Thomas "Tommy" Arashikage
The Young Master
7 - Ninja Forces CO
Martial Arts, Katana, Bow
|“||I was not going to leave him behind. We would come out together, or not at all.||”|
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 attained his loyalty on the promise of eventually revealing the identity of his uncle's killer.
His swords-brother Snake-Eyes finally convinced him to let go of revenge, and for a time Storm Shadow even 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 ninja is a silent wraith with a razor-edged blade in one hand and a scaling-grapple in the other. Ninjas can penetrate the most sophisticated defenses and leave without a trace. They are mystic swordsmen, spies, assassins, acrobats, quick-change artists and conjurors. Most people will tell you that ninjas don't exist. That's exactly what the ninjas want you to believe..."
Thomas Arashikage was born in St. Louis, but grew up in San Francisco with a family of Japanese immigrants. As a child, he was known as Tommy, and he grew up in an American lifestyle while still learning about his own culture. Still a teenager, Tommy traveled to his family home in Japan. He learned that his family was also a renowned clan of ninjas. Tommy studied with his uncles, the Soft Master and the Hard Master. He also spent time with his younger cousin, known as Jinx. Tommy became quite skilled and was granted the title of the Young Master.
When Tommy was old enough, he enlisted in the army to fight in Vietnam. His family saw a real war as a "graduate school for their prized pupil." Serving on Long Range Recon Patrol (LRRP), Tommy honed his skills, learning the art of stealth better than he could at home. During his time in Vietnam, Tommy met Snake-Eyes. On their first tour of duty together, they became friends, as close as brothers. Tommy even offered Snake-Eyes a place in the "family business" when they returned home.
Their first tour came to an abrupt end when a battle resulted in the deaths of the rest of the soldiers in their unit. They were eventually assigned to a LRRP unit under the command of Lonzo "Stalker" Wilkinson, accompanied by three other soldiers: Wade Collins, Ramon Escobedo and Dick Saperstein. The group stumbled upon an encampment of North Vietnamese soldiers and a firefight ensued. Collins, Saperstein and Escobedo were all believed killed in the attack. Snake-Eyes, Stalker and Tommy all retreated to a landing zone for rescue.
As the three soldiers ran across a field toward the extraction chopper, they were fired upon. Snake-Eyes was hit badly and Stalker ordered Tommy to leave him. Tommy refused, running back to save his friend and to Stalker's amazement, he evaded all enemy fire and retrieved Snake-Eyes and the photo of his sister that was so important to him.
Recovering from his injuries, Snake-Eyes was sent home only to find his family had died in a car wreck, on their way to meet him. After the deaths of his family, Snake-Eyes accepted Tommy's offer to join his ninja clan and study in Japan. As months wore on, Snake-Eyes became as skilled as Tommy and in some ways surpassed his skills. Tommy, known in the clan as "The Young Master," was still the most skilled at the bow, and he often hunted animals to prove his skills. A rift started between the two friends since Snake-Eyes did not approve of Tommy's unnecessary killing. What made matters worse was that Snake-Eyes was starting to replace Tommy as the Hard Master's favorite student. Soon, Tommy's world was shattered when the man who would be Cobra Commander hired two assassins, Zartan and Firefly, to kill Snake-Eyes. Hard Master was instead the one killed, and the assassin had used Tommy's arrow to commit the murder. After the murder, Tommy saw the true killer escape, and he knew that he would be blamed for killing his uncle. He fled Japan and sought out his uncle's assassin to exact his vengeance. He eventually joined Cobra under the name "Storm Shadow," a rough translation of his family name, "Arashikage."
Several years after leaving Japan, Storm Shadow was guarding Destro's castle in Trans-Carpathia where Scarlett was being held prisoner. He fought a mysterious commando, who defeated him and escaped with Scarlett. Storm Shadow was not certain, but he thought the mysterious commando may have been Snake-Eyes.
Storm Shadow was acting as Cobra Commander's personal bodyguard when he was captured by the Joe team. Though he escaped, Gung-Ho had seen the clan tatoo on Storm Shadow's arm and noticed Snake-Eyes wore the same tatoo. This sent Snake-Eyes to track down the Soft Master, who had been investigating the murder his brother (the Hard Master) for years. Soon, the two former friends confronted each other, and Storm Shadow revealed that he did not murder his uncle. Despite that fact, Storm Shadow could not totally reconcile with Snake-Eyes. He hoped that after his revenge was carried out, they could be the brothers they always should have been.
When Cobra Commander's son, Billy, attempted to kill his father, he was captured by Cobra and treated as a criminal, even being subjected to the Brain-wave scanner. They knew Billy hadn't acted alone, but his accomplices did not speak up, allowing Billy to be treated badly by Cobra. Disgusted by the actions of Billy's accomplices and by the mistreatment the boy received, Storm Shadow freed him from prison and fled to his dojo New York, taking Billy with him.
For a time, Storm Shadow trained Billy in the art of ninjitsu, but was disappointed when Billy went off on his own to confront Cobra Commander. Soon afterward, Snake-Eyes arrived at Storm Shadow's Manhattan dojo. He received a telegram from the Soft Master, confirning that the Hard Master's assassin was Zartan. The two friends landed on Cobra Island, fighting their way to Zartan.
When Zartan eluded Storm Shadow's vengeance, Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow had to fight their way off of the island during a G.I. Joe rescue mission. They stole a Cobra hydrofoil, but they were attacked and Storm Shadow had to fight vicious sharks and Cobra frogmen before he got back ashore. When he waded up on the beach, he was met by the Baroness. Tired of his betrayal of Cobra, she shot the ninja, apparently killing him.
In reality, he had forced himself into a trance-state known as the "Sleeping Phoenix," slowing down the body to near-death. Storm Shadow's body was taken and kept in storage by Dr. Mindbender for use in a special project. Mindbender was about to use advance technology to create Serpentor, a soldier who would be the amalgamation of the greatest warriors in history. Mindbender threw Storm Shadow into the mix, using his body to help create Serpentor.
Somehow, the process revived Storm Shadow. He infiltrated G.I. Joe headquarters to find Snake-Eyes and ask him for help. Storm Shadow saw how vengeance had consumed him, and he needed time alone to recover from the scars of vengeance. Snake-Eyes offered him the keys to his cabin in the High Sierras. There, Storm Shadow lived in seclusion for a time, healing his soul.
Storm Shadow's retreat was interrupted when Scarlett came to tell him that Snake-Eyes had been captured by Cobra. With his help, Scarlett snuck into the Cobra Consulate in Manhattan. They fought Cobra soldiers and the mysterious red ninjas before Snake-Eyes was freed. The three friends barely survived the ordeal. Shortly afterward, it was discovered that Billy, long thought to be dead, was still alive.
Billy had come out of a coma while in his father's care, but the boy could not deal with his father's involvement in Cobra and left. He made contact with Jinx and the Blind Master, both members of the Arashikage clan. Through Snake-Eyes, Jinx had become involved in intelligence for the G.I. Joe team. Billy was brought to see Hawk and to tell the Joes what had happened to the Soft Master and Candy, Ripcord's girlfriend. He revealed that they had died in the accident that nearly took his life.
While Billy was reunited with Storm Shadow, the Joes got a call from Flint and Lady Jaye in Grenada. They, Snake-Eyes and Scarlett were vacationing there when Snake-Eyes and Scarlett, escorting a blind man across an open field apparently stepped on a mine and were incinerated. Storm Shadow knew something was wrong. "A ninja does not step on a landmine."
Storm Shadow ascertained that the blind man was actually the Blind Master. With Jinx and Billy's help, Storm Shadow tracked his friends to Borovia. They had faked their deaths with the help of the Blind Master so that they could illegally rescue Stalker, Snow Job and Quick Kick. The three men were being held in a Borovian gulag and had been "written off" by U.S. officials. The three Joes were rescued by the team of ninjas and they all returned home.
Storm Shadow, Jinx, Billy and the Blind Master travelled to San Francisco, where Storm Shadow had grown up. He ran and lived in the Arashikage Martial Arts Academy along with Billy and Jinx, who was stationed at the Presidio army base. Months later, the G.I. Joe team was involved in the Cobra Island civil war. After the war, the Joes were forced to take the fall for the failure and Hawk and General Hollingsworth were being held in a psychiatric hospital by corrupt government officials. The Joes who had evaded arrest rescued Hawk with the help of Billy, Jinx and Storm Shadow.
A short time after Hawk's rescue, Billy's mother tracked down her son and revealed why Zartan had killed the Hard Master: Cobra Commander's brother died in the accident that killed Snake-Eyes' family. He blamed Snake-Eyes for the death and sent Zartan to kill him, who mistakenly killed the Hard Master. Then Billy left to live with his mother while he went to school.
After Billy left, Zartan and the Red Ninjas attacked the martial arts academy, trying to kill Storm Shadow. The ninja defeated the others, but because of the incident, he was forced to abandon the academy. Storm Shadow returned to Snake-Eyes' cabin in the High Sierras with Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and Jinx. They were attacked again by the Red Ninjas, led by a ninja Storm Shadow nearly killed in San Francisco.
During the battle, the Red Ninjas' leader revealed that the Red Ninjas were actually remnants of the Arashikage clan. They blamed Storm Shadow for the downfall of the clan after he brought Snake-Eyes, an outsider, into the clan. They had been working with Zartan since Storm Shadow first attempted to exact his vengeance. Though the heroes survived, Storm Shadow lamented, "Will my past ever stop catching up to me?"
While undergoing reconstructive surgery in Switzerland, Snake-Eyes was captured by Cobra and again brought to the Cobra Consulate. Scarlett was left in a coma during his capture. Storm Shadow, with the help of Stalker, attacked the consulate. When he arrived, Snake-Eyes had already escaped and was waging a one-man war to get out of the building. The Joes and Destro rescued the ninjas, but not before much of the consulate was destroyed. Unfortunately, Scarlett remained in a coma.
Seeing Snake-Eyes was distraught over Scarlett's imminent death, Storm Shadow used the "Arashikage Mind Set" to turn Snake-Eyes into a killing-machine and send him on a mission into Borovia, hoping to make him forget Scarlett. Scarlett inexpectedly recovered. When she learned what Storm Shadow had done to Snake-Eyes, she confronted him and almost killed him.
Soon, Snake-Eyes returned and with his help, Storm Shadow survived. Now a full member of the G.I. Joe team, Storm Shadow participated in many missions, including the Battle of Benzheen, a conflict in which several Joes lost their lives. While training a new group of ninjas for the Joe team, Storm Shadow was reunited with Billy when the Joes helped protect Destro from a death warrant issued by Cobra Commander. The young ninjas performed well in that mission and Storm Shadow was given command the G.I. Joe Ninja Force. The team fought with the Joes in Trans-Carpathia -- where they learned Firefly's part in his uncle's death -- and the Cobra-controlled town of Millville, where they helped free the town from Cobra's influence.
When Storm Shadow discovered Billy had been captured by Cobra, he travelled to Trans-Carpathia to try and rescue his former student. While there, Storm Shadow was captured and brainwashed by Dr. Mindbender's brain-wave scanner, forced to work again for Cobra. Snake-Eyes and the Joes tried to free him, but they were unsuccessful.
In 1994, a short time after the Joes' failed rescue attempt, the team was disbanded by the U.S. military. Storm Shadow took part in one last mission against former members of the Joe team, even confronting Snake-Eyes. Their fight was short-lived and the ninja left the scene before anything could be resolved. Soon afterward, Cobra forces fell to a unified attack by regular military forces. Most of Cobra's "high command" disappeared in the wake of the conflict, Storm Shadow included.
Storm Shadow is back in the employ of Cobra, although his ever-shifting loyalties have left him distrusted by both Cobra and G.I. Joe. Regular jolts by the Brainwave Scanner have kept him with Cobra, but are taking their toll on his free will and sanity.
- In 2004, Kamakura battled Storm Shadow on a parking garage rooftop in downtown Kansas City.
May 26 - One Last Chance
July 22 - They're back!
Cobra attacks the Pensacola Naval Air Station...
July 30 - Sword Fight at the Lincoln Memorial
In the continuing adventures of Scarlett's broken heart, she goes after the man who she blames more than Snake-Eyes.
August 16 - Pit Fall
Cobra attacks the Pit...
October 31 - "Halloween 2010"
Cobra forces crash a G.I. Joe and friends' Halloween party.
November 1 - "@QueenOfSpades"
Interrogator thinks Storm Shadow has gone Rogue and goes to find him.
- Ninja Lightning Cycle (2004)
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