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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Commando Raids Estonia

Commando may be best known for its one-off stories but it has run quite a few series over the years with recurring characters and situations. Perhaps the best known, mainly due to the sheer number of issues they have been in, are the British Army Special Raiding Force known as Ramsey's Raiders.

The creative team behind the Raiders stories are writer Ferg Handley, internal artist Keith Page and cover artist Ian Kennedy. Ferg originally set the stories during World War II, beginning with the simply titled Ramsey's Raiders in issue 3854. There were another twelve Raiders books set during the war culminating in issue 3970 The Final Raid. However since then the Raiders have been recalled into the world of the Cold War and have undertaken another six raids with the latest being issue 4363, Raiders - Operation Anvil.

With so many Raiders tales to chose from it would seem an obvious choice for Carlton, who publish all the British Commando reprint books, to base at least one of their books around Ramsey's Raiders thereby giving the entire book a consistent theme and creative team. However that has yet to happen here in the UK.

It has however already happened in Finland, where Commando is reprinted in the Korkeajännitys title, and they have produced at least one book which reprinted four Raiders stories. The Korkeajännitys publications are paperback books that reprint four Commando stories and as such are similar in format to the Manga paperbacks that are readily available in the UK.

The latest country to release a Ramsey's Raiders book is Estonia with this new four-in-one reprint book entitled Komando which features the four Cold War Raiders stories, Raiders Recalled, Raiders On The Rampage, Raiders At The Ready and Raiders: The Reckoning.

The cover used for the Estonian book is Raiders On The Rampage and there is something of a sweet irony that in a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union, the publisher chose to use the one cover out of the four possibilities that shows British servicemen attacking Soviet fighter jets.

If these foreign books have whetted your appetite for Raiders books then the full checklist of Ramsey's Raiders stories that have appeared in Commando is as follows -

3854 - Ramsey’s Raiders
3861 - The Raiders Return
3854 - Ramsey’s Island Raiders
3874 - Raiders’ Revenge
3877 - Raiders From The Sky
3885 - D-Day Raiders
3898 - Raiders On The Rampage
3902 - Renegade Raiders
3906 - Raiders To The Rescue!
3949 - Raiders In The Reich
3960 - Ramsey’s Rebel Army
3963 - Raiders’ Round-Up!
3970 - The Final Raid
4163 - Raiders Recalled
4171 - Raiders On The Rampage
4179 - Raiders At The Ready
4187 - Raiders: The Reckoning
4355 - Raiders: Operation Hammer
4363 - Raiders: Operation Anvil

There are interviews with Ramsey's Raiders writer Ferg Handley and artist Keith Page on the downthetubes main site.

There are more details of Commando on the official DC Thomson Commando website.

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