Tag Archives: Keith Shone

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)

“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

Wet And Dry (But Mainly Wet)

There’s a distinctly watery feel to this latest batch of Commando stories (Issues 4899-4902 – On Sale 24th March 2016 in the UK). Until you get to the last one where the Phil Gascoine’s dusty khaki-coloured cover leaves you in no doubt that this is a waterless waste.

But that’s not what struck me most. Not for the first time, this selection illustrates (ho ho) the freedom that the war comic allows the writer when it comes to locations. This bunch have two in the Far East, one in Northern India and a fourth in Greece. Okay so a writer could put their characters in any one of these locations but, given the global nature of war from the 19th Century on, that writer doesn’t have to make up any reason for their characters to be there beyond the Services sending them. And that allows characters the reader can readily identify with, both culturally and physically. And that allows them to identify with the experience of the players is the story.

That identification is of a totally different kind to that experienced when reading of the adventures of another spandex-covered super and lay at the core of most British war comics. The difference between the superhero and the everyman hero.

No prizes for guessing my preference.


Massacre In Malaya — Commando No 4899

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In the arid jungles of Malaya in 1941, British and Commonwealth forces held out against the relentless advance of the Japanese.

Private Josh Combe and his unit were determined to protect the life of a civilian boy who had been left silent, traumatised and alone by the murderous actions of a pair of enemy officers.

In a last-ditch attempt to get to friendly territory they would have to take to the river to survive.

 

 

Story: George Low Art: Olivera/Rodriguez Cover: Janek Matysiak

Preview: Massacre In Malaya


Sailor With Wings — Commando No 4900

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Lieutenant-Commander Jim Treggaron, pilot in the Fleet Air Arm, had the blood of the old Cornish pirates in his veins — or so his men said. Otherwise, he’d never have tried to organise his Swordfish squadron to operate from a little beach in Greece. They were supposed to fly from their aircraft carrier.

However, Jim found a bunch of tough Resistance helpers, a cave full of old RAF fuel and ammo, and a beach long enough for take-off.

The Italian navy was in handy range so zooming into action went the

SAILOR WITH WINGS

Introduction

Peter Ford is undoubtedly one of Commando’s unsung heroes from the earliest days of the title — and is a rare example of an excellent artist who was also a great scriptwriter. In terms of art, one of his specialties was aircraft illustration. Even from the first, dynamic page opposite it is apparent that we’re in for an action-packed, aeronautical treat.

Buccheri’s cover is superb too — although one does wonder if Peter Ford had hankered to supply the cover too and make this book a creative Commando hat-trick!

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Sailor With Wings, originally Commando No 239 (December 1966)

Story: Peter Ford Art: Peter Ford Cover: Buccheri

PreviewSailor With Wings


 

Full Steam Ahead — Commando No 4901

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So, just how did two downed Royal Australian Air Force pilots end up on a secluded Pacific island — as prisoners of a long-forgotten Imperial German Navy unit whose unhinged leader was determined to complete a decades-old mission?

Sergeant Matt Herford and Corporal Ben MacAuley would have to commandeer an ancient, steam-powered torpedo boat in an attempt to escape and warn their superiors of an imminent threat.

It’s a tall tale indeed, fantastic in every sense of the word.

 

 

Story: Stephen Walsh Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page

PreviewFull Steam Ahead

 


 

Branded A Coward — Commando No 4902

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The heroic last stand of Lieutenant Hugh Overton in the mountains of the Indian North-West Frontier won even the respect of the enemy tribesmen who had wiped out his patrol to a man.

Yet by his own people Hugh was branded a coward, a deserter who had fled in terror in the face of the enemy, condemning his men to death!

 

Introduction

At first glance you might think that this book has several overly familiar traits that you might expect to find in a Commando story.

An officer wrongly accused of cowardice. Check.

An object – in this instance a silver cigar case – which serves as an important plot-point, or “macguffin“, according to film director Alfred Hitchcock. Check.

A relative of the accused who is determined to find out the truth. Check.

However, thanks to the conviction of all the creators involved, it all still works — no matter how superficially familiar the tropes of the tale itself may seem.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Branded A Coward, originally Commando No 2440 (January 1991)

Story: C.G. Walker Art: Keith Shone Cover: Phil Gascoine

Preview: Branded A Coward

Commando — By Special Request

Twice a year a pair of Commando issues are chosen from suggestions sent in by readers. The latest “By Special Request” numbers are included in issues 4883-4886 – On Sale 28 January 2016 (UK). All the back cover blurbs read like classic stories from British War Comics. One of these stories is particularly special as it features a cover with an unusually stylised treatment by Ian Kennedy and some beautiful inside art by Cam (no relation) Kennedy.

 


Old Rusty — Commando No 4883

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Dick Avery was a captain in the Merchant Navy. He’d sailed with some of the best — and worst — ships and crews on the seven seas. He reckoned he’d seen it all.

That was before he took command of Old Rusty, an ancient tub with a crew made up of drunks, brawlers and raw seamen of every nationality.

When Dick left Gibraltar he didn’t fancy his chances of ever seeing England again.

But then they ran into a German U-boat, and he wouldn’t have swapped that ship or that crew for the best in the Royal Navy!

 

Introduction

Although veteran artist Ian Kennedy is renowned for his superlative aircraft (and spacecraft) illustration, this cover shows that, naturally enough, he is equally adept at drawing ships and submarines too.

This behemoth of a painting really sets the scene for the wonderful maritime adventure that follows. For me, it’s like The Dirty Dozen at Sea — chock full of memorable characters and action set pieces.

Many thanks to reader Yasmin Akbar for suggesting that Old Rusty should set sail once more.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Old Rusty, originally Commando No 708 (January 1973)

Story: Powell  Art: Gordon Livingstone  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/28th-january-2016-collection?issue=4883

 


The Wreckers — Commando No 4884

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Young Naval lieutenant Dan Blain teamed up with Kang Wu and his cut-throat pirates of the Java Seas to wage all-out war on the warships of Japan. When this pair of modern buccaneers got going, not a single Japanese sailor ashore or afloat could sleep soundly.

 

 

 

 

Introduction

I can almost imagine the pitch for this back in 1966 — “Pirate Commandos”…that’s definitely a winner…

Actually, I’m cheating a little (okay, a lot) — a glance at the trusty Commando records file told me that author Spence’s original working title was indeed “Pirate Commandos”.

However, I do think that the then-current editorial team made the right decision to go with the snappy, more foreboding “The Wreckers”. It really seems to suit this tough, sea-faring tale and Scholler’s menacing, murky cover illustration.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

The Wreckers, originally Commando No 212 (May 1966)

Story: Spence  Art: Alonso  Cover: Scholler

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/28th-january-2016-collection?issue=4884

 


The Black Eagle  Commando No 4885

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Major Heinrich Keil of the Luftwaffe was an ace…and a killer. A mad, evil Nazi whose chief delight was to hunt and kill, whether he was chasing animals on the ground or British pilots in the air.

Now he was going after another British pilot — but this time he was going to hunt him down in the forest…with a crossbow.

 

 

 

Introduction

One of the best things about working on Commando is uncovering fantastic stories from our archive, one that now spans 55 years.

I’d never read this tale as it was published in March 1972, two months before I was born. When I saw that the interior art was by the brilliant Cam Kennedy, whose 2000AD work I had admired in the 1980s, and then realised that it was a fantastic revenge yarn anyway, I knew that we just had to let another audience discover this absolute classic, which features a truly memorable villain in Major Heinrich Keil.

My sincere thanks to reader Roger Worsley, who suggested that we uncage The Black Eagle once again.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

The Black Eagle, originally Commando No 629 (March 1972), re-issued as No 1732 (September 1983)

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

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/28th-january-2016-collection?issue=4885

 


The Wrong Enemy — Commando No 4886

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The Italians fighting in North Africa clashed not only with their British foes, but also with their German allies.

Enzo Lanzini certainly wasn’t happy facing the advance of British armour across the desert, but he certainly was no coward either. It was just that he had seen the way the Nazis operated, and he had come to the conclusion that he was in fact fighting…

…THE WRONG ENEMY

 

 

Introduction

Although a Commando comic must have a solid military premise and plenty of action — at its heart, more important than anything else, it must have a strong lead character. Here we have exactly that.

Corporal Enzo Lanzini is a machine-gunner with a strong moral compass and, since he is Italian, is traditionally seen as the enemy. Right away he has the potential to become a leftfield, classic Commando hero. I hope you enjoy his story.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

The Wrong Enemy, originally Commando No 2474 (May 1991)

Story: Ian Clark  Art: Keith Shone Cover: Keith Shone

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/28th-january-2016-collection?issue=4886