Chief Torpedo (2003)
Here’s a character for whom fans demanded a land based version for years. Spy Troops series answered the call in a fashion, although not to most fans’ total satisfaction. That would have to wait until the next year’s Toys R Us exclusive VAMP release.
Previous versions of Torpedo depicted him in a wet suit, naturally. After all, he’s a Navy diver, right. Well, he’s a Navy SEAL–and I guess Hasbro missed what the L stood for all those years. This version doesn’t really give us the battle-ready version of the Joe team’s first Navy man. In fact, it looks like work gear, as he appears to wear just a simple set of coveralls. This combined with the removable SCUBA vest give it an old-timey feel that seems out of place in the “ten minutes in the future” world of GI Joe.
Going into the animated series, Torpedo’s first appearance in the MASS Device always left me confused. When the Joe team needs to go underwater to retrieve heavy water samples, a submarine pulls up to the dock, and a wet-suited gentleman pops his head out of a hatch. The Joes on the dock, to a man, all greet him vociferously with a chorus of “Hey, Torpedo!” to which he responds with a wink and nod, as if to say, “yeah kids, I’m Torpedo, I rock. Buy my new toy.” It just struck me as an odd moment, where everybody knows this guy but us.
To make it even stranger, the file card has always painted the character as an all-business guy with no sense of humor. A far cry from the happy-go-lucky Torpedo of the cartoon.