Monthly Archives: August 2016

Commando issues 4943-4946 – On Sale 25 August 2016

Commando issues 4943-49446 – On Sale 25 August 2016

Ice-Cold Combat — Commando No 4943  

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When their Handley Page Hampden bomber was shot down, Pilot Officer Drew Grange and Sergeant Adam Weir were stranded on the icy border between Norway and Russia.

Helped by a couple of civilian hunters, the R.A.F. men were soon embroiled in a fight for survival. Finding an unarmed, abandoned Tiger Moth ski-plane, they took to the skies above the remote, frozen frontier in a desperate attempt to get warn their allies of an imminent Nazi threat.

Story: George Low  Art: Manuel Benet  Cover: Manuel Benet


Ghost Squadron — Commando No 4944

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Flak, machine-guns, searchlights, enemy fighters – these the Nazi pilots knew and could handle. These things were dangerous, all right – but they didn’t turn a man’s blood to ice water in his veins, they didn’t paralyse his hands on the controls in utter, freezing terror…

But the new weapon used by the RAF night-fighters – The “Ghost Squadron” – put the fear of death into every Nazi pilot unlucky enough to come within its range.

Introduction

In this book there are several worthy ingredients which make for a satisfying Commando yarn: We have a glory-hunting pilot – Flight Lieutenant Buck Lee, determined to notch up as many kills as possible in his Mosquito bomber; the story title hints at supernatural activity; and we soon discover that some kind of shadowy, top secret, experimental weapon is also involved.

This is a great adventure, with Boutland’s script brought vividly to life by Quesada’s art and Buccheri’s eerie cover.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Ghost Squadron, originally Commando No 247 (February 1967), re-issued as No 895 (December 1974)

Story: Boutland  Art: Quesada  Cover: Buccheri


Undefeated —Commando No 4945 

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Troubled by a past encounter early in his career, Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Alec Weston soon became a respected, if intense, skipper. He was determined that his submarine, HMS Undefeated, would live up to her name — therefore he pushed his crew and the vessel hard.

When ferrying a Special Boat Section assault team on a secret mission in the Mediterranean, Alec was faced with a tough decision that affected the lives of that Special Forces unit. Such was the burden of command…

Story: Steve Taylor  Art: Olivera/Rodriguez  Cover: Janek Matysiak


Coward in Khaki — Commando No 4946 

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Men’s characters don’t often change. If a man’s a crook in civilian life, he’ll probably be a crook in the army. That’s how it was with Vic Wardley.

Everyone knew him to be a crook – and a coward as well. So why would an Intelligence Corps Major single him out for a vital job in contact with the enemy?

Introduction

Very generally speaking, Commando usually deals in “heroes” and “villains”, with the battle lines clearly drawn. However, I’d venture that “Coward In Khaki” is an intriguing glimpse into what it might have been like if Commando had veered towards the anti-heroes prevalent in rival war comics like Battle and Action in their mid-1970s prime.

The story title is unscrupulous in its assessment of the eponymous character, Private Vic Wardley — we’re left in no doubt that he is an unsavoury type, to say the least — but perhaps he might change his ways by the time we reach the last page…?

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Coward In Khaki, originally Commando No 1125 (May 1977), re-issued as No 2451 (March 1991)

Story: Mike Knowles  Art: Mones  Cover: Ian Kennedy

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Every One’s A Winner…Maybe

So, I’m looking at the cover of Commando No 4942, admiring Ian Kennedy’s art and wondering how the editor (Ian Forbes) delivered the brief to him. “Well, Ian, we have a British soldier in jungle uniform with an arrow sticking out of the middle of his chest.” Mr Kennedy is no doubt composing the cover in his mind’s eye when Ian Forbes adds, “And he’s not dead, and there’s no blood.”

How do you make a cover out of that? Yet somehow he has, relying on the reader’s inquisitiveness (ie, what the hell’s going on here?) to draw their attention.

Just goes to show that the obvious isn’t the only way to go.

But what really got me was the coloured panel across the top of the cover. Win! Be a tank commander for the day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that on a Commando cover before.

Interesting idea?

Commando Nos 4939-4942 are on sale from August 11th, 2016 (in the UK).


Retreat-Or Die! — Commando No 4939Comm_4939_coverMaster

Staff Sergeant Sid Charlton was a born soldier, tough and resolute. Caught up in the Allied retreat from Norway in 1940, he and his men were determined to live to fight the Germans another day — but they were cut off from the most direct route to the coast.

Led by an intelligent but inexperienced young officer, Lieutenant John Barclay, they had to take a dangerous detour through hostile territory. Commandeering a stolen enemy truck, the retreat was on…

Story: George Low  Art: Jaume Forns  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Flying Flea — Commando No 4940Comm_4940_coverMaster

When war came to the island of Silau, south east of New Guinea, the pilots of a Royal Australian Air Force squadron laughed at two freakish-looking planes already operating there.

“Pop” Onslow and his son, Willie, ran an air-freight business which used an ancient Vickers Virginia bomber and an odd little crate called a “Flying Flea” — the Aussies reckoned it looked like a motor bike with wings.

When Willie took the Flea into the air and ran rings around the latest Tomahawk fighter the RAAF men considered letting the plucky civilians join the war effort.

Introduction

The little machine at the heart of the late Ken Barr’s wonderful cover is, of course, a real aircraft and not some kind of artistic license on our behalf. Created by Frenchman Henri Mignet, his HM14 was known colloquially as the ‘Flying Flea’ because of the translation of its nickname, ‘Pou du Ciel’ — literally ‘Louse of the Sky’.

I think it’s fantastic when Commando features these real life curios and it is even better when they practically become characters in their own right — and that’s certainly the case here.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Flying Flea, originally Commando No 235, (November 1966), re-issued as No 911 (February 1975)

Story: McOwan  Art: Cicuendez  Cover: Ken Barr

 


Ram Raiders — Commando No 4941Comm_4941_coverMaster

It was a daring tactic known as the “Taran” — using an aircraft as an aerial battering ram. Major Ilya Bezkhov of the Russian Air Force had used it on several occasions and lived to tell the tale.

When the Royal Air Force took on a mission to deliver four Tomahawk fighter-bombers to the Russians, Squadron Leader Peter Deacon clashed with Bezkhov, whom he viewed as unhinged — a danger to himself and everyone else around him.

However, Bezkhov saw the interfering Englishman as a coward. Could they work together to defeat the might of the German Luftwaffe?

Story: Steve Taylor  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


Kill Me If You Can! — Commando No 4942Comm_4942_coverMaster

 

It was only a bone, white and shiny, with odd painting and carving on it. An Aborigine mystic had said it would protect the wearer from any harm.

Well, if you’re an infantryman fighting in a modern war, you aren’t going to believe in that kind of thing, are you? Unless, of course, it starts saving your life — then you might begin to think there was something in it after all!

 

Introduction

Geography is, naturally enough, hugely important in Commando. Every tale must have a proper sense of place — the authors and, especially, the artists must evoke each location realistically enough to convince readers of the story’s authenticity and create a sense of drama and atmosphere. Here the dense jungles of New Guinea are brilliantly brought to life by interior artist Dalfiume and cover illustrator Ian Kennedy.

And, this fortnight’s Gold collection classic, Flying Flea (No 4940), is also set in the Far Eastern grandeur of New Guinea’s truly impressive landscape. That book is well worth a read too if you haven’t already done so.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Kill Me If You Can! Originally Commando No 1110 (March 1977), re-issued as No 2444 (February 1991)

Story: N. Allen  Art: Dalfiume  Cover: Ian Kennedy