Here’s the intel on the new Commando war comics, on sale now in all good British newsagents…
I recently had a chance to sit down with Commando editor Calum Laird as part of my working day and discuss the future of comics – and digital comics. While he was as canny as ever about Things to Come, I got hints of possible new Commando-related projects in the offing, with a promise of official news as soon as anything was confirmed. Can’t wait!
Commando No 4531 – Coming Unstuck
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Carlos Pino Cover: Carlos Pino
By 1943 the Germans, desperate to counter, the RAF’s superfast wooden fighter-bomber, the de Havilland Mosquito, began to build the Focke Wulf Ta154. It was even known as the Moskito!
They soon discovered that holding its wooden structure together wasn’t as easy as they thought, and several broke up in in flight. The glue they needed to hold their airframes together was a secret formula only manufactured in Britain.
So the Germans came up with a plan to steal some from the source…only to come up against a bunch of plucky Brits determined to stop them – or come to a very sticky end!
Commando No 4532 – Mario’s Express
Story: Stephen Walsh Art: Vila Cover: Ian Kennedy
Colonel Mario Girotti was not really much of a soldier. He was more than happy to be stuck in the North African desert, in charge of a rarely-used railway station. He spent his days listening to classical music on his trusty gramophone or reading poetry.
But the culture-loving Italian’s peaceful war was rudely interrupted by the arrival of a group of his fellow countrymen, followed by some Nazis, all bent on escaping the oncoming British onslaught with some looted priceless treasure and, naturally enough, they wanted one of Mario’s trains.
Mario decided that maybe the time was right to fight after all!
Commando No 4533 – Blood Valley
Originally Commando No 49 (Dec 1962)
Story: Dorward Art: Philpott Cover: Ken Barr
Every path that led upwards from Blood Valley to the Nazi-held fortress of Cassino was a path of death. On these bullet-swept slopes many a hero had been born – and had died. But still the German flag flew triumphantly from the battlements.
And then the Commandos were sent for – hand-picked Commandos who had their own cunning and courageous ways of bringing arrogant Nazis to their knees.
Here is their heroic story.
“There’s a saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case it’s exactly what you should do! Ken Barr’s Commando is loaded with contained menace and pent-up ferocity,” says editor Calum Laird of this story. “Make no mistake, author Dorward is going to put a hard-hitting story in front of you with very few punches pulled. Those of a nervous disposition should look away now.
“The inside art, with Philpott’s characteristic dark and brooding lines, backs up this hard edge. At times it’s difficult to remind yourself that this really is fiction.”
Commando No 4534 – The Jokers
Originally Commando No 2144 (December 1987)
Story: Peter Mackenzie Art: Keith Shone Cover: Ian Kennedy
Alf Cunningham and Percy Potter were the jokers in the pack. Oh, they were good pilots, all right, it was just that they had a nasty habit of landing themselves, and everyone around them, in deep trouble. Not exactly the best pair of men to rely on when there’s a German cruiser on the loose in the English Channel!
“The main conflict in this European World War 2 tale is, naturally, between British and German forces,” notes deputy Scott Montgomery of this re-presented tale. “However, there is another conflict going on. One between a couple of rebellious RAF pilots – the “jokers” of the title – and a stuffed shirt Royal Navy officer who they manage to continually annoy.
“Commando thrives on extra story flourishes like this and author Peter MacKenzie keeps the narrative flowing well, as does artist Keith Shone. And, of course, kudos to veteran illustrator Ian Kennedy for yet another stunning aircraft cover – this time of an Avro Anson right in the thick of the action.”
• downthetubes is pleased to offer an exclusive discount on a subscription to DC Thomson’s Commando comic, entitling readers to save 50% by ordering using our special discount code! Follow this link to DC Thomson’s subscription page. When prompted, enter this unique code COMDT – then make your payment and your subscription will be up and running!
• Official Commando web site: http://www.commandocomics.com/
• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846
• Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.
• Steadfast! the Commando artwork exhibition at The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen runs until 30th November 2012. There are more details about the exhibition on the museum website.
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.
Categories: British Comics