Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Commando comics for June 4th

The latest dispatch from D.C. Thomson...

Commando Issues 4815-4818 — On Sale 4 June 2015

Commando No 4815 – Ramsey’s Raiders: Italian Ambush
His superiors described Captain James Ramsey as unconventional. His enemies described him as a menace. His men described him as The Boss.
   No matter how he was characterised, though, the man was a fighting fury that no-one in their right mind would cross. Then a bunch of Italian guerrilla fighters did just that. Despite the snow, sparks would fly!

Story: Ferg Handley
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando No 4816 – Operation Tinfish
Sinister shapes like prowling sharks — and just as dangerous — swim silently towards a German battleship. Total destruction is their aim.
   And all the time hostile German eyes are marking the frogmen’s every move…

The artist responsible for the inside work in this book, Cecil Rigby, was one of the original Commando cadre of illustrators. He started with No 3 and finished with No 3272 — 146 books in just shy of 39 years which is far from shabby. What isn’t clear from his Commando work is that he was a wickedly accurate caricaturist; his “portraits” of footballers graced many a newspaper. His art always had an old-fashioned style to it but this lends a period air to the stories and works very well here.
   The story is unusual with so much underwater action but it’s classic Commando and well merits its second airing. Dive straight into it!

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Operation Tinfish originally Commando No 150 (January 1965)

Story: Boutland
Art: Cecil Rigby
Cover: Ken Barr

Commando No 4817 – Battle In The Arctic
When a Liberator bomber carrying a group of high level military staff crash-landed in the icy wastes of Greenland, Lieutenant Alec Bartley and his squad of tough, mountain-trained Commandos were sent to find any survivors. 
   Alec and his team had the use of highly-manoeuvrable Aerosled vehicles to aid their search, but time was of the essence — an equally deadly German force was desperate to locate that downed aircraft first…

Story: George Low
Art: Olivera
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4818 – Smith V Schmidt
A sniper was usually good — or dead. There were no half measures, for the first mistake was usually his last. Tim Smith and Willi Schmidt were just learning their deadly trade on different sides, their classroom the battlefields of Normandy.
   When their paths crossed the certainty grew that one of them must die — unless fate stepped in and lent a helping hand.

When I read this book I was initially struck by its authenticity — not just in terms of plot or setting but more so the specifics in the minutiae of what it must have really been like for a sniper during wartime. Imagine; the drills; discipline; isolation and sheer ruthlessness required, and what meeting these demands might do to a person psychologically.
   Then the Ed casually mentioned that author Alan Hemus had been a sniper himself!
   That gave a fresh meaning to the old adage, “Write what you know about…”
   However, budding Commando writers take note: previous military service is not compulsory.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Smith V Schmidt, originally Commando No 2351 (February 1990)

Story: Alan Hemus
Art: Keith Shone
Cover: Jeff Bevan
Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/4th-june-2015-collection?issue=4818 

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