Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nazis with jetpacks!


The latest four issues of D.C. Thomson's digest-sized adventure comic Commando are in the shops now, rounding off the title's 50th anniversary year. "The good news" says editor Calum Laird, "is we’ve slightly increased our sales over the year and our subscriptions have increased by a whopping 45%. This is great news in the current climate."

Here are the plot synopsis' of the current four issues...

Commando 4455: Valley Of Secret Weapons

The Valley of Destruction, the Germans called it. It lay deep in the heart of the Tyrolean mountains, and there Germany’s most brilliant scientists worked night and day building Hitler’s deadly “V for Vengeance” weapons.
Sun-ray cannons, flying saucers, sound cannons, rocket-propelled tanks and jet-propelled soldiers – strange, terrifying weapons, years ahead of their time.
They were all there in that valley, being made ready to unleash on Britain.

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

One look at the cover tells you all you need to know about this story — it’s a real flight of fancy. (And I don’t just mean because there are Germans with jetpacks.) Or is it? As more information on the Third Reich’s secret weapons programmes comes to light, some of the gear drawn up by Ortiz doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
Perhaps author Eric Hebden who had been a Major in the British Army had some inside knowledge…who knows?
Whether he did or not, it’s a great story and Ken Barr’s “Nazis With Jetpacks” sums the whole thing up. Now, I must fly…

Valley Of Secret Weapons, originally Commando No 98 (December 1963), re-issued as No 591 (October 1971)

Script: Eric Hebden
Art: Ortiz
Cover: Ken Barr



Commando 4456: Jump – Or Die!

The dull throb of the Dakota’s engines pounded remorselessly in the paratroopers’ ears as they filed in to their jumping order.
Nobody spoke, nobody smiled, nobody spared a kindly glance for the next bloke in line. Lips were dry and taut, and eyes glowed with a mixture of determination…and FEAR!
And even as the red light changed to green for “GO”, Captain Bob Brown knew that he was the most afraid of all…
Which was all wrong, because he was meant to be officer in charge of this mission, an example to all the others.

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

British Paras were involved in no end of covert operations in the Second World War. This is a problem because most of them took place under the concealing cloak of darkness.
Why is this a problem? Well, a dark night is one of the most difficult things an illustrator can ever be called on to draw. By definition there’s very little light to see anything by…
This doesn’t seem to have put artist Cortes off, however. His drawings of the Paras in action at night make superb use of black ink without losing any detail and without looking anything apart from, well, night.
Kellie’s script is as full of action and conflict as you’d want, while Ken Barr’s cover leaves you in no doubt about the menace in the title.

Jump — Or Die!, originally Commando No 94 (November 1963), re-issued as No 587 (October 1991)

Script: Kellie
Art: Cortes
Cover: Ken Barr



Commando 4457: Fireman On The Front Line

As a fireman during the London Blitz, Ted Roscoe was exempt from Armed Forces duty, as his was a reserved occupation deemed important to the war effort. He knew all about danger just the same, though, dodging bombs as he fought fire after fire. However, the Army needed Ted’s expertise too and he soon called to the front line.
Here Ted found himself embroiled in a deadly game of survival, with not just the enemy’s hand against him!

Script: Alan Hebden
Art: Olivera
Cover: Janek Matysiak



Commando 4458: The Sea Wolves

Like wolves, the torpedo boats and gunboats of the Allies and Axis hunted the seas of the Adriatic in packs. Like wolves they fell on their prey, always going in for the kill.
And, just as amongst packs of wolves, there had to be a top dog — would he be British or German?

Script: Mac MacDonald
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Keith Page

http://www.commandocomics.com

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