Aces High! Commando celebrates the Battle of Britain

The latest batch of titles from DC Thomson features the first three books in Commando’s six-book ‘Aces High’ salute to the RAF on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Editor Calum Laird commissioned two brand new stories and also scoured the Commando archives for four cracking air stories which haven’t seen the light of day for decades.

Included in the reprints is Mustang Ace, John Ridgway’s first ever Commando book, first published in 1971. At the time he had a day job and it took about four months of evening and weekend work to complete. He used very think board back then and the stack of art stands about six inches high! John has gone on to establish himself as a fixture in the British comics world and the Commando team like to think that DC Thomson gave him a helping hand in the beginning.

The remaining three books in the ‘Aces High’ series will be released on the 16th September.

Commando 4323: Island Ambush
Story: Sean Blair Art and cover: Mike White

The SOS came through weak and distorted by static. An American survivor of one of the many battles of the Pacific war, calling for help from a lonely island.

Radio operator Eric Aburto aboard PT Boat 1101 heard the message and knew he had to go to the man’s aid — not only was he a fellow US serviceman…Eric was sure he recognised a voice from his past!

Commando 4324: One-Eyed Ace (‘Aces High’ story)
Story: Alan Hebden Art and Cover: Keith Page

Newly-commissioned Pilot Officer Johnny Dangerfield dreamed of racking up the five kills needed to call himself an ace — and was determined to face anything the Nazis threw at him to do it.
However, it was to be the actions of one of his own squadron’s pilots that would cause him to lose an eye and Johnny’s dreams of being an ace would be over… Or were they?

Commando 4325: Mustang Ace (‘Aces High’ story)
Story: Mac Macdonald Art: John Ridgway Cover: Ken Barr
Originally No 546 from 1971

An ace… that’s what Joe Jennings was, one of the few gifted pilots who could make his kite do anything but talk. Nobody believed there was a Jerry alive who could match Joe in combat.

Yet the day did dawn when Joe was shot down in flames. And how it came about makes a fantastic story.

Commando 4326: Clash of Aces (‘Aces High’ story)
Story: Peter Newark Art: Amador Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally No 465 from 1970

When Squadron-Leader Alec Scott in his old, lumbering Gloster Gladiator was set about by a flashing Messerchmitt 109, it was David and Goliath all over again.

This time David needed more than a sling to down Goliath — but the big ’un was cut down to size just the same!

• Official Commando web site: www.commandomag.com

• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846

• You can read interviews with former Commando editor George Low, current editor Calum Laird and writer Ferg Handley on the downthetubes main site.

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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.

One thought on “Aces High! Commando celebrates the Battle of Britain

  1. I really love the Commando magazine. Its format and its stories are greats. You sometimes guess what will come due to the restrictions of the so long established rules of writing the 135 panels.

    What hit my heart now, it’s the European subscription price for 6 or 12 months. It has risen to an extreme level that I can’t afford to spend my money on this mag again.

    And I am so sad now… No more the 8 issues a month… No more thrills… No more stories at all… It’s really sad…

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