Tag Archives: Terry patrick

Whodunnit?

Issues 4991 – 4994 , the latest quartet of Commandos (try saying that after three pints of Old Trumper), go on sale on 9th February 2017 (UK).

As is usual, all the creators are named. As is also usual, some are only identified by their second names, for the perfectly good reason that when the stories were originally drawn, no credits were published, and one name sufficed for record-keeping purposes. As long as the artists and writers were paid, they probably didn’t care too much.

On the one hand this can be deeply frustrating for anyone who wants every detail they can possibly amass on the comics. On the other hand it’s a fine excuse for those who like to delve into comics history to go raking on the web for more info. The trouble is, that info often throws up more questions than answers.

In the late-60s, the artist Segrelles is one of many identified by one name only. A Google search soon throws up his first name as Vicente. But wait, reading his biography and looking at his samples, he doesn’t seem quite the right fit. Did he, like some others, change his style between comics and “fine art”? 

Perhaps not, because his cousin Eustaquio was also a comics and “fine art” artist. Maybe he was responsible for Legion Of The Lost, Colonel Scarface, Blood Of Heroes, etc. See what you think. Here are a pair of pages from Legion Of The Lost:

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Vicente or Eustaquio?

Once we’ve sorted that out, we need to move on to which of the De La Fuente brothers illustrated which stories and which of the Hebdens (father and son) wrote which stories.

Or maybe you just want to read them…


Achtung, We Surrender – Commando No 4991

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In 1940, small time crook Ned Turpin claimed to be the descendant of the infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin. He, with his partner -in-crime, Bert Bloomer, had no intention of involving himself in the war…or at least he didn’t until he was caught robbing notorious East London gangsters, the Bailey brothers.

Shipped off to France to avoid the Baileys and time behind bars, Ned and Bert found themselves on the front line in a war they wanted no part of. The advancing Germans had heard many cries on the battlefields but now they would hear the screams of…Achtung, we surrender!

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


 Legion of the Lost – Commando No 4992

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The Foreign Legion breeds tough men. Sergeant Steve Millar was tough – he needed to be.

He was stranded in the desert with a fortune of gold. He knew he would be attacked by Germans, Italians and marauding Arabs. And for company he had four legionnaires – killers all – with the smell of gold in their nostrils.

Story: Mepham  Art: Segrelles  Cover: Segrelles

Introduction

Mepham’s tale of the legendary Foreign Legion challenges the intense Espirit de Corps traditionally established by the Legion’s units. With enemy forces surrounding our heroes as they cross treacherous desert conditions, it is essential that they work as a team. Their journey goes to plan until the Legionnaire’s Code of Honour is disrupted by an irrefutable force: gold.

Mepham brilliantly explores the soldiers’ fight for survival, and the unfortunate consequences of greed, in this thrilling tale. Illustrated wonderfully by the talented Segrelles, Legion of the Lost is an epic adventure through the desert to find where man’s wealth really lies.

The Commando Team

Legion of the Lost, originally Commando No 311 (February 1968)


Barbed Wire Battlers – Commando No 4993

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Seaman Andy Walker had been a loner all his life. From his beginnings at the orphanage to his posting in the Royal Navy, Andy struggled to be accepted…

But Andy’s isolation worsened when he was captured and put in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Once his jailers learnt he could speak their language, he was singled out and, from his fellow prisoners’ perspective, given special treatment.

It would take everything Andy had to prove he was no traitor, no Japanese pet…to prove that he was one of them. That he was a Barbed Wire Battler!

Story: George Low  Art: Rezzonico and Morahin  Cover: Janek Matysiak


 Ground Strike! – Commando No 4994

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The Bristol Beaufighter packed an awesome punch with its arsenal of machine guns and cannons. Turned against an enemy, it was a lethal weapon of war.

But one Beaufighter pilot, Andy Shaw, knew to his cost that it could be just as deadly against a friendly target hit by mistake…

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Introduction

Alan Hemus does it again in this outstanding Commando outing! Hemus’ storytelling is at the top of its game with his two heroes, Andy and Harry, caught in a web of uncertainty.

They shoot up a launch, convinced it’s an enemy E-Boat, but their superiors believe they have actually sunk one of their own rescue craft. Their moral dilemma looms over them until the climax. The tension Hemus draws out in the plot is matched by the scratch lines of Terry Patrick’s interior art. This all topped off with another amazing Ian Kennedy cover!

The Commando Team

Ground Strike!, originally Commando No 2518 (November 1991)

Another Year, Another 104 Commandos

2017 is a big year for Commando comics; this, their 56th year of production, will see the arrival of their 5000th issue. That surely puts them at the top of the comics’ numbers pile. The countdown begins with this set of four – Nos 4983-4986, on sale 12th January 2017 (UK).

It makes you wonder what the secret of their longevity is, and how much longer they can last. After all, the Second World War, which is Commando’s stock-in-trade, only lasted (thank heavens) six years. Later wars don’t seem to have the same appeal so surely the well must run dry at some stage. Or perhaps not.

Putting that aside for the moment, how has Commando managed to carry on when the last British War comics — Warlord and Battle — sank in the mid-80s? Paul Cockburn in Comic Heroes Issue 30 tries to answer the question by speaking to a few of the people involved. Rather alarmingly, however, the article ends with a comment from DC Thomson’s heritage titles editor Kirsten Murray, “Despite Commando being 55 years old, we feel its potential is still largely untapped, so keep your eyes peeled for lots of exciting Commando this year.” That smacks a bit of the “Great News For All Readers” announcements your favourite 70s comic carried just before it was merged with another title.

Let’s hope that’s not the case as Commando and The Beano don’t seem a very good fit. Let’s also hope that we don’t have to keep our eyes peeled, let’s hope whatever they do hits everyone square in the eye so it can’t be ignored.

The “last man standing” must be helped to remain upright.


The Sentinel – Commando No 4983

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Over thousands of years ago, the Tyrrhenian horde besieged the tiny island of Rhodes. Although the Rhodian warriors were outnumbered, they were not afraid, as they were led by their General Theron and his friend, Nereus. But little did Theron know, his biggest enemy slept within the confines of his own camp.

By 1942, Theron had become a legend – the location of his tomb a mystery that plagued archaeologist Gennaro Soccino. Conscripted into the Italian army stationed in Rhodes, Soccino became obsessed with finding the resting place of Theron and…The Sentinel.

 Story: Steve Coombs  Art: Morahin  Cover: Ian Kennedy


 

The One They Couldn’t Catch – Commando No 4984

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Moto the Clown paused, sweat running from his face. He was about to walk along a steel wire, fifty feet above ground, suspended between two giant pylons. This had always been the climax of his circus act.

But Moto wasn’t in the circus ring now. This time there would be no applause from the audience. The only sounds he could expect to hear was the harsh crackle of Schmeisser machine-pistols.

Story: Powell  Art: Sostres  Cover: Ken Barr

Introduction 

This unusual outing from October 1967 is a little different from a traditional Commando adventure, which is what makes it such a rare gem worthy of another airing! While the story about a clown who joins the army does push the boundaries a smidge, how many other Commandos could boast such a plotline? A marvellous script, art – Sostres’ interior line work is simply spectacular, and Ken Barr’s whimsical yet enticing cover combine seamlessly to create this delightfully zany yarn.

The Commando Team

The One They Couldn’t Catch, originally Commando No 289 (October 1967)


 

Mountain Strike – Commando No 4985

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Lieutenant Alan Barkley was tasked with assembling a team to embark on a special ground mission, deep behind enemy lines in Burma. These soldiers would face gruelling conditions, putting their skills to the test, all whilst carrying a 3.7-inch calibre howitzer up treacherous mountain peaks.

Rookie medic, Ben Ellis, did not expect to be enlisted for this task, and his fellow soldiers questioned his capabilities. But they soon found that venturing into enemy territory with a deadly weapon in tow takes courage and cunning to survive.

Story: Ferg Handley  Art: Jaume Forns  Cover: Janek Matysiak


 

Very Important Passenger – Commando No 4986

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Ferrying a VIP to England from North Africa might sound like a simple enough mission, but not when it’s a worn-out old bomber only fit for the scrapheap that you’re given to do the job.

And it doesn’t help when your Very Important Passenger panics at the first sign of an enemy aircraft…or when he pulls out a revolver and points it at your head!

Story: K.P. MacKenzie  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Terry Patrick

Introduction 

Accusations, air raids and an unpredictable passenger creates the foundations for this soaring tale. Despite completing dangerous air missions, transporting an unusual stranger may just be Frank Roach’s most difficult challenge yet. A tale of trust, filled with action from start to finish, Very Important Passenger is brought to life by Terry Patrick’s wonderful artwork.

Sit back and enjoy as we take to the skies with Frank “Finny” Roach and Sergeant Judd Stott in K.P. MacKenzie’s high-flying adventure.

The Commando Team

Very Important Passenger, originally Commando No 2453 (March 1991)

Commando Issues 4915-4918

Commando Issues 4915-4918

 

Nemesis Of The North — Commando No 4915

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Smolenskaya Ostrov, a small island in the Barents Sea, was feared by the Russians, who had given it a much more ominous name — the Island of Death. This inhospitable place was uninhabited, apart from the packs of the ferocious polar bears who roamed its barren wastes.

Now, “Jelly” Jakes, Titch Mooney and the rest of the Convict Commandos were tasked with preventing the outbreak of a deadly virus — if they could survive long enough to complete their mission.

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Manuel Benet  Cover: Manuel Benet

 


Duel To The Death — Commando No 4916 

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It was like a duel between two knights of old. Each combatant knew the look and reputation of the other. Only this time, on one side was a giant white Sunderland flying-boat and on the other, a black-hulled German submarine, the U-37. Dick Stapleton and an Aussie crew flew the “Flying Porcupine”; the merciless Nazi, Kapitan von Bloeke, commanded the U-37.

The North Sea convoy routes just weren’t big enough for both of them…

Introduction

Sanfelix’s stunning cover image perfectly encapsulates a truly thrilling sequence from this book (and it’s on pages 10-13, if you wish to skip ahead). Expertly drawn by veteran interior artist Gordon Livingstone, one of our heroes attempts to extinguish an engine fire on the wing of his Sunderland Flying Boat…while it is still in the air.

As far as I’m aware, I’ve never seen anything quite as daring as that in many years as a Commando reader and, latterly, as a Commando staffer. Wonderful stuff indeed.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Duel To The Death, originally Commando No 210 (April 1966)

Story: Tyson  Art: Gordon Livingstone  Cover: Sanfelix

 


Death On The Ground — Commando No 4917

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In 1963, in the skies above a group of remote islands in the South Pacific, many military aircraft disappeared without trace — so many, if fact, that the area became known as the “New Guinea Triangle”.

When R.A.F. Flight Lieutenant Jon Day, and his C.O., Squadron Leader Richard Gibson, became embroiled in the mystery, they discovered that their dangerous foe was on the ground as well as in the air.

The Englishmen would have to improvise and use their wits to survive — even if that meant using captured weapons to bat away enemy grenades!

Story: Steve Coombs  Art: Morahin  Cover: Janek Matysiak

 


Eagle In The Sun — Commando No 4918 – 

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In the air war over Russia Anton Pozetski found life dangerous and confusing. It was easy to identify the enemy — they were the Germans and they shot at you. However, it wasn’t so easy to identify your friends. For a start, the Political Commissar and the Squadron Commander were apt to stab you in the back and they regarded the RAF as enemies.

Life was going to prove even more difficult for Anton when he joined an RAF squadron on active service.

Introduction

All of our artists are very versatile and capable of drawing any subject. However, even after five decades, Ian Kennedy is still usually our first port of call whenever we need an aeronautical cover. So, I imagine that’s what happened back in 1991 when the then-editorial team wanted an illustration featuring a Russian Polikarpov 1-16 using its propeller to shred the tail fin of an enemy Heinkel 111 bomber. Featuring Ian’s usual dynamic style and sense of drama, this is yet another prime example of his legendary work.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Eagle In The Sun, originally Commando No 2497 (August 1991)

Story: Ian Clark  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Nostalgia IS What It Used to Be

They say nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but I beg to differ.

I started reading Commando in the late 60s and, along with The Victor, it was my regular comics reading. Oh, sure, I read others — too many to list — but nowhere near as regularly. After a long-ish break, I came back to Commando in the 90s and was pleased to see that, although it had moved on in story treatments — no Roman legionaries or science-fiction spacemen in the 60s! — it was, essentially, in the same place as before.

Now it’s the “last man standing,” it’s the only theatre to find my heroes from back in the day. No, not the servicemen, but the artists and writers whose work filled my boyhood hours and whose names I now know for sure. These issues — 4887-4890 on Sale 11th February 2016 (UK) — prove the point. Where else would you find Victor De La Fuente’s artwork alongside Ian Kennedy’s, Carlos Pino’s and Ken Barr’s? Or stories by “The Major” Eric Hebden and Commando‘s former editor George Low?

The new boys are good but for unqualified nostalgia you can’t beat the old school — even if you are reading on an iPad.

 


 

Out Of Time — Commando No 4887

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It seemed that the Grossin brothers couldn’t be more different.

Marc was a mild-mannered watchmaker — the occupying German garrison had used his skills to mend various timepieces dotted around their base.

Meanwhile, his younger brother, Bernard, was a member of the local French Resistance and he had begun to wonder if Marc was getting too friendly with the Nazis.

That was the least of Bernard’s worries, though. During a shoot-out at a ruined churchyard, he wondered if he was finally…

…OUT OF TIME

Story: George Low  Art: Rezzonico  Cover: Janek Matysiak

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4887


 

Codeword – “Torch” — Commando No 4888

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One man held the key to the operation called by the codeword — “TORCH” — the huge Allied invasion of North Africa. His name was Pete Macrory, a Canadian in the Royal Engineers — and nobody trusted him an inch.

To find out why, and what made Pete tick in his own peculiar way, you had to go way back to General Wolfe’s attack on Quebec in 1759. That’s when a distant ancestor of Pete’s, young Jock Macrory, was involved in a deadly adventure of his own…

 

Introduction

I don’t think I’ll be spoiling things for you, as there is a big clue in the title, when I reveal that this story features Operation “Torch” — the real life British/American invasion of French North Africa in the winter of 1942.

However, people often mistake Commando for some kind of history book but this is not the case. Although we use authentic military events as a backdrop (and strive not to be wildly inaccurate regarding their use), we will always have fictional principal characters placed among them, ensuring that the stories are works of the imagination, with scope for action and adventure.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Codeword – “Torch”, originally Commando No 220 (July 1966), re-issued as No 859 (August 1974)

Story: Eric Hebden  Art: Victor De La Fuente  Cover: Ken Barr

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4888

 


 

Polish Pride — Commando No 4889

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When their unit was wiped out in the Blitzkrieg that heralded the beginning of World War II, Lieutenant Bartek Abramski and Sergeant Jakub Brejnak reluctantly found themselves on the run from the Germans.

These proud Uhlan cavalrymen were determined to survive and live to continue their fight another day. As time wore on, though, the chances of this seemed increasingly slim. However, when they teamed up with a downed pilot, a fellow Pole, it looked like they might have a chance to escape the clutches of the enemy…

 

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

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4889

 


Dive And Kill! — Commando No 4890

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It took nerves of steel to survive in the deadly skies over war-torn Europe…Pilot Officer Chris Bennet had proved that. Or so his fellow pilots thought. They reckoned he was the bravest guy they knew.

But even steel can break, and so could Chris…

 

 

 

Introduction

I reckon we could call this story a “bromance” — even though it was published long before that particular word came into widespread, everyday use.

Its main focus is on the friendship between two pals — who have known each other since their university days — and how they cope with the tumultuous pressures of being RAF pilots at the height of the Battle of Britain and beyond.

Naturally, both men are very different. David Gouldie’s quiet introspection is a neat counterpoint to Chris Bennet’s dashing showmanship — but it seems that he really is putting on a show…

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Dive And Kill!, originally Commando No 2470 (May 1991)

Story: Ian Clark  Art: Terry Patrick  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/11th-february-2016-collection?issue=4890