Here’s the lowdown on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s Commando on sale today in all good newsagents (12th February 2015) and on various digital platforms, which includes the latest in a series of linked stories penned by Ferg Handley…
Commando No 4783 – Knight Of The Eagles
Story: Ferg Handley Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page
England, 1405 AD. Peasants in Somerset wanted rid of the Allinghams, their feudal overlords. The Allinghams’ men were as brutal and cruel as their masters. Taxes were high and collected without mercy.
Salvation seemed to come in the shape of Mortimer Allingham — the cunning son of the clan who has been disowned by his father. He planned to turn one of the locals, John Carrick, into the “Green Knight” — a figure from local myth — and lead a rebellion. Many of the locals, though, wondered if any of them would survive the explosive consequences of his scheme.
“With only a few notable exceptions — step forward the Convict Commandos — recurring characters have been rare on the pages of Commando over the last 50-odd years,” notes Commando Editor Calum Laird. “However we were of the opinion that our readers might like a series which carried the story over more than one issue. With the pen of Ferg Handley recruited to do the writing, we decided that a historical saga spanning many generations would hit the spot.
“So, here is the fifth episode of the series following the inter-linked fates of several families from the South West of these isles. By the late 1300s, the days of the Roman invasion are far behind them and the peasants are now revolting.
“I hope you enjoy this story and the journey to come.”
Commando No 4784 – Brothers At War
Originally Commando No 156 (March 1965), re-issued as No 759 (July 1973)
Story: Brunt Art: Gordon Livingstone Cover: Ken Barr
Meet Clive Rushden, brilliant Hurricane pilot.
Meet Mark Rushden, young Commando officer.
They were brothers, but put them in the same room and they’d be at each other’s throats.
What a pair to choose for one of the most daring missions ever conceived — and behind enemy lines.
“Ken Barr’s cover sets the scene for a battle royal between two very similar-looking characters (Richard Todd anyone?),” notes Calum of this re-presented tale, “because, while they look alike, there is no other similarity between the pair of main players. Brunt’s story sets them against each other in nature and arm of service then adds a little slice of action to separate them even further. The whole plot is very neatly played, focussing of fears and distrust to add more and more spice.
“All it needed was a good artist to finish it… and Commando editor Chick Checkley found the very man in Gordon Livingstone. His strong black-and-white work perfectly mirrors the black and white opinions of the brothers.
“Family ties were never so strained.”
Commando No 4785 – Burden Of Command
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Carlos Pino Cover: Carlos Pino
The accepted wisdom is that to command a group of fighting men, a leader needs to inspire. Sometimes he needs to inspire confidence, sometimes loyalty…and sometimes fear. Flight Lieutenant Garry Fraser didn’t really agree with the accepted wisdom; he was one of the lads and in his mind that’s how things would stay when he was promoted.
Then his chance came and Garry had to deal with… The Burden of Command
Commando No 4786 – Wagons…Ho!
Originally Commando No 1050 (July 1976), re-issued as No 2411 (October 1990)
Story: Lomas Art: Ibanez Cover: Ian Kennedy
There was only one thing that Sergeant Jack Brett and his Matilda tank crew hated as much as the Germans, and that was a certain tank transporter crew from the Royal Army Service Corps. When they weren’t fighting the one, they were fighting the other. And so, when all three met on the Egyptian desert, it meant trouble.
But the handful of British soldiers had a big, big problem — they had to stop the advance of a huge German column…with their single damaged Matilda and that one tank transporter!
“This story encapsulates many of Commando’s core values,” feels Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor on the title. “Foremost, there are a set of memorable characters most of whom clash, creating conflict and drama.
“In addition, we have a rollicking desert war adventure, featuring an impressive array of military hardware — from trusty Matilda tanks to lumbering, American-made Diamond T transporters, heavy duty RASC lorries and trucks, not to mention zippy German armoured cars.
“So… let’s get ready to rumble!”
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Commando Digital Editions
The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.
John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.
He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.
Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.