New Commando comics offer U-Boat action, dud grenades – and Viking gold!

Commando 5047: Home of Heroes: The Battle to Britain

The latest issues of DC Thomson’s Commando war comic (Issues 5047-5050) are on sale tomorrow (Thursday 24th August 2017) in all good newsagents and various digital platforms. Offering classic and new adventures, enjoy stories of infiltrating U-Boats in the Atlantic, crash-landings in the North African Desert, unearthing mysterious Viking relics and dodging dud grenades!

Commando 5047: Home of Heroes: The Battle to Britain
Story: Iain McLaughlin Art: Vicente Alcazar Cover: Janek Matysiak

Janek Matysiak’s life-like cover for this issue shows rival ships off the coast of Greenland – the bleak, icy water, just as threatening as the warships battling on them. Inside, Vicente Alcazar’s thick black lines and heavy shading brings a moody darkness to Iain McLaughlin’s original story.

Set in Autumn 1941, America had not yet joined in the Second World War, but that didn’t stop people like Charlie Dayton getting involved. Never shying away from a fight, Charlie’s strong views usually turned into something a bit more physical, so when the war in Europe started, Charlie knew he couldn’t stand by and wait for the battle to reach his shores. That was when he hopped aboard an English cargo ship, bound for Britain and the war that awaited him.

Commando 5048: Gold Collection: Trouble Hunter

Commando 5048: Gold Collection: Trouble Hunter
Story: Omre Art and Cover: Gordon C. Livingstone
Originally Commando No 378 (1969) Reprinted No 1111 (1977)

When RAF air-gunner Fred Cotton crash-lands in the desert, it’s up to his brother Harry to rescue him. Omre’s story is one of fraternity: both blood brothers and not, as Harry must team up with the stubborn and by the books Sergeant Wilcox on his mission to save Fred.

With cover and interior artwork by the late Gordon C. Livingstone, you know that you’re in for a treat. The thin line strokes, expert shading and detail that Livingstone is famed for shines through in this issue, most notably during a sandstorm, where Livingstone draws hundreds of wispy lines to show to the harsh winds. Livingstone’s cover, however, is full of strong, contrasting block colours, the blue of Harry’s uniform juxtaposed against the yellow and orange of the desert sky.

Commando 5049: Action and Adventure: The Blood of the Vikings

Commando 5049: Action and Adventure: The Blood of the Vikings
Story: Shane Filer Art and Cover: Carlos Pino

Another original tale from Shane Filer, when SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Josef Heiden finds Viking relics in France, he believes they will make a grand gift for the Fuhrer, but he has no idea what he has uncovered…

Set mainly in the 8th-9th century, we follow Frankish orphan Thorvald, raised by the Vikings who raided his village as he re-joins his kin in their fight against the invading Danes.

With cover and interior art by Carlos Pino, the attention to detail in the armour and weaponry really adds to this issue, making it stand out as a new classic for readers, while his morose coloured cover shows Thorvald as every inch the Viking god he is perceived as.

Commando 5050: Silver Collection: Grenade!

Commando 5050: Silver Collection: Grenade!
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Dennis McLoughlin Cover: Jeff Bevan
Originally Commando No 2640 (1993)

A prolific Commando writer, Alan Hebden’s titular grenade is the centre of action in this issue, taking on a personality if its own, as the somewhat supernatural weapon favours some, while goes against others, with its own comical sense of poetic justice.

Jeff Bevan’s cover shows the eponymous grenade front and centre, a hero in its own right, certainly showing plenty of character throughout, while the muted greens and browns give a classic war look to this issue. Meanwhile, Dennis McLoughlin’s interior artwork is equally attentive, drawing most panels during rain showers in the Italian countryside, with both white and black lines to show the falling droplets.

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as a freelance editor, as Creative Consultant on the new Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. 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.

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