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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Commando issues out now

Another four issues of Britain's longest running adventure comic are in the shops today. Here's the PR from D.C. Thomson...

Commando No. 4831 – Flight Of The Furies 
In 1939, confident young Pilot Officer Duncan Marlow fell foul of an obnoxious C.O. and was posted out of the way to Griffin Island — a small garrison off Africa’s West Coast.
   Discipline was lax and the Governor was untrustworthy. He was on friendly terms with the Germans who were stationed nearby, even though War between both countries was all but inevitable. What was going on…?
   Soon Duncan, aided by a down-at-heel fellow pilot, found himself fighting the enemy in old Fury bi-planes. He was determined to strike back!

Story: Steve Coombs
Art: Jaume Forns
Cover: Ian Kennedy

Commando No. 4832 – Terror Train 
Not one of the men waiting in the darkness of that tunnel was unafraid. Each felt the fluttering in the stomach, the trembling of the hands that meant stark fear had taken over.
   Were these a pack of cowards, then?
   No. Every man present was a hero, brave and full of fight. Picked men — British Commandos and the cream of the French Resistance, the Maquis.
   But they were waiting for a train with a deadly cargo, and each man knew that in a few seconds he might have an appointment with death! 

It’s hard to believe that this classic Commando book hails from nearly half a century ago. Somehow it almost seems timeless – practically like a blueprint for everything that these ‘War Stories In Pictures’ were, and still are, all about.
   It’s beautifully illustrated, with a fantastically pulpy cover, and features great characters, thrills and action that never lets up. ‘Terror Train’ keeps on track, never going off the rails, right until the final word.
   Reader Announcement – Attention Please: Commando would like to apologise for the late arrival of the train puns in the previous sentence.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Terror Train, originally Commando No 209 (April 1966), re-issued as no 851 (July 1974)

Story: Redbridge
Art: Martin
Cover: Lopez ESPI

Commando No. 4833 – The Desert Duel 
Captain Jimmy Ramsey and his maverick Special Raiding Force were used to doing their own thing — dangerous hit-and-run raids deep behind enemy lines.
   So, during the battle of El Alamein in autumn 1942, when the Raiders were teamed with a Long Range Desert Group unit to capture an isolated German airfield, tensions mounted between the tough, hard-headed factions. Both the SRF and LRDG felt they could do the job better on their own.   
   They would have to stop clashing long enough to fight the real enemy!

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

Commando No. 4834 – The Man Who Was Afraid
What makes a good fighter pilot? It’s mostly skill, and Charles Crombie had plenty of that. But it isn’t only skill — you also need to be able to fly through a hail of bullets and flak threatening to hack you out of the sky at any minute. And that was what Charles was afraid of.
   Then he took to wearing an old coin around his neck. It was his lucky charm. As long as he had it with him, he knew no fear.
   As long as he had it with him…

You might be interested to know that the original working title for this story was ‘The Courage Is Inside’. Obviously, I wasn’t in the Commando office in 1977 when the script came in (I was aged 5 at the time). But I’m guessing that one of the reasons it wasn’t used is that although appropriate to the subject matter, it somehow just doesn’t seem ‘Commando-ish’ enough to go in front of Ian Kennedy’s dynamic cover montage.
   The story’s a good one – even though it features the fairly well-used plot device of a lucky charm – and there’s a main character that we’re genuinely rooting for. And it is all brilliantly illustrated, as usual, by Gordon Livingstone.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
The Man Who Was Afraid, originally Commando No 1152 (August 1977), re-issued as No 2476 (June 1991)

Story: Mclean
Art: George Livingstone
Cover: Ian Kennedy 

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