…to the UK’s most prodigious and last surviving war story title. Born on 27th June 1961 Commando remains basically unchanged. Basically but not completely. The paper is better, there’s more colour, the Commando nameplate has been modified; there’s even a new typeface. It’s what hasn’t changed that’s important to me, though. The stories are still well thought-out and generally have a moral (in the loosest sense) in them. The characters remain well drawn and the plots properly thought through.
I don’t know about another 55 years (I won’t be around) but I’ll raise a glass tonight and another when the old warhorse gets to 5,000 issues. Less than a year now.
Issues numbered 4927-4930 go on Sale in the UK on 30th June 2016.
Survive The Somme — Commando No 4927
Private Joe Dugdale was one of many men thrust into the heart of a battle which would go on to be remembered as the most horrific of all time.
When the Battle of the Somme commenced in July 1916, no-one could have known it would drag on for five months and that there would be an eventual death toll of over one million.
Although Joe bravely faced the hell of the trenches every day, he was unaware that his Sergeant held a grudge and wanted rid of him for good.
It looked unlikely that Joe would…
SURVIVE THE SOMME
Story: Richard Davis Art: Rezzonico Cover: Ian Kennedy
Phantom Frogmen — Commando No 4928
Corporal Stan Norton and Sergeant Ted Clark — Commandos, frogmen, mates.
But the ruthless Commando rule — if a man gets hurt, he gets left behind, whoever he is — looked like splitting them.
Ted was lying hurt in a well-guarded German army hospital. Stan was on his own in an enemy-occupied city.
But Stan said to blazes with the Commando rules. Ted was in there and he was just naturally going in to get him out.
This is tough Special Forces story. A “men-on-a-mission” classic, it is superbly drawn by Rodrigo, especially when, naturally enough, the action goes underwater. His thick, dark inks really give the impression of the murky depths of the ocean and the eerie final resting place of a downed Lysander aircraft.
However, once we get back on to dry land we are straight into all-guns-blazing mode for a Commando tale that never lets up until the final page.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Phantom Frogmen, originally Commando No 233 (October 1966), re-issued as No 871 (September 1974)
Story: Redbridge Art: Rodrigo Cover: Segrelles
Biplane Alley — Commando No 4929
Tom Wills was desperate for adventure and wanted to be a pilot during World War II. Unfortunately, his flying skills were not up to scratch and he ended up as a clerk in the Pay Corps.
However, he seized upon the opportunity to join a ragtag group of flyers led by a maverick World War I veteran. Major Richard Joyce used ancient biplanes from the Great War to harass German and Italian forces in the North African desert. In their Gypsy Moth planes, armed only with long-fused bombs and Webley revolvers, Tom and his comrades literally went under the radar on these daring night raids against the enemy.
Story: David Heptonstall Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page
Revenge Of The Shadow — Commando No 4930
The mysterious hooded figure hiding in the undergrowth was intent on vengeance — against SS Colonel Hans Meyer and his pack of “Wolves”.
He had already killed several of them silently and swiftly with his crossbow. Now if he could get inside the house, the evil leader of the wolf-pack would only have a few more moments to live…
I do enjoy it when a Commando tale begins in one genre and swiftly changes tack. In this case, we appear to have a traditional air story featuring a couple of plucky Lancaster pilots but it immediately morphs into a taut Resistance piece set in occupied France.
Top class script, interior and cover work all come seamlessly together here for a memorable action story with a little bit of mystery thrown in, too.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Revenge Of The Shadow, originally Commando No 1126 (May 1977), re-issued as No 2452 (March 1991)
Story: Cyril Walker Art: Ibanez Cover: Ian Kennedy