Magic Merlins and a danger-prone ‘Duck’ just part of latest Commando line-up

Commando No 4539 – The Magic Merlin
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Morahin Cover: Ian Kennedy

As the Battle of Britain reached its climax, RAF Flying Officer Toby Mortimer was assigned a brand new MkII Hurricane. Toby’s flying suddenly improved, and he got more kills in his new Hurri. But why?

Toby put it down to his new plane’s Rolls-Royce Merlin XX – because its serial number exactly matched his date of birth! That engine became his good luck charm. He was sure that his life and the Merlin’s were inexplicably linked.

Which was not such a good thing when another pilot had to take over his kite!

Commando No 4540 – The Duck That Went to War
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Jaime Forns Cover: Janek Matysiak

The DUKW, better known as the Duck, might not be as well-known as the Jeep but this amphibious truck was just as vital to winning the Second World War. Able to take supplies from ship to shore without needing a harbour it kept the fighting men supplied with bullets, bandages and bully beef.

This is the story of one such Duck and its crew of two. Together they got far closer to the action than you would expect for a floating lorry.

Question was, would they be able to get away again in one piece?

Commando No 4541 – Massacre In The Sun
Originally Commando No 28 (June 1962)
Story: Eric Castle Art: Gordon Livingstone Cover: Ken Barr

When the Japanese attacked, Corporal John Reynolds dived into the bushes. When he crawled out his two stripes had gone and on his shoulder he wore a Major’s crown.

Always he had wanted to be an officer and now he was.

He might deceive the Japs, but could he fool the Chindit battalion he was called upon to lead?

Here is the strange story of the bogus major

“There are various themes which have featured in Commando more than once and here, Eric Castle weaves two of them together,” notes editor Calum Laird of this reprint issue. “Talk about value for money! He has the soldier who just needs a chance to show his worth, and the private soldier who adopts an officer’s rank. And they are one and the same man.

“If shades of John Wagner and Mike Western’s Darkie’s Mob abound in plot they also echo in the art – Gordon Livingstone’s jungle is hot enough to feel, his Chindits have real stubble, while Ken Barr’s cover captures fear and claustrophobia in the same instant.”

Commando No 4542 – And Now Strike Back!
Originally Commando No 2106 (July 1987)
Story: Bill Fear Art: Ruiz Cover: Jeff Bevan

Ready to board their new ship, seamen Len Garret and Tom Brooks were stunned to discover that Chief Petty Officer Alf Edwards was on their crew. Having clashed with him many years before, they knew that life under his command would be far from easy.

However, in the following weeks they changed their minds. No longer did they think Alf was going to make things difficult – now they suspected he was trying to kill them!

“Conventional wisdom – as well as reader feedback – has it that of Commando‘s air, land and sea adventures, maritime stories are the least popular,” reveals Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery. “Perhaps this is because the pace of a sea story is slower than those containing aerial dogfights or tank battles.

“However, this tale could belie all that – as it truly is action-packed from start to finish, with some great characters and memorable set-pieces.

“And staff artist Jeff Bevan excels once again with a wonderful cover. Look at that ship lurching in the water. It almost makes one a little seasick just looking at it!”

downthetubes is pleased to offer an exclusive discount on a subscription to DC Thomson’s Commando comic, entitling readers to save 50% by ordering using our special discount code! Follow this link to DC Thomson’s subscription page. When prompted, enter this unique code COMDT – then make your payment and your subscription will be up and running! 

• Official Commando web site:

Commando Official Facebook page

• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846

Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.

Commando Comics iPhone App on iTunes

• Steadfast! the Commando artwork exhibition at The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen runs until 30th November 2012. There are more details about the exhibition on the museum website.

Categories: British Comics - Current British Publishers

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