Tag Archives: Keith Page

Whodunnit?

Issues 4991 – 4994 , the latest quartet of Commandos (try saying that after three pints of Old Trumper), go on sale on 9th February 2017 (UK).

As is usual, all the creators are named. As is also usual, some are only identified by their second names, for the perfectly good reason that when the stories were originally drawn, no credits were published, and one name sufficed for record-keeping purposes. As long as the artists and writers were paid, they probably didn’t care too much.

On the one hand this can be deeply frustrating for anyone who wants every detail they can possibly amass on the comics. On the other hand it’s a fine excuse for those who like to delve into comics history to go raking on the web for more info. The trouble is, that info often throws up more questions than answers.

In the late-60s, the artist Segrelles is one of many identified by one name only. A Google search soon throws up his first name as Vicente. But wait, reading his biography and looking at his samples, he doesn’t seem quite the right fit. Did he, like some others, change his style between comics and “fine art”? 

Perhaps not, because his cousin Eustaquio was also a comics and “fine art” artist. Maybe he was responsible for Legion Of The Lost, Colonel Scarface, Blood Of Heroes, etc. See what you think. Here are a pair of pages from Legion Of The Lost:

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Vicente or Eustaquio?

Once we’ve sorted that out, we need to move on to which of the De La Fuente brothers illustrated which stories and which of the Hebdens (father and son) wrote which stories.

Or maybe you just want to read them…


Achtung, We Surrender – Commando No 4991

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In 1940, small time crook Ned Turpin claimed to be the descendant of the infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin. He, with his partner -in-crime, Bert Bloomer, had no intention of involving himself in the war…or at least he didn’t until he was caught robbing notorious East London gangsters, the Bailey brothers.

Shipped off to France to avoid the Baileys and time behind bars, Ned and Bert found themselves on the front line in a war they wanted no part of. The advancing Germans had heard many cries on the battlefields but now they would hear the screams of…Achtung, we surrender!

Story: George Low  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page


 Legion of the Lost – Commando No 4992

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The Foreign Legion breeds tough men. Sergeant Steve Millar was tough – he needed to be.

He was stranded in the desert with a fortune of gold. He knew he would be attacked by Germans, Italians and marauding Arabs. And for company he had four legionnaires – killers all – with the smell of gold in their nostrils.

Story: Mepham  Art: Segrelles  Cover: Segrelles

Introduction

Mepham’s tale of the legendary Foreign Legion challenges the intense Espirit de Corps traditionally established by the Legion’s units. With enemy forces surrounding our heroes as they cross treacherous desert conditions, it is essential that they work as a team. Their journey goes to plan until the Legionnaire’s Code of Honour is disrupted by an irrefutable force: gold.

Mepham brilliantly explores the soldiers’ fight for survival, and the unfortunate consequences of greed, in this thrilling tale. Illustrated wonderfully by the talented Segrelles, Legion of the Lost is an epic adventure through the desert to find where man’s wealth really lies.

The Commando Team

Legion of the Lost, originally Commando No 311 (February 1968)


Barbed Wire Battlers – Commando No 4993

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Seaman Andy Walker had been a loner all his life. From his beginnings at the orphanage to his posting in the Royal Navy, Andy struggled to be accepted…

But Andy’s isolation worsened when he was captured and put in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Once his jailers learnt he could speak their language, he was singled out and, from his fellow prisoners’ perspective, given special treatment.

It would take everything Andy had to prove he was no traitor, no Japanese pet…to prove that he was one of them. That he was a Barbed Wire Battler!

Story: George Low  Art: Rezzonico and Morahin  Cover: Janek Matysiak


 Ground Strike! – Commando No 4994

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The Bristol Beaufighter packed an awesome punch with its arsenal of machine guns and cannons. Turned against an enemy, it was a lethal weapon of war.

But one Beaufighter pilot, Andy Shaw, knew to his cost that it could be just as deadly against a friendly target hit by mistake…

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Introduction

Alan Hemus does it again in this outstanding Commando outing! Hemus’ storytelling is at the top of its game with his two heroes, Andy and Harry, caught in a web of uncertainty.

They shoot up a launch, convinced it’s an enemy E-Boat, but their superiors believe they have actually sunk one of their own rescue craft. Their moral dilemma looms over them until the climax. The tension Hemus draws out in the plot is matched by the scratch lines of Terry Patrick’s interior art. This all topped off with another amazing Ian Kennedy cover!

The Commando Team

Ground Strike!, originally Commando No 2518 (November 1991)

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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 4967-4970 – On Sale 17th November 2016

Commando Issues 4967-4970 – On Sale 17th November 2016

 

Goulash Grenadiers — Commando No 4967

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Wrong time, wrong place and wrong soldiers. Mistaken for SAS, Abe, Cyril and Mike were in trouble. Being captured behind enemy lines was a nightmare for any British Soldier. But these men weren’t just any kind of soldiers…they were cooks.

Pressed working alongside Wehrmacht cooks, Abe, Cyril and Mike were left in a sticky situation. Tensions were close to boiling point until the power of Yorkshire puddings helped six men, enemies by war, become friends in catering.

Story: George Low  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


Hoodoo Ship — Commando No 4968

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At long last, Sub-lieutenant Roy Palmer and merchant captain Brian Miller had found the island supply base from which U-boat packs slipped anchor to attack Allied convoys in the South Atlantic.

But, only after they’d been adrift for days with two boatloadas of tired, unarmed men. They didn’t even have a radio to pass on the vital news.

What could they do? Not much at all it seemed, until Roy found an ancient cannon and remembered a tale about red hot cannonballs…

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

Introduction

Powell’s thrilling storytelling, coupled with the unusual title of this issue, makes Hoodoo Ship an exciting and rambunctious read!

Playing on the classic trope of a suspicious seaman, Powell invokes the tense atmosphere of a ship with more than a little hoodoo going on. Objects go missing, the boilers are sabotaged and the crew is attacked by an unseen, ghostly assailant…or so it seems.

The star of the script is Powell’s perfect villain, Oberleutnant Franz Von Reitz. He’s unforgiving, merciless and calculating – everything you love to hate in a Commando villain. He keeps our hero on his toes and makes Hoodoo Ship a truly bewitching book!

The Commando Team

Hoodoo Ship, originally Commando No 255 (April 1967)

 


Yuri: On the Run — Commando No 4969

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Yuri Murayev, ex-Spetznaz Commando, thought that his troubles were behind him. But he hadn’t reckoned on Anatoly Speck, the sinister Russian billionaire who had made it his business to destroy the former commando.

Framed for murder, and on the run, Yuri finds himself in a deadly cat and mouse game, wanted by both the Russian underworld and his old friends in the SAS. With bullets flying, and the casualties mounting, it’s up to Yuri to clear his name before it’s too late!

Story: Stephen Walsh  Art: Manuel Benet  Cover: Manuel Benet

 


The Diamond Smugglers — Commando No 4970

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When you want an agent to penetrate an enemy-occupied country and stay free long enough to do a tricky job, you ned someone who’s used to getting around without attracting attention. Who better than a man who smuggled diamonds in and out of that very country for years?

But there’s a difference between peace-time and war. Before, the worst that could happen to him was to be put in jail. Now, if he was caught, he faced certain death!

 

Story: Bernard Gregg  Art: Llops  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Introduction

This brilliant adventure follows two friends divided and reunited by war and adversary shapes us, and is brought to life with stunning visuals by classic interior artist, Llops. For our heroes, Jan and Tom, the Second World War offers them a restored friendship, and a renewed sense of heroism and purpose. For ferocious Nazi officer Driebrick (another brilliantly drawn, snarling Commando villain), however, the war is a gateway to greater treachery.

Add to this thrilling rivalry and riveting artwork, another atmospheric cover from master artist Ian Kennedy, and you have a recipe for a truly gripping yarn!

The Commando Team

The Diamond Smugglers, originally Commando No 1138 (June 1977), reissued as No 2468 (May 1991)

 

 

Commando Issues 4959-4962 – On Sale 20th October 2016

Commando Issues 4959-4962 – On Sale 20th October 2016

 

Home Front Terror — Commando No 4959

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Wounded on a daring operation in Occupied Norway, Commando Sergeant Jeff Tain was sent home to England to recuperate.

Jeff’s younger brother, Dave, was a police constable, investigating a black market racket when dead bodies unexpectedly started showing up.

The siblings were convinced that something more sinister was going on… an assassination plot involving German spies!

Story: George Low  Art: Morahin  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Blood Of Heroes — Commando No 4960

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Sergeant Butch Walker was a veteran with 30 years of fighting service in the British Army – and now they said he was too old to fight.

Boy soldier Jimmy Walker, Butch’s nephew, had barely one year of square-bashing to his credit. They said he was too young to fight.

But no matter how hard they tried, nobody could keep those two away from the front line for long. For in the veins of both ran the blood of heroes.

 

Story: Eric Hebden  Art: Segrelles  Cover: James

Introduction

The impressive art of Vicente Segrelles [more likely his cousin Eustaquio] appeared in fifteen Commando books, beginning with “Desert Fury” (No 232) and ending with “Silence The Guns!” (No 1454). All were published between 1966 and 1980.

A Spaniard, his interior work had a dramatic, fluid style with plenty of thick, black inks. Señor Segrelles also handled some Commando covers – although not on this occasion, that equally impressive piece of art was done by the mysterious ‘James’.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Blood Of Heroes, originally Commando No 259 (May 1967), re-issued as No 915 (March 1975)

 


The Stone Forest — Commando No 4961

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Clarke Johnson was a reconnaissance pilot during America’s clash with Mexico in the early 20th Century. His aircraft grounded, Clarke found himself in an uneasy alliance with an Apache-born former U.S. Cavalryman and together they were fighting Pancho Villa’s Mexican revolutionaries.

Things looked bleak – as bleak as the eerie burial site that hid a treasure that men were willing to kill for. They would have to fight to survive and uncover the secret of…

The Stone Forest!

Story: Steve Coombs  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


Raid By Night! — Commando No 4962

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Tactics had changed, machines had improved, but Group Captain Roland Bird knew from his Great War experiences that efficiency came with practice and attention to detail. His new command could expect a hard taskmaster, especially the crew of Wellington S-Sugar, who had crashed his car at their first meeting.

 

 

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

Introduction

Regular Commando readers know that Ian Kennedy is renowned for his legendary aircraft covers – although, of course, he can draw anything and everything. Ian himself has a passion for aeronautical illustration that has become his trademark and he has drawn over 1000 Commando covers.

His painting here is of a slightly more esoteric plane than we’re used to – a Handley Page 400, which was flown by pilots in the newly-formed Royal Air Force, as well as the Royal Naval Air Service late in World War I. The image may not be of something as immediately recognisable as a Wellington or a Lancaster but we still have that sense of drama and dynamism inherent in this amazing artist’s work.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Raid By Night!, originally Commando No 2461 (April 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

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

Happy Birthday…

…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 4927Comm_4927_coverMaster

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

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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.

Introduction

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 4929Comm_4929_coverMaster

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

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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…

 

Introduction

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