Here’s the inside intel on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s Commando – Issues 4923-4926 – on sale now in all good newsagents and via various digital platforms.
They’re a great mixed bag of tales this week, with even a dash of undercover aliens thrown in for good measure in a tale from the title’s huge archive.
Commando No 4923 – Scrapper’s War
Story: George Low Art: Carlos Pino Cover: Carlos Pino
As World War One raged in the trenches of Europe another, more unusual campaign was going on in British and German East Africa.
British Lieutenant Trevor Waite and his South African counterpart, Dirk Van Ormer, had taken charge of “Scrapper”, a derelict steamer which they would pilot against sleek German Navy torpedo boats. Not only that, they also had to contend with a nasty Commanding Officer who would gladly see Scrapper put on the scrapheap once again!
Commando No 4924 – Space Pilot
Originally Commando No 217 (June 1966), re-issued as No 863 (August 1974)
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Medrano Cover: Buccheri
One day he was Flight Lieutenant “Topper” Brown — a young, unremarkable pilot and the idea of him becoming an ace was far-fetched.
Then he was shot up and crash-landed. Out of the flames rose a new Topper — a pilot who could flay anything with wings; an ace who could outwit the Luftwaffe and who could hold a Spitfire in flaming shreds together long enough to clear the skies of Nazis.
However, his mates said Topper wasn’t like himself these days. In fact they suspected he wasn’t even human anymore!
“This offbeat outing from June 1966 is certainly different from traditional Commando fare and that’s why I thought it deserved another airing,” says Scott Montgomery, Commando’s Deputy Editor. “Although the story of potential extra-terrestrial influence upon an average British pilot does stretch credibility a tad, it’s done with such panache that any accusations of being far-fetched are easily forgiven.
“A fantastic script, art — Medrano’s interior line work simply is stunning — and cover perfectly combine here for a wonderfully oddball yarn.”
Commando No 4925 – The Flying Cowboy
Story: Bill Styles Art: Vicente Alcazar Cover: Janek Matysiak
John “Bronco” Bronson was a ranch hand in Arizona who became interested in fledgling flying machines such as the Wright model B.
With World War One at its peak in Europe, the American wanted to do his duty, even though the United States had not yet joined the conflict. He enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps and soon was at the controls of a Bristol F2B aircraft duelling with enemy Albatros fighters high above the trenches of the Western Front.
Bronco was unique… the War’s only flying cowboy!
Commando No 4926 – Doomed Squadron
Originally Commando No 1198 (February 1978), re-issued as No 2499 (September 1991)
Story: R.A. Montague Art: Giralt Cover: Ian Kennedy
Sammy Baker’s Ventura Squadron had everything going for it — brand new planes, top-line aircrew, the lot. So how come they got hacked out of the sky on nearly every air raid?
The answer was obvious — there had to be a spy on the station, telling the enemy when the raids were coming.
But who was the spy? And how quickly could they find him? Because until they did, every raid was doomed, right from the moment of take-off!
“Our hero is Sammy Baker, a dependable bomber commander in the best Commando tradition,” says scene-setter Scott of this re-presented tale. “However, poor Sammy is upstaged by Van Dyke — a surly goat with a penchant for chasing pilots and chewing on their caps!
“The horned squadron mascot definitely steals the show (as well as any RAF headgear that he can). However, despite these high jinks, there is a still a fairly serious espionage tale at the heart of this book.”
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.