Here’s the intel from DC Thomson on the latest issues of Commando (Issues 5007 – 5010) on sale in all good newsagents from Thursday 6th April 2017 and also available through various digital platforms.
All four stories are set in different conflicts during World War Two and following very different protagonists, dealing with themes of duty and heroism, pushing the boundaries of both qualities and blurring the divide between the Allies and the Axis.
Issue 5007: Ghost Ship
Story: Jim and David Turner | Art: Keith Page | Cover: Janek Matysiak
The HMS Sheridan is a British Navy Destroyer on her last voyage. Writing duo Jim and David Turner’s story follows the Sheridan as she sails off the coast of South America, towards the Antarctic under new and inexperienced Commander Shaw, who does not respect his men, pushing them to mutiny as he recklessly pursues the mysterious Ghost Ship.
Keeping in tune with Janek Matysiak’s dark and violent ocean on the cover, Keith Page’s interior artwork contrasts the icy blacks of the perilous south Atlantic against the towering, jagged white icebergs that threaten death at every turn.
Issue 5008: Operation Castaway
Story: Lester | Art and Cover: Gordon C. Livingstone
First published in Issue 323 in April 1968
In a reprint from Commando‘s Gold Collection, “Operation Castaway” offers a warmer backdrop, with lurid reds and yellows on the cover. Set mainly on the south Pacific Island of Taraka, Gordon C. Livingstone’s style of illustration emphasises a tropical paradise, disguising the dangers that lurk within the foliage.
Lester’s story focuses on the partnership between arrogant Yankee General ‘Fireball’ Flynn, whose plane has crashed on the island, and no nonsense British Sergeant Frank Preston who is tasked with rescuing him.
There’s plenty of action and heroism in this issue, with Preston even clinging to a submarine’s broken periscope, with only his head above the water, to direct the sub safely through enemy waters.
Issue 5009: Patrol Boat Prisoners
Story: Ferg Handley | Art: Jaume Forn | Cover: Janek Matysiak
Heroism and duty are brought into question in this new story from Ferg Handley. Showing the maturing values of Commando, this issue features less of the 1960’s hair-raising action in favour of a more grounded story and an insight to pacifism.
Set in Autumn, 1944, patrol torpedo boat Lieutenant Mark Murdoch captures two Japanese officers, one of which has lost faith in Japan’s cause, believing that the attack on Pearl Harbor brought them dishonour. Murdoch too expresses a disinterest in the war, fighting only because of his duty and his men.
This is again emphasised by the gritty realism of Janek Matysiak’s cover and Jaume Forn’s interior art, which juxtaposes the mammoth ships against the small and indistinguishable figures of the men who fought on either side of the war.
A 1990s reprint also follows the themes of heroism and duty as Roger Sanderson’s story causes us to question if we can trust our enemies more than our allies…
Focusing on a Nazi protagonist, Erhardt Schroider is given a sympathetic light as he detests his superiors for their indulgences while him men starve. Then, betrayed by his C.O., Schroider surrenders to the allies, striking a deal to give them information in order to save his men.
Ian Kennedy’s cover is stylish and eye catching as always, with the title in a shocking mauve, and like Keith Shone’s interior art, details the Nazi, French and British uniforms with the historical accuracy that Commando is known for.