Commando issues on sale 6th November 2014.
On the morning of the 28 June 1914, two pistol shots fired in a Sarajevo street plunged the world into war.
Three years later the awful struggle had changed the face of Europe, and warfare, forever. First the machine gun and then the aircraft had brought the machine to the battlefield. Now it was the turn of another product of the arms industry to make its presence felt — the tank.
And caught up in all this was a young aircraftsman who had managed to get himself inside a tank. Question was, could he get out again?
As a tribute to those who served during the years 1914-1918 — on the Home Front or at the Front Line — Commando has produced a series of stories of characters caught up in the tumult of the First World War. None of them are real people but we’d like to think that the experiences they have will not be a million miles from what actually happened to so many.
Of all the ground-based weapons developed during the war, the tank has probably had more influence on warfare than any other. But the early tanks were almost as dangerous to those inside as outside. Bullet “splash”, “spall” and poisonous fumes from their engines combined to make a truly hellish experience for the crews toiling inside their metal walls. Every one of them was a hero…as you shall see.
I hope you enjoy this and the other stories in the series as much as we have.&mdsah;Calum Laird, Commando Editor
The series continues in two weeks with Assault In The Alps, Commando No 4759
Story: George Low
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Before he joined the RAF, Tim “Whirlwind” Wade was Britain’s ace racing driver. Positively unbeatable, he was Stirling Moss and Jim Clark rolled into one.
When he became the deadly air gunner in a super-fast Boston bomber, it seemed that even in war his life was to be dedicated to speed.
Who would have believed that such a man had one great fear in his life — a fear of speed! A fear that was to make him a hero…
In case you hadn’t noticed, both our classic re-issues this time come from the pen of Gordon Livingstone, a staff artist who could turn out a complete Commando in four weeks. If that doesn’t sound impressive, you’re probably not an illustrator.
Compare this 1964 book with No 4758 — To The Death! — and you’ll see how the style was refined over 25 years without losing its quality core. It’s a style distinct to one artist only.
Style is little without substance and Brunt’s script provides that in spades with several plot strands spun together in a fabric of conflict and distrust. It’s a very successful partnership I’m sure you’ll agree.—Calum Laird, Commando Editor
Art: Gordon Livingstone
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No 141 (November 1964), re-issued as No 727 (March 1973).
After a year in India surveying railway routes, Royal Engineer lieutenants Tom Faraday and Freddy Chillingdon reckoned a hiking holiday in the country round Salzburg would be just the thing to break their journey home.
But this was 1914 and the whole area was alive with plot and counter-plot. Little wonder, then, that helping a stranger being attacked would lead them into the grasp of the…
HAND OF WAR
Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Jaume Forns
Cover: Janek Matysiak
An unreasoning hatred, triggered by an enemy pilot’s code of honour in the First World War, festered through the years — to erupt once more in a desperate duel in the skies above France in the Second World War.
And the outcome was an unexpected as it was deadly…
Happily retired since 1999, Gordon Livingstone was one of Commando’s stalwart artists, drawing hundreds of stories from the title’s beginning in 1961. This 1989 book is a shining example of the distinctive line art that made him such a hit with Commando fans throughout the decades, myself included.
If you’d like to compare it to Gordon’s earlier work, look no further than this month’s Gold Collection classic — “Dead Of Night” (No 4756, originally No 141, from 1964). It’s interesting to see that even in the earliest days of his career Mr Livingstone’s work was just as memorable as it is here. Wonderful stuff.—Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Story: Cyril Walker
Art: Gordon Livingstone
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No 2304 (August 1989), re-issued as No 3867 (December 2005).