Perched high among the girders of the bridge spanning the jungle river, Private Dan Neal carefully aimed at the explosives charge lashed to the bridge supports. He knew that if this bridge wasn't blown, the Japanese would pour over it, massacring any British troops who stood in their way. And if it was blown up, Dan knew he would go sky high with it.
His trigger finger took the first pressure, then began the slow steady squeeze…
Down through the decades that Commando has been published, perceived cowardice has long been a recurring, but thankfully not over-used, plot motif. Indeed, one of our Silver Collection titles from earlier this month, "Day Of Shame" (No 4846) also had a similar theme but was completely different to this story.
In my opinion, Stand And Fight is a memorable tale because - apart from Gordon Livingstone's typically wonderful art and cover - the main character, Private Dan Neal, appears to be a rare Commando anti-hero. Flawed, secretive, morally ambiguous, as readers we're not quite sure if we even like him. Right away that gives this adventure an edge. Adding a duplicitous enemy prisoner and a loyal, ice-cool Ghurkha to the mix makes it edgier still.
Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Note: Original published as Commando No 467 (April 1970) and re-issued as No 1343 (August 1979).