Tag Archives: Carlos Pino

Commando 5000.jpg

Advertisements

“The Rattle Of The Thompson Gun”*

There’s an outbreak of “Tommy Guns” and Stens on the covers of these Commandos –Nos 4987 – 4990 on sale 26th January 2017 in the UK. WW2 was the sub-machine gun’s war – think also PPSh-41 and MP38/MP40 as well. The Thompson and the MP38 were quality guns, made to fine tolerances and cost a small fortune. The Sten and the PPSh were churned out by the thousand and were cheap as chips.

The Soviets probably issued more sub-machine guns than anyone else but even so the rifle remained the usual infantryman’s weapon on all sides.

But war comics aren’t bothered with that sort of detail. Their covers have to be punchy, full of action and movement. And nothing gets that across like a blazing sub-machine gun. If someone counted the numbers of SMGs compared to rifles on war comics covers they’s probably get a proportion in direct opposition to what the situation really was.

So, a big blazing gun is the thing to have on a cover. And an explosion. And action that smashes towards the reader.

Agreed?

Right, so why does an editor allow the artist who painted the cover of 4990 break all the rules we’ve just settled on?

First, the artist hasn’t actually broken the rules he’s just stretched them a bit. There are guns blazing on that submarine, and they’re firing at the reader. The bullets are striking the tug in the foreground and it in turn is pulling the reader towards the action.

The second reason is that it was executed by Jeff Bevan and, when it came to ships, boats or submarines, he really could get away with anything such was his craftsmanship. (Sorry, pun not intended.)

 

*From “Off To Dublin In The Green” as often sung by The Dubliners. Quoting this does not signify any political affiliations, just a fondness for stirring songs.


Operation Arrowhead — Commando No 4987

Comm_4987_coverMaster.jpg

In the fourteenth century, the English bowmen were the scourge of French knights. The machine-gunners of their days, the bowmen used six-foot long bows to fire long arrows with three-inch wide arrowheads to pierce the hearts of their enemies.

One such arrowhead was found six centuries later in a field in France by Private Len Mason. This chance encounter saved Len from being gunned down by the enemy.

Surrounded by the bodies of his squadron, Len wondered why he had survived the brutal attack. Was the arrowhead a good luck charm or was it simply a coincidence?

Story: George Low  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

 


Blaze of Glory — Commando No 4988

Comm_4988_coverMaster.jpg

 

 

A squad of Commandos set out to deliver one RAF Flight Lieutenant to an address in German-held Norway. Mark Ritchie was his name – and desperately daring was his nature. The trick was to get him there alive…

 

 

Story: Wilkinson  Art: Buylla  Cover: Alvaro

Introduction 

Following a devastating crash, claustrophobic RAF test pilot, Mark Ritchie, didn’t expect to be chosen for an immediate mission to accompany a Commando squad into the heart of Nazi-occupied Norway to steal a never-before-flown aircraft prototype.

Wilkinson’s fast-paced story brilliantly captures Mark’s battle to prove his worth, creating dramatic tension between the pilot and the Commandos. The story is perfectly complemented by Buylla’s mastery of ink, as his visuals lead us from the cockpit of an unarmed plane, across vast seas, and deep into enemy territory. This is one action-packed adventure that’s not to be missed!

The Commando Team

Blaze of Glory, originally Commando No. 299 (December 1967)

 

 


Tromsø — Commando No 4989

Comm_4989_coverMaster.jpg

The Tirpitz was one of the most feared battleships of the Second World War. A forty-two-thousand-ton titan of the seas, the RAF’s brave and desperate attempts to destroy it became notorious.

Lesser known was the story of Erik and Olav, scientists turned SOE agents, and their role in the battleship’s fate. Their lives inextricably linked with brutal Nazi Major Herman Klinger, see how they came to take their revenge in the barren town of… Tromsø!

 

Story: Colin Watson  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


Pirate Patrol — Commando No 4990

Comm_4990_coverMaster.jpg

Nick Borley cursed the day he had been switched from commanding a fast motor launch to take over an antiquated schooner. And never more so than now as they ran before a storm, the sails and rigging in tatters after the Luftwaffe had paid a call.

Up ahead lay the hostile enemy-held coast and at Nick’s elbow was the grinning, bearded pirate who had started all this trouble. And he wasn’t finished yet!

 

Introduction

If you’re looking for a swashbuckling tale of heroism and maritime madness, venture no further than Pirate Patrol! Veteran writer, Alan Hemus is at the top of his game in this seafaring thriller. Hemus creates a great anti-hero in the form of Barney Lee, a loveable rogue with interesting views on the Second World War erupting around him. His counterpart, Lieutenant Nick Borley, is the perfect straight-laced man to counter balance Barney’s disorder, and both are expertly depicted in Keith Shone’s excellent interior art.

The Commando Team

Pirate Patrol, originally Commando No 2455 (March 1991)

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Keith Shone  Cover: Jeff Bevan

Commando Issues 4963-4966 – On Sale 3rd November 2016

Commando Issues 4963-4966 – On Sale 3rd November 2016

 

Deadly Dilemma — Commando No 4963 

comm_4963_covermaster

Stranded in Nazi-occupied France, his regiment gunned down, Corporal Bruce Newell is a hunted man. But when he comes face to face with ruthless S.S. Major Erich Benzler – the man who slaughtered Bruce’s friends in the chaos of Dunkirk – Bruce’s mission is no longer one of escape, but of revenge.

As Bruce closes in on his target, he realises his task is a heavy one… is the death of one despotic Nazi worth the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians?

Bruce is truly caught in a…

DEADLY DILEMMA!

Story: George Low  Art: Rezzonico  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Yankee Buddy — Commando No 4964 

comm_4964_covermaster

When one lone Commando was transferred to the U.S Marines, every eye was on him from the moment they hit the Japanese-held beaches. How was his shooting? How was his nerve? Did he know this stuff? Every bullet-lashed yard was a testing ground for Commando Jacky Dean, who carried the proud reputation of all the Commandos on one broad pair of shoulders.

Jacky might never have passed that test, if he hadn’t found a real buddy amongst the Yanks.

Story: Eric Hebden  Art: J. Fuente  Cover: Cortiella

Introduction

Who’s the tougher – US Marines or British Commandos?

That’s the question on everyone’s lips except our reluctant Commando, Jacky Dean. In a story by legendary Eric Hebden, Jacky is a liar, a deserter and even possibly… a murderer. Hebden pushes the boundaries of what we would consider a Commando hero while J. Fuente’s impeccable interior art cleverly depicts Jacky as a loveable rogue.

Set on the backdrop of the war in the Pacific, the plot rests on Jacky’s chaotic nature and unwillingness to fight ultimately being overcome through his friendship with his ‘Yankee Buddy’, Marine Andy Devlin. Enjoy!

The Commando Team

Yankee Buddy, originally Commando No 204 (March 1966)


 

Black Sun Squadron — Commando No 4965

comm_4965_covermaster

Squadron Leader Marko Vida was a talented and fiercely fascist pilot. Backed by the Nazis, Vida and his Black Sun Squadron dominated the skies over Croatia…

…Or so they thought. A Partisan Air Force made up of old, stolen fighters and led by Flight Officer Zlatan Pavic and Flying Officer Petar Milic would not hand over Croatia so easily.

With their planes outclassed and outgunned, things were fraught for the Partisan Air Force. They dared to fight back against the might of the…

BLACK SUN SQUADRON!

Story: Steve Coombs  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

 


The Invaders — Commando No 4966

comm_4966_covermaster

 

More than two thousand years before, the Roman legions had marched into North Africa as invaders, as conquerors. In the twentieth century the soldiers of Italy returned again, and among them was one man who thought himself the equal of the ancient emperors. But he was wrong, for the ancient Romans got the better of him – in their own sinister way…

 

 

Story: C.G. Walker  Art: Llops  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Introduction

From prolific Commando writer C.G. Walker comes this classic tale of obsession, cruelty and survival, set against the stark backdrops of a brutal desert in North Africa and a fierce volcano in Italy. The drama of the story is matched perfectly in the art by fantastic interior artist Llops, who brings the action to life.

The story plays on the tension between past and present, and veteran cover artist Ian Kennedy rises to the challenge with an eye-catching and striking cover, despite his professed dislike of painting horses!

The Commando Team

The Invaders, originally Commando No 1101 (February 1977), reissued as No 2435 (January 1991).

 

 

Commando Issues 4947-4950 – On Sale 8th September 2016

Commando Issues 4947-4950 – On Sale 8th September 2016

 

The Experts — Commando No 4947

comm_4947_covermaster

Lieutenant Doug MacKay was a no-nonsense agent of the Special Operations Executive – used to doing things by the book.

When tasked with uncovering vital intelligence plans from a Nazi safe deep behind enemy lines, the unyielding operator did not expect to be paired with Private Alex Drake, a former criminal but an expert safe-cracker.

Drake was under no illusion that if ever it looked like they might be captured, his SOE mentor would rather kill him in case he cracked under interrogation. It was an uneasy alliance, to say the least.

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

 


The Golden Gun — Commando No 4948

comm_4948_covermaster

A real hero’s gun.

A Colt .45, the long barrel gleaming with gold plate, cunningly engraved. The butt of ivory, the whole weapon as perfectly balanced as a bird and on a hair trigger.

Many a time cowboy film star Brad Landon had got himself out of a movie tight corner with a lightning draw and the bang-bang of a blank from the Golden Colt. But now he was Lieutenant Brad Landon, British Army, and in the thick of the Dunkirk retreat. The draw had to be faster, and the golden gun was spitting real lead instead of blanks…

Introduction

Unusual, almost fabled objects such as our eponymous handgun have been a Commando staple throughout the decades. They are a good device for propelling a plot forward and also, as you’ll see here, a handy way to geographically move the story along too – from a rearguard action at the beaches of Dunkirk to the arid deserts of North Africa.

The late Ken Barr’s rendering of the Golden Gun itself is wonderfully lurid and dramatic too. It’s almost as if this book was tailor-made for the Gold Collection itself.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

The Golden Gun, originally Commando 249 (February 1967), re-issued as Commando No 903 (January 1975)

Story: Newark  Art: Alonso  Cover: Ken Barr

 


Flying Feud — Commando No 4949

comm_4949_covermaster

As a tail gunner on an Avro Lancaster bomber, Sergeant Lex Duffield was used to danger in the sky.

However, more even danger soon appeared in the unlikely form of a fellow Lanc rear gunner – the reckless and short-tempered Sergeant Tommy Deakin – and inevitably they clashed.

Fate soon intervened and they faced a threat neither could possibly have imagined – and they would just have to work together to survive.

Story: George Low  Art: Jaume Forns  Cover: Ian Kennedy


Master Spy — Commando No 4950

comm_4950_covermaster

 

 

A good spy never gets caught. He tries to become so much part of the enemy set-up that he’s never even suspected…until it’s too late. And, even then, the best of the breed always have an escape route — even although it’s back into the lion’s den!

 

 

 

Introduction

I’ve always maintained that espionage is fairly difficult to tackle successfully in comics because, as a genre, it tends to involve lone characters telling us what is going on in their heads via lengthy thought balloons.

However, author Alan Hemus takes advantage of our 63-page format to give us an excellent set-up and back story for our hero, Georg Hofmann. We get a chance to see what motivates him to risk his life as he works under deep cover amongst an insidious enemy.

Master Spy has a great script and art, all perfectly topped off by Ian Kennedy’s stunning cover.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Master Spy, originally Commando No 2489 (July 1991)

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Rezzonico  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando Issues 4923-4926 – On Sale 16 June 2016

Commando Issues 4923-4926 – On Sale 16 June 2016

 

 Scrapper’s War — Commando No 4923Comm_4923_coverMaster

As World War I raged in the trenches of Europe another, more unusual campaign was going on in British and German East Africa.

British Lieutenant Trevor Waite and his South African counterpart, Dirk Van Ormer, had taken charge of “Scrapper”, a derelict steamer which they would pilot against sleek German Navy torpedo boats. Not only that, they also had to contend with a nasty Commanding Officer who would gladly see Scrapper put on the scrapheap once again!

Story: George Low  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

 


Space Pilot — Commando No 4924Comm_4924_coverMaster

One day he was Flight Lieutenant “Topper” Brown — a young, unremarkable pilot and the idea of him becoming an ace was far-fetched.

Then he was shot up and crash-landed. Out of the flames rose a new Topper — a pilot who could flay anything with wings; an ace who could outwit the Luftwaffe and who could hold a Spitfire in flaming shreds together long enough to clear the skies of Nazis.

However, his mates said Topper wasn’t like himself these days. In fact they suspected he wasn’t even human anymore!

Introduction

This offbeat outing from June 1966 is certainly different from traditional Commando fare and that’s why I thought it deserved another airing. Although the story of potential extra-terrestrial influence upon an average British pilot does stretch credibility a tad, it’s done with such panache that any accusations of being far-fetched are easily forgiven. Fantastic script, art — Medrano’s interior line work simply is stunning — and cover perfectly combine here for a wonderfully oddball yarn.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Space Pilot, originally Commando No 217 (June 1966), re-issued as No 863 (August 1974)

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Medrano  Cover: Buccheri

 


The Flying Cowboy — Commando No 4925Comm_4925_coverMaster

John “Bronco” Bronson was a ranch hand in Arizona who became interested in fledgling flying machines such as the Wright model B.

With World War I at its peak in Europe, the American wanted to do his duty, even though the United States had not yet joined the conflict. He enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps and soon was at the controls of a Bristol F2B aircraft duelling with enemy Albatros fighters high above the trenches of the Western Front.

Bronco was unique…the War’s only flying cowboy!

Story: Bill Styles  Art: Vicente Alcazar  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Doomed Squadron — Commando No 4926Comm_4926_coverMaster

Sammy Baker’s Ventura Squadron had everything going for it — brand new planes, top-line aircrew, the lot. So how come they got hacked out of the sky on nearly every air raid? The answer was obvious — there had to be a spy on the station, telling the enemy when the raids were coming.

But who was the spy? And how quickly could they find him? Because until they did, every raid was doomed, right from the moment of take-off!

Introduction

Our hero is Sammy Baker, a dependable bomber commander in the best Commando tradition. However, poor Sammy is upstaged by Van Dyke — a surly goat with a penchant for chasing pilots and chewing on their caps. The horned squadron mascot definitely steals the show (as well as any R.A.F. headgear that he can). However, despite these high jinks, there is a still a fairly serious espionage tale at the heart of this book.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Doomed Squadron, originally Commando No 1198 (February 1978), re-issued as No 2499 (September 1991)

Story: R.A. Montague  Art: Giralt  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Perspective Matters

Another two weeks, another four Commandos, this time Nos 4891-4894, on sale 25 February 2016 (UK).

Looking at this selection of cover images, the most striking is Do your Duty, where artist Ian Kennedy has courageously chosen to make a pair of grenades the focus of the reader’s attention. The aircraft in the background is simply that, a background — underpainted, too, to make those tumbling grenades stand out. For me, it works very, very well but for two reasons it wouldn’t be nearly so strong without the human head and hand poking out of the aircraft window. First, without those, the grenades hang in space — maybe going up, maybe going down. Second, the human presence flags up that this is a story about people, not inanimate objects, and people stories are always far more interesting.

 


Cossack Vengeance — Commando No 4891

Comm_4891_coverMaster

 

Once more the Convict Commandos’ latest mission had placed them in grave danger.

The Germans, in league with a Russian traitor and a horde of fearsome, renegade Cossack warriors, had concocted an assassination plot that would turn the tide of the war.

Now all Jelly Jakes and the rest of the Commando team had to do was foil the enemy plan…but that was easier said than done.

 

 

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Manuel Benet  Cover: Manuel Benet

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4891

 


Break Through! — Commando No 4892

Comm_4892_coverMaster

Time and after time, one British company outsmarted the Germans in Crete. If the Nazis planned a sneak-raid and began it five miles away, the British knew at once — and were ready for them. If a Stuka dive-bombing attack was decided on, they got into hiding an hour before it began. They knew exactly when to counter-attack too.

How was it done? If anyone had told the Germans, they just wouldn’t have believed it. The secret lay in a strange invisible link between Private Bill Roberts and his twin brother, Jack…

 

Introduction

This entertaining, borderline incredulous, yarn from 1966 definitely pushes the boundaries of what we and our readers might think as believable. Nonetheless, at its heart is a clever idea about the mysterious link between two soldier brothers and their determination to succeed on the dangerous mission assigned to them. This is an offbeat Commando, for sure, but I think it’s a good read.

And the front cover…a homage to Sir Michael Caine? His breakout roles in classic films such as “Zulu” and “The Ipcress File” were certainly very popular back then, right in the midst of the Swinging Sixties.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Break Through!, originally Commando No 196 (January 1966), re-issued as No 835 (May 1974)

Story: Skentleberry  Art: Buylla  Cover: Lopez Espi

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4892

 


Do Your Duty — Commando No 4893

Comm_4893_coverMaster

By October 1945 World War II was over but some British forces were redeployed to the island of Java to support Allied troops in a battle with Nationalist guerrillas. The beleaguered men had expected to have been back home by now and some refused to fight. RAF mechanic Danny Cullen was stuck in the middle — he wanted to do his duty but was continually intimidated by those who had downed tools.

Meanwhile, as skirmishes with the guerrillas continued, Flight Lieutenant James Haldane made sure that he carried some grenades in his Auster spotter aircraft. You never knew when you might need them…

 

Story: Steve Taylor  Art: Vila/Muller  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4893

 


Red Alert — Commando No 4894

Comm_4894_coverMaster

Facing the brunt of the massive German invasion of Russia in June 1941 were the lowly Red Army conscripts. Poorly fed, trained and equipped, they were still expected to repel Hitler’s previously undefeated armies…and could expect the harshest of punishments if they failed.

So, join two of these hard-pressed heroes in their trench and see for yourself what it was like…

 

 

Introduction

I hope that, like me, you’re interested in revisiting the early work of one of our current artists. This Eastern Front tale (with a neat, end of the Cold War framing sequence) is drawn by Carlos Pino — whose most recent brand new book was “Polish Pride” (No 4889), published just a fortnight ago in the middle of February.

Carlos’ signature dynamic style is very clear to see here and it is apparent that he is still doing fantastic work to this day. We are delighted, and grateful, that this exceptional illustrator is still happy to draw for us more than a quarter of a century after his 1989 Commando debut.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Red Alert, originally Commando No 2482 (June 1991)

Story: Ian Clark  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Phil Gascoine

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4894

 

Nostalgia IS What It Used to Be

They say nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but I beg to differ.

I started reading Commando in the late 60s and, along with The Victor, it was my regular comics reading. Oh, sure, I read others — too many to list — but nowhere near as regularly. After a long-ish break, I came back to Commando in the 90s and was pleased to see that, although it had moved on in story treatments — no Roman legionaries or science-fiction spacemen in the 60s! — it was, essentially, in the same place as before.

Now it’s the “last man standing,” it’s the only theatre to find my heroes from back in the day. No, not the servicemen, but the artists and writers whose work filled my boyhood hours and whose names I now know for sure. These issues — 4887-4890 on Sale 11th February 2016 (UK) — prove the point. Where else would you find Victor De La Fuente’s artwork alongside Ian Kennedy’s, Carlos Pino’s and Ken Barr’s? Or stories by “The Major” Eric Hebden and Commando‘s former editor George Low?

The new boys are good but for unqualified nostalgia you can’t beat the old school — even if you are reading on an iPad.

 


 

Out Of Time — Commando No 4887

Comm_4887_coverMaster_small.jpg

It seemed that the Grossin brothers couldn’t be more different.

Marc was a mild-mannered watchmaker — the occupying German garrison had used his skills to mend various timepieces dotted around their base.

Meanwhile, his younger brother, Bernard, was a member of the local French Resistance and he had begun to wonder if Marc was getting too friendly with the Nazis.

That was the least of Bernard’s worries, though. During a shoot-out at a ruined churchyard, he wondered if he was finally…

…OUT OF TIME

Story: George Low  Art: Rezzonico  Cover: Janek Matysiak

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4887


 

Codeword – “Torch” — Commando No 4888

Comm_4888_coverMaster_small.jpg

 

One man held the key to the operation called by the codeword — “TORCH” — the huge Allied invasion of North Africa. His name was Pete Macrory, a Canadian in the Royal Engineers — and nobody trusted him an inch.

To find out why, and what made Pete tick in his own peculiar way, you had to go way back to General Wolfe’s attack on Quebec in 1759. That’s when a distant ancestor of Pete’s, young Jock Macrory, was involved in a deadly adventure of his own…

 

Introduction

I don’t think I’ll be spoiling things for you, as there is a big clue in the title, when I reveal that this story features Operation “Torch” — the real life British/American invasion of French North Africa in the winter of 1942.

However, people often mistake Commando for some kind of history book but this is not the case. Although we use authentic military events as a backdrop (and strive not to be wildly inaccurate regarding their use), we will always have fictional principal characters placed among them, ensuring that the stories are works of the imagination, with scope for action and adventure.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Codeword – “Torch”, originally Commando No 220 (July 1966), re-issued as No 859 (August 1974)

Story: Eric Hebden  Art: Victor De La Fuente  Cover: Ken Barr

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4888

 


 

Polish Pride — Commando No 4889

Comm_4889_coverMaster_small

 

When their unit was wiped out in the Blitzkrieg that heralded the beginning of World War II, Lieutenant Bartek Abramski and Sergeant Jakub Brejnak reluctantly found themselves on the run from the Germans.

These proud Uhlan cavalrymen were determined to survive and live to continue their fight another day. As time wore on, though, the chances of this seemed increasingly slim. However, when they teamed up with a downed pilot, a fellow Pole, it looked like they might have a chance to escape the clutches of the enemy…

 

Story: George Low  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4889

 


Dive And Kill! — Commando No 4890

Comm_4890_coverMaster_small

 

It took nerves of steel to survive in the deadly skies over war-torn Europe…Pilot Officer Chris Bennet had proved that. Or so his fellow pilots thought. They reckoned he was the bravest guy they knew.

But even steel can break, and so could Chris…

 

 

 

Introduction

I reckon we could call this story a “bromance” — even though it was published long before that particular word came into widespread, everyday use.

Its main focus is on the friendship between two pals — who have known each other since their university days — and how they cope with the tumultuous pressures of being RAF pilots at the height of the Battle of Britain and beyond.

Naturally, both men are very different. David Gouldie’s quiet introspection is a neat counterpoint to Chris Bennet’s dashing showmanship — but it seems that he really is putting on a show…

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Dive And Kill!, originally Commando No 2470 (May 1991)

Story: Ian Clark  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4890