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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Commando Webbing: 20 May 2009

• After all the talk over the last four months about the new set of Ramsey's Raiders stories in Commando, the current batch of issues on sale includes the latest in another long-running Commando series: the H-Boat stories, written by Alan Hebden and illustrated by John Ridgway.

These are set during the Second World War and involve military hydrofoils operated by Britain and Germany - boats which rise out of the water on aircraft-like wings attached under their hulls allowing them to travel much faster than normal. In reality, while hydrofoils are a practical design, military applications were only investigated during the Cold War which, technically, makes Commando's tales retro-history science-fiction. The latest is H-Boat Versus H-Boat: Duel To The Death, Commando issue 4196.

• Following on from our recent item about British comics that have run for the longest amount of time versus the longest number of issues, the next batch of four Commandos, which are out next week, will include issue 4200. Assuming that the Beano continues to be published at one issue a week, it will take until the year 2023 for it to reach issue 4200. Of course, if Commando continues at its current eight issues a month until 2023 it will have reached issue 5500!

• Returning to 2009 and this year is the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landings in Normandy that was the beginning of the end of the war against Germany. The current Commando reprint book, D-Day Fight Or Die! published by Carlton, is now available and reprints 12 Commando stories set during D-Day, 6 June 1944.

These reprints cover a wide range of years from Big Joe, Issue 92, published in November 1963 to Normandy Drop, Issue 4011, published in June 2007. The cover, by Ian Kennedy, has been modified somewhat from its original appearance as a Commando cover by the addition of landing craft.

• As well as the reprint book, as we reported yesterday, all eight Commando issues published in June will feature D-Day stories and as usual four issues will be new stories while four will be reprints. Included in the reprints is D-Day Plus, Issue 4205, which reprints issue 187 originally published in November 1965.

This one is notable as it features a colour cover by artist Mike Dorey which is not from the story's original 1965 publication but from its 1994 reprint marking the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Mike Dorey is better known for his work on Invasion and Rogue Trooper in 2000AD, Iron Annie and Sgt Rayker in Warlord and Computer Warrior and Ultimate Warrior in new Eagle. Dorey's cover is also being used for the D-Day 65 Commando advert.

• More details of these D-Day 65 issues are available on the official Commando website: http://www.commandomag.com/

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