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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Commando at 50: Second Shots

Here's the latest Commandos to hit newsagents, courtesy of DC Thomson, as the countdown to the comic digest's 50th anniversary begins in earnest...

Commando 4359: Johnny The Jinx
Story: Eric Hebden Inside Art: Alonso Cover Art: Lopez Espi
Originally No 301 for 1967, re-issued in 1976 as 1019

Remembered by Commando Calum Laird from childhood and re-issued as part of the 50th anniversary program, this story centres on Lieutenant Johnny Dawson. Gremlins, leprechauns — call them what you like — they all had it in for him. He was the sort of bloke whose Sten would suddenly jam for no reason, or he’d be the one in a million who’d be issued with the grenade with a faulty fuse.

Yes, Johnny had a real jinx. He didn’t like it, the top brass didn’t like it and, most important, Johnny’s men didn’t like it. In fact if his luck didn’t change soon he’d have a mutiny on his hands.

Commando 4360 Flying Fury
Story: Ken Gentry Inside Art: José Maria Jorge Cover Art: Sanfeliz
Originally No 384 from 1969, re-issued as No 1107 in 1977

Chosen by former editor George Low to be re-issued as part of the 50th anniversary programme, this is the late José Maria Jorge’s first book for Commando.

Painted on the fuselage of Otto Koll’s Messerschmitt fighter were many RAF roundels, the number of Spitfires and Hurricanes he had shot down. He was a master-flyer. He reigned supreme.

But there’s a lot of truth in the old saying, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

All the RAF needed was something impossible… a pilot who could out-fly and out-fight Germany’s best!

Commando 4361 Free French Ace
Story: Ferg Handley Inside Art: Rezzonico Cover Art: Ian Kennedy

Although he had been born in France, Mike Perrin grew up in Great Britain and considered himself to be English. Furthermore, he blamed the French and their early surrender to Germany for the deaths of his parents.

When Mike passed out as a fighter pilot his Gallic heritage saw him posted — mistakenly, he believed — to a Free French squadron. He didn’t want to be there and made no bones about it. This bad attitude was going to get him into a lot of trouble…

Commando No 4362: Mountain Warriors
Story: Alan Hebden Inside Art: Keith Page Cover Art: Keith Page

They looked comical in their striped robes and leading their mules. But the Goumiers were soldiers through and through, fighting for France against all comers in North Africa.

Make no mistake, these mountain warriors were silent, dangerous…and deadly!

Calum tells us the working title for this tale was The Goum Show — Goumiers are often referred to as Goums. And it is not the first Commando cover to feature a donkey.

• Official Commando web site: http://www.commandomag.com/

• 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


• You can read interviews with former Commando editor George Low, current editor Calum Laird and writer Ferg Handley on the downthetubes main site.

3 comments:

Lew Stringer said...

This is the second set of anniversary issues John. The first ones, including a reprint of the rare issue No.12, were out a couple of weeks ago.

John Freeman said...

Thanks Lew. Strangely, I didn't get the covers and info for that first batch. I assumed (wrongly) that the last batch of covers Jeremy used in his interview for with Calum Laird talking about the 50th anniversary were the first of the year but not necessarily the first 'celebration' covers. Post modified now.

Lew Stringer said...

I didn't receive the covers & info for the previous ones either (I think DCT were still on holiday) so I scanned them in myself. Here they are for anyone who missed them:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2011/01/commando-comic-begins-its-50th.html

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