The Storm Shadow version 1 mold is amongst the most popular G.I. Joe figures ever made, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when it wound up being used by the third party factory customs. There’s been quite a few released, and some of them have been really good, some have been forgettable, but overall it’s such a strong figure it generally looks decent at worst.
Python Patrol really made a comeback in 2017-2018, a fair number of customs were done up in the various diamond patterned colour schemes, and eventually Storm Shadow found himself undergoing the pythonization process. It’s led to an interesting looking figure, and a new look and role for ol’ Stormy. Storm Shadow was done up in the 1989 Python Copperhead style, which seems to be the favourite, likely because of the 1989 Pythons, it’s the least disjointed scheme. It’s the best looking choice, but it does lead to an abundance of yellow waist pieces. I’m actually fairly happy that the Python Patrol has become the colour palette of choice for a while, because it’s a known entity, and those I feel have a place, alongside some of the new ideas we’ve also been seeing from the custom makers.
With this Storm Shadow, I wouldn’t say the yellow waist is the biggest detriment, honestly the biggest issue with the figure’s colourscheme is the fact he’s got an insipid green as the base colour of the figure. It’s bright, but not neon. It’s kind of a pastel, and isn’t hideous, it just doesn’t match any Python Patrol figure I own. The black highlights are well placed, and the use of crimson for the accents does tie it in well, with the vintage Python Patrol, even if the base colour isn’t a match at all. I think the yellow mask, might actually be my favourite detail on this figure, though. It ties in with the waist, but also provides quite a bit of pop to the actual figure, if only because it’s the first time his mask hasn’t matched the rest of his body.
There’s a few issues with the current Storm Shadow mold in use, it’s got an odd pinched head, and elbow joints that aren’t natural, I don’t know what the deal with the elbows are, but it’s a thing you notice and can’t un-notice. It doesn’t help that the flesh tone is always painted on, so it’s even more noticeable. The one thing I will always give credit for, with the factory Storm Shadows is they come with the full v1 kit of accessories, which have been incredible since day 1, and are part of what puts Storm Shadow over the top. The latest batch only came with black accessories, but there’s a few other flavours out there, there’s tan ones that look like wood, silver and glow in the dark as well.
As a character, Storm Shadow isn’t really one of my favourites, the comic book’s portrayal, is a good story, but I don’t care for every person in the G.I. Joe universe somehow having a connection to each other, especially when it winds up being Hawk, Cobra Commander, Stalker, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Firefly, Zartan, Baroness, Destro, it’s absolutely ridiculous. Funnily enough, the Action Force continuity has similar aspects for Storm Shadow’s backstory, except instead of his uncle being killed, it’s his brother. He also did it, and is shown to be a real ice cold killer. I like that a lot more.
Ninjas are an important aspect of G.I. Joe, however I don’t see them being an incredibly abundant group, as they tend to dilute after Storm Shadow. To me there’s Storm Shadow, and then it’s hard to figure out what to do with the rest of them. Ninja Ku is unique enough to have a place, and the Red Ninjas are classics, plus it’s plausible for there to be a few kicking around as spies, but I wouldn’t be bent out of shape if they didn’t exist, either.
Stormy to me is a loyal COBRA Agent, who is somewhat of a bogeyman, that no one, Cobra Commander included, really wants to cross. The line in his filecard about him being able to endure unspeakable hardship and pain, always stuck out to me. It’s always made me think of Storm Shadow as an individual so calloused that none of the horrors of his actions, and those of everyone involved in the G.I. Joe vs. COBRA conflict, would even cause him to blink, and that’s what puts others off, as unlike someone like Firefly, there’s little separation between him and his actions.
Overall, this is a figure I actually like, of all the factory customs out there, this is one of the few I like as Storm Shadow himself. Environmentally specific figures have there place, but if I’m looking for a figure to represent Storm Shadow in a photo or display, this is probably a distant third on the list after the COBRA Blue, and classic White. Considering not many members of the COBRA High Command have multiple unique usable outfits, that’s pretty good actually.