Arashikage. Arashi means Storm and kage means Shadow. His given name is Thomas (Tomasaburo) Arashikage. Born in San Francisco, Tommy’s family can be dated back through thirty generations. The symbol you’ll find tattooed on his forearm is a hexagram of The I Ching, symbolizing Already Forging. The symbol is found throughout the figures many variations, as well as on his arch rival, Snake Eyes.
The 1991, 94 and 97 releases of his figure provided us with some more insight into his level of achievements while with the Joe team, saying he was a Master Sergeant, making him on par with Duke.
Due to his backstory, Tommy is one of the few characters to be released as both a member of Cobra and G.I.Joe. First appearing in 1984, he was a member of Cobra. But with just his second figure, Tommy had defected to the Joe’s. He remained loyal to the Joe’s for the rest of the century before finally rejoining the Cobra ranks in 2000.
Before Tommy had become Storm Shadow, he served as a member of a US Army Spec Ops Unit, the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol with Snake Eyes and Stalker, and returned to train under his uncle Hard Master of Clan Arashikage, after returning from Vietnam. When an assassin killed Hard Master, Storm Shadow saw the assassin flee in a Cobra helicopter where he decided to follow.
Tommy’s sudden disappearance and the apparent use of a technique he was a master of, led Snake Eyes (Soft Master) and the remaining clan members to blame him for his uncles’ death. His search took him years, but finally he made his way into the Cobra ranks and was quickly made Cobra Commanders personal body guard.
There is more to his story, but it involves Snake Eyes and their search for revenge. I’ll save that for after I’ve delved into Snake Eyes’ story (which will be the next blog).
With a staggering 52 figures, Storm Shadow has been a character that we have aplenty, with 11 releases in 2009 alone, therefore none of the figures are particularly difficult to make a part of your collection.
Character Blog #4 will be about Snake Eyes.
See you next time!