With news on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s war comic Commando comes news of a another change to its format – this time, not just in its branding, but actual look and feel.
For the first time in the title’s 51-year history, a significant change has been made to its final appearance with a change to thicker, whiter paper for its story pages and increased to the weight and rigidity of the cover for better quality and durability. (Readers will recall explorers snapped reading Commando in recent related posts, so it’s probably going to be well received by them!)
“This has resulted in a thicker weightier Commando which we feel (and initial feedback reinforces) better suits a product of Commando‘s quality” says editor Calum Laird.
“We hope that our fans will like the change. They can let us know what they think through our Facebook page.”
Commando No 4491: Hero In A Heli
Story: Steve Taylor Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page
The second in Commando’s mini-series of Falklands tales 30 years on.
It takes nerve and skill to hold a bucking, weaving Sea King in position over a casualty while one of your crewmates is winched down to try to pluck him to safety. Lieutenant Jamie Price had both these qualities which helped make his crew one of the best in the business.
Yet his brother Owen, a Sea Harrier pilot, ranked him only as a glorified bus driver, never missing a chance to sneer.
He never dreamt that he’d have to trust his life to that bus driver in the hostile skies over the Falklands Islands.
Commando No 4492: The Blood Feud
Story: Mac MacDonald Art: Vila Cover: Ian Kennedy
So how did it come to pass that Warrant Officer Greg Blake was about to take on a menacing German Zeppelin during the First World War, armed with only a Martini-Henry rifle?
It’s a thrilling tale – one which stretches back to the Boer War, and tells of a bitter blood feud that spanned a generation…
Like great birds of prey the gliders swoop into enemy territory, defying the might of the Luftwaffe and the savage assault of the flak batteries.
Once on the ground their bellies open to spill out bands of fighting men who strike terror into German hearts – the famous airborne Commandos. They give no mercy – and ask none, these men who have been taught to kill…
Spoiler alert! “In 1962, when this gold nugget was first unearthed, the plot device of the trainee who couldn’t quite cut it was new to Commando,” says editor Calum Laird, of this reprint isssue . “We’ve used it many times since, because it’s still an excellent premise for a story. Eric Hebden makes fine use of it here.
“The inside art by Bonato has a clean, clear line to help the story-telling. He’s sparing in his backgrounds, keeping the emphasis where it should be, on the characters who are taking the fight to the enemy on his own ground.
“You can’t fault Ken Barr’s cover composition or execution for drama and colour – no wonder the original title was so small, no-one wanted to cover any of it up.”
As a Japanese dive-bomber roared in to destroy their trucks, a group of British soldiers scattered for cover. Every man knew they now faced a long trek through the Burmese jungle, trying desperately to stay ahead of the enemy advance.
It wouldn’t be easy, buy they must never give up.
“Commando stories are fictional, of course. However, our tales do not shy away from the grimness of war, while still providing solid action yarns,” says Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery.
“As a young Commando reader – many years ago – I always found jungle stories to be especially hard-hitting. I could just imagine being immersed in that all-encompassing, claustrophobic atmosphere, where the enemy could strike out of nowhere at any time…
This story reflects all of the above, as a motley crew of heroes – including one man who, in reality, isn’t particularly heroic – strive against the odds to blow up a bridge while all the time ensuring that they “Don’t Give Up!”
• The Draw Your Weapons exhibition featuring art from Commando continues at the National Army Museum in London closes in a couple of days, on 30th April 2012. For the latest information visit: www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/special-displays/draw-your-weapons-art-commando-comics
• Official Commando web site: http://www.commandocomics.com
• Commando Official Facebook page
• 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
• Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.
• Commando Comics iPhone App on iTunes
• Commando Comics iPad App on iTunes