Resolute Storm Shadow
If there was one problem I had with the Resolute miniseries, it was how they handled Storm Shadow. Much like Destro, I’ve always seen Storm Shadow as an honorable villain. While the fight scene he had with Snake Eyes was pretty awesome, the overall character came across as an angry brat to me rather than someone with a sense of honor that, though at odds with much of the rest of the world, still drove his actions and meant he acted somewhat consistently. The cartoon got some parts of Storm Shadow right (the rivalry with Snake Eyes, his martial arts skills), but the rest of the characterization just missed the mark. For me, that description also applies to the Storm Shadow figure from the Resolute Cobra box set. There are quite a few things I like about the figure, but there are just enough problems with it that outweigh the good parts and that’s a shame. I really wanted to like this figure, but some strange choices really hurt how the figure looks and how well he plays.
For a figure from a box set that relied on very clever parts reuse, Resolute Storm Shadow gets a lot of new pieces. This is likely due to the fact that he was originally slated for a carded release before Hasbro designers shifted him over to a box set when they realized they couldn’t rebrand the line for Resolute and then less than six months later shift gears over to Rise of Cobra. Storm Shadow has brand new legs and I really like them. They look appropriately ninja-y and fit the character well. The detailed wraps and sandals look excellent and they have a great range of motion. Storm Shadow’s torso and arms are shared with 25th Anniversary Quick Kick. The torso and arms actually work pretty well for Storm Shadow as well. It gives him a rather lithe look and I think that’s very appropriate for a martial artists. Unfortunately, I think his hands (which are new pieces) are somewhat less than effective. His left wrist is cocked and it leaves that hand looking rather odd. Plus, the forearm wraps, while a nice nod to Storm Shadow’s classic design, make it difficult for him to use his claw accessory. Up top, Storm Shadow also gets a new head and I really like this piece. His mask fits very loosely on his face and he’s got a nice open eye slit so he’s got a decent field of vision. Most of the problems with this figure come from the added on pieces. Storm Shadow gets a removable gi and a removable hood. Unfortunately, the gi really restricts his torso’s range of motion and the hood rides really high on his head and fits rather loosely. It’s just not a good look, and that’s a shame. I will say, however, that the rope around his chest looks great and screams Storm Shadow. Really, the design is a nice update of Storm Shadow, it’s just a shame that the overall construction of the figure doesn’t work as well as it could.
Storm Shadow traditionally wears a lot of white, and the Resolute version is no exception. However, I have to give the Resolute designers and the Hasbro team credit for making him look interesting while still sticking to the white ninja look that Storm Shadow has rocked since the 1980s. The base of the figure is white, but to keep things a little more interesting, the wraps on his forearms and legs are off white. You wouldn’t think that would make much of a difference, but it really does. It helps keep Storm Shadow from being overwhelmingly white. The only other color on the figure comes from the gi where he’s got a red belt and a brown coil of rope around his chest. There may not be much to Storm Shadow’s paint job, but it’s quite effective in its simplicity. Storm Shadow still has the Arashikage tattoo on his right arm, but this time he also picks up a Cobra sigil on his left. I don’t mind that, but I think the placement for both tattoos is rather questionable. They’re both on the top of the forearms as opposed to the sides which does kind of limit their visibility. They’re nice enough details, but I do think it’s a bad call when tattoos get moved to less visible places.
In terms of gear, Storm Shadow is a little light, but what he has fits well with his character so I’ll give it a pass. Starting off small, he’s got a climbing claw like the 1988 version I grew up with. I always enjoy with Storm Shadow has a claw and I like it here. I just wish it fit better on either arm. Storm Shadow also gets a new sword backpack and a pair of swords to go in it. I really think this my favorite sword pack just because it’s so compact. The other sword- carrying backpacks just seem overly bulky, which would limit Storm Shadow’s mobility. This one is not terribly complicated, but it can still carry his swords and a little bit of extra gear without getting in the way. Like most modern Storm Shadow figures, he gets two swords with different blade lengths, so he looks pretty cool double-wielding his swords. Like I said, it’s really not a lot of gear, but everything works well for Storm Shadow and makes sense for him to have so I’ll take a few pieces of appropriate gear over a lot of gear that really doesn’t work well with the character.
Resolute Storm Shadow is so close to being a great figure that it’s just maddening. I really wanted to like him, but the overly bulky gi and hood combination really throw off the look of the figure. Couple that with his odd hands and it’s a little hard to give this guy a strong recommendation. If you got the Cobra Resolute box set you have him and he’s not a bad figure, but he could have been better. I’m not sure I would have tracked him down had he gotten a carded release like initially planned and I definitely wouldn’t have paid the prices the carded version went for on the international gray market, but since he’s here in my collection, I won’t really complain. It’s an interesting modern reinterpretation of Storm Shadow’s classic look, but unfortunately it shares some of the 25th Anniversary line’s problems of valuing form over function.