Here’s the low down on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s Commando (Issues 4851-4854). on sale today in all good newsagents, 8th October 2015, featuring two all-new stories written by Ferg Handley with interior art from Keith Page and Vila.
Commando No 4851 – Eagles Over Flanders
Story: Ferg Handley Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page
When conscripted in November 1917, young Jack Carrick was willing to serve his country but reluctant to kill. Therefore, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and focused on saving lives instead of taking them.
However, Jack’s cowardly N.C.O., Corporal Fred Allingham, was determined to save only one life — his own. As the Great War raged on Allingham saw Jack as a threat to his secret agenda — even more of a threat than the Germans who dealt death in the trenches and from the sky above…
“With only a few notable exceptions — step forward the Convict Commandos — recurring characters have been rare on the pages of Commando over the last 50-odd years,” notes Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery. “However, we were of the opinion that you, our readers, might like a series which carried the story over more than one issue. With the pen of Ferg Handley recruited to do the writing, we decided that a historical saga spanning many generations would hit the spot.
“After the events of the Crimean war in the previous episode, we have now arrived at the harrowing trenches of World War I, where our epic tale of three — entirely fictional — interlinked families takes a darker turn as we explore just what it is like to save lives but also to fight for one’s own survival and the turmoil that this can cause.
“We hope you enjoy this story and the journey to come — which consists of a stunning, two-part conclusion.”
Commando No 4852 – Sky Trap
Originally Commando No 366 (November 1968), re-issued as No 1119 (April 1977)
Story: Wilkinson Art: Auraleon Cover: Ken Barr
To the pilots of Jim Ryan’s fighter squadron, Flight Lieutenant John Bright was the bloke who brought them supplies in his Dakota. He had a cushy number, while they were fighting off swarms of Japanese planes with their out-classed Brewster Buffaloes.
Then Jim Ryan was posted away. The Squadron was dog-tired and depressed, battling against heavy odds without rest. They desperately needed a real ace as new Squadron Leader.
Guess who they got? The bloke who flew the Dakota!
“Although our hero, Flight Lieutenant John Bright, has to fight a fair amount of bureaucracy here, thankfully there is a bountiful supply of aerial action too,” Scott notes. “This is perfectly encapsulated by Ken Barr’s dynamic cover battle between a couple of Japanese Zeros and a Brewster Buffalo.
“Not as highly regarded as the Supermarine Spitfire or as famous as a Hawker Hurricane, the American-built Buffalo is seen here as a stubby, rather awkward alternative to the aforementioned, much more appealing aircraft. One thing’s for certain, though, there’s no doubt that Barr and interior artist Auraleon do an amazing job of illustrating them.”
Commando 4853 – Aegean Attack
Story: Ferg Handley Art: Vila Cover: Janek Matysiak
In Autumn, 1943, the Royal Navy battled to seize control of the Aegean Islands from the Germans.
The crew of the “Kestrel”, a sturdy Fairmile B Motor Launch were under constant attack from marauding Luftwaffe aircraft. After a mission went disastrously wrong, the boat fell into enemy hands — but not an enemy they had been expecting. A band of ruthless Greek pirates had commandeered the vessel for their own purposes and now her skipper, Lieutenant Gary Parrish had to fight to reclaim his ship and protect his crew.
Commando No 4854 – On The Run!
Originally Commando No 1002 (January 1976), re-issued as No 2340 (January 1990)
Story: R.A. Montague Art: Collado Cover: Ian Kennedy
Five wounded men walk out of an Army hospital and set off to reach their own units under their own steam. Happens all the time? Not likely, mate – especially when these men were deep inside enemy territory – even on the wrong side of the Mediterranean!
So how could they hope to succeed?
“On The Run! features a rag-tag bunch of soldiers — mainly injured medical patients — thrown together in a desperate attempt to escape German clutches during the British evacuation of Greece in early 1941,” Scott tells us.
“There’s a good mix of characters and plenty of scope for drama as tempers fray they start to clash with each other. Add the threat of a potential traitor in their midst and we have another winning story from veteran Commando author R.A. Montague, ably drawn by Collado.”
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