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Monday, 23 January 2012
Boffins and Burglars infiltrate Commando!
The latest issues of Commando are on sale now, and it's intrguing to see how cover artist Janek Matysiak on #4464 and one of this set's reprint issues, 4466, has changed styles with a move to digital art.
Commando No 4463 - The Improbable Mission
Script: Alan Hebden Art: Manuel Benet Cover: Manuel Benet
Second-Lieutenant Clement Cleveley of the Army Educational corps was a real boffin. A research student before the war, his mathematical speciality was probability theorywhich didn't really fit with anything in service life.
As it turned out, that wasn't quite the case which was how, instead of peacefully working at a classroom blackboard, Clement ended up charging around the desert dodging bullets with a bunch of crack SAS men...
Commando 4464 - Night And Fog
Script: Alan Hebden Art: Morahin Cover: Janek Matysiak (Not Ian Kennedy as it says in the credits grenade!)
In Occupied Europe during the Second World War, dawn raids and midnight arrests became regular occurrences. They were feared by all the occupied peoples but soon they began to lose their ability to invoke terror.
That's when an evil Nazi scientist decided that it wasn't enough just to arrest people. He wanted to make them disappear into the... Night and Fog
Commando 4465 - Terror Zone
Originally No 2673 (June 1993)
Script: Mike Knowles Art: Carlos Pino Cover: Phil Gascoine
It started as a routine training patrol to test five top Aussie recruits - until their radio packed in and their NCO was killed in an accident.
Then the dense New Guinea jungle became a terror zone as a bullet flew from out of the shadows. Someone - or something - was trying to kill thembut there wasn't supposed to be an enemy for thousands of miles!
"Commando fans have always held Carlos Pino's artwork in high regard, and rightly so," notes
Commando Editor Calum Laird. "Here he brings the clammy jungle and a band of dishevelled Japanese to life in a few strokes of the pen and brush.
"He's giving form to a story by another long-serving Commando regular, Mike Knowles, whose plots have entertained for long enough to earn him a long-service medal and a well-deserved retirement.
"The late Phil Gascoine did a limited number of Commando covers, but every one was a little gem - even when he had to show an all but invisible figure in the background."
Commando 4466 - The Lion's Den
Originally Commando No 2632 (January 1993)
Script: Bernard Gregg Art: Janek Matysiak Cover: Janek Matysiak
That's where safe-cracker turned secret agent Danny Gregg was headed, to wrest secrets from deep within a Nazi lair.
And he had to succeed. For Danny the reward would be a pardon from his criminal past. For Britain it could mean the difference between victory and defeat!
"At the heart of every Commando story is just that, the story," says Calum Laird. "And here Bernard Gregg, who wrote almost 100 Commando tales between 1972 and 1999, weaves a cracking plot. He takes the safecracker given the chance to go straight idea and gives it a fresh twistor two.
"He's ably complemented by artist Janek Matysiak whose detailed artwork and envelope-pushing layouts really bring things to life. Nearly 20 years later, Janek's still working for Commando doing covers, but this black and white work is up there with the best of them."
• 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
• Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.