Tag Archives: Boutland

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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Wot did you read on your holidays?

Besides the Victor (and other) summer specials, I recall that there seemed to be more Commandos in the shops than usual and that some of them were from some months, even years past. According to former editor George Low, DC Thomson’s distribution department used to box up random copies from the firm’s printing works (they owned their own back then) and send them out to newsagents for the summer holiday demand. It must have worked as they did it for many years apparently.

So, I read a lot of extra Commandos in the long holidays, but the best summer reading experience by far was the year I was stuck in bed for a day or two. A pal who was a Valiant man brought round (with some help) about two years’ worth for me to read.

I’d never been so happy to be off-colour.

The latest Commando issues (4935-4938) possibly include one of your holiday reads from way back when. They’re on sale from the 28th July 2016 (UK).


Firebrand! — Commando No 4935Comm_4935_coverMaster

 

Siblings Ian and John Jenkins were both RAF pilots. Ian was the elder, calm and confident. John was younger and hot-headed, a definite firebrand. Based in the North-East of Scotland, they protected the coast against attack from the marauding Luftwaffe.

However, when tragedy struck, John found himself embroiled in a mystery — one that involved death, destruction and even espionage. And it seemed there was a family connection. The firebrand was determined to find the answers…whatever the cost.

Story: Colin Watson  Art: Janek Matysiak Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Fighter Ace — Commando No 4936Comm_4936_coverMaster

“Flame Squadron” they were called in the RAF But to the baffled pilots of the Luftwaffe they were known as “Flame Devils”.

When an aircraft was shot to pieces, cartwheeling across the sky in a mass of flames, somewhere in that blazing Spitfire a cool fighting brain still functioned, a finger still pressed the firing button. Long after any pilot must have perished, each plane carried on flying.

As the Luftwaffe’s terror grew, one of Germany’s top spies was sent to ferret out the secret of the “Flame Devils”…

Introduction

This curio from 1966 has a vaguely supernatural premise about indestructible Spitfire pilots who can seemingly survive the flames of aerial battle — Commando with a pulp fiction, or even science-fiction, flavour. Then, however, author Boutland’s (first name unknown) [but probably David according to this well-researched piece on Bear Alley] story veers into espionage territory, making it more of a traditional tale — but one that’s certainly well-drawn by Arias and with a moody action cover painted by Buccheri.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Fighter Ace, originally Commando No 206 (March 1966), re-issued as No 843 (June 1974)

Story: Boutland  Art: Arias  Cover: Buccheri

 


Making His Mark — Commando No 4937Comm_4937_coverMaster

When World War II broke out Mark Enfield quit his office job and enlisted in the army. Although enthusiastic, he was quite puny and unfit. Nor was he a very good shot — and many noted the irony that he shared his surname with the famous Lee-Enfield rifle that they used.

He became a target of bullies among his fellow recruits in basic training and this continued when they went into battle.

However, Mark was determined to stand up to his detractors once and for all, especially when his unit was tasked with destroying a strategically important bridge which was in enemy hands.

Story: George Low  Art: John Ridgway  Cover: John Ridgway

 


Burning Skies — Commando No 4938Comm_4938_coverMaster

 

During the war most people served in the same unit all the time. However, Jack Banham was different. He was in an Italian jail, then a front-line trench with the Greek army, then the observer’s cockpit of an Italian biplane. At one time he was even a colonel in the Greek army…

…Or was it the Greek air force? Months afterwards he still wasn’t sure. Not that it mattered, for by that time he was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm!

Introduction

In some ways it’s a pity that this tale’s original working title wasn’t used. Veteran Commando author RA Montague called it ‘Jack Of All Trades’. This neatly sums up the multifarious activities of our protagonist, Jack Banham — on his journey from being a civilian treasure hunter to a soldier, then eventually fighting in aircraft.

This relentless yarn rarely pauses for breath. Proof once more that Commando’s 63-page format allows a story room to go to unexpected places.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Burning Skies, originally Commando No 1116, (April 1977), re-issued as No 2436 (January 1991)

Story: R.A. Montague  Art: Frederico Maidagan  Cover: Ian Kennedy