Here's the info for this week's four Commando comics...
Commando Issues 4919-4922 – On Sale 2 June 2016
Commando No 4919 – Seeing Red
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
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Commando No 4920 – Half-Pint Commando
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.
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)
Commando No 4921 – A Soldier’s Legacy
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
Commando No 4922 – Trial By Combat
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.
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
Cover: Ian Kennedy