Commando’s new issues: meet Lady Death … and a Suicide Squad!

From the Soviet Union to World War One France, and from Italy to Crete, join Commando for brand new Issues 5215 – 5218 out this Thursday in all good newsagents from DC Thomson – and various digital platforms.

Commando 5215: Home of Heroes: A Matter Of HonourCommando 5215: Home of Heroes: A Matter Of Honour
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Art: Khato | Cover: Keith Burns

Keith Burns returns for his second Commando cover, delivering an image that set in the skies above No Man’s land in the World War One.

Burns’ sublime cover shows the dogfight duel between writer Iain McLaughlin’s protagonist, Pierre Lafitte, and his bitter rival, Gustav Von Brunnner. The war is just a backdrop for their hatred because for them, whoever wins, it is a matter of honour!

Argentinian Khato provides the internal art on this issue, an artist whose work has been produced worldwide, in no less than a half dozen languages. His past Commando credits include Issue 5179, “Harriet’s War”, in addition to work for companies such as Disney, Warner Bros. and DC.

Commando 5216: Gold Collection: Suicide SquadCommando 5216: Gold Collection: Suicide Squad
Story: Leach | Art: Fleming | Cover: Penalva
Originally Commando No. 634 (1972)

What a stunning cover on ‘Suicide Squad’ by Jordi Penalva – an Image as strong today as on its first outing in 1972.

Leach’s story has some strong themes, too, with his tortured main character at the end of his tether. Lieutenant Don Lockton is plagued by both guilt and his tough sergeant, who blames him for the death of his brother!

With a fiery climax to this Commando, you won’t want to miss it!

Commando 5217: Action and Adventure: Lady DeathCommando 5217: Action and Adventure: Lady Death
Story | Andrew Knighton | Art and Cover: Manuel Benet

The female Soviet sniper was a deadly huntress in the battered wastes outside Odessa in Ukraine. The Romanian and German Armies were laying siege to the countryside in a deadly Blitzkrieg and they had to be stopped!

Private Svetlana Korzh was just the woman for the job – and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… something a certain German sniper was about to find out!

It’s great to see another story from Andrew Knighton, coincidentally the author of “Harriet’s War”, mentioned above, another Commando leading with a strong female character, something of a rarity for this title.

So rare, in fact, that it’s not hard to notice Andrew’s comments in a recent blog post about working for a publisher keen to modernise their output and be more diverse. He makes some interesting points about such changes, recognising the difficulties involved introducing change to an established title in order to refresh it and gain new readers, without alienating existing fans.

It must be stressed here that Andrew doesn’t identify the publisher or title he’s discussing, but given the stories he’s written for Commando, I can’t help but draw my own conclusions – and whether I’m right or not, it’s great to see how thoughtful he’s being about his work.

Commando 5218: Silver Collection: Escape from CreteCommando 5218: Silver Collection: Escape from Crete
Story: Ian Clark | Art: Vila | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 2711 (1993)

When the Germans took Crete – they took it hard and fast, leaving the British reeling, something that Ian Clark’s Frank Wilson would learn the hard way!

But Frank had more reason than anyone to want to Escape from Crete – he had been accepted for aircrew training and he wanted nothing more than to get off the island and into a plane!

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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.



Categories: British Comics, Commando, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, War Comics

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2 replies

  1. Thanks for the positive comments about Lady Death and the work I’ve been doing at Commando. If people appreciate seeing more issues with a female lead then that’s great to hear, and I’ll keep trying to provide them. Doing that while writing stories with the classic Commando feel is a really fun and interesting challenge.

    • I enjoyed reading your thoughtful article on the “re-invention”/ updating of titles on your blog, Andrew. It resonates with my own experience, having worked with Andrew Sewell and the B7 Media team on their take on “Dan Dare” for the award-winning audio adventures, and my development of the new “King Cobra” published in STRIP Magazine under license from DC Thomson. I think you and the Commando team are taking the right approach and look forward to seeing how things progress. DC Thomson Media/ Beano Studios have not been shy about revamping Beano characters as society changes, and the growing weekly sales of the comic suggest that they are very clued in on what works and what doesn’t.

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