Issues 4991 – 4994 , the latest quartet of Commandos (try saying that after three pints of Old Trumper), go on sale on 9th February 2017 (UK).
As is usual, all the creators are named. As is also usual, some are only identified by their second names, for the perfectly good reason that when the stories were originally drawn, no credits were published, and one name sufficed for record-keeping purposes. As long as the artists and writers were paid, they probably didn’t care too much.
On the one hand this can be deeply frustrating for anyone who wants every detail they can possibly amass on the comics. On the other hand it’s a fine excuse for those who like to delve into comics history to go raking on the web for more info. The trouble is, that info often throws up more questions than answers.
In the late-60s, the artist Segrelles is one of many identified by one name only. A Google search soon throws up his first name as Vicente. But wait, reading his biography and looking at his samples, he doesn’t seem quite the right fit. Did he, like some others, change his style between comics and “fine art”?
Perhaps not, because his cousin Eustaquio was also a comics and “fine art” artist. Maybe he was responsible for Legion Of The Lost, Colonel Scarface, Blood Of Heroes, etc. See what you think. Here are a pair of pages from Legion Of The Lost:
Vicente or Eustaquio?
Once we’ve sorted that out, we need to move on to which of the De La Fuente brothers illustrated which stories and which of the Hebdens (father and son) wrote which stories.
Or maybe you just want to read them…
Achtung, We Surrender – Commando No 4991
In 1940, small time crook Ned Turpin claimed to be the descendant of the infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin. He, with his partner -in-crime, Bert Bloomer, had no intention of involving himself in the war…or at least he didn’t until he was caught robbing notorious East London gangsters, the Bailey brothers.
Shipped off to France to avoid the Baileys and time behind bars, Ned and Bert found themselves on the front line in a war they wanted no part of. The advancing Germans had heard many cries on the battlefields but now they would hear the screams of…Achtung, we surrender!
Story: George Low Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page
Legion of the Lost – Commando No 4992
The Foreign Legion breeds tough men. Sergeant Steve Millar was tough – he needed to be.
He was stranded in the desert with a fortune of gold. He knew he would be attacked by Germans, Italians and marauding Arabs. And for company he had four legionnaires – killers all – with the smell of gold in their nostrils.
Story: Mepham Art: Segrelles Cover: Segrelles
Mepham’s tale of the legendary Foreign Legion challenges the intense Espirit de Corps traditionally established by the Legion’s units. With enemy forces surrounding our heroes as they cross treacherous desert conditions, it is essential that they work as a team. Their journey goes to plan until the Legionnaire’s Code of Honour is disrupted by an irrefutable force: gold.
Mepham brilliantly explores the soldiers’ fight for survival, and the unfortunate consequences of greed, in this thrilling tale. Illustrated wonderfully by the talented Segrelles, Legion of the Lost is an epic adventure through the desert to find where man’s wealth really lies.
The Commando Team
Legion of the Lost, originally Commando No 311 (February 1968)
Barbed Wire Battlers – Commando No 4993
Seaman Andy Walker had been a loner all his life. From his beginnings at the orphanage to his posting in the Royal Navy, Andy struggled to be accepted…
But Andy’s isolation worsened when he was captured and put in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Once his jailers learnt he could speak their language, he was singled out and, from his fellow prisoners’ perspective, given special treatment.
It would take everything Andy had to prove he was no traitor, no Japanese pet…to prove that he was one of them. That he was a Barbed Wire Battler!
Story: George Low Art: Rezzonico and Morahin Cover: Janek Matysiak
Ground Strike! – Commando No 4994
The Bristol Beaufighter packed an awesome punch with its arsenal of machine guns and cannons. Turned against an enemy, it was a lethal weapon of war.
But one Beaufighter pilot, Andy Shaw, knew to his cost that it could be just as deadly against a friendly target hit by mistake…
Story: Alan Hemus Art: Terry Patrick Cover: Ian Kennedy
Alan Hemus does it again in this outstanding Commando outing! Hemus’ storytelling is at the top of its game with his two heroes, Andy and Harry, caught in a web of uncertainty.
They shoot up a launch, convinced it’s an enemy E-Boat, but their superiors believe they have actually sunk one of their own rescue craft. Their moral dilemma looms over them until the climax. The tension Hemus draws out in the plot is matched by the scratch lines of Terry Patrick’s interior art. This all topped off with another amazing Ian Kennedy cover!
The Commando Team
Ground Strike!, originally Commando No 2518 (November 1991)