|G.I. Joe character|
|Voiced by||Buster Jones (Sunbow/Marvel)|
|File name||Melendez, Rafael J.|
|Birth place||New York, NY|
|Secondary MOS||Infantry, Artillery|
His real name is Rafael J. Melendez, and his rank is that of corporal E-4. Zap was born in New York City.
His primary military specialty is combat engineer and his secondary military specialty is infantry artillery. Zap is the team specialist in armor-piercing and anti-tank weapons but also functions as demolitions man. He has received advanced infantry training, and specialized education in engineer school and ordnance school. Zap is a qualified expert with the M-14, M-16, M1911A1 Auto Pistol, M79 grenade launcher, M-72 LAW (Light Anti-Armor Weapon) Rocket, XM-17A TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link guided) Missile, and the XM-47 (Dragon Missile).
Zap was first released as an action figure in 1982.
In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, Zap is featured in the first issue, along with the rest of the original roster. One of his first missions was helping to rescue peace activist and committed pacifist Dr. Adele Burkhart from the forces of Cobra.
Zap is featured in issue #4. Crazed militia commander Vance Wingfield, whose organization is partly funded by Cobra, has armed a nuclear bomb in the wake of his defeat. Assisted by Grunt, Zap successfully disables the bomb. Later, Zap helps defend the Kennedy Space Center from Cobra attack.
Scarlett, Snake Eyes and Zap are captured by Cobra during an investigation of the town of Springfield. It would turn out Springfield was basically Cobra down to the core, every citizen, even the children, a loyal member. Even the arcade carries live weaponry, a fact which almost kills the trio. While imprisoned, the Joes are drugged into a hallucinatory state. They are freed by their fellow inmate, a young boy named Billy who had learned the drugs were neutralized by the heat of the cell's light bulb. The Joes manage to steal a Cobra aircraft. Its navigational equipment is damaged, though and this, combined with a disorienting storm, keeps Springfield's location secret for now. Billy does not go with them, preferring to stay and work with Springfield's Cobra resistance.
Next, Zap plays a minor role in stopping Cobra from stealing weapons grade plutonium and spreading around a dangerous plague. Both threats are soon neutralized. He also flies a helicopter in a support role as G.I. Joe investigates Cobra activity in the Florida Everglades.
Later, the original Joe team would be taken off active duty and given administrative positions. This is quickly reversed when the location of Springfield is discovered. Most able Joes, Zap included, go on the offensive. Zap discovers a network of tunnels underneath the city, all primed to explode. He was not able to disarm the bombs but due to his warnings no one was killed in the explosion.
As with many other Joes, Zap helps dig out the new Joe HQ based in Utah.
Zap returns to action as part of a team selected to help protect the President of the United States during a baseball game. He is neutralized by the hypnotizing abilities of the Cobra agent, Crystal Ball. Cover Girl returns the hypnotized Joes to normal.
It is later revealed that Zap has been promoted to the head of the New York G.I. Joe branch. Moments later, a building nearby containing Duke and Lady-Jaye explodes. Zap leads the Joe-intensive rescue effort and personally uncovers his dazed but alive teammates.
Zap also appears in the Devil's Due series 'G.I. Joe Declassified', which takes place early in the Joe continuity. He, Stalker, Grunt and Rock'N'Roll are the focus of much Joe attention as they become lost far behind enemy lines, with no backup and ultimately, a badly wounded prisoner.