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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Commando 4619-4622

Commando issues on sale 18th July 2013

Commando No 4619 – Johnny Boomerang

To a Japanese naval crew there was no more terrifying sight than a Bristol Beaufort torpedo-bomber attacking at wave-top height, a deadly torpedo just dropping from the plane’s belly. And if the Beaufort had a boomerang painted on its nose, the Japanese were in deep trouble…
   For the pilot was Johnny Boomerang, and Johnny never missed!


The working title of this Special Request Commando, suggested by Hugh Clinton, was “Torpedo Run.” A good title, true, but somehow it doesn’t have the feel of the finished job. At first glance, though, it feels that the story is more about his brother that the eponymous Johnny. That’s where McOwan’s craft comes in, as one twin strives to emulate his brother…to become another Johnny Boomerang.
   Repetto drew only five Commandos while Sanfeliz chipped in just over 40 covers but both are high standard illustrators. Repetto’s aircraft and figures are sharp and well-drawn, Sanfeliz’s cover image punchy in both composition and colour.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: McOwan
Art: Repetto
Cover: Sanfeliz
Originally Commando No 360 (October 1968), re-issued as No 1095 (January 1977).

Commando No 4620 – Tattooed Hero

The British patrol deep in the desert could hardly believe their eyes when they saw the tattooed sergeant.
   He was lurching and staggering across the burning hot sand in the last stages of exhaustion — and there on his brow, tattooed a vivid purple, were four words — “Too tough to kill.”
   How true those words turned out to be, for Sergeant Harry Tyler had the guts to turn round and search the desert to find again the enemy who had tried to make him look a fool before his friends — and the last grim laugh was Harry’s.


The first Commandos introduced a slew of iron-hard heroes to the 1960s British public. Sergeant Harry Tyler is no exception to the rule — as you may have guessed from Ken Barr’s shocking (in a good way!) cover.
   Eric Hebden, who crafted this tale and its granite-carved hero, established himself as a regular script-writer in those days thanks to his ability to place these characters in an absorbing story — a hero is no good without one.
   Francisco Cueto, who drew a dozen Commandos (as well as Hotspur and Hornet stories) in those early days, does a cracking job with the black-and-whites to complement the efforts of the two others.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: Eric Hebden
Art: Cueto
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No 53 (January 1963)

Commando No 4621 – The Sand-Devils

Dawn broke over the sandy wastes of the North African desert, and the air shuddered with the roar of engines as one by one the sleek Martin Marauder bombers swept into the air.
   Each plane was loaded with nearly two tons of bombs, and they were crewed by some of the crack pilots of Bomber Command. The Sand-Devils were on their way again!


With it being school holiday time, we thought we’d do something a little Summer Special for you. As so many Commando fans have asked to see this particular story with its Ian Kennedy inside art, we thought we’d ask the man himself to do a brand new illustration for the cover to replace the previous one. We love it and hope you will too.
   The story was by a Commando stalwart, “Monty” Montague, an ambulanceman whose polished script has allowed Ian to demonstrate his skill in rendering aircraft as only he can.
   The result is a fine double act, well worthy of a second look…as several of you pointed out.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: R A “Monty” Montague
Art: Ian Kennedy
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 832 (April 1974)

Commando No 4622 – Redcap Rat

A column of Churchill tanks rolled steadily along a road. Then, without warning, five of them were torn apart by explosions. Sabotage!
   Next morning, while shunting out of a tunnel, a military train was blown to pieces. Sabotage!
   Three days later a Lysander exploded in mid-flight, killing a high-ranking Allied commander. Sabotage!
   Who was the saboteur? Well, for a start he was a British soldier…


In Commando the Military Police — known as the Redcaps because of their distinctive headgear — are often seen as unpopular authority figures, unduly suspicious of decent Tommies.
   This story is different because we see the Redcaps in their proper investigative role — and our main character is part of a real life Military Police section — the Special Investigative Branch. This gives the tale a solid focus and is probably the closest that Commando has come to being a crime thriller…while still retaining its core war action and adventure traits, naturally.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: Eric Hebden
Art: Fleming
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 925 (April 1975)

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