Here’s the full details on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s war comic Commando, on sale now in all good newsagents and also as digital editions, offering two new stories – one featuring a behind the lines tale of the French Resistance – and two classic stories. Have to say, the cover by Ron Brown on Commando 4646 is pretty striking!
Commando No 4643 – Resistance Strike
Story: Mac MacDonald Art: Morahin Cover: Janek Matysiak
France, 1944. A French Resistance group, aided by an Special Operations Executive agent, had been a thorn in the side of the occupying Germans, regularly sabotaging their vehicles and communications.
But now something big was happening at a disused mine nearby – where slave labourers were being worked to death on a mysterious project. The Resistance had to find out what the Germans were up to, and what an eccentric French civil engineer was doing helping them. Could he really be a collaborator?
Commando No 4644 – Spearhead!
Originally Commando No 68 (May 1966)
Story: Eric Hebden Art: Martin Cover: Ferraz
Question: How on earth could any man be as brave as Marty Finnegan said he was?
Answer: By proving it in the heat of battle, like Marty did.
What a man! What a hero!
“Commando has always been about characters, many of them larger than life,” notes editor Calum Laird of this re-presented story. “And they don’t come much larger than Eric Hebden’s creation, Marty Finnegan, line-shooter extraordinary. If Marty had written for Commando, no-one would have believed a word. Fortunately Mr Hebden has done the honours magnificently, adding a little bit of black humour here and there for good measure.
“With a brilliantly coloured cover by Ferraz and strong black-and-whites by Martin it is very much a Commando story in every way. It’s not seen the light of day for 50 years but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.”
Commando No 4645 – Once A Tank Man…
Story: Mac MacDonald Art: Keith Page Cover: Keith Page
– Always a tank man. Well, that saying was definitely true when it came to Corporal Nick Leigh and his fellow Royal Tank Corps men — dependable Lance-Corporal Walter Askey and hot-headed Private Sid Jones.
When their Valentine III tank was destroyed by an enemy Panzer MkIV, they became prisoners of, first, the Italians then the Germans. But they escaped and found some unexpected allies, driving — and fighting in — a very special tank indeed!
Developed by Vickers, more than 8000 Valentine tanks were produced during the Second World War, under 11 different marks plus various purpose-built variants, accounting for approximately a quarter of wartime British tank production. Over its lifetime the Valentine proved itself both strong and reliable, and went from a riveted construction to entirely welded, and from a petrol powerplant to a two stroke diesel engine which was less likely to catch fire. It was supplied to the Soviet Union and built under license in Canada (although Canadian forces did not use them). 1420 were built there, most sent to Russia.
Valentine Mk III Information: www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/gb/Tank_Infantry_MkIII_Valentine
Commando No 4646 – Code Of The Warrior
Originally Commando No 2231 (November 1988)
Story: Bill Fear Art: Keith Shone Cover: Ron Brown
The Samurai warriors of Japan in centuries past were honourable men, living by their chivalrous code of “Bushido”.
In the Second World War some officers of Imperial Japan continued the noble tradition, abiding by its laws. None more so than Tomito Inosuke, a courageous fighter pilot with a burning desire for revenge — against a high-ranking VIP on his own side.
“Commando’s long-form 63-page format – they were basically like graphic novels decades before the term was coined – has always allowed authors plenty of room to develop their characters, the most important element of any story,” argues Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery. “Veteran writer Bill Fear doesn’t have just one main character here — he has three, each with distinct personalities, voices and motivations. Fear’s script weaves a solid action tale of honour and revenge that builds towards a satisfying, and perhaps unexpected, conclusion.”
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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.