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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Commando Issues 4647-4650

Commando issues on sale 24 October 2013

Commando No 4647 – Dead Shot

Young Jason Stringer was an excellent shot. Almost as soon as he joined up his potential to become a top sniper was immediately spotted…and carefully nurtured.
   Such was his skill that he soon became a propaganda figure — the almost mythical “British Bite”. A quiet man, Jason wanted no fuss and to keep his identity secret. But that would prove impossible when the Germans set their own super sniper against him.

Story: Dominic Teague
Art: Vila
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4648 – Crash Dive!

In 1943 there wasn’t a single matelot in the Royal Navy who hadn’t heard of HM Submarine Dauntless. She’d sent more Japanese ships on the downward trip to Davy Jones’ locker than any other vessel in the Pacific.
   Skipper of the Dauntless was the legendary “Mauler” Mathieson — tough as the plates of steel that welded his sub together, and surly as a wounded bear.
   So when young Harry Barton was posted to the Dauntless, he reckoned he was just about the luckiest lieutenant in the Navy. But that was before he found out there could only be one officer aboard the Dauntless…“Mauler” Mathieson himself!


The front cover of this issue hints at tension and drama underwater but if you’re expecting a suspenseful 63 pages, you’ll be disappointed. This is an action-packed tale that cracks along like a line of Spanish fire-crackers. Perhaps it has something to do with the two Spanish artists whose work you can appreciate her. Chaco did a number of covers — though this is the only one with muted underwater colours — while the black-and-whites are supplied by one of the clan of superb Commando illustrators, the de la Fuentes.
   And don’t forget the story, it’s a real fire-eater.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: Bingley
Art: Fuente
Cover: Chaco
Originally Commando No 87 (Oct 1963)

Commando No 4649 – Blood Red Desert

Stu McBride, decorated war veteran turned prospector, had quite often been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Somehow he’d always managed to get out of it, though.
   But this time was different. This time he was in the middle of a top secret rocket range in the red centre of Australia with the Army and the Air Force after him. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a bunch of heavily armed Soviet special forces men just dying to get their hands on him too.

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Vila
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4650 – Secret of The Sea

The Japanese gunners pushed shell after shell into the red-hot breech of their deck-gun, desperately trying to bring down the huge Mariner flying-boat as it roared in on another attack, machine guns blazing, bombs ready.
   The submarine commander knew he was trapped — caught in shallow water off a coral reef. Yet he had to try to escape, for in his boat he carried a deadly secret…


All artists have things that they really like to draw, things that bring out the best in them. Such was the case with Jose Maria Jorge and aircraft. I don’t think there can have been many he didn’t illustrate during at some point in his long Commando career. He would also draw figures in his crisp, precise style and yet impart them with a real sense of movement. The figures running and dodging through the jungle in this story really are dodging and running.
   Allan Chalmers will have been well pleased to see his tale of sea, submarines and secrets so competently realised…as will you when you read the story.

Calum Laird, Editor

Story: Allan Chalmers
Art: Jose Maria Jorge
Cover: Ian McIntosh
Originally Commando No 2154 (January 1988), re-issued as No 3635 (July 2003)

1 comment:

Chap O'Keefe said...

The scriptwriter referred to as just "Bingley" is no doubt David Bingley. As today's folks at DCT may or may not know, he was a prolific writer of scripts for most of the war library markets in the 1960s. Before Commando entered the field, he was contributing to Micron's Combat Picture Library when I was editing that series. From memory, I think he lived in High Wycombe. He also wrote war novels as David Horsley for Digit Books and Western novels under names including Frank Silvester and Syd Kingston for Robert Hale. All up, I believe he had more than a score of pen names for various publishers.