As you may be able to tell, I do like the stories that have a supernatural element and my first selection for the 1990s is no exception. This was first published in 1991 and is issue 2509 Back From The Dead. The cover is by Alan Burrows, the internal art is another from the pen of Carlos Pino and the script is another fine submission from Alan Hebden. This is a ghost story with a difference and you could say that these ghosts are no dummies when it comes to getting their revenge.
Moving on to 1993 I can see there were a couple of good stories published this year and I am going to start with issue 2640 Grenade! which has recently been republished. This is one of the last covers by Jeff Bevan and the internal art was drawn by one of my favourites Denis McLoughlin and features yet another great script from the pen of Alan Hebden.
Many veterans of the forces will tell you about some kit that they could swear had a life of its’ own and in this story we find that it’s a piece of ordinance that seems to have a mind of its’ own!
The second issue I’m going to select from 1993 is issue 2642 Every Kill Counts where three men from the same village are set against each other in order to gain an inheritance as they attempt to down the most enemy aircraft. However this attempt to set them against each other makes them reevaluate what is important to them.
This story is written by Ian Clark and is illustrated by the two masters of aerial comic art with an Ian Kennedy cover and Keith Shone internal art.
One thing I have not mentioned is that the 1990s brought about one very significant change and that was the potential for Commandos to feature characters over several issues. I have not deliberately gone out of my way to either highlight or hide any of the series and I recommend those that like their Commandos to get out there and find some of these series. One of these series is the Challenge series which featured the idea that war could be fought in cyberspace and this was quite a revolutionary concept in the early 1990s when many were still coming to grips with the idea of computers in the workplace. This series featured the elite soldiers of each country becoming cyber-warriors where they would fight varying challenges in order to further their countries agenda.
Out of this series, the one that stood out for me was issue 2808 The Satan Challenge where the technical staff who were responsible for the training of these warriors attempted to create the ultimate training program. This issue and the entire series was written by Mike Knowles and this issue featured a cover by Ian Kennedy and art by Ricardo Garijo.
I do like it when Commando goes off the beaten track and features some of the less well known events around the world as it usually encourage me to get out and do further research so that I understand a little more about the events. We definitely find this in issue 2975 Adam’s Army where the story centres around the Warsaw Uprising and looks at the Uprising from the point of view of those that were trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto and how many were faced with the choice of fighting back or being deported to the concentration camps.
The issue features a stunning cover by Dalger, internal art by John Ridgway and a script by Rivett. And if I am truly honest with myself, I think that this is my favourite cover of the decade.
Another thing I like about Commando is when I am able to recognise what could have potentially been the inspiration for the story and in issue 3215 Ned’s New Brain, this looked to be a modern take on the SF classic Flowers for Algernon with a nice dash of humour. However, after talking to Alan Hebden (excuse me while I pick that name up from where I dropped it!), it turns out that my observation is as accurate as my colour perception!
The script is brought to life by a really nice cover from Ian Kennedy and this is one of the last scripts to be illustrated by Gordon Livingstone.
The second story that I am going to recommend from 1999 is issue 3295 Henry The Hero where we have the mild mannered younger brother of three showing that is not just his louder, more boisterous brothers that are able to do their bit for the war.
This is a great example of where perspective can make a cover and Ian Kennedy once again shows why he’s a master of composition. The internal art is by Janek Matysiak and I am not surprised to see that the writer of this tale is the wonderfully talented Cyril G Walker.
My last two picks for this decade comes from 2000 and the first one is a tale of redemption when three young officers find themselves doubting their own abilities and looking for a chance to redeem themselves. This is issue 3306 and the title is appropriately Three Brave Men?
Unsurprisingly, this is another script from the mind of Cyril G Walker and another cover from Ian Kennedy. However, this is the first time that I have mentioned Correa and he illustrated 22 issues between 1991 and 2008 with this issue being his first contribution in 9 years.
And my final pick for the year and the decade is issue 3334 The Crazy Professor where it just goes to show that crazy depends on which side of the outcome you stand on. Here, the hero of our story only wants to build bigger and better fireworks which is not so great where they go awry and destroys your town’s biggest employer! However, the Germans are the ones that end up regretting Arthur Atkinson’s enthusiasm for his foul smells and big bangs!
This final issue has yet another glorious cover from Ian Kennedy and the internal art is from the highly talented Denis McLoughlin. And this is the second issue where a Mike Knowles script has made it into my Best of The Rest.
Hopefully, you are all enjoying this series of articles and I hope that some of you will contribute your thoughts on your favourite issues.
And so that I am not being too naughty, while the issues may belong to me, the copyright for the art belongs to D C Thomson.