My first article on this subject was to tell you all which issue of the 1960s Commando run was my personal choice for the best of the decade. I return to this subject to tell you of my choice for the 1970s and it was hard to decide on just one issue as the 1970s was the decade in which I discovered comics and I devoured every single comic I could get my hands on.
After going through a wide swathe of the issues, the early front runner was issue 1216 Family of Heroes. And when you look at it, can you blame me? With a cover by Ian Kennedy and internal art by Jose Maria Jorge, it would take a terrible script to ruin a team up like that and Ken Gentry rarely produced a bad script. Or to be more exact, Ian Forbes and his team did not allow bad scripts through.
And even more unusual, it was one of the first issues that I had read that had dealt with a period that was not limited to the Great War and World War II as this story’s origins harkened back to the Boer War.
However, as I was browsing the cover gallery on Vic Whittle’s excellent British Picture Libraries site, I saw a cover that reminded me of a story that has been one of my collecting holy grails for many years and that was the cover for issue 1117 The Flying Blowlamp. The same artists worked on issue 1117 as had worked on 1216 but R A ‘Monty’ Montague’s script had that touch more humour and allowed the main characters to be that little bit more fallible. It was also one that taught me a verifiable fact in that the Arado 234 could play Schrage Musik or Jazz Music if you prefer. If you are curious, go use a search engine. And due to a swap with a fellow collector, I was able to get the reprint and re-read this story that I had rated so highly for so long. When I re-read the story, I was worried in case I had ‘bigged up’ the story in my mind, but when I did read it, I found that my recollection had underestimated how good a story it was. So without reservation, my best Commando issue for the 1970s is issue 1117 The Flying Blowlamp.