One of the first G.I. Joes I ever bought was Stalker, but the one I wanted the most, as did every other eleven-year-old at the time, was Snake Eyes. Stalker was a badass in his own right. Served as an Army Ranger and was part of the Desert Patrol Squad and Tiger Force, ergo the tiger-colored camo, but nothing compared to the mysterious ninja dressed in black.
After weeks of checking the local K-Mart, I was finally able to snag one. I tried to talk my mom into getting the Sky Striker (the big fighter jet that looks like an F-14 Tomcat), which came with Ace the Fighter Pilot, but the request got shot down.
No matter, I got Snake Eyes and that was good enough, for now. If I remember correctly, I was the only kid in the neighborhood that was able to find one. I even got one before the rich kid across the street, of course he had an Atari 2600, so I don’t think he even cared.
Nevertheless, the legendary G.I. Joe action figure was mine!
In the comics, however, his popularity grew. Especially when Marvel introduced his arch enemy and Arashikage ninja clan brother Storm Shadow, also known as Tommy, in G.I. Joe issue #21.
Beginning with number ten, here are some interesting facts you should know about the Commando Snake Eyes in the G.I. Joe universe.
#10 – Snake Eyes was a Vietnam Veteran and served in the U.S. Army as an Infantryman.
On a recon mission, Stalker, Tommy, and Snake Eyes actually came across an enemy. As the Vietcong started to run away, Tommy (Storm Shadow) killed him with his bow. Snake Eyes was the M-60 machine gunner at the time and was covering the patrol’s six. (G.I. Joe #26 – A Real American Hero)
#9 – He Almost Died, but Storm Shadow saved him.
Stalker, Tommy, and Snake Eyes were waiting on their pickup from a Huey helicopter. They marked the LZ (landing zone) with red smoke and their helicopter landed awaiting their arrival. Stalker made it on the helicopter, but then Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes came under heavy enemy fire. Snake Eyes was shot and fell to the ground. Stalker ordered Tommy to leave Snake Eyes there because he was presumed dead and the helicopter was out in the open, an easy target. Tommy didn’t listen and went to go save Snake Eyes. Tommy rushed through the barrage of bullets, grabbed Snake Eyes, and ran back to the helicopter to safety. (G.I. Joe #26 – A Real American Hero)
#8 – Snake Eyes Had a Twin Sister.
During his service in Vietnam, Snake Eyes always had a picture of his twin sister, Theresa. He was very close to her and kept her picture close for good luck. After the war, however, he came back home only to be given the tragic news that his family died during a vehicle accident coming to pick him up at the airport. (G.I. Joe #26 – A Real American Hero)
#7 – Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow Studied Ninjutsu from the Same Ninja Clan.
Storm Shadow (Tommy) and Snake Eyes have a rich history together. They fought in Vietnam and Tommy even saved his life during a mission with Stalker. After Snake Eyes returned home and found out about the tragic events of his family, he went to Japan to study Ninjutsu, where he became a master at hand-to-hand combat. Both Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow have the same red marking representing the Arashikage Clan.
#6 – He Was One of the Original G.I. Joes.
Along with Scarlett, Flash, Grunt, Stalker, and others Snake Eyes was one of the original members of the G.I. Joe team. (G.I. Joe #1 – A Real American Hero)
#5 – Scarlett and Snake Eyes Had an On and Off Again Relationship.
Snake Eyes and Scarlett first became an item about six years after he lost his sister and the rest of his family. Duke and Stalker went to a rural area in the High Sierras to recruit Snake Eyes. Once they convinced him to come along, he began training with Scarlett. She was very curious about Snake Eyes and went out with him to get to know him better.
As time went on, they dated and broke up, then got back together. They even get engaged. Unfortunately, though, the wedding was called off due to Snake Eye’s apprentice, Gabriel Ophelia, dying in her final mission before trials. Ophelia was chasing Firefly, but eventually was shot. The death took its toll on Snake Eyes, mainly because Ophelia reminded him of his sister. (G.I. Joe #26 – A Real American Hero / G.I. Joe #1 – Master and Apprentice)
#4 – Teams Up with His Arch Enemy, Storm Shadow.
He actually partners up with Tommy on several occasions, but one in particular was where they were chasing Zartan, the person who killed the Hard Master and Storm Shadow’s uncle. (G.I. Joe #46 – A Real American Hero)
#3 – The Real Reason Snake Eyes Can’t Talk and Wears A Mask.
During a Desert Operation, Snake Eyes, Rockin’ Roll, and Grunt were on a hostage rescue mission when one of their helicopters stalled. Two of the helicopters ran into to each other causing a blast of hot gas blowing through the window and hitting Snake Eyes right in the face. The burns to his face were so bad it disfigured him and damaged his vocal cords so he could not talk. He spent several months in the hospital to get better, but the burns were so bad plastic surgeons were unable to make his face look like it did before the accident. (G.I. Joe #27 – A Real American Hero)
#2 – He Reveals His Face.
Traveling to Switzerland in hopes of getting a new face, literally, Snake Eyes and Scarlett visit the Bern Institute of Reconstructive Surgery. During the initial visit, the doctor checks Snake Eye’s face to see how to conduct the surgery. After the screening, he asks Snake Eyes to look into the mirror and says, “This is the last time you shall see your face in this condition!” (G.I. Joe #93 – A Real American Hero)
#1 – Snake Eyes Fights Batman.
Batman and Snake Eyes face off on the island of Apollo in the Fortnite world. The fight was intense and Snake Eyes countered every strike that Batman threw at him. Their fighting styles are very similar. After all, they are both Ninjas!
They eventually agree to disagree and stopped fighting. Even though there was no declared winner, both Snake Eyes and Batman had great respect for one another and parted ways. (Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #3)
Bonus: Snake Eyes Fights and Beats Storm Shadow, Badly.
In one match, Snake Eyes fights Storm Shadow and defeats him pretty easily. Tommy has this rage against Snake Eyes because one of the masters decided to teach him an ancient and most secretive martial arts form and not Storm Shadow. This form was passed down from generation to generation within the Arashikage Ninja Clan. Being part of the family, Storm Shadow was enraged with hate that the master picked Snake Eyes, an outsider, to learn this mysterious form and not him. (From Animated TV series G.I. Joe: Resolute)