Tag Archives: R.A. Montague

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).

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Wot did you read on your holidays?

Besides the Victor (and other) summer specials, I recall that there seemed to be more Commandos in the shops than usual and that some of them were from some months, even years past. According to former editor George Low, DC Thomson’s distribution department used to box up random copies from the firm’s printing works (they owned their own back then) and send them out to newsagents for the summer holiday demand. It must have worked as they did it for many years apparently.

So, I read a lot of extra Commandos in the long holidays, but the best summer reading experience by far was the year I was stuck in bed for a day or two. A pal who was a Valiant man brought round (with some help) about two years’ worth for me to read.

I’d never been so happy to be off-colour.

The latest Commando issues (4935-4938) possibly include one of your holiday reads from way back when. They’re on sale from the 28th July 2016 (UK).


Firebrand! — Commando No 4935Comm_4935_coverMaster

 

Siblings Ian and John Jenkins were both RAF pilots. Ian was the elder, calm and confident. John was younger and hot-headed, a definite firebrand. Based in the North-East of Scotland, they protected the coast against attack from the marauding Luftwaffe.

However, when tragedy struck, John found himself embroiled in a mystery — one that involved death, destruction and even espionage. And it seemed there was a family connection. The firebrand was determined to find the answers…whatever the cost.

Story: Colin Watson  Art: Janek Matysiak Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Fighter Ace — Commando No 4936Comm_4936_coverMaster

“Flame Squadron” they were called in the RAF But to the baffled pilots of the Luftwaffe they were known as “Flame Devils”.

When an aircraft was shot to pieces, cartwheeling across the sky in a mass of flames, somewhere in that blazing Spitfire a cool fighting brain still functioned, a finger still pressed the firing button. Long after any pilot must have perished, each plane carried on flying.

As the Luftwaffe’s terror grew, one of Germany’s top spies was sent to ferret out the secret of the “Flame Devils”…

Introduction

This curio from 1966 has a vaguely supernatural premise about indestructible Spitfire pilots who can seemingly survive the flames of aerial battle — Commando with a pulp fiction, or even science-fiction, flavour. Then, however, author Boutland’s (first name unknown) [but probably David according to this well-researched piece on Bear Alley] story veers into espionage territory, making it more of a traditional tale — but one that’s certainly well-drawn by Arias and with a moody action cover painted by Buccheri.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Fighter Ace, originally Commando No 206 (March 1966), re-issued as No 843 (June 1974)

Story: Boutland  Art: Arias  Cover: Buccheri

 


Making His Mark — Commando No 4937Comm_4937_coverMaster

When World War II broke out Mark Enfield quit his office job and enlisted in the army. Although enthusiastic, he was quite puny and unfit. Nor was he a very good shot — and many noted the irony that he shared his surname with the famous Lee-Enfield rifle that they used.

He became a target of bullies among his fellow recruits in basic training and this continued when they went into battle.

However, Mark was determined to stand up to his detractors once and for all, especially when his unit was tasked with destroying a strategically important bridge which was in enemy hands.

Story: George Low  Art: John Ridgway  Cover: John Ridgway

 


Burning Skies — Commando No 4938Comm_4938_coverMaster

 

During the war most people served in the same unit all the time. However, Jack Banham was different. He was in an Italian jail, then a front-line trench with the Greek army, then the observer’s cockpit of an Italian biplane. At one time he was even a colonel in the Greek army…

…Or was it the Greek air force? Months afterwards he still wasn’t sure. Not that it mattered, for by that time he was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm!

Introduction

In some ways it’s a pity that this tale’s original working title wasn’t used. Veteran Commando author RA Montague called it ‘Jack Of All Trades’. This neatly sums up the multifarious activities of our protagonist, Jack Banham — on his journey from being a civilian treasure hunter to a soldier, then eventually fighting in aircraft.

This relentless yarn rarely pauses for breath. Proof once more that Commando’s 63-page format allows a story room to go to unexpected places.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Burning Skies, originally Commando No 1116, (April 1977), re-issued as No 2436 (January 1991)

Story: R.A. Montague  Art: Frederico Maidagan  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando Issues 4923-4926 – On Sale 16 June 2016

Commando Issues 4923-4926 – On Sale 16 June 2016

 

 Scrapper’s War — Commando No 4923Comm_4923_coverMaster

As World War I raged in the trenches of Europe another, more unusual campaign was going on in British and German East Africa.

British Lieutenant Trevor Waite and his South African counterpart, Dirk Van Ormer, had taken charge of “Scrapper”, a derelict steamer which they would pilot against sleek German Navy torpedo boats. Not only that, they also had to contend with a nasty Commanding Officer who would gladly see Scrapper put on the scrapheap once again!

Story: George Low  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

 


Space Pilot — Commando No 4924Comm_4924_coverMaster

One day he was Flight Lieutenant “Topper” Brown — a young, unremarkable pilot and the idea of him becoming an ace was far-fetched.

Then he was shot up and crash-landed. Out of the flames rose a new Topper — a pilot who could flay anything with wings; an ace who could outwit the Luftwaffe and who could hold a Spitfire in flaming shreds together long enough to clear the skies of Nazis.

However, his mates said Topper wasn’t like himself these days. In fact they suspected he wasn’t even human anymore!

Introduction

This offbeat outing from June 1966 is certainly different from traditional Commando fare and that’s why I thought it deserved another airing. Although the story of potential extra-terrestrial influence upon an average British pilot does stretch credibility a tad, it’s done with such panache that any accusations of being far-fetched are easily forgiven. Fantastic script, art — Medrano’s interior line work simply is stunning — and cover perfectly combine here for a wonderfully oddball yarn.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Space Pilot, originally Commando No 217 (June 1966), re-issued as No 863 (August 1974)

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Medrano  Cover: Buccheri

 


The Flying Cowboy — Commando No 4925Comm_4925_coverMaster

John “Bronco” Bronson was a ranch hand in Arizona who became interested in fledgling flying machines such as the Wright model B.

With World War I at its peak in Europe, the American wanted to do his duty, even though the United States had not yet joined the conflict. He enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps and soon was at the controls of a Bristol F2B aircraft duelling with enemy Albatros fighters high above the trenches of the Western Front.

Bronco was unique…the War’s only flying cowboy!

Story: Bill Styles  Art: Vicente Alcazar  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Doomed Squadron — Commando No 4926Comm_4926_coverMaster

Sammy Baker’s Ventura Squadron had everything going for it — brand new planes, top-line aircrew, the lot. So how come they got hacked out of the sky on nearly every air raid? The answer was obvious — there had to be a spy on the station, telling the enemy when the raids were coming.

But who was the spy? And how quickly could they find him? Because until they did, every raid was doomed, right from the moment of take-off!

Introduction

Our hero is Sammy Baker, a dependable bomber commander in the best Commando tradition. However, poor Sammy is upstaged by Van Dyke — a surly goat with a penchant for chasing pilots and chewing on their caps. The horned squadron mascot definitely steals the show (as well as any R.A.F. headgear that he can). However, despite these high jinks, there is a still a fairly serious espionage tale at the heart of this book.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Doomed Squadron, originally Commando No 1198 (February 1978), re-issued as No 2499 (September 1991)

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

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

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