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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The latest Commando issues - on sale today

Thanks again to Commando editor Calum Laird for supplying the info and cover images. No new stories at all this week unfortunately, with all four issues being reprints. Without further ado, here's the lowdown on the issues of Commando that arrive in shops today:

Commando No 4483: The Fighting Penguins

The RAF Regiment was formed during the Second World War. Its purpose…to defend airfields in the event of attack from the air or from ground forces. Some people scoffed at them — “Airmen who can’t fly?” they said, “They’re like penguins!”
   Well, these airmen might not fly, but by jingo they could fight!

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Twice a year we throw open our vaults and allow our readers, to choose a pair of stories they remember from times gone by which they reckon need another airing. For some reason, we’ve had a lot of requests from our friends in the RAF Regiment this year…sorry about the title, folks.
   Monty was great script-writer. All the Ts would be crossed and the Is dotted, the very essence of a professional author. He also worked for the Ambulance Service in Norfolk, no doubt just as professionally. If you were going to have an accident there, during his shift would be as good a time as any.
   What can you say about the two artists who realised Monty’s script? Without them Commando would not be what it is. Without them boys would not have had art to copy on to the covers of school jotters. Without them there would have been no hilarious visitations to the Commando Office every week.
   I bet you’re all glad Commando wasn’t without them. I know I am.
   If you’d like to see a story again, let us know and we’ll put it into the queue for September.

The Fighting Penguins, originally Commando No 1368 (November 1979), re-issued as No 2692 (September 1993)

Story    R A “Monty” Montague
Art    Gordon Livingstone
Cover    Ian Kennedy

Commando No 4484: The Cage

For over five hundred years the iron cage had hung there, swinging grimly outside the castle wall. No one knew how many wretches had suffered and died over the centuries, imprisoned by those stark, rusting bars.
   Now it held a strange assortment of prisoners — a British sergeant, a German army officer and two German soldiers. A strange assortment yes — but they all had one thing in common. They were all to be shot at dawn…

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

As I said, twice a year we throw open our archives to allow our readers another chance to read a well-remembered story. This is the second one of the pair that they asked for and as usual, it doesn’t disappoint.
   Monty’s characteristically structured story revolves around hatred of an enemy and how, if it takes over, there can only be one outcome.
   Galindo, who drew 26 stories for Commando, displays a secure hand — especially when tackling rain and darkness, two notoriously difficult subjects for a comic artist.
   Penalva’s cover is exactly what you would expect from a master of his craft — you can hear the crack of thunder accompanying the lightning and feel the rain on your face.
   If you’d like to see a story again, let us know and we’ll put it into the queue for September.

The Cage originally Commando No 758 (July 1973), re-issued as No 1955 (January 1986)

Story    R A “Monty” Montague
Art    Galindo
Cover    Jordi Penalva

Commando No 4485: The Death Dealers

If you’ve already met…TOM, DICK and HARRY, you’ll know that when they’re around there’s plenty of action and trouble, plenty of grief — usually for Nazi Germany,
   If you haven’t, the pleasure’s all yours.
   But hang on to your hat, don’t relax your trigger finger for a second…for they’re a rough, tough trio. Fast-moving, hard-hitting, they give no quarter and expect none – one of the reasons Germans call them…

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

This Gold Collection story hasn’t seen the light of day since 1962 so it’s a rare treat.
   Tom, Dick and Harry were Commando’s first recurring characters, having first appeared in Closer Than Brothers , No 19 (November 1961). Then they were in the jungle, here they are on Crete and given form by Cecil Rigby who would draw for Commando for nearly 40 years. Heavy and dramatic use black ink is a trade mark of his pages.
   Eric Hebden hands our heroes a special mission, his fiction populated by fanatic enemies and double-dealing rogues. The trio are no supermen, though, and come unstuck…but I’d better not give away the story.
   Ken Barr’s cover comes at you with a tidal wave of action, and a Nazi dagger thrown in for good measure.

The Death Dealers, originally Commando No 19 (March 1962)

Story    Eric Hebden
Art    Cecil Rigby
Cover    Ken Barr

Commando No 4486: War In The Snow

When a Wellington bomber with a very special cargo on board crashed in Norway, things were bad enough, but to make matters worse the Nazis had found out about it. So the race was on to reach the plane, with both the Germans and British speeding towards the crash site. On one side, a special snowmobile. On the other, a team of huskies!

Introduction to the Silver Collection story by Scott Montgomery, Commando Deputy Editor

In hindsight, the middle of summer — July 1987 — may have seemed like an odd time to publish this gripping, but decidedly wintry-looking tale. But perhaps not, as Commando has often been ideal summer holiday reading, whether on a sunny beach or stuck inside a caravan with rain bouncing off the windows (yes, I am talking from experience).
   Nevertheless, Denis McLoughlin’s icy art is spectacular here. Look at the page opposite: those snowflakes almost come out of the page and make you shiver.
   Keith Walker’s dynamic representation of a German snowmobile is also brilliant. Keith was a staff artist — now enjoying his retirement — who could find himself working on the Bunty or the Beano…and everything in between.
   Finally, a typically exciting script from Alan Hebden, which contains the longest single word I’ve ever seen printed in Commando! (Hint: It’s on page 22)

War In the Snow, originally Commando No 2104 (July 1987)



locusmortiis said...

I hope this all reprint thing is just a one off?

Lew Stringer said...

I would think it's a one off. Commando has increased its sales over the last year or two so I can't see why they'd make such drastic budget cuts permanent.

Felneymike said...

It looks like it's the two normal reprints (which are now "themed") and two "By special request" stories "from the vaults". By special request was supposed to be a one-off, but proved so popular it's now going to be a 6-monthly thing. The next batch ought to be back to normal

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