DC Thomson has just published the first issues of their fortnightly Commando war comic for 2014 – the first ever to feature free gifts in its long history.
“For the first time in its very long history, Commando will giving a free gift with every issue,” the title’s editor Calum Laird confirms. “It may have been a long time coming but we think you’ll think it’s been worth the wait.
“Along with the first eight issues released in the UK in January will be eight A4-sized postercards featuring some cracking pieces of Commando cover art which we know you love to have. There’s one postercard for every issue and a different one for each story.
“We have taped the cards to the Commando issues, so you’ll notice that the comics are taking up a bit more space on the newsagents’ shelves. The stories themselves are the same action-packed tales you’ve come to expect and they’re the same size you want… they’re just a bit easier to spot!”
The free gifts feature on the four titles detailed below, and another four will be given away with the following four issues due out i on 16th January (Issues 4471-4474). If you don’t have your copies set aside, it might be a good idea to get to the shops smartly… we’re sure they be selling fast. Subscribers won’t miss out – they’ll get the cards through the post with their usual fortnightly package.
Commando No 4667: Nobody Loves A Genius
Originally Commando No 824 (March 1974), re-issued as No 2084 (May 1987).
Story: R A “Monty” Montague Art: Patrick Wright Cover: Ian Kennedy
Private Hubert Wellington was a real nice chap — keen, well-meaning, anxious to please. There was only one thing wrong — anything he got involved in was doomed to disaster!
And what was his job? He was an explosives expert! Yes, every man in Hubert’s platoon gritted his teeth and waited for the world to end with a big, big bang…
“When Stuart Duncan e-mailed his request to see this one again, I had my doubts,” says Calum Laird. “Its Ian Kennedy cover was a cracker but the story looked just a little bit comical to be a good Commando. But he wasn’t alone in asking for it so I decided to read it again. What a surprise! Despite the cover and the apparently bumbling hero, this is one hard-hitting Commando, beautifully realised in great detail by Pat Wright. Without giving the game away, with a change of uniforms and locations, this could be a contemporary story.
“It could be the work of a genius.
“We are always open to suggestions when it comes to titles you would like to see again.”
Commando No 4668 – The Lost Squadron
Originally Commando No 134 (Sept 1964), re-issued as No 695 (November 1972)
Story: Boutland Art: Peter Ford Cover: Ken Barr
“Slim” Sothern, fighter pilot, floated in the Channel in his Mae West and cursed his rotten luck. Sure, an ambulance rescue seaplane was circling above, but it was German, and Slim feared that for him the war was over, and only the deadly dullness of prison camp lay ahead.
How wrong can you be?
He was taken prisoner all right but inside a week such strange and mysterious things had happened to Slim Sothern that he, and other RAF pilots like him, had been turned into a “Squadron of the lost,” and were flying Messerschmitts for the Germans against the British.
“I reckon Peter Ford is an unsung hero of the early years of Commando,” argues Calum. “His crisp, accurate lines — especially, but not only, when dealing with aircraft — is up there with the best of comic illustrators.
“He was one of the few Commando artists to write stories as well, but here those duties are done by Boutland who manages to weave fighters, bombers, Resistance fighters and nasty Nazis together in a fantastic high-octane cocktail.
“Striking though it is, Ken Barr’s cover only hints at the treasures within.”
Commando No 4669 – Life-Line To Tobruk
Originally Commando No 1408 (April 1980), re-issued as No 2620 (December 1992).
Story: Bill Fear Art: Carmona Cover: Ian Kennedy
Tobruk was under siege. Enemy troops lay around the port on three sides. No supplies could get through by any land route. Everything had to be brought in by sea.
It was a dangerous business for the landing craft that were used as supply vessels. Slow and cumbersome, they were under constant attack by German ships and aircraft. But Lieutenant Jack Jarrat and his crew took on all comers, even the German army. It seemed that nothing could stop them!
“Here’s a chance to taste a slice of classic Commando, as requested by readers,” says the comic’s Sub-Editor, Iain McLaughlin. “Bill Fear’s script leads us from sea to land and back again, twisting and turning as he weaves a tense story around the brave men fighting in North Africa and the equally brave men aboard slow-moving, lightly defended landing craft supplying them. Carmona’s detailed artwork brings action and characters vividly to life. Wrap that in a classic Ian Kennedy cover and we’re on to a winner.
“I remember buying this one as a boy and after all these years it didn’t disappoint. Little wonder this it was requested by a number of readers, including Johnny Westbridge from New Zealand.”
Commando No 4670 – Survival!
Originally Commando No 921 (March 1975), re-issued as Commando No 2243 (January 1989)
Story: Mclean Art: Ibanez Cover: Ian Kennedy
A handful of shivering, crestfallen British soldiers, cut off in German-occupied Norway. Their mission… to destroy a Nazi airfield menacing the vital convoys to Russia. But before they could even think of tackling their target, they had a more difficult and far more urgent problem — simply to keep alive in the cruel cold above the Arctic Circle!
“Survival! is perfect reading for a chilly January evening,” enthuses Scott Montgomery, Commando’s Deputy Editor. “With its relentless Arctic adventure, tough heroes, ski-bound villains and, erm… igloo-building…this defies the odds to become a real winter-warmer from the archives.
“So, put your feet up, pour yourself a nice, hot cuppa and enjoy.”
DOWNTHETUBES EXCLUSIVE COMMANDO SUBSCRIPTION OFFER
If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a British comics fan, downthetubes has an EXCLUSIVE discount on a subscription to DC Thomson’s Commando comic, simply by ordering through the DC Thomson Online Shop using our special discount code.
Some of our readers reported problems with the link recently, but the technical team at DC Thomson have now fixed things – so if you follow the link above, the discount is automatically applied – you do NOT need to enter the COMDT promotional code. Ignore the discount field on the check out page, too.
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.