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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Latest COMMANDO news

Fresh from D.C. Thomson, here's the lowdown on the four issues of Commando that will be in shops from tomorrow. Two reprint, two brand new issues...

Commando issues 4935-4938 – On Sale 28th July 2016

Commando No 4935 – Firebrand!
 Siblings Ian and John Jenkins were both R.A.F. pilots. Ian was the elder, calm and confident. John was younger and hot-headed, a definite firebrand. Based in the North-East of Scotland, they protected the coast against attack from the marauding Luftwaffe.
   However, when tragedy struck, John found himself embroiled in a mystery — one that involved death, destruction and even espionage. And it seemed there was a family connection. The firebrand was determined to find the answers…whatever the cost.

Story: Colin Watson
Art: Janek Matysiak
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4936 – Fighter Ace
 “Flame Squadron” they were called in the R.A.F. But to the baffled pilots of the Luftwaffe they were known as “Flame Devils”.
   When an aircraft was shot to pieces, cartwheeling across the sky in a mass of flames, somewhere in that blazing Spitfire a cool fighting brain still functioned, a finger still pressed the firing button. Long after any pilot must have perished, each plane carried on flying.
   As the Luftwaffe’s terror grew, one of Germany’s top spies was sent to ferret out the secret of the “Flame Devils”…

 This curio from 1966 has a vaguely supernatural premise about indestructible Spitfire pilots who can seemingly survive the flames of aerial battle — Commando with a pulp fiction, or even science-fiction, flavour. Then, however, author Boutland’s (first name unknown) story veers into espionage territory, making it more of a traditional tale — but one that’s certainly well-drawn by Arias and with a moody action cover painted by Buccheri.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Fighter Ace, originally Commando No 206 (March 1966), re-issued as No 843 (June 1974)

Story: Boutland
Art: Arias
Cover: Buccheri

Commando No 4937 – Making His Mark
 When World War II broke out Mark Enfield quit his office job and enlisted in the army. Although enthusiastic, he was quite puny and unfit. Nor was he a very good shot — and many noted the irony that he shared his surname with the famous Lee Enfield rifle that they used.
  .He became a target of bullies among his fellow recruits in basic training and this continued when they went into battle.
   However, Mark was determined to stand up to his detractors once and for all, especially when his unit was tasked with destroying a strategically important bridge which was in enemy hands.

Story: George Low
Art: John Ridgway
Cover: John Ridgway

Commando No 4938 – Burning Skies
 During the war most people served in the same unit all the time. However, Jack Banham was different. He was in an Italian jail, then a front-line trench with the Greek army, then the observer’s cockpit of an Italian biplane. At one time he was even a colonel in the Greek army…
…Or was it the Greek air force? Months afterwards he still wasn’t sure. Not that it mattered, for by that time he was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm!

 In some ways it’s a pity that this tale’s original working title wasn’t used. Veteran Commando author R.A. Montague called it ‘Jack Of All Trades’. This neatly sums up the multifarious activities of our protagonist, Jack Banham — on his journey from being a civilian treasure hunter to a soldier, then eventually fighting in aircraft.
   This relentless yarn rarely pauses for breath. Proof once more that Commando’s 63-page format allows a story room to go to unexpected places.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Burning Skies, originally Commando No 1116, (April 1977), re-issued as No 2436 (January 1991)

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


ray moore said...

Boutland was and is David Boutland. He wrote a number of picture library scripts in the 1960's. He wrote novels under the name David Rome and in later years became a TV scriptwriter in Australia working on things like The Flying Doctors and Home and Away.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks, Ray! You certainly know your British comics history. Have you ever thought of doing a blog? My knowledge of comics is limited, often based on books by yourself, Denis Gifford, Alan Clark, etc. I'm sure you do do a really exceptional UK comics blog.

Lew Stringer said...

Sorry, "could do", not "do do"! Lack of sleep!

Ray Moore said...

Thanks Lew. I'm afraid the diligence I perhaps once exhibited would wither under the demands of creating a worthwhile blog. Yours is a great mix of old and new and under pressure any effort of mine might well turn from 'could do' into 'do do'!

Lew Stringer said...

I understand, Ray. I'm not sure how long I'll continue with this blog really but if you ever want to write a guest post on some old UK comic / creator, I'd be happy to publish it.

David said...

Commando 4935 might be of interest to any fans of the Avengers TV series, as non other than Non-Steed seems to make a couple of appearances in this issue.
There are two "Men from the Ministry" that appear a couple of times and one of them is clearly modelled on Patrick MacNee. Check out pages 28-30, 37-40 and 62-63 for when he appears!

ray moore said...

Thanks Lew. I'll certainly give it some thought.

Unknown said...

Commando 4935 also contains a character that bears a very close resemblance to Ollie Reed!

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