Commando opens 60th anniversary celebration in style, with a special revisit to its very first issue, and a new writer debuts

Brand new Commando – Issues 5443 – 5446 – are out this week in both digital and physical editions from DC Thomson Media, with a very special celebratory tip of the hat to the title’s very first issue, published back in 1961 in this terrific set.

Starting the summer celebrations for Commando’s 60th anniversary on the 27th June, this set features a special reprint of Issue One, as well as skirmishes on the Eastern Front and North African desert, and a Commando debut from a writer new to the comic… but one who will be familiar to longtime downthetubes readers.

Mike Garley
Mike Garley

Mike Garley is an Emmy-nominated writer who has written for Adventure Time, Wallace and Gromit, and Image Comics’ 24 Panels anthology, as well as creator-owned projects The Kill Screen, Samurai Slasher, and Our Final Halloween.

Mike is primarily known for his comic work, but has also consulted on Transmedia storytelling for beActive Media, developed game concepts with Masters of Pie, and Wickety Splits, and has contributed articles to Comic Heroes, and The UK Scriptwriters Survival Handbook: or How to Earn an Actual Living as a Writer.

When he’s not writing, Mike lectures on Creative Writing for Brockenhurst College, and Scriptwriting for Film and TV for the Arts University Bournemouth.

There’s also an advance heads up from Commando HQ to be ready for the next two sets, too, as the 60th celebration continues with four brand-new stories out on the 24th June, with exclusive art cards included for subscribers, then four classic issues voted for by fans which have never been reprinted, all with brand-new covers, on sale from the 8th July.

Commando 5443 – Home of Heroes: We Are the Winter
Story: Andrew Knighton | Art: Khato | Cover: Neil Roberts
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Commando 5443 - Home of Heroes: We Are the Winter

Operation Barbarossa — when the Germans betrayed their Soviet allies and invaded Russia. They had the might of the Third Reich behind them and summer on their side. But seasons change quickly in Russia…

Partisan leader Olga Goncharova was not afraid of the Germans. She stormed her enemies, cold and deadly as ice, swift as arctic winds. She would be the winter. She would be merciless.

Commemorating 80 years since the infamous Operation Barbarossa, Andrew Knighton’s story focuses not only the Russian soldiers retreating through their homeland, but the civilians who are caught in the path of the changing front lines.

Commando 5444 – Gold Collection: Walk – or Die!
Story: Castle | Art: Garcia | Cover: Ian Kennedy|
Originally Commando No. 1 (1961)
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Commando 5444 - Gold Collection: Walk - or Die!

Kicking off Commando’s 60th anniversary celebrations this summer is a very special issue – Commando No. 1, but as you’ve never seen it before, with an Ian Kennedy cover.

A legend in British comics and synonymous with the Commando brand, Ian Kennedy’s cover breathes new life into the classic issue, making this a sought after-comic for any collection.

The story you know centres on Corporal Tom Gerrard of the Royal Tank Corps, who was just an ordinary bloke, easy‑going and cheerful, and the man who would be his nemesis – Colonel Karl Oberth of the Tenth Panzer Division, a typical Nazi officer, brutal and unforgiving.

Somewhere on the limitless, scorching inferno of the Western Desert, Fate decided that their tank tracks should cross – and the rest is history!

Be sure you pick up the next set of Commandos out 24th June, which includes the long awaited sequel to No. 1, ‘Die – Or Walk’, concluding the epic rivalry between Gerrard and Oberth.

Commando No. 1, published in June 1961. Art by Ken Barr

Did you know… “Walk – or Die” has been printed three times as a Commando title in the UK – as No. 1, the original cover by Ken Barr, No. 2523 and 4453.

It’s for this reason the Commando team wanted to do something new with the classic issue’s fourth printing, by giving it a brand-new Ian Kennedy cover.

Read Jeremy Briggs review of Commando Issue One

Commando 5445 – Action and Adventure: The Disruptors
Story: Mike Garley | Art: Muller and Klacik | Cover: Neil Roberts
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Commando 5445 - Action and Adventure: The Disruptors

Behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany, agents Mary Western and Stephen Mailer must disrupt and, where possible, steal enemy technology. Where any advancement could give their adversaries the edge, this group of heroes known only as “The Disruptors” must use their wits to prevent the Axis from getting the upper hand – even investigating the prototype for the dreaded Me 163!

Emmy-nominated writer Mike Garley’s first-ever Commando is subversive and tense, taking its time to build the characters and their dynamics in this tale of subterfuge and sabotage, aided by Muller and Klacik’s gritty interiors and Neil Roberts intriguing cover art.

Commando 5446 – Silver Collection: A Fighting Chance
Story: CG Walker | Art: Cruz | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 1683 (1983)
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Commando 5446 - Silver Collection: A Fighting Chance

To stay alive in war you’ve got to have an edge over your opponent, something that can swing the odds in your favour. It might be the element of surprise, or a hidden weapon, but it’s always something that puts you one jump ahead and keeps you alive.

When he was taken prisoner, Lieutenant Neil Bell’s edge seemed to be his ability to navigate the desert, but what he was relying on was a piece of information which gave him a clear advantage over his captors.
And he wasn’t telling anyone what it was!

The second Ian Kennedy cover in this set, Kennedy masterfully intertwines blues and greens in his desert cover, offering a tense shot of the action inside.

Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | Facebook| Twitter | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

Read Jeremy Briggs review of Commando Issue One

• The Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order here on Amazon (Using this Affiliate Link helps support downthetubes, thank you)

The book showcases Ian’s fantastic array of work for not only DC Thomson Media but also his own personal collection. The high spec 160-page art book includes both never before seen and classic covers, as well as illustrations from the DC Thomson archives, featuring titles as diverse as Lucky Charm and Buddy

Set out chronologically, the book showcases Ian’s career at the famous Scottish publishing house, from his early days working on ‘Red-Skull Branson’ and ‘Commando Jim’ to his most recent covers and commissions for Commando

• The Art of Ian Kennedy is also available to order from DC Thomson direct

Commando issues 5443 – 5446 – Full Cover Gallery

  • Commando 5443 - Home of Heroes: We Are the Winter FULL
  • Commando 5444 - Gold Collection: Walk - or Die! Full
  • Commando 5445 - Action and Adventure: The Disruptors Full
  • Commando 5446 - Silver Collection: A Fighting Chance Full

Commando Comics is online at www.commandocomics.com | DC Thomson – Subscriptions | Facebook| Twitter | Commando Comics on AmazonUK

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “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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