Torch is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and cartoon series. He is affiliated with Cobra as one of the Dreadnoks and debuted in 1985. He is often seen working closely with Ripper and Buzzer .
His real name is Tom Winken. Torch was born in Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
Torch was remanded to Borstal at age fourteen, but escaped and went to sea in the Merchant Marine, where he learned the use of the cutting torch. He later rode with the Melbourne Maulers motorcycle club. Torch is an illiterate, unrepentant thug with a penchant for violence matched only by the utter depth of his stupidity. He uses his oxy-acetyline torch for remodeling cars and the occasional safe-cracking. He is also known to scavenge the swamps for fun and profit.
Torch was first released as an action figure in 1985.
In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appeared in #25, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #25 (July 1984), The Dreadnoks' love for destruction causes an early warning for the staff at McGuire Air Force Base, after they spotted a Dragonfly landing there. Their vandalism sets off an explosion; the soldiers and G.I. Joe manage to set up a defense that drives off the Cobra troops. The Dreadnoks flee the attention of both sides.
Torch and Ripper get in trouble, after disobeying orders and losing Buzzer to a trio of Joes they had haphazardly attacked. Torch is seen in a running battle of Dreadnoks versus Joes in issue #51. This is after the others rescue Zartan from Joe HQ. Torch is a passenger on the outside of the Thunder Machine. He then participates in an attempt to kill Serpentor. He makes a cameo during an essential Cobra power struggle.
Torch has made several cameos in the Devil's Due original G.I. Joe series. He participates when the Joes assault the Dreadnoks Florida Everglades headquarters. He assists when the Dreadnoks are involved in the purchase of a nuclear weapon. He is part of a grouping of Dreadnoks and Cobra officers who get into a running gun-fight with an out of control Battle Android Trooper. He almost gets his side killed when, misunderstanding Doctor Mindbender, he calls to nearby Joes, advising them to aim for the head. This would have resulted in a gigantic explosion.
In the alternate continuity of 'G.I.Joe Vs. The Transformers' Torch and his allies are upgraded with Cybertronian technology. In a dystopian future, an older Torch works for a crippled Duke, one of the few Joes left. They are past of a resistance against the murderous Decepticons. Seeing a chance to negate his terrible 'present', Torch violates orders and leads a time-lost Joe-Cobra team in their mission.
He first appeared in the G.I. Joe animated series in "The Revenge of Cobra" mini-series. In "The Revenge of Cobra" Zartan and the Dreadnoks recovered a piece of Destro's Weather Dominator, offering to sell it to the highest bidder, Cobra or G.I. Joe. Torch is voiced by Frank Welker.
G.I. Joe: The Movie
Torch also appeared briefly in the 1987 animated film G.I. Joe: The Movie.
Torch appears in G.I. Joe: Sigma 6. He is seen as a member of the Dreadnoks.
Torch first appeared in the G.I. Joe: Renegades episode "Dreadnoks Rising." This version is an African-American. He is seen as a member of the Dreadnoks.