2000AD and Doctor Who artist Graeme Neil Reid joins the ranks of Commando cover artists this week, when four new war comics go on sale this Thursday in all good newsagents and via various digital platforms.
The stories in Issues 5151 – 5154 offer a mission to blow up a fuel dump inside a volcano, a battle with an Italian ace pilot over the desert, the perils of landing your plane on an aircraft carrier in Vietnam, and the chance to meet the Red Devil of Stalingrad!
Graeme, who’s drawn the cover of Commando 5153, “The Red Devil“, is a Scottish artist who works primarily in traditional mediums of watercolour and acrylic. His work has graced many different areas including books (The Dangerous Book of Heroes), television (World’s Strongest Man), gaming (Need for Speed), magazines (Radio Times), comics (2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine), online and apps (Doctor Who).
“I’m very pleased to have my first cover under my belt and join the ranks of the Commando division,” Graeme told downthetubes.
“Commando comics have always been around and the exciting and dramatic covers drew me into the action and adventure within as a child and grabbed my attention for the art, style and execution as an adult. I’m honoured to be involved and following in the footsteps of the greats like Ian Kennedy, Jordi Penalva, Ken Barr and many more.
“Upon receiving the brief I was thrilled to see the story features a Russian sniper and my mind instantly returned to the countless Commando, Warlord and Victor covers where the crack shot sniper centred onto their target which we saw through the circular crosshair sights so graphically used to great effect. It seems like an almost unwritten rule for a war artist to include these round crosshair sights in a story about a sniper and who am I to break a rule that works.”
Commando 5151: Home of Heroes: Fuelled by Fury!
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Pencils and Cover: Carlos Pino
What do a Lieutenant in the British Army, an East End criminal, a champion athlete, an Italian partisan, and an aged archaeologist all have in common?
They’re all on a mission to destroy the biggest Nazi fuel dump in the Mediterranean – which just happens to be inside a dormant volcano!
Pairing the quick-fire wit of Iain McLaughlin’s writing with the stylistic expressions of Carlos Pino’s artwork, ‘Fuelled by Fury!’ is just as explosive as its cover!
Commando 5152: Gold Collection: Duel of Aces
Story: Staff | Art: Amador Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 554 (May 1971)
Somewhere in a barren range of hills in the desert, two pilots had just been shot down. One was British, the other Italian. Both were aces, two of the finest fliers ever to grace the skies of North Africa.
Each was determined to get the other. Many times, they had duelled in the air. And now, on the ground, the fight was still going on!
Zoning in on flyboy superstitions, pilot Ray Preston’s Marlet is distinguished by the Eye of Horus on its side, marking him out in Amador’s dogfight filled interiors!
Commando 5153: Action and Adventure: The Red Devil
Story: Iain McLaughlin | Pencils: Vicente Alcazar | Cover: Graeme Neil Reid
Hiding in the thick snow, the Red Devil is watching.
In the battle-torn, bomb‑shelled carcass of Stalingrad, she stalks her prey.
Her sights aimed and her finger taut, she pulls the trigger…
Specially selected for the cover, Graeme Neil Reid’s exhilarating art shows our hellish heroine in a blood red light, capturing her plight for the Motherland as well as her deadly shot!
Commando 5154: Silver Collection: Carrier Pilot
Story: Ian Clark | Art: Jose Maria Jorge | Cover Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 2842 (March 1995)
For some jet pilots, take‑offs and landings on an aircraft carrier were a tad frightening to say the least.
It was like that for rookie Garry Carter, operating off the coast of Vietnam, and it didn’t help that superior types like senator’s son, Scott Bradey, boasted that he found it all very easy.
But once up there in the danger-filled skies, thundering towards a target in his bombed‑up A-7 Corsair, Garry soon proved himself a force to be reckoned with!
This issue is marked by the rare occurrence of an Ian Kennedy Vietnam cover, offering our favourite aircraft artist the opportunity to lend his hand to the dynamic shape of an A-7 Corsair!
• Commando Comics are available to buy and request in WHSmith and all good local newsagents
• Print and digital subscriptions are available worldwide, and can be bought through the DC Thomson website
• The DC Thomson online shop offers both Commando cover prints and T-Shirts – https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/our-brands/commando.html?cat=1178
With thanks to Jeremy Briggs
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.