Commando Issue 5259 - the wraparound "Braddock" cover by Keith Burns

“Braddock of the Bombers” revived for new Commando stories

Commando Issue 5259 - cover by Keith Burns
Commando Issue 5259 – cover by Keith Burns

Commando Comics has followed up its teasing of a revival of characters from the weekly boys’ comic Victor with an announcement that “Braddock” will be following in the footsteps of “Codename: Warlord” aka Lord Peter Flint and returning to comic pages in Commando.

Just as we predicted last week, DC Thomson Media’s Heritage Brands team are reinvigorating the lead character Matt Braddock from the strip “I Flew With Braddock” (later known as “Braddock of the Bombers”), with a two-part story written by Ferg Handley, with covers by artist Keith Burns (Out of the Blue, Johnny Red).

The maverick bomber pilot, who can count artist Dave Gibbons among his fans, will star in two issues of Commando: Issue 5259, out 5th September and Issue 5267, out 2nd October, under the promotional banner “The Victor Files

“I went for an ‘origin’ story for Braddock,” says Ferg of his stories. “It took a lot of research as I had to check out his Rover appearances too (plus some real RAF history). Hopefully [there’s] more to come!”

News of “The Victor Files” appeared on Commando Comics social media streams, and the title relaunched “Codename Warlord” starring Lord Peter Flint last week, in the first of two new stories starring the secret agent from Warlord comic.

 An illustration for an early Braddock story
An illustration for an early Braddock story “Born to Fly”, from The Rover, published in 1957

Matt Braddock first appeared in a long-running series of text stories, purportedly written by Braddock’s navigator, George Bourne, published in DC Thomson’s weekly tile The Rover, beginning in 1952 in issue 1414, cover dated 2nd August 1952 entitled “I Flew With Braddock”.

Very much a rough diamond, he was a natural flyer who became one of the most popular characters in the story paper, appearing in dozens of stories over a period of 14 years, and remained in the title until 1972, albeit some of his stories reprinted in later issues.

The Rover and the Wizard cover dated 21st November 1964 - Braddock is Back
The Rover and the Wizard cover dated 21st November 1964 – Braddock is Back

Braddock also had a long career in comics, appearing in Victor between 1960 and 1984. and Warlord (1974-75), with art largely supplied by the brilliant Keith Shone.

Braddock’s first text story from The Rover, and others, were reprinted in the 1959 DC Thomson/John Leng hardback book also titled I Flew With Braddock and the 1962 Red Lion paperback Braddock and the Flying Tigers, which were both credited to the fictional Bourne. Bear Alley’s Steve Holland believes they were written by Gilbert Dalton, a prolific writer for the DC Thomson boys’ papers, who also penned many other popular series until his death in 1963.

Red Dagger Issue 12As Jeremy Briggs noted in a feature on DC Thomson’s Red Dagger comic for downthetubes, Sergeant Pilot Matt Braddock also appeared in more Red Dagger issues than any other character.

The three stories, all set during World War Two, were “Braddock and the Flying Tigers” in issue 12, which was originally published in Victor in 1967, “Braddock of the Rocket Squadron” in issue 19, from Victor in 1968, and finally “Braddock of Bomber Command” in issue 29, which came from Victor in 1969.

COMMANDO COMICS LINKS

The Art of Ian Kennedy - Cover• Official Commando Comics Site:www.commandocomics.com

• Don’t forget The Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order here on Amazon (Using this Affiliate Link helps support downthetubes, thank you)

FURTHER READING

David Hodgkinson has a profile of Matt Braddock, publishng information and a comparison with Braddock and Biggles on his Hawker Hurricane-dedicated web site here

Vic Whittle’s guide to the early Matt Braddock adventures in Rover on his excellent web site British Comics

The Victor Index lists the Braddock stories here

Bear Alley: I Flew with Braddock 

• The Victor-Hornet web site offers a terrific introduction to The VictorThe Hornet and The Hotspur comics, celebrating three great British Boys comics packed with adventure, war, humorous and sports stories

• The Ultimate Victor Comic Web Site is a fantastic resource for fans of the comic

Commando Comics © DC Thomson Media

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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.

2 thoughts on ““Braddock of the Bombers” revived for new Commando stories

  1. Caption query: As far as I know, as a Rover reader in the mid ’50s, the “Born to Fly” series first ran in 1957, after several successful runs of “I Flew With Braddock”..

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