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Friday, August 17, 2012

Commando Special Request week

Here's the info from DC Thomson regarding the latest four Commando comics that are in the shops now. All reprints this week, but some classic tales if you haven't read them before.

Commando No 4523 Gas-Bag Gunmen

Never had men gone on a secret mission in such a strange craft. Huge, slow, clumsy, she was a perfect target for roving enemy planes.
   But she also happened to be the perfect ship for their job. Yes, these guys knew exactly what they were doing!

Story: R.A. Montague
Art: Cam Kennedy
Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando — By Special Request

This Pacific War story — from the typewriter (remember them?) of veteran Commando writer “Monty” Montague — is almost unbelievable. Yet, a combination of careful plotting and cracking art pulls you past any doubts you might have had.
   Speaking of art, the black and whites are from Cam Kennedy who was very friendly with Victor De La Fuente whose drawing skills can be seen in Commando No. 4524. Both men can produce magnificent movement in static pictures.
   Stewart Duncan was one of several people who asked to see this one again, principally, he says, because only Ian Kennedy could put a blimp on a Commando cover and not have it look ridiculous.

Gas-Bag Gunmen, originally Commando No 804 (January 1974), re-issued as No 2036 (November 1986).

Commando No 4524 The Deadly One
Captain Mike Reilly had lost his left eye in battle so the Top Brass had given him a desk job. And Mike didn’t like that one little bit, because he knew he could still out-shoot, out-march and out-punch almost any soldier living. After all, Nelson only had one eye and one arm and look at the mess he made of England’s enemies!
   So Mike set his mind to scheming to get back into the war, little knowing he was letting himself in for the biggest shock of his life…

Story: Hardy
Art: Victor De La Fuente
Cover: Jordi Penalva

Commando — By Special Request

There was quite a queue to nominate this one for another airing, Lee Grice being one who suggested it. Looking at that Jordi Penalva cover image, you can see why. It’s so strong what’s inside almost doesn’t matter.
   Only almost, though, and the combination of Hardy’s story and Victor De La Fuente’s super-dynamic art gets you into the action from the first picture. Compare Victor’s black and whites with Cam Kennedy’s in No 4523 — they work the same magic.
   As for the title, it works on several levels and in combination with that cover suits the story much better than the working title of Ten Desperate Men. Well done, the 1971 Commando Editor, for picking it.

The Deadly One, originally Commando No 529 (February 1971), re-issued as No 1523 (July 1981).

Commando No 4525 - Island Of Ghosts

The superstitious Japanese sentries on the remote South Sea island dreaded the moonlight tropical nights…
   For that was when the ghost walked, and they knew that in the morning another of their men would have vanished without trace…
   And in his hiding place a crazy Welshman would clean the blood from his well-used knife…

Story: Eric Hebden
Art: Bielsa
Cover: Ken Barr

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor
The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot that the hero’s blade on the front cover doesn’t quite match the description of it on the back — this is much bigger than a knife! But, hey, with a menacing cover image like that, who cares? There is no doubt that Ken Barr’s Commando covers could catch the eye from the other side of the room and draw you in.
   Once you were caught, Bielsa’s stark black and white images underlined the menace in the story, well-crafted as ever by Eric Hebden. In this case he may well have drawn on his experiences as an officer on Gibraltar to give the story its authentic feel.
   And the ghosts? You’ll have to find out about those for yourself.

Island Of Ghosts, originally Commando No 30 (July 1962).

Commando No 4526 - Luck Of The Devil

Fleeing into a cave in the grip of mortal fear, John Tilley had the first of a series of amazing escapes from death. From that day he was so lucky it was almost unbelievable.
   His men said he had the luck of the Devil. Was that his terrible secret?

Story: C.G. Walker
Art: C.T. Rigby
Cover: Jeff Bevan

Introduction by Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
This jungle yarn — from the pen of veteran Commando scribe Cyril Walker — has a supernatural flavour. The story kicks off with a 1000-year-old curse and then jumps forward in time, focussing on the deadly effect it will have on a group of British soldiers in World War II Burma. Or will it?
   There are great visuals too, of course — courtesy of another couple of Commando veterans, artists Cecil Rigby and Jeff Bevan. A quarter of a century on, “Luck Of The Devil” remains a terror-tinged tale that never lets up.
Luck Of The Devil, originally Commando No 2122 (September 1987)

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