Tag Archives: Olivera

Commando issues 4943-4946 – On Sale 25 August 2016

Commando issues 4943-49446 – On Sale 25 August 2016

Ice-Cold Combat — Commando No 4943  

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When their Handley Page Hampden bomber was shot down, Pilot Officer Drew Grange and Sergeant Adam Weir were stranded on the icy border between Norway and Russia.

Helped by a couple of civilian hunters, the R.A.F. men were soon embroiled in a fight for survival. Finding an unarmed, abandoned Tiger Moth ski-plane, they took to the skies above the remote, frozen frontier in a desperate attempt to get warn their allies of an imminent Nazi threat.

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


Ghost Squadron — Commando No 4944

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Flak, machine-guns, searchlights, enemy fighters – these the Nazi pilots knew and could handle. These things were dangerous, all right – but they didn’t turn a man’s blood to ice water in his veins, they didn’t paralyse his hands on the controls in utter, freezing terror…

But the new weapon used by the RAF night-fighters – The “Ghost Squadron” – put the fear of death into every Nazi pilot unlucky enough to come within its range.

Introduction

In this book there are several worthy ingredients which make for a satisfying Commando yarn: We have a glory-hunting pilot – Flight Lieutenant Buck Lee, determined to notch up as many kills as possible in his Mosquito bomber; the story title hints at supernatural activity; and we soon discover that some kind of shadowy, top secret, experimental weapon is also involved.

This is a great adventure, with Boutland’s script brought vividly to life by Quesada’s art and Buccheri’s eerie cover.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Ghost Squadron, originally Commando No 247 (February 1967), re-issued as No 895 (December 1974)

Story: Boutland  Art: Quesada  Cover: Buccheri


Undefeated —Commando No 4945 

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Troubled by a past encounter early in his career, Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Alec Weston soon became a respected, if intense, skipper. He was determined that his submarine, HMS Undefeated, would live up to her name — therefore he pushed his crew and the vessel hard.

When ferrying a Special Boat Section assault team on a secret mission in the Mediterranean, Alec was faced with a tough decision that affected the lives of that Special Forces unit. Such was the burden of command…

Story: Steve Taylor  Art: Olivera/Rodriguez  Cover: Janek Matysiak


Coward in Khaki — Commando No 4946 

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Men’s characters don’t often change. If a man’s a crook in civilian life, he’ll probably be a crook in the army. That’s how it was with Vic Wardley.

Everyone knew him to be a crook – and a coward as well. So why would an Intelligence Corps Major single him out for a vital job in contact with the enemy?

Introduction

Very generally speaking, Commando usually deals in “heroes” and “villains”, with the battle lines clearly drawn. However, I’d venture that “Coward In Khaki” is an intriguing glimpse into what it might have been like if Commando had veered towards the anti-heroes prevalent in rival war comics like Battle and Action in their mid-1970s prime.

The story title is unscrupulous in its assessment of the eponymous character, Private Vic Wardley — we’re left in no doubt that he is an unsavoury type, to say the least — but perhaps he might change his ways by the time we reach the last page…?

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Coward In Khaki, originally Commando No 1125 (May 1977), re-issued as No 2451 (March 1991)

Story: Mike Knowles  Art: Mones  Cover: Ian Kennedy

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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