Tag Archives: Ferg Handley

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Commando Issues 4995 – 4998 – On Sale 23rd February 2017

Commando Issues 4995 – 4998 – On Sale 23rd February 2017


The Village – Commando No 4995

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By spring, 1945, the Reich’s forces were in full retreat and Allied troops were pushing into Germany. So when Sergeant Matt Geary and his small squadron moved into the small village of Langhirten, he wasn’t expecting much resistance.

They took the village from the SS battalion easily and they repelled the German’s counterattack with little issue. But after the SS’s third attempt to seize back the village, Matt became suspicious. Langhirten had no strategic value and the Germans were supposed to be retreating… So what was so important about Langhirten?

What secrets were hidden in…The Village?

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Vicente Alcazar  Cover: Janek Matysiak


Hurricane! – Commando No 4996

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Imagine a Russian squadron whose ancient biplanes have been swept out of the sky by speedy Me 109s. They’re thirsting for revenge.

Then comes along Kirk Roland with a trainload of superfast Hurricanes, ready to risk his life in teaching the Russian pilots how to hit back hard. You’d have thought they would welcome him with open arms!

But they didn’t. They hated Kirk, and his planes, from the moment he arrived.

Story: Newark  Art: Repetto  Cover: Ken Barr

 

Introduction

Prepare for take-off with another high-flying adventure from the Commando archives! Newark explores the winning, but often tense, relationship between Britain’s RAF pilots and Soviet Russia’s air force in this tale of team work. Steeped in history, Newark celebrates the collaboration between the allies, but also confronts the differing opinions held during this time. It is particularly interesting to see Soviet Russia’s female pilots (the first women pilots in the world to be allowed to fly combat missions) being represented and well-respected in this issue.

Accompanied by Repetto’s astonishing artwork, Hurricane! is a fast-paced air adventure, worthy of another outing.

The Commando Team

Hurricane!, originally Commando No. 296 (November 1967)


Hidden Nazis – Commando No 4997

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In 1945, after the German surrender, Nazis guilty of heinous war crimes attempted to flee or conceal themselves in post-war Germany. Lieutenant Sam Watling’s job was to find them.

But he had help. An unknown hand aided Sam in his quest for justice, unmarked envelopes and tips were left at his desk – behind them a secret informant.

Someone was helping Sam catch Hidden Nazis.

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

 


Jailbreak Heroes – Commando No 4998

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Three men on the run – but running into danger instead of away from it. For when ex-Sergeant Mike Stone got the chance to escape from Polworth Military Prison in England, he decided to head back to the front line in France to seek revenge on the cowardly officer who had betrayed him.

And the honest ex-Sergeant was surprised to find how glad he was when two other jailbirds, Alf Barstow and Lefty Briggs, insisted on tagging along too…

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Keith Shone  Cover: Ian Kennedy

 

Introduction 

Nothing propels a storyline better than a personal vendetta. Forlorn and bitter, Mike Stone is desperate to clear his name after being falsely imprisoned for cowardice and striking an officer. The urgency of Veteran writer, Alan Hebden’s plot is coupled perfectly with Keith Shone’s masterful interior art.

Ian Kennedy shines once again and provides a dynamic cover illustration which does its job splendidly, framing the tone of the action contained within this Commando’s pages.

The Commando Team

Jailbreak Heroes, originally Commando No. 2493 (August 1991)

Another Year, Another 104 Commandos

2017 is a big year for Commando comics; this, their 56th year of production, will see the arrival of their 5000th issue. That surely puts them at the top of the comics’ numbers pile. The countdown begins with this set of four – Nos 4983-4986, on sale 12th January 2017 (UK).

It makes you wonder what the secret of their longevity is, and how much longer they can last. After all, the Second World War, which is Commando’s stock-in-trade, only lasted (thank heavens) six years. Later wars don’t seem to have the same appeal so surely the well must run dry at some stage. Or perhaps not.

Putting that aside for the moment, how has Commando managed to carry on when the last British War comics — Warlord and Battle — sank in the mid-80s? Paul Cockburn in Comic Heroes Issue 30 tries to answer the question by speaking to a few of the people involved. Rather alarmingly, however, the article ends with a comment from DC Thomson’s heritage titles editor Kirsten Murray, “Despite Commando being 55 years old, we feel its potential is still largely untapped, so keep your eyes peeled for lots of exciting Commando this year.” That smacks a bit of the “Great News For All Readers” announcements your favourite 70s comic carried just before it was merged with another title.

Let’s hope that’s not the case as Commando and The Beano don’t seem a very good fit. Let’s also hope that we don’t have to keep our eyes peeled, let’s hope whatever they do hits everyone square in the eye so it can’t be ignored.

The “last man standing” must be helped to remain upright.


The Sentinel – Commando No 4983

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Over thousands of years ago, the Tyrrhenian horde besieged the tiny island of Rhodes. Although the Rhodian warriors were outnumbered, they were not afraid, as they were led by their General Theron and his friend, Nereus. But little did Theron know, his biggest enemy slept within the confines of his own camp.

By 1942, Theron had become a legend – the location of his tomb a mystery that plagued archaeologist Gennaro Soccino. Conscripted into the Italian army stationed in Rhodes, Soccino became obsessed with finding the resting place of Theron and…The Sentinel.

 Story: Steve Coombs  Art: Morahin  Cover: Ian Kennedy


 

The One They Couldn’t Catch – Commando No 4984

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Moto the Clown paused, sweat running from his face. He was about to walk along a steel wire, fifty feet above ground, suspended between two giant pylons. This had always been the climax of his circus act.

But Moto wasn’t in the circus ring now. This time there would be no applause from the audience. The only sounds he could expect to hear was the harsh crackle of Schmeisser machine-pistols.

Story: Powell  Art: Sostres  Cover: Ken Barr

Introduction 

This unusual outing from October 1967 is a little different from a traditional Commando adventure, which is what makes it such a rare gem worthy of another airing! While the story about a clown who joins the army does push the boundaries a smidge, how many other Commandos could boast such a plotline? A marvellous script, art – Sostres’ interior line work is simply spectacular, and Ken Barr’s whimsical yet enticing cover combine seamlessly to create this delightfully zany yarn.

The Commando Team

The One They Couldn’t Catch, originally Commando No 289 (October 1967)


 

Mountain Strike – Commando No 4985

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Lieutenant Alan Barkley was tasked with assembling a team to embark on a special ground mission, deep behind enemy lines in Burma. These soldiers would face gruelling conditions, putting their skills to the test, all whilst carrying a 3.7-inch calibre howitzer up treacherous mountain peaks.

Rookie medic, Ben Ellis, did not expect to be enlisted for this task, and his fellow soldiers questioned his capabilities. But they soon found that venturing into enemy territory with a deadly weapon in tow takes courage and cunning to survive.

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Jaume Forns  Cover: Janek Matysiak


 

Very Important Passenger – Commando No 4986

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Ferrying a VIP to England from North Africa might sound like a simple enough mission, but not when it’s a worn-out old bomber only fit for the scrapheap that you’re given to do the job.

And it doesn’t help when your Very Important Passenger panics at the first sign of an enemy aircraft…or when he pulls out a revolver and points it at your head!

Story: K.P. MacKenzie  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Terry Patrick

Introduction 

Accusations, air raids and an unpredictable passenger creates the foundations for this soaring tale. Despite completing dangerous air missions, transporting an unusual stranger may just be Frank Roach’s most difficult challenge yet. A tale of trust, filled with action from start to finish, Very Important Passenger is brought to life by Terry Patrick’s wonderful artwork.

Sit back and enjoy as we take to the skies with Frank “Finny” Roach and Sergeant Judd Stott in K.P. MacKenzie’s high-flying adventure.

The Commando Team

Very Important Passenger, originally Commando No 2453 (March 1991)

Commando Issues 4951-4954 – On Sale 22 September 2016

Commando Issues 4951-4954 – On Sale 22 September 2016

 

Battle of the Black Crow — Commando No 4951

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The Black Crow was a pirate ship, sailing the seas south of Cuba and tussling with Navy vessels from many different countries.

Two young crewmen, Flinn Scott and Charlie Reeves, longed to jump ship — as they missed their Scottish homeland so much. However, soon came the chance to get their hands on some treasure — but they were not the only buccaneers interested. The Tartarus, a British privateer ship and its captain would destroy anyone who got in their way of their haul.

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


Atlantic Killer — Commando No 4952

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A swift trail of bubbles — if you see it and a roar like a thousand express trains crashing — if you hear it. That’s all the warning you get when a torpedo hits home.

Lieutenant Commander Dave Miller lost his destroyer just like that to Kapitan Karl von Sturm, top Nazi U-Boat ace known as the “Sea Wolf”. The way things were going, Dave was liable to lose another ship…unless he got to the “Sea Wolf” first.

 

 

Introduction

This is a tough, sea-faring tale which has a personal vendetta between two arch enemies at its heart. Veteran interior artist C.T. Rigby draws maritime action incredibly well — his thick lines are almost like the inky depths of the Atlantic itself and are wonderfully atmospheric, especially whenever a U-Boat is submerged.

The late, sadly-missed Ken Barr also provides a dynamic cover illustration which does its job perfectly — giving the reader a solid indication of the action contained within the book’s pages.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Atlantic Killer, originally Commando No 260 (May 1967)

Story: Newark  Art: C.T. Rigby  Cover: Ken Barr

 


For The White Eagle! — Commando No 4953

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The Order of the White Eagle was Poland’s highest military decoration. Captain Janusz Libarcki wore his medal with pride as he fought the Red Army and the Germans during World War II, even though he eventually became a prisoner-of-war.

However, when Germany turned against her Russian allies, Polish prisoners such as Janusz and his lieutenant, Lech Szost, became conscripts of the Red Army on the horrific Eastern Front. It seemed that their brutal Russian officer despised them as much as he did the Nazis. Nonetheless, the Poles were determined to honour their fallen comrades and their homeland…

FOR THE WHITE EAGLE!

Story: Philip Madden  Art: Rezzonico/Morahin   Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


 Deadly Triangle — Commando No 4954

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Shooting up unsuspecting British trucks in a captured Hurricane was just one of the dirty tricks played by Erich von Werner – a pilot hated by his own men as much as by the British.

The feeling was mutual, particularly for Luftwaffe pilot Carl Lutz and Ted Bull of the RAF – two men linked by fate to Werner to form a strange and deadly triangle.

 

 

Introduction

This rollicking air story sets a fair pace and I’m sure it might hold a record for the number of times that any of our three main characters have to abandon their aircraft and bail out after a dogfight. It’s just as well that interior artist José Maria Jorge was such a master of aerial action; I imagine that this script would have been tailored specifically for him. His attention to detail was astounding and many other Commando artists were huge fans of his wonderful work.

The same can, of course, be said about our equally legendary cover artist, Ian Kennedy – who delivers yet another action-packed, dynamic illustration.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Deadly Triangle, originally Commando No 2466 (April 1991)

Story: C.G. Walker  Art: J.M. Jorge  Cover: Ian Kennedy

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

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

 

The Experts — Commando No 4947

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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

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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

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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

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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 4919-4922 – On Sale 2 June 2016

Commando Issues 4919-4922 – On Sale 2 June 2016

 

Seeing Red — Commando No 4919

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Second Lieutenant Wesley Muldoon was a gifted but hot-headed U.S. air force pilot. Before being called up he had studied politics at university and held unpopular communist beliefs.

Seizing a chance to ferry an aircraft to America’s Soviet allies, Muldoon was delighted to see Russia for himself. Soon he even became part of a Russian squadron, flying his Airacobra P39 aircraft against the Luftwaffe hordes.

However, despite his idealised views, Muldoon realised he could not trust all of his new “comrades” and that danger lay ahead.

Story: Shane Filer  Art: Rezzonico  Cover: Ian Kennedy

 


Half-Pint Commando — Commando No 4920

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It was a Commando raid with a difference. Among the elite soldiers, fighting right alongside with a tommy-gun was a boy of only sixteen who wasn’t even in the army!

When the Commandos found young Terry Nelson stowed away on their landing craft, it was too late to do anything but give him a gun and take him along — and the boy gave those hardy warriors no cause to ever regret it.

 

Introduction

I can only imagine that there was a fair amount of trying to anticipate reader wish-fulfilment when this story was first published 50 years ago. Perhaps not, but I guess that most fans would’ve loved to find themselves in the shoes of Terry Nelson — the sixteen-year-old hero who stows away on a landing craft during a daring Commando raid.

Yes, I’ll admit the premise might be stretching credibility a tad but that’s fine with me every now and again. We’re all about delivering exciting adventure and action and this tale certainly fits that criteria.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Half-Pint Commando, originally Commando No 225 (August 1966)

Story: McOwan  Art: Segrelles  Cover: Hall

 


A Soldier’s Legacy — Commando No 4921 

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Private Steve Kirby was very skilled and more than ready for the tough basic training that he and his fellow new recruits had to endure in the spring of 1944.

Eventually the instructors wanted to know why Steve seemed to have an advantage over everyone else. The dedicated conscript revealed that has father had been an infantry corporal in World War One and Kirby Senior had taken it upon himself to train his son in military drills and techniques, should they ever be needed.

However, Steve soon discovered that his father’s legacy was not always a welcome one and, of course, no amount of training could truly prepare anyone for combat…

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


 Trial By Combat — Commando No 4922 

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The Patwari Rifles was a proud regiment, one of the Indian Army’s finest fighting units. So when one of their platoons disappeared in Burma, evidently having deserted to the Japanese, the regiment’s shame was fierce.

There was only one thing to do — the guilty men had to be brought back to prove themselves in battle against the enemy. If they were to die honourably doing it, so much the better — for that was the way of the Patwari Rifles. Death with honour was better than the disgrace of a court-martial.

Introduction

One of the interesting things about selecting stories from our archives is finding out the working titles of these classic tales. Of course, some were perfunctory — so that staff could keep a track of the latest “Submarine” or “Machine-Gunner” script.

“Trail By Combat”, though, had the wonderfully lurid working title of “Slaves Of Kali” — and it certainly tied in well with Ian Kennedy’s fantastic cover, which features a shadowy rendition of the Hindu deity. However, the then-editorial team undoubtedly made the right decision as the eventual published title reflected the actual theme of the story more succinctly.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Trial By Combat, originally Commando No 1124 (May 1977), re-issued as No 2467 (May 1991)

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

Still Going Commando…

…after 54 years. Yes, that’s right. From its first issue on 27th June 1961, Commando has provided action and adventure in a handy pocket size. Though the paper used for pages and covers got thicker around five years ago, the format has not changed and it’s none the worse for that.

The first issues of 2016 are Nos 4879 – 4882. Here’s what acting Editor Scott Montgomery had to say about them.

And by the way, the cliched “Going Commando” has been used to get it out of my system…for now!


Banquet Of Blood – Commando No 4879

Comm_4879_coverMaster_small Budapest, 1945.

Why is Doctor Jane Mallory poised to attack her cowardly colleague, “Jelly” Jakes?

The answer is at the heart of the latest mission for the Convict Commandos. They must uncover a dangerous secret which turns normal soldiers into crazed, ravenous hordes capable of killing anything — or, indeed, anyone — who gets in the way of their desire to eat.

Is this the Commandos’ most terrifying adventure yet? Jelly definitely thinks so!

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

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/14th-january-2016-collection?issue=4879


Showdown! – Commando No 4880

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Everybody had thought a lot of Inspector Harry Andrews of the Malayan Police. He was a real man, all guts. Pity he had been captured and probably killed by the Japanese when the invasion over-ran his outpost. He’d put up quite a fight, though.

Then, there was his brother, Colin — just a war correspondent, not a fighting soldier. He’d never be half the man Harry was, they said. Even though he got himself on a desperate mission to the district in Malaya where his brother had disappeared…but they didn’t really know Colin Andrews…

Introduction

Our premier Gold Collection title of 2016 kicks things off in spectacular style, with a reassuringly gritty jungle tale. This book is brimming with action and intrigue which never lets up.

Spence’s script is expertly drawn by Cecil Rigby with his usual aplomb, while Lopez Espi’s cover is a masterclass in pulp illustration.

I hope you enjoy this story and are looking forward to many more like it throughout the year.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Showdown!, originally Commando No 227 (September 1966)

Story: Spence  Art: C.T. Rigby  Cover: Lopez Espi

 http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/14th-january-2016-collection?issue=4880



Death Drop – Commando No 4881

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In 1944, Allied forces in Southern Italy met fierce resistance from the German defenders who fought bitterly from the cover of the mountains and hills.

When a British airborne unit were tasked with landing behind enemy lines and hampering the German escape, this seemed straightforward.

However, Captain Roy Hopkins soon found out the hard way that nothing ever went according to plan. He and his men would have to fight every step of the way if they were to complete their mission…

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/14th-january-2016-collection?issue=4881


 

Another Tight Spot… – Commando No 4882

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Andy Leslie had known all along that he would have to face danger when he volunteered to serve with the Parachute Regiment. That had turned out to be the way of it, Andy battling his way clear from one tight spot after another with the famous Red berets.

Nobody had ever warned him that he might end up in the sea, bobbing about in a dinghy. There was nothing predictable in any day of Andy’s war…

 

 

Introduction

Welcome to the premier Silver Collection issue of 2016.

This fast-paced tale of the continuing adventures of a Parachute Regiment soldier was drawn by the late Ricardo Garijo. Another Tight Spot was actually his first Commando book – the first of over 90 issues that he completed before his death in October 2009. His final book, The Winter Warriors (No 4257), was published posthumously in December of that year.

An exceptional talent, this influential and hugely popular Argentinian artist is much-missed to this day.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Another Tight Spot…, originally Commando No 2469 (May 1991)

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Ricardo Garijo  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/14th-january-2016-collection?issue=4882