Tag Archives: McOwan

Commando Issues 4979 – 4982 – On Sale 29th December 2016

Commando Issues 4979 – 4982 – On Sale 29th December 2016

Sucker Punch – Commando No 4979 

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Captured by SS men for desertion and sentenced to firing squad by his own countrymen, German naval officer, Franz Beuten, was saved by British Special Service operatives, Lieutenant Tom Dell, Sergeant Mark Lyle and Corporal Roger Crown, on duty deep behind enemy lines.

After Germany’s surrender, the SAS troop was tasked with tracking down Nazi war criminals. An unlikely alliance was formed between Franz and the SAS boys. Together they made sure they dealt the Nazis a deadly…SUCKER PUNCH

Story: George Low  Art: Vila  Cover: Ian Kennedy


Flying Phantom – Commando No 4980


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Tom Hardy, ex-Spitfire ace and Dave Rogers, radar operator, were a night-fighter team. They flew in a Beaufighter, but they never got results. Sometimes the radar broke down, once it caught fire. They even found themselves chasing friendly planes.

Then something new was added to the team. On their night flights it was always with them, an unearthly presence glowing with an eerie green light, like a being from another world – and it turned Tom and Dave into real night-fighter aces.

Story: McOwan  Art: Quesada  Cover: Ken Barr

Introduction

Amongst the action and adventure of the front lines, Commando Comics often ventured into the weird and wonderful world of fantasy and science fiction. The Flying Phantom is an exciting example of this alternative take on telling war stories.

McOwan successfully mixed a traditional narrative of fighter pilots striving to be the very best with ancient legend to create a truly memorable plot, brought to life by Quesada’s beautiful illustrations. Perhaps the most enticing element of Flying Phantom is Ken Barr’s bold, stunning cover. This gripping tale mixes mystery and magic, leaving readers flying high long after the end.

The Commando Team

Flying Phantom, originally Commando No 266 (June 1967), reissued as No 939 (June 1975).



Yuri’s Revenge – Commando No 4981

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Yuri Murayev, former member of Russia’s elite Spetznaz shock forces, had proven himself time and again to be a thorn in the side of media mogul and would-be dictator, Anatoly Speck.

But when Speck kidnaps British SAS agent Douglas Trent, Yuri knows it is time to take the fight directly to the enemy and put an end to Speck’s deadly conspiracies and political intrigues for once and for all. He has been hunted, beaten and framed – now it’s time for YURI’S REVENGE.

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


Everything Under Control – Commando No 4982

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Jim Farrow’s war as a navigator had got off to quite a start. Before he’d even qualified, he’d dragged an injured pilot out of his seat and landed the aircraft by himself.

When he was transferred to a Hampden squadron, someone told him that if the same thing happened again, he didn’t stand a chance of getting the pilot away from the controls – for the Hampden cockpit was only three feet across. “Flying coffins,” they called them.

Then one day it happened…

Story: RA Montague  Art: José Maria Jorge  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Introduction

RA Montague’s tale of a dysfunctional bomber crew highlights the teamwork, communication and trust flight crews needed during the Second World War. The bomber teams had great faith in their navigators, who were central players in performing successful air raids, avoiding conflict, hitting targets, and returning safely. In a tale of courage and comradery, José Maria Jorge skilfully captures the tension and terror of being part of a bomber crew.

Follow our hero, Jim Farrow, through a turbulent adventure as he attempts to keep Everything Under Control.

The Commando Team.

Everything Under Control, originally Commando No 1194 (January 1978), reissued as No 2492 (August 1991).

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

Commando Issues 4931-4934 – On Sale 14 July 2016

Commando Issues 4931-4934 – On Sale 14 July 2016

 

Mark Of The Lion — Commando No 4931Comm_4931_coverMaster

 

Sergeant Bill Marsh seemed to bear a charmed life — or so his men said. Time after time he missed death by a hair’s breadth. What his men didn’t know was that Bill had been told by an African witch-doctor that he would be killed by a lion — and there weren’t any lions in France.

Or were there? Nobody could foresee the monster which Bill would soon have to face.

 

Introduction

Only in Commando can you begin with a framing device that takes on the form of a mystical African curse, which then encompasses the retreat at Dunkirk via the development of a top secret, prototype enemy super-tank. Meanwhile, our hero thinks that he is invincible ever since he is cursed to be killed by a lion — and that seems unlikely in France.

All of these plot threads are expertly woven into a fantastic script by veteran author C.G. Walker, with great art by C.T. Rigby and a wonderful montage cover by Ian Kennedy.

My thanks to reader Bob Whalley for suggesting that we revisit this gem of a story from yesteryear.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Mark Of The Lion, originally Commando No 608 (December 1971)

Story: C.G. Walker  Art: C.T. Rigby  Cover: Ian Kennedy


The Lost Army — Commando No 4932Comm_4932_coverMaster

 

Strange things happen in the African desert — especially in the “Region of Devils”. But these three lost L.R.D.G. soldiers had never seen anything as weird as this…being helped in their desperate mission by Persian soldiers straight from the pages of history 2000 years ago.

“Prof”, Jack and Duncan didn’t know whether to be glad — or just plain terrified!

 

Introduction

Courtesy of interior artist Jose De La Fuente, this book is full of stunning imagery— of a lost Persian army from 525 B.C. seemingly returned to fight in the arid desert of North Africa in World War II.

However, one of my favourite sequences is much more straightforward but still typically dynamic — on page nine, one of our Long Range Desert Group heroes manages to bring down a Stuka dive-bomber armed only with a Thompson sub-machine gun. Fantastic stuff, and there’s a great cover from the sadly-missed Ken Barr too.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

The Lost Army, originally Commando No 222 (July 1966), re-issued as No 867 (September 1974)

Story: Skentelberry  Art: J. Fuente  Cover: Ken Barr

 


Night Intruder — Commando No 4933Comm_4933_coverMaster

Pete Owen was a fine pilot in a Mosquito night-fighter squadron, with a growing number of kills to his name.

Then he shook everybody by flying his plane, complete with the latest top-secret radar, across the Channel into German hands. He’d been playing a traitor’s game all the time, it seemed.

But why was he now in a German prison camp? And why was he spending every minute planning an escape? All he’d get in Britain would be a firing squad.

Introduction

This air/espionage/Prisoner-Of-War genre-twisting yarn is wonderfully illustrated by Repetto. He drew five Commandos book — of which this was the second — but over a short, if fairly prolific, period between November 1967 and March 1969. It’s a pity he didn’t do any more, as his line work is detailed and dynamic, and his night scenes are very atmospheric. And the late Ken Barr wraps it all up with a typically dramatic cover.

My thanks to reader Geir-Erik Nicolaysen for suggesting that we revisit this classic.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Night Intruder, originally Commando No 307 (January 1968), re-issued as No 1011 (March 1976)

Story: McOwan  Art: Repetto  Cover: Ken Barr

 


Reluctant Assassin — Commando No 4934Comm_4934_coverMaster

 

The order was simple — “Kill Mackheim”. The reason was also simple — he was a masterful German general who could thwart the Allied advance in this region of Italy.

Captain Harry Brown, a skilled assassin, was already in the area, operating with the partisans. He was the obvious choice for the job, but there was one snag — he had lost the will to kill in cold blood…

 

Introduction

Alan Hebden is a name familiar to UK comic fans. Incredibly inventive, his scripts appeared in the likes of Battle and 2000AD in their 1970s glory days and beyond.

Alan’s first Commando credit was “Night Of Fear” (No 984, November 1975) and he has continued writing for us ever since. Indeed, the author’s popular, long-running “Convict Commandos” series will continue in the near future.

This story, however, shows how Alan can take what might initially appear to be a straightforward premise but he puts his own, unique spin on it in terms of characters and plot. So, just what would happen to a killer who lost his killer instinct…? Read on and find out.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Reluctant Assassin, originally Commando No 2481 (June 1991)

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Salmeron  Cover: Mike Cox

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