But Snake Eyes' popularity is made all the more remarkable by the fact he only exists because a toy company was too cheap and lazy to paint a damn action figure.
G.I. Joe started as a comic, but it wasn't long before toy company Hasbro's profit senses started tingling, and they began to belch out action figures in a stream of screaming plastic vomit. But soon, the toys would come first, then were inserted into the comic as characters -- they were simply a bunch of generic soldier designs painted different colors and hastily given names and backstories, because children don't give a shit.
The most impressive thing about Hasbro's G.I. Joe line was their dedication to maximizing their profit margins, and nowhere is this more evident than the design for Snake Eyes. To save money, they didn't even paint the toy. It was churned out entirely in the same shade of black as the plastic that came out of the vat. Their explanation? Oh, he's a ninja or something.