Heroes at War: new Commando comics out this week

Commando 5031: Home of Heroes: Race – Or Die!

Here’s the intel on the latest issues of DC Thomson‘s war comic Commando (Issues 5031-5034), on sale in all good newsagents across the UK and via various digital platforms from Thursday 29th June.

The releases come at a sad time  for Commando fans as they mourn the recent death of artist Gordon Livingstone, whose work graced over 360 issues of the long-running war comic.

As usual, we’re treated to four more action packed stories of bravery and duty this week, as heroes battle against the Nazis in the heat of the Second World War!

Commando 5031: Home of Heroes:
Race – Or Die!

Story: Colin Watson Art: Rodriguez & Morhain Cover: Janek Matysiak

This story is set on the sleepy Isle of Man, or not as sleepy as it may seem. Although a long way from the main battles of the Second World War, conflict still managed to find its way to this secluded island. Nazi spies, secret codes, U-Boats and one thrilling motorbike chase… Colin Watson’s original story has it all!

Rodriguez and Morhain team up again to deliver another beautifully illustrated issue of Commando. With dark, black waters surrounding the island, you can really feel the isolation of the characters. But, as Janek’s cover shows, this is not always a good thing as the stakes are raised in a one-on-one motorbike chase – the island blurred beside the motorbikes, which kick up dust behind them, shattering the peace of otherwise quiet countryside!

• The Isle of Man was the location of several internment camps during World War Two. 3,500 women and children were interred in one on the south of the island – read about it here

Commando 5032: Gold Collection - The Deadly Game

Commando 5032: Gold Collection
The Deadly Game

Story: Gentry Art: R. Fuente Cover: Lopez Espi
Originally Commando No 369

Lopez Espi’s cover truly captures the hot headed red-head, Corporal Kit Hughes. With hair to match his temper, the Dunkirk evacuee was not one to be trifled with as “the flame haired giant strode the plains of Crete like one of the ancient Gods of mythology.” But these plains in R. Fuente’s interior artwork are not quite the green and gold Mediterranean of the cover, but hard rocky outcrops and dry, bare trees: a hard land which mirrors the fighting that takes place there.

But now, Kit won’t retreat again in Gentry’s Commando story of friendship, bravery, duty and revenge. Having evacuated once before, Kit and his best pal Private Len Small have no intentions of leaving Crete, especially when they find out that Nazi Major Mauch, a brutal figure from their past, is leading a base there…

• Crete and its inhabitants suffered terribly under the invasion, many older residents still recalling the terror to this day. Wikipedia has an article on Cretan resistance to the invaders here

Commando 5033: Action and Adventure - Forgotten Fighters

Commando 5033: Action and Adventure:
Forgotten Fighters

Story: Richard Davis Art: Rezzonico & Morhain Cover: David Alexander

In the Second World War, Japan actually invaded American soil. It happened in 1942, and the soil in question was the island of Attu, off the coast of Alaska. The battle, the only to take place on American territory, lasted nineteen days and is the subject which inspired writer Richard Davis.

Interior artists Rezzonico and Morhain take full advantage of the island’s mist and rain, contrasting the clear visibility of the soldiers training in America to the harsh conditions of Attu and how unprepared our heroes were for this war. However, no matter the bleak look of the island’s interior, David Alexander’s traditional art cover captures the serene isolation of the island, untouched and mystical, concealing the violence that would take place there.

• Attu Island is overdue for some spring cleaning. Decades after World War Two, the island is still littered with shards of old Coke bottles, lead-based batteries, leaking fuel drums and unexploded artillery. Read a 2013 news item here

Commando 5034: Silver Collection - Escape to Battle

Commando 5034: Silver Collection
Escape to Battle

Story: Ian Clark Art: Keith Shone Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No 2581

An unconventional hero for Commando, Mike Azonette is a petty thief, growing up in the streets of New York under Don Capardi. But after getting caught robbing the Don’s nephew, Giovanni Castovanni, Mike must go on the run, and what better place to hide than in the armed forces? Little does Mike know that he’s about to be drafted to North Africa now that the United States has joined Europe in the Second World War…

With the shadowy face of Giovanni looming in the background, always hanging over Mike’s head, watching, the sense of dread in ‘Escape to Battle’ is felt right through from Ian Kennedy’s remarkable cover.

Meanwhile, Welsh illustrator Keith Shone’s art really stand out as he often bleeds images between panels, with characters, objects and explosions breaking free of their frames.

• For more about Commando visit www.commandocomics.com

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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