Resolute Comic Pack Storm Shadow
The two Resolute-branded comic packs were kind of interesting. The two Joes in the comic packs didn’t show up in Resolute at all (at least in a meaningful way, I can’t remember if either Shockwave or Tunnel Rat were in a group shot) and the Cobras included were in Resolute but looked nothing like the figures released. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I just don’t quite understand why Hasbro put the sets under the Resolute banner when they really had nothing to do with it. The Resolute comic pack Storm Shadow is a pretty interesting figure. As Storm Shadow, I do find him a bit boring, but some of the design is cribbed from a different ninja and the included accessories (with a little bit of paint work), will let me turn him into a fast and dirty Dice figure, and I love that Hasbro threw a Ninja Force reference into the line in a Resolute comic pack, of all places.
Resolute Storm Shadow’s look is definitely something we haven’t seen before, and I kind of enjoy that. To accomplish this new look, everything but his feet are new pieces. The overall look is rather ceremonial. This version of Storm Shadow wouldn’t look out of place guarding an Arashikage temple. However, the comic book shows Storm Shadow in this gear trying to sabotage the USS Flagg, and I don’t necessarily think it works well in that capacity because it just seems a bit too bulky. The legs have armor on the shin and large kneepads while the thighs are just simple ninja pants. The torso is nicely design and I love the angular chest armor. That ridge running down the center of the chest piece will help deflect sword blows and make it much harder to hurt Storm Shadow. The arms have similarly angular armor up on his shoulders and protective bracers on his forearms and hands. This is definitely the most armor we’ve seen Storm Shadow wearing and I do like seeing such a radically different look for him. The new head sculpt is still a relatively basic facemask, but the two seams up top it bring him a little more in line with the look Storm Shadow had in the DDP years of the Joe comic. I like the DDP Storm Shadow look, so I’m perfectly fine with this reference here. This is a very different look for Storm Shadow and while I appreciate it, I think it’s not quite right for him. However, a lot of the design cues are shared with a later Cobra ninja: Dice. The tall boots with big kneepads are similar to Dice’s as is the forearm armor. The shoulderpads and chest armor aren’t quite on model for Dice, but who’s to say that Dice hasn’t changed things up over the years and thrown on a little more protective gear? This figure okay as Storm Shadow, but I think using him as Dice is the better option.
Storm Shadow’s colors are also a bit of a departure from his standard look. I’m fine with that because there are only so many ways you can make an all-white ninja before things start to get a little boring. The base of the figure is off-white rather than a pure white. You wouldn’t think like that’s much of a change of Storm Shadow’s traditional look, but surprisingly, it is. The off-white is a good color for him and something we haven’t seen done to death. Of course, with all the armor, you don’t see as much off-white and that helps keep things interesting. The bulk of the armor is done up in brown, though the shoulderpads and kneepads are a very light gray with brown around the outside edge. Using brown is a nice call because it reminds me a bit of bamboo. Yes, bamboo is from China and ninjas are from Japan, but it still gives it a great overall oriental vibe and I like seeing that in Storm Shadow’s armor. Being made of bamboo would make the armor much lighter weight and would allow Storm Shadow to be a bit stealthier than he would be if he were wearing all metal armor. The armor pieces are all held on with red straps and the red pops nicely against the figure and adds just enough color to make him look a bit more visually interesting while not crossing into the realm of bad colors. Red is also used on his sash and Storm Shadow has a large Arashikage symbol on his chest armor. The colors work very well and help sell this figure as Storm Shadow.
Storm Shadow’s gear is good but honestly, I associate all but one piece more with Dice than I do Storm Shadow. The only piece that doesn’t give me a Dice vibe is the Shredder-style helmet. It’s not something I associate with Storm Shadow either, but it’s actually a pretty decent look. The armored face looks intimidating and the fabric draped over the top of it makes the look work. Honestly, I wish the Hasbro designers would have used this piece when they made the Night Creeper. Yes, they would have needed to make some modifications to this design to make it Night Creeper accurate, but I think it would have been more effective than the weird removable head wrap Hasbro used. The other helmet option Storm Shadow has is the distinctive Dice mask and it looks great in this scale. I really like it as a removable piece and whichever design was in charge of creating this piece did an excellent job with it. Storm Shadow’s two weapons are also all Dice and they’re great pieces. He’s got the great bladed bo staff that is a modified version of the Valor Vs. Venom Ninja Battles pike we’ve seen used a few times over the years. It’s a great stand-in for Dice’s original weapon and it looks great in the hands of a modern figure. The other weapon is a large axe, again a piece originally associated with Dice. The great gear takes what could have been “just another Storm Shadow” figure and turned him into a great figure that works as either Storm Shadow or an updated version of a character we haven’t seen since 1991 and that really adds some great value to this piece.
I’m still a little on the fence about how I want to use this version of Storm Shadow. It is a unique look for Storm Shadow, but I just get such a strong Dice vibe from the figure, I’d love to ship him off to my friend in Wisconsin who turned Retaliation Cobra Commander into Interrogator and have her repaint him into Dice. I know the GIJCC made Dice in FSS 1, but I couldn’t afford the buy in to that and Dice has been shockingly hard to track down on the secondary market for a decent price. Repainting this figure into Dice would fill out my collection of modern versions of the first year Ninja Force figures and reunite Slice with his hetero life- mate. Regardless of how I decide to use him, Hasbro did a good job at making Storm Shadow into something interesting. While I still question why he had to be released under the Resolute banner, it’s still a good figure and that’s really all that matters in my books.