More big comics action from Commando, the pocket-sized war comic!

Commando 5027 - Game of Hostages
Here’s the intel on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s Commando (Issues 5027-5030), on sale from Thursday 15th June 2017.

Commando is sold in all good UK newsagents – and available digitally on various platforms.

Size doesn’t matter in this Commando bundle, as the heroes range from the mighty John Littlejohn, a big Commando with an even bigger attitude, to weedy West Virginian combat medic Jimmy Hopper. But in Commando it’s about bravery, not bulk, and these heroes have it in stacks.

Commando 5027: Home of Heroes: A Game of Hostages
Story: George Low Art: Vila & Morhain Cover:Ian Kennedy

The third instalment of Lieutenant Tom Dell and his SAS squad’s adventures doesn’t disappoint as our boys prove they are still just as adept at landing themselves in trouble as they are at shooting their way out of it. But when their Yankee friend, Major Jake Ryan, rescues a reluctant German scientist, he is quickly dashed away to a secret soviet bunker, used as a hostage to negotiate the release of the scientist, for whom the Russians have their own nefarious plans…

All this is wrapped up in Ian Kennedy’s stunning pastel cover, in which we see soviet soldiers’ silhouettes shooting from the mist, an eerie fairground and Commando first, glowing in the background. Meanwhile, in a departure from Muller’s stylistic interior artwork in “Hunt and Harass” (Commando No 5015), Vila and Morhain’s character designs still match their previous iterations, but with their own flair, opting for a more classic Commando look.

Commando 5028 - Rogue Commando

Commando 5028: Gold Collection – Rogue Commando
Story: Powell Art: R. Fuente Cover: Jamieson Originally Commando No 349 (August 1968)

Powell’s massive Commando John Littlejohn domineers the pages of R. Fuente’s illustrations, filling panels from head to toe! There’s an especially thrilling scene, justly captured in Jamieson’s cover in which a Yugoslavian partisan clings to a snapped rope, hanging perilously over a ravine, while the mighty Littlejohn bridges the frayed ends with only his muscles.

But big as he may be, Littlejohn also manages to find himself in trouble. And hot-tempered, he was no stranger to a fight, be that with Italians, Nazis, the Yugoslavians he’s trying to help or even his fellow Commandos…

Commando 5029 - Hopper's War

Commando 5029: Action and Adventure: Hopper’s War
Story: Ferg Handley Art: Morhain Cover: Janek Matysiak

Jimmy Hopper’s cousin Rick always bullied him. Jimmy was an average kid, he never made the effort. But Rick was different. He joined the army the day he turned eighteen, never shying away from anything, so maybe he was right to judge him. But when Jimmy was drafted in 1968, he wasn’t ready to fight. He wasn’t happy with killing. That was when he decided to become a medic – saving lives instead of taking them. But when Rick is reunited with Jimmy amidst the violence of Vietnam, he sees him as only a coward, the bad blood still running between them…

Using this unusual perspective for a Commando issue, Janek’s cover, while dramatic, with windswept jungle, a smoking flare and medics hurriedly loading a wounded soldier onto the helicopter, attention is instantly drawn to the medical red cross, a stand out theme in the issue.

Also, like his work in “A Game of Hostages”, Morhain’s thick black lines take inspiration from Commando artists from the Golden era of pocket libraries, giving Commando its instantly recognisable artwork. But adding his own style, his illustrations use of white space during lulls in the fighting works as an excellent contrast to the use of dark, heavy blacks during the action, perfectly encapsulating the confusion and horror of battle.

Commando 5030 - Cold Sweat

Commando 5030: Silver Collection Cold Sweat
Story: Costello Art: C. T. Rigby Cover: Phil Gascoine
Originally Commando No 2613 (November 1992)

Trust is the key theme in Costello’s Silver Age story from the 1990s. After Colin Copper falls off an icy slope and is left behind in a blizzard during the British retreat in Norway he is saved from death by a Norwegian villager. But, as the Nazis tighten their grip on Norway, Colin has to get out. Shown the way by the Norwegian’s son, Leif, Colin is soon captured by Nazis. Was is Leif? Has Colin been betrayed by the son of his saviour? Find out in this issue!

With a setting like Norway, it’s easy to show flat barren snows capes, but Rigby simply does not allow this, dotting the panels with tall, thick pines and carefully shaded slopes. As a result, this dramatic setting is not lost in Phil Gascoine’s dark and moody cover, with Colin, caught in fear and surprise as two German soldiers take aim at him, framing the cover and barring all escape.

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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