Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Commando Nos.4795 to 4798

Four more issues of Britain's longest running adventure comic Commando hit the shops this week. Here's the lowdown direct from publishers DC Thomson...

Commando Issues 4795-4798 — On Sale 26 March 2015

Commando No 4795 – Lethal Attraction
It seemed a simple job; hop across to Belgium and find out what was causing strange magnetic field disturbances in the Ardennes region. So simple did it seem, that the Convict Commandos thought they might have time for a bit of relaxation along the way.
   Trouble, though, followed Britain’s most dangerous special missions unit like seagulls follow a trawler, and it wasn’t long before they were caught in a net thrown by advancing German forces.

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

Commando No 4796 – Night Strike
A tough, battle-hardened platoon finds it hard to accept a young officer straight from home, especially when the signs are that he may be a coward.
   But Second Lieutenant Gary Bardon was no coward. His nerve had broken, true, but when the chips were down he went all out to prove he was twice the man they thought he was.

Over the years we’ve had a fair few “brothers at war” stories. In fact, there was one a couple of months back called just that. It’s a device that works well, and this story is no exception. The siblings at each other’s throats are not only in the same arm of the forces, they are in the same unit, one commanding the other. But who is really in command? Now there’s a question.
   The inside by Buylla — who illustrated 9 Commandos in all — is assured and engaging. Particularly in the final sequences, his compositions come to dangerous life just like the story.
   I think you’ll like this one — I know I did.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Night Strike originally Commando No 151 (February 1965), re-issued as No 739 (May 1974)

Story: Kenner
Art: Buylla
Cover: Ken Barr

Commando No 4797 – U-Boat Hunt
After Royal Navy Lieutenant-Commander Robert Paterson lost his ship, his crew — and very nearly his life — to a prowling U-Boat in the Atlantic, he became obsessed with finding the enemy sub responsible.
   Robert was given command of a Q-Ship — a vessel that looked like a merchantman but was fitted with concealed guns that would destroy any U-boat that came in range.
   It seemed Robert might have his revenge!

Story: Bill Styles
Art: Jaume Forns
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4798 – Shield Of Truth
Buried under rock and sand in the North African Desert lay the Shield Of Truth. Made of bronze, highly polished, it revealed the truth about any man who looked into its mirror surface.
   Hidden for over two thousand years, it was found by two British pilots who had staggered mile after mile across the merciless sands. When they stared at their reflections in it, one saw his bravery dissolve into fear…and the other saw his fear change to bravery.

Our eponymous “Shield Of Truth” is an example of what film director Alfred Hitchcock famously called a “MacGuffin” — a plot device: something that motivates a character or propels a story forward. Here, though, it plays second fiddle to the characters themselves, and rightly so. 
   However, in my opinion, the most interesting character here isn’t one of the leads (although they’re all great) — he’s a rather eccentric French Foreign Legionnaire called Jules, who seemingly appears out of nowhere. He reminds me of Ben Gunn from Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic swashbuckling tale Treasure Island and is every bit as memorable.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Shield of Truth, originally Commando No 1064 (September 1976), re-issued as No 2364 (April 1990)

Story: Ken Gentry
Art: Gordon Livingstone
Cover: Ian Kennedy


SID said...

Got them, read them, loved them. :)

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks for commenting SID! :)

SID said...

No problem, Lew. They are really good comics. I only wish that DCT could do another comic featuring the characters from the wealth of their archives. (Yep, I know. It most likely wouldn't sell well but I would buy them).

Lew Stringer said...

One of the main hurdles would be convincing retailers to stock a comic with characters not related to a toy or TV series. Commando is accepted because it's been around for so long, but even so it's still not available in most newsagents.

A sad situation indeed.

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