Tag Archives: Peter Ford

Commando Issues 4971 – 4974 – On Sale 1st December 2016

Commando Issues 4971 – 4974 – On Sale 1st December 2016

 

Island of Last Hope — Commando No 4971  

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In 1938, Germany invaded Poland…but Poland did not give in without a fight.

Captain Micha Polanski and the Polish Air Force fought valiantly against the might of the Luftwaffe. But when his brother was slaughtered, Micha swore vengeance against the plane that cut him down, the plane that bore the symbol of a Black Eagle and Swastika.

Micha was sent to Britain to continue the fight against Nazis, but he still hoped he would see that plane again and avenge his brother. As for Micha and many other Poles, Britain was wyspa ostatniej nadziei… The Island of Last Hope.

Story: Shane Filer  Art: Muller  Cover: Ian Kennedy

 


Stringbag Ace — Commando No 4972 

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They said HMS Adventurer was a haunted ship; haunted by a shadowy figure bent on sending the carrier to the bottom with all her planes and crew.

Mystery lights flashed at night to guide enemy bombers to her. Men were struck down in shadowy corners and never knew what hit them. Guns jammed, planes blew up. Death, sudden and baffling, stalked by night along the quiet alleyways of the ship…

And a young flight lieutenant wanted to get his Spitfires and their pilots to Malta in one piece.

Story: Tyson  Art: Peter Ford  Cover: Ken Barr

Introduction

If you’re searching for an outstanding adventure then look no further than this maritime gem. Tyson contrasts the claustrophobic confines of the HMS. Adventurer with the endless vistas of the skies to create a tense tale of ships, sabotage and Stringbags.

To top it all off, this issue boasts a truly dynamic cover, courtesy of iconic and greatly missed Commando artist, Ken Barr. Set at a dizzying angle, it’s a dramatic and exhilarating depiction of aerial action.

The Commando Team

Stringbag Ace, originally Commando No 265 (June 1967), reissued as No 935 (May 1975)

 


Mountie Hunter — Commando No 4973 

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Mounties Drew Fraser and Ross McKinley were partners and best friends. But when Drew enlisted in the Canadian Army, Ross was left behind.

However, Mountie life was far from quiet for Ross as the destruction of the war in Europe had extended its deathly claw all the way to Canada. Trains and supply lines were being targeted with ruthless precision, destroying vital supplies for the Allies. So ruthless in fact it spelled only one thing – sabotage!

Hunting the German spies would push Drew to the edge and force him to make the ultimate sacrifice. But a Mountie always gets his man…

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Vicente Alcazar  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Press Gang — Commando No 4974 

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Front-line action from the London blitz right through to the final American triumph against the Japanese in the Pacific. Not bad for a man invalided out of the RAF in 1940 and not even in the fighting forces.

But then RD Jones was a press photographer and he and his mate Tommy Vidler were a two-man team of war correspondents, risking death to get the news to their readers at home.

 

 

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Manuel Benet  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Introduction

Alan Hemus’ celebration of wartime correspondents is a boyish adventure that runs the full length of the Second World War, from the London Blitz to the final days of the Pacific War.

There is a great array of characters and show-stopping set pieces, all brought to life by the dynamic pen and brushes of artist, Manuel Benet. Benet is a true Commando Comics veteran, still illustrating new issues to this day, so it’s a real treat to be able to share some of his earlier artwork – enjoy!

The Commando Team

Press Gang, originally Commando No 2479 (June 1991)

 

 

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Commando Issues 4911-4914 – On Sale 5 May 2016

Commando Issues 4911-4914 – On Sale 5 May 2016

 

Codename “Magpie” — Commando No 4911Comm_4911_coverMaster

Captain Eric Brunt was a secret agent. His codename was “Magpie” — because he stole and hoarded vital enemy intelligence in the way that the bird allegedly hoarded anything that glittered.

When a Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat poised to pick up Eric was destroyed, the spy was trapped in occupied France, alongside Frank Nelson, a fellow survivor from the boat. Frank blamed Eric for the loss of his crew and ship. Now both men would have to work together to escape the clutches of the dreaded Gestapo.

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

 


Rogue Pilot — Commando No 4912 Comm_4912_coverMaster

Sergeant Pilot Tim Cooney was a real happy-go-lucky chap. Some said he was just plain careless. Nothing really bothered him or took the grin off his face — nothing, that is, until he discovered the Germans testing a new and terrifying glider bomb.

However, when Tim made his report, no one would believe him. They thought it was just another of his jokes. It looked like he’d have to do something about this threat himself…

 

Introduction

Our thoughts are with the family of artist Ken Barr, who died in March. Ken painted the very first Commando cover, “Walk – Or Die!” back in June 1961. Indeed, he illustrated a further thirteen consecutive covers straight after. The majority of his 175 covers appeared over a prolific ten-year period until April 1971.

After a few rare appearances in the mid-1990s, a decade after this, Ken contacted then-Editor Calum Laird to ask if he could contribute a new cover. Of course, we jumped at the chance and the result was “Blood Red Battle” (No 4138), published in September 2008.

Our thanks and respect to this huge talent, who played a pivotal part in Commando’s 55-year history.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Rogue Pilot, Originally Commando No 219 (July 1966), re-issued as No 875 (October 1974)

Story: Clegg  Art: Peter Ford  Cover: Ken Barr

 


Sawdust Commandos — Commando No 4913Comm_4913_coverMaster

The men of the Canadian Forestry Corps were known as the “Sawdust Fusiliers” — trained soldiers, they were also lumberjacks based in Great Britain during World War II.

In a remote area of the Scottish Highlands a group of Commandos on a training exercise clashed with the Canadians.

However, the Green Berets and the Fusiliers expectedly came up against a group of invading German Navy Marines who were on a top secret mission. These “Sawdust Commandos” would have to put aside their differences and fight for their very lives.

Story: George Low  Art: Muller  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Trouble All The Way — Commando No 4914Comm_4914_coverMaster

A Royal Navy destroyer is a formidable fighting unit — fast, well-armed and deadly. So when Pete Brandon was posted to join one in Rangoon, he was delighted. But what happened? Instead of joining the destroyer, he found himself on a little HDML — a Harbour Defence Motor Launch!

Well, he didn’t know it then, but this was the start of the adventure of his life. Things really started to get really dangerous when his boat was attacked by a Japanese Zero floatplane — and the danger kept on coming.

Introduction

Ian Kennedy’s dramatic cover certainly sets up “Trouble All The Way” as a sea and air story, but fairly quickly it changes into a tense jungle tale. Our Royal Navy hero, Sub-Lieutenant Pete Brandon, finds himself unhappily on land and in the middle of a guerrilla skirmish in occupied Burma.

It’s exciting stuff from veteran writer R.A. Montague, ably drawn by interior artist, Mira — those bats on the opposite page look terrific, I think.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Trouble All The Way, originally No 1122 (April 1977), re-issued as 2459 (April 1991)

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

 

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