Commando Comics “War Across Europe” covers revealed

Commando - War Across Europe MontageInspired by true events, Commando Comics three-part series War Across Europe launched recently with Issue 5203, “Rebel” – but now DC Thomson have released the covers for upcoming issues, too.

“War Across Europe”, featuring art throughout by Defeo and Morhain with covers by Neil Roberts, documents the story of Stefan, one man’s journey across Europe to help the fight to free the continent from the Nazis.

Based on his uncle’s experiences in the World War Two, prolific Commando writer Iain McLaughlin was so impressed by this previously unknown part of his uncle’s life that he knew he had to commemorate it in some way.

“When my uncle died a few years ago, at his funeral we heard about his war service,” he says. “For most of us, that was the first time we had heard the details of his war.

“These Commandos aren’t exact depictions of my uncle’s war, but they are influenced by it and I hope they can be this nephew’s tribute to a much loved uncle and immensely brave man, as well as the men and women who fought alongside him.”

Originally submitted as a one-issue synopsis, the Commando Editorial Team knew there was so much in McLaughlin’s uncle’s story that they wanted to really focus in on the journey, allowing more time with Stefan.

After consulting McLaughlin, it was decided that his uncle’s war would be fully developed in a trilogy, detailing his journey to France, time in the French Resistance, and final journey to Britain.

Series such as “War Across Europe” have been a rarity in Commando, and DC Thomson are keen to promote the project.

For McLaughlin, while Stefan is based on his uncle, the symbolic journey he undergoes throughout the issues applies to all those who fought in the war.

“Somewhere in our families we will all have a soldier, a sailor, or an airman who fought in World War Two or in other wars and did their bit,” he notes. “Every family has sacrificed and known loss at some time. So many of the brave men and women who faced adversity and danger in war often keep their exploits private and it’s their right to do so.

“Where possible, though, I hope we can find a way to remember and respect their actions and sacrifices as best we can. They deserve no less.”

For cover artist Neil Roberts, this is the first full-series of covers he has provided for Commando comics. His stunning sense of continuity and movement over the three covers that was both in keeping with the classic Commando style and more modern comics really wowed the Editorial Team.

After being briefed on the series and given a general idea for the covers, Roberts took this and developed it into what you see before you, using block colours and distinct iconography to convey the themes and setting inside.

“Having the graphic shape of a symbol and maps in the design was, to me, a classic Commando element,” he says. “I liked how it balanced the human nature of the story with the larger picture of their adventures, giving the images both context and a striking look.”

Neil then combined these elements in all three covers, making slight changes, always keeping in mind the idea of the journey, creating both a physical and symbolic portrayal of Stefan’s evolution through Europe.

“As this was a series, I wanted the three pieces to form part of the story itself, as I feel that’s the job of cover art,” he explains.

“Tonally, each cover became lighter, to convey how their journey was leading them from the dark into the light, a symbol of hope. And, with the characters travelling across Europe, I had them ‘travelling’ from left to right in each successive composition with their kit changing over time – to signify the progression from fleeing civilians to seasoned resistance fighters.

“All these decisions are designed to be seen and felt in an almost subconscious manner, always feeding into what will ultimately be an eye-catching and exciting cover.”

With interior, and cover art, as well as a story from some of Commando’s finest talent, the Commando Team hope readers will enjoy the series – and join them in remembering those who fought for freedom in World War Two.

Commando 5203: War Across Europe: REBEL!

Commando 5203: War Across Europe: REBEL!
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Art: Defeo & Morhain | Cover: Neil Roberts

Their homes were ash, their country invaded, their government in exile…

Two Polish farmers would trek, ride, and sail across the length of Europe if it meant getting even against the men who had torn their lives apart — and they just would.

They only had to find the battle to join it!

Out now!

Commando 5207: War Across Europe: RESIST!

Commando 5207: War Across Europe: RESIST!
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Art: Defeo & Morhain | Cover: Neil Roberts

Stefan and Grigor have trekked and sailed across Europe to join the war against the men who invaded their homeland. But when they finally reached France, those who opposed the German Army had either surrendered or were in retreat.

The pair didn’t need an army to get their revenge, they would find their own way to resist!

Out Thursday 7th March

Commando 5211: War Across Europe: REVENGE!

Commando 5211: War Across Europe: REVENGE!
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Art: Defeo & Morhain | Cover: Neil Roberts

Can Stefan and the Resistance rescue a downed RAF crew from the clutches of the Gestapo in time?

Find out in the epic conclusion to one man’s journey across Europe to join the fight and finally get revenge against the Nazis in World War Two!

Out Thursday 21st March

• Commando Comics Official Web Site: www.commandocomics.com

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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