New Commando comics intel, and a quick chat with new writer Suresh Ramasubramanian

Commando Issues 5479 - 5482

Brand new Commando – issues 5479 – 5482 – are on sale this week from DC Thomson Media, both in print from tomorrow, available from all good newsagents, and as digital editions now.

Suresh Ramasubramanian

This set sees the debut of a new writer, Suresh Ramasubramanian, who joined the growing Commando team after being persuaded to pitch his story to the comic by Colin Noble, our much-missed contributor to downthetubes, and friend.

Suresh kindly gave us some background on how he came to write “Vengeance”, drawn by Carlos Pino, a story that, initially, had a more supernatural theme to it.

“Vengeance” is a smashing story, told in “classic” Commando style, with Carlos delivering some fantastic double page spreads pitting rival air forces against each other in style.

Suresh’s research into the story’s setting, which includes some interesting historical and engineering titbits, never gets in the way of telling a cracking adventure tale, and are welcome snapshots of wartime conflict – and not without a touch of well-placed humour along the way, either!

Talking to Suresh via Twitter, he tells us he first discovered Commando back in the 1980s and 90s as a schoolboy, in libraries and used book stores.

Commando was incredibly popular back then,” he reveals. “They even distributed an Indian edition, but that was short lived. I discovered Commando was available online in 2016.”

Dramatic action in Commando 5481 - Vengeance. Art by Carlos Pino © DC Thomson Media
Dramatic action in Commando 5481 – Vengeance. Art by Carlos Pino © DC Thomson Media
Peter Ford's training methods find the local landed gentry more "landed" than usual...
Peter Ford’s training methods find the local landed gentry more “landed” than usual…

An IT security worker by trade, who dabbled in journalism while at college, Suresh is newcomer to comics writing, but his story has all the hallmarks of a Commando story of companions at arms pitted against deadly odds. I asked Suresh what prompted him to pitch his story, “Vengeance”, partly set in India, to Commando. Was it a particular story he wanted to tell?

“I literally dreamed it after reading too many Commandos one night!” he reveals, “and before that, reading a couple of fantastic books on the history of the Indian Air Force [including] Mike Edwards MBE’s Spitfire Singh, about Harjinder Singh, a man who rose from aircraft mechanic in 1932 to Air Vice Marshal and head of the Indian Air Force Maintenance Command; and KS Nair’s engaging history of the early years of the Indian Air Force, The Forgotten Few: The Indian Air Force in World War II.

“Colin Noble, from the Commando collectors Facebook group, encouraged me to write it up… I’d never written a comic in my life. I’ve read my fair share of them over the years, of course!”

Obviously, I was delighted to hear that the late, wonderful Colin Noble had persuaded Suresh to pitch. A collector who owned every issue, he was always a fervent supporter of Commando, and supported new talent, too.

With his first story now out in the wild, I asked Suresh if he has more stories in the works? (I noticed mention of a tale coming out next year, elsewhere?)

“One or two in the works,” he teases. “But it takes months to write, draw, create cover art for, edit and print even a 65 page comic so .. not for several months yet. Hoping for the best!”

A "Vengeance" bonus - how to land a Hurricane in a jungle setting!
A “Vengeance” bonus – how to land a Hurricane in a jungle setting!

Wishing him the best of luck, I asked Suresh if he had any particular advice for aspiring comic writers, one thing he’d discovered that has helped him create his story?

“It was beginner’s luck getting my very first submission accepted,” he replies. “From my experience as a journalist, and from talking to regular Commando authors like Brent Towns and Alan Hebden, rejections are going to be much more common than accepted submissions.

“The final story bears very little resemblance to the first draft,” he notes. “‘Vengeance’ originally had a supernatural plot, with a fortune teller telling Peter Ford that he would die at Kohima. My editor, Kate McAuliffe, told me it would be much better as a regular story – and she was right.”

We wish Suresh the very best of luck with his writing, and thank him for answering our questions.

Go Digital?

Commando’s digital edition is a topic touched on in the features on Commando in the current Britain at War Magazine, the editorial team noting the title’s two panel per page format making it a perfect read on tablets.

Living in India, new writer Suresh says that getting a digital subscription six years back made him “a much more regular reader than ‘anytime I could find it in a used book store’.

If you buy a Commando digital subscription, which currently costs just under £50, you also have access to like ten years of back issues, from 4590 onwards. Worth considering.

The New Issues

Commando 5479: Home of Heroes – Judas in Jersey
Story: Steve Taylor | Art | Paolo Ongaro | Cover: Carlos Pino
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5479: Home of Heroes - Judas in Jersey - cover by Carlos Pino

As the people of Jersey anxiously await the expected invasion of the island by the Germans, a number of young Jerseymen plan to escape to England and join the British Army — including Billy Cooper. The only problem is Billy’s mum won’t let him! She wants her boy safe at home and will do anything to keep him out of harm’s way. But when Billy helps an injured Commando who is later betrayed by one of the islanders, he can’t take it any more and sneaks off to join the Royal Marines. Littles does he know that the war will bring him back to his sleepy island and the traitor from years ago…

A classic boys’ adventure from Steve Taylor, perfectly complimented by Paolo Ongaro’s skilful art and Carlos Pino’s enticing cover!

Commando 5480: Gold Collection – The Long Walk
Story: Allan | Art: R Fuente | Cover: Penalva |
Originally Commando No. 428 (1969)
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5480: Gold Collection-  The Long Walk - cover by Penalva

Dusty Rhodes was a lance-corporal and a tough reliable soldier. Yup, he was an ordinary enough bloke — until the day he found himself in command of a squad of brigadiers and generals!

Only he could navigate them across the enemy-filled North African desert safely — and they were more than happy to obey his every command!

A thick and fiery cover from Penalva, the texture of the paint is beautifully rendered in this reprint, adding to the grit of this white-knuckle tale!

Commando 5481: Action and Adventure – Vengeance
Story: Suresh | Art: Carlos Pino | Cover: Keith Burns
Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5481: Action and Adventure - Vengeance - cover by Keith Burns

Peter Ford and Rahul Bose were masters of the skies in their Hurricanes. Meeting during the Battle of Britain, then flying raids together over France, there were no wingmen like them. But sadly, the war had different fates for each, sending Peter to North Africa and Rahul back to India.

However, it wouldn’t take long for the two to cross paths again as the pair must face off against the Japanese and the impending Operation U-Go — all they need is a little Hart and a lot of Vengeance!

All-out air action from Carlos Pino in "Vengeance" © DC Thomson Media
All-out air action from Carlos Pino in “Vengeance” © DC Thomson Media

A debut Commando by Suresh Ramasubramanian, this issue has everything you could ever want — globetrotting through famous events and theatres of war before culminating in the skies over India.

In addition to talking to us here at downthetubes, Suresh talks about his introduction to Commando in a recently-released video

Commando 5482: Silver Collection – The Hawk and the Dove
Story: CG Walker | Art | Denis McLoughlin | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 1741 (1983)
• Buy the digital edition from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Commando 5482: Silver Collection - The Hawk and the Dove - cover by Ian Kennedy

The facts speak for themselves — from a speed of just over a hundred miles per hour to over four hundred, then one or two machine guns to many more and better ones with some cannon thrown in too — there was certainly a massive difference between the fighters of the First and Second World War. One thing they had in common though, was that to make the most of the machines called on men of great skill and courage to take them into the thick of the action — men like The Hawk and The Dove!

When Commando reprints a classic aviation issue, you know exactly the legend whose art graces the cover — and this Ian Kennedy number does not disappoint! Stripping back the cover to focus on both flying machines, the meticulous level of detail is unmistakable.

Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | Facebook| Twitter | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

• The official 2022 Commando Calendar is available to order direct from the DC Thomson Media web shop, featuring the cover of Commando 5293 by Ian Kennedy

• The Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order here on Amazon (Using this Affiliate Link helps support downthetubes, thank you)

The book showcases Ian’s fantastic array of work for not only DC Thomson Media but also his own personal collection. The high spec 160-page art book includes both never before seen and classic covers, as well as illustrations from the DC Thomson archives, featuring titles as diverse as Lucky Charm and Buddy

Set out chronologically, the book showcases Ian’s career at the famous Scottish publishing house, from his early days working on ‘Red-Skull Branson’ and ‘Commando Jim’ to his most recent covers and commissions for Commando

The Art of Ian Kennedy is also available to order from DC Thomson direct

Full Cover Gallery – Commando Issues 5479 – 5482

  • Commando 5479: Home of Heroes - Judas in Jersey - cover by Carlos Pino - Full Cover
  • Commando 5480: Gold Collection- The Long Walk - cover by Penalva - Full
  • Commando 5481: Action and Adventure - Vengeance - cover by Keith Burns - Full cover
  • Commando 5482: Silver Collection - The Hawk and the Dove - cover by Ian Kennedy - Full Cover

Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | Facebook| Twitter | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

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, Comic Creator Interviews, Comics, Creating Comics, Digital Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let us know what you think about this story

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: