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Creature Commandos based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
From the late 70's through the early 90's, I probably bought every comic DC and Marvel put out. Didn't matter if it was super-heroes, war, western, horror ... about the only thing I stayed away from was the romance titles, and those were pretty much gone by the mid-70's anyway. I enjoyed the non-super stuff just as much as the super, and titles like Weird War Tales (and Marvel's War Is Hell, which didn't last as long) really clicked with me. Being also a fan of the Universal monster movies of the 30s (Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman), high school me (the stories were originally published in 1980-83) was probably the ideal audience for the Creature Commandos, and I ate up every issue in which they appeared (not that I didn't love Jake, the G.I. Robot). That massive comics collection has been whittled away over the years, and I have no idea when I sold off all of the war and western titles but I always regretted selling off the issues with the Creature Commandos. This collection brings all of those stories back -- some were full-issue-length, some were 8 pages or so -- and while I'm glad I picked it up, the nostalgic glow is a little tarnished. Read back-to-back, the plots feel a bit repetitive in theme and formulaic in execution. They can be summed up as: Human commander berates his "freak" squad as they embark on a mission; mission involves saving normal humans from some unusual/supernatural foe; normal humans freak out when they learn they've been saved by "monsters;" human commander reminds the CC they'll never have a real life. Even when Shrieve seems to learn his lesson, to see past the scarred/monstrous exteriors to the truly good men (and woman) within, the lesson doesn't last long. (It is somewhat telling that even in the one page "series finale," thrown together to write the characters off with Weird War Tales' cancellation before DC's big Crisis on Infinite Earths, the CC and GI Robot are about to be executed by firing squad, and Shrieve's only action is to reprieve them ... so they can be sent on an experimental ICBM aimed at Hitler's Chancellory.) Still, the characters (other then Shrieve) do experience some growth before the end of the run, despite the writing chores bouncing between DeMatteis, Kanigher and Mike W. Barr. The art is a bit all over the place, as is to be expected from a monthly anthology title. While Fred Carrillo seems to have drawn the majority of the stories (in a style reminiscent of the great Ernie Colon: sketchy yet detailed), there's also stories drawn by Pat Broderick (not his best work), Bob Hall, Dan Speigle (who most humanized the Commandos, in my opinion; this was around the time he was doing such great work on Blackhawk as well), and even some inking by Jerry Ordway that I wonder if he even remembers doing. Then there were the issue covers: the Commandos had the honor of being drawn by the great Joe Kubert on their very first cover, but also by Ross Andru, Rich Buckler, Jim Aparo (one of my favorites of the non-Kubert covers), Joe Staton and Gil Kane (another favorite). I do wish some of those guys had done some of the actual story art.