Lifeboat Heroes and Deadly Snipers stalk the latest Commando comics – on sale now

Commando 5043: Home of Heroes: Lifeboat Heroes

Brand new Commando issues 5043-5046 are out today (Thursday 10th August) from DC Thomson, on sale in all good newsagents and via various digital platforms. Ready your guns for incoming Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and Wehrmacht as heroes face air, sea and land skirmishes against the Axis forces. From RNLI volunteers to Eastern street cleaners, they come in all sizes…

Commando 5043: Home of Heroes: Lifeboat Heroes
Story: Colin Watson
Art and Cover: Keith Page

Often dubbed ‘Weekend Warriors’, Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers patrolled the dark waters of the Channel, rescuing the men they found from the icy drink, though their heroics were often overlooked and forgotten…

Keith Page’s instantly recognisable artwork matches and conveys both the humour and earnestness of Colin Watson’s story. This balance is always maintained, as the comically affronted facial expressions of the crew lighten the tone, while the perilous night-time rescue missions are filled with heavy blacks, sustaining a sense of dread throughout these darker moments.

Keith’s cover is one such moment, showing the carnage of the Dunkirk evacuation in a stylised spectrum, from yellows and blues, to greens and even purples.

Commando 5044: Gold Collection: Wings of War

Commando 5044: Gold Collection: Wings of War
Story: Fitzsimmons
Art: Repetto
Cover: Sanfeliz
Originally Commando No. 391 (March 1969)

Sanfeliz’s action packed cover perfectly captures these ‘Wings of War’, as a lone Spitfire showers bullets at two attacking Messerschmitts, and mid loop nonetheless!

But these aerobatics are not lost in the issue’s interior as Repetto’s thin line strokes and attention to detail really add to the depth of the art, contouring the landscapes beneath the planes and giving more dimension to the aircraft. Meanwhile, Fitzsimmons pilot officer, Jack Mitchell is all edge, determined to beat his father’s World War One record for shooting down twenty-five Luftstreitkräfte planes, by any means necessary.

Looking every inch the RAF hero of Commando, Jack’s actions seem callous and downright deplorable as he shuns his fellow pilots and shoots down planes mercilessly.

Commando 5045: Action and Adventure: The Sniper

Commando 5045: Action and Adventure: The Sniper
Story: Colin Watson
Art: Jaume Forns
Cover: David Alexander

An expert marksman, Sergeant David Woking was the guardian angel of his squadron, taking out anything and anyone that threatened his men. But his superiors didn’t think too highly of snipers, or Woking’s rogue manner. Within this issue, Colin Watson takes full advantage of both Woking’s one-man battle and his time with his teammates, working on the individual characters and how these personalities interact. Jaume Forns then adds to these personas through his art, giving the precise, unerring Woking his thin moustache and bright eyes, and the mischievous Roger his freckles, adding to their charm.

Completing this is David Alexander’s cover art, mixing watercolour, acrylic and ink to create a traditional looking piece with its own quirks. Keeping our eponymous sniper front and centre, as he hides among the undergrowth, Alexander also inserts images of Woking’s targets, highlighting his deadly accuracy.

Commando 5046: Silver Collection: Sewer Rat

Commando 5046: Silver Collection: Sewer Rat
Story: Mike Knowles
Art: Keith Shone
Cover: Alan Burrows
Originally Commando No. 2629 (January 1993)

Finally, looks can be very deceiving in Mike Knowles story of a scruffy Lance-Corporal, dismissed immediately by his superiors for his careless appearance. Yes, Thomas Henshaw may have a bit of stubble and be rather inept at ironing, but his heart was in the right place. So, when his CO and crew are taken to a Japanese Prisoner of War camp, he takes to the sewers, using the network of tunnels for raids and ambushes on the enemy.

These underground systems are perfectly depicted in Keith Shone’s interior art, as he uses thick blocks of black for the background, highlighting the characters in white, as the shadows take over and appearances are rendered meaningless.

Emphasising this theme is Alan Burrows cover, as Tom’s expression and figure is overcast in deep purple shadows, giving him a rather gothic look.


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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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