Channel Islands-set Commando spy adventure debuts this week

Commando 5051: Home of Heroes: Lucky or Jinxed

Here’s the details for the latest issues of DC Thomson’s Commando (Issues 5051-5054), on sale from Thursday 7th September 2017 in all good UK newsagents, various digital platforms and on subscription.

Parachute into Nazi territory with spies, pilots, gunners, and drivers, as these issues’ stories tackle Resistance factions on the Channel Islands, superstitious aircrew, the best and worst fathers, and aerial acrobatics guaranteed to save your life!

Commando 5051: Home of Heroes: Lucky or Jinxed
Story George Low | Art Rezzonico | Cover Bryn Houghton

A tale of enemies turned friends, as only George Low could tell it, Ned Jenkins is a Lancaster tail-gunner who doesn’t know if he’s lucky to have survived so many close scrapes, or jinxed that his fellow crewmates were not so fortunate. Heading this rivalry is radio operator Walter Wright, who reads Ned’s shell-shocked nonchalance as callous arrogance and so begins their feud.

Bryn Houghton’s cover shows Lancaster bombers mid raid as searchlights scour the night sky with a cool colour palette, creating a mystical allure which ties into the issue’s superstitious theme. Accordingly, Rezzonico’s thin lines and added detail shows ‘Lucky or Jinxed?’ harken back to the Golden era of Commando illustrations.

Commando 5052: Gold Collection: Steeds of Steel
Commando 5052: Gold Collection: Steeds of Steel
Story C G Walker| Art Bielsa | Cover Sanfeliz
Originally Commando No 387 (1969) Reprinted No 1103 (1977)

Perfect for the Gold Collection, Sanfeliz’s cover is full of yellows, contrasting nicely against the suitably metallic title. Meanwhile, ‘Steeds of Steel’ is a great example of Biesla’s interior artwork, with deep shading and dark backgrounds, making the shadows of the desert stand out, adding a noir style, complimenting C G Walker’s story.

Set in the Libyan desert, Martin Plummer and Neil Hamilton have joined their fathers’ regiments, ready to serve in World War Two. Both fathers had fought at Meena River, where, ignoring sense, Plummer ordered Hamilton to charge against unbeatable odds, resulting in his death and tragic losses. Fearing court martial, Plummer then blamed Hamilton for the defeat. Now, amidst another battle, their sons continue this rivalry…

Commando 5053: Fatherland
Commando 5053: Action and Adventure: Fatherland
Story Iain McLaughlin | Art Rodriguez & Morhain | Cover Ian Kennedy

Iain McLaughlin’s story follows Lisa Fisher, formerly Fischer, a British spy tasked with infiltrating German intelligence on the Channel Islands. The title for this issue is perfect as it plays on the Nazi epithet for Germany during the Second World War, while also commenting on Lisa’s paternal rejection as she faces off against her fanatical Nazi father and brother.

Wrapping this neat package is Ian Kennedy’s cover, which features soft purples and pinks, complementing our heroine as she holds a flare to the sky, like an Olympic torch, lighting the way for allied aircraft. Lisa’s femininity is never shied away from in the interior art either, depicted with the classical beauty of Virginia McKenna in Carve Her Name with Pride, her capability is never muddled with masculinity, depicting her as a proficient spy without sacrificing her gender.

Commando 5054: Silver Collection: Safety First
Commando 5054: Silver Collection: Safety First
Story Ian Clark| Art and Cover Manuel Benet
Originally Commando No 2639 (1993)

Set primarily during air battles over the Mediterranean, Ian Clark’s story follows amateur pilot Johnny Lees, who couldn’t wait to join the R.A.F. But, when Johnny realises that he’s not as prepared to fly as he thought, he is taken under the wing of Nat Rankin, who teaches Johnny how to survive at all costs…

Manuel Benet’s cover sets the aerial action for this issue, framing the enemy aircraft with the cockpit doorway, as we look over the shoulders of the pilots at the firing enemy plane. Benet then maintains this attention to aircraft detail in his interior art, depicting Tiger Moths, Gladiators, Fiat CR-42s… and that’s just in the first ten pages!

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.

%d bloggers like this: