Baroness. Sent by McCullen to support the Baroness in acquiring the nanomite warheads, Storm Shadow was also given a direct order to kill Baron Daniel DeCobray if he ever touched the Baroness again, with her intentionally giving him reason as DeCobray outlived his usefulness to them. In another instance, however, Zartan mocks Storm Shadow for his unwillingness to kill women.

During a lengthy fight in Cobra's arctic base, Snake Eyes slashes Storm Shadow several times, eventually compelling the latter to remove his white uniform. At the end, he is stabbed by Snake Eyes and falls into icy water.

Lee Byung-hun has stated in an interview that he is signed on to return to future sequels, leaving open the possibility of him returning in the next G.I. Joe film.[4]

Operation HISS

In Operation HISS, a comic sequel to the film, Storm Shadow survived his apparent death in the film.

Video games

Storm Shadow is featured in the 1985 G.I. Joe computer game.[5] Storm Shadow is featured as a playable character in the 1992 game G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor. The character appeared in the 2009 video game G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra as a boss character and also later on as a playable character.



  • Hidalgo, Pablo (2009). G.I. Joe vs. Cobra: The Essential Guide 1982-2008. Random House. ISBN 9780345516428. 
  • Bellomo, Mark (2009). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. ISBN 9780896899223. 
  • Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute to G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 99. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 

External links

fi:Storm Shadow

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