Sea Aces and Troubled Troopers make for a great Commando comic mix

Commando 5019: Home of Heroes: Tank Commander

Here’s the intel on the latest issue of DC Thomson’s Commando (Issues 5019 – 5022) on sale now in all good newsagents and via various digital platforms.

Our apologies for the delayed availability of this intel, which is brought to you only after dealing with hostile enemy action in the Barking area.

Offering four singular World War Two adventures, issues 5019 – 5022 of Commando delve into the comic’s classic roots, while delivering distinctive twists on archetypal tales. From battle torn French villages to the choppy waves of the English Channel, our heroes come in Matilda tanks, Henschel 126s, and Air Sea Rescue motor launches…and sometimes they fight on both sides…

Commando 5019: Home of Heroes: Tank Commander
Story: Ferg Handley: Art: Vila Cover: Janek Matysiak

Two tanks take centre stage in Janek’s stunningly realistic cover, as one Matilda’s gun barrel fires, the explosion mirrored where the shell hits the rival Panzer. However, this diminution of the war, focusing on only one squadron’s battle, acts as a microcosm, offering more attention to the characters, but keeping the stakes as high as ever.

Handley’s story focuses on Lieutenant Mark Watmore, stranded in the French Hamlet, Saint-Nadine, and tasked with covering the allies retreat to Dunkirk. But when a lone Matilda tank crawls into the quiet Hamlet, crewed by its squad’s lone survivor, Sergeant Jack Taylor, who warns Watmore of approaching Jerries, they have only one choice: to train Watmore’s men in the tank and use it to defend their position!

Filled with Vila’s strong-jawed Tommies, and stunning attention to uniform and vehicles, “Tank Commander” is a great addition to any collection.

Commando 5020: The Gold Collection: Sea Ace

Commando 5020 (The Gold Collection): Sea Ace
Story: Brunt: Art: Gordon C. Livingstone Cover: Gordon C. Livingstone
Originally Commando No. 346 (July 1968) reprinted No. 1071 (October 1976)

Brunt’s timeless story from 1968 is a Commando classic of friends turned rivals, allowing a varied view on war, duty, revenge and morality. In it, Norman Scott, an Air Sea Rescue pacifist who witnessed loss and suffering on both sides from World War One, wants only to save lives instead of taking them. But Hugh Webster, a friend from his past, is blinded by revenge for his father’s mental degradation as a result of shell-shock from the trenches. Webster wants the Germans to pay – no matter the cost – and he won’t let Norman get in his way…

Emphasising this rivalry, Gordon C. Livingstone’s cover highlights the dynamic binary of the characters by dissecting the page with the wing of Focke-Wulf 190, separating the red from yellow in the sky.

Commando 5021 (Action and Adventure): Caught in Crossfire

Commando 5021 (Action and Adventure): Caught in Crossfire
Story: George Low |Art: Rodriguez & Morahin Cover: David Alexander

Rodriguez and Morahin’s cinematic artwork takes the reader from the dark, clammy interiors of the Burmese jungle to the perilous, icy heights of the Swiss Alps, the artists’ sense of scale adding to the tension of George Low’s gripping story of cat-and-mouse. It is this scene above Alps that David Alexander’s moody cover takes inspiration from, as we see a Henschel 126 strafing in the wind, tailed by two aircraft on either side, as lightning strikes against the snow-capped peaks behind them!

Belonging to one of the “the evilest alliances ever formed”, Captain Isamu Nagata, an intelligence officer of the Imperial Japanese Army no longer believes in the war. But after accidentally shooting a German looter, Nagata is forced on the run, taking him across borders and against enemy and ally alike. For him, surrender is no option…

Commando 5022 (The Silver Collection): Trouble Trooper

Commando 5022 (The Silver Collection): Trouble Trooper
Story: C. G. Walker: Art: Keith Shone: Cover: Alan Burrows
Originally Commando No. 2594 (August 1992)

Alan Burrows’s cover is pure Commando grit, creating a thrilling pairing with C. G. Walker’s story of one of the title’s most “likeable rogues”, Trooper Bill Bourne. Notorious for going AWOL, despite his best intentions, Bourne is no stranger to trouble, or breaking the rules… But when war breaks out, Bourne must learn to obey orders and stick with his team.

Charmingly drawn with thick, curly hair and a cheeky grin, Keith Shone’s illustrations of Bourne really capture the charismatic vagabond, while robbers in fedoras and trench coats, along with bleeding gutters between the panels add to the lure of his artwork and fully compliment Walker’s exhilarating story.

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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