Commando Issues 5703 – 5706 from DC Thomson Media go on sale in all good newsagents from Thursday 7th December 2023 – and are available now as digital editions.
Offering flying adventures in a Lysander, Nazis dressed as Americans, a mad Aussie murderer, and a classic Commando tale of class rivalry on the battle front – a heady mix all round – here’s a quick quite and mini reviews of this latest action-packed set… plus, read on for news of another free online Commando creator event from the Company of Makers, with cover artist Neil Roberts…
Commando 5703: Home of Heroes – The Flying Fool
Story: Suresh | Art and Cover: Carlos Pino
When a RAF Hurricane cadet with a taste for practical jokes and horseplay is sent to a backwater squadron in India, he doesn’t let it dampen his spirits. What he didn’t know was things were about to get a lot worse!
After pulling a prank on the wrong person, Pilot Officer Billy West is moved from being an ace fighter pilot to flying busted-up Lysander reconnaissance planes. Still, he’s ready to take on a Zero or two, and might even learn something along the way.
Writer Suresh has brought some new elements to the long-running comic with stories often featuring rarely told elements of World War Two, but holding true to delivering a tense adventure tale – and “The Flying Fool” is no exception.
Plus, if you ever wanted to see Carlos Pino illustrate an RAF cadet pretending to be a cow? Well now you can hear!
Commando 5704: Gold Collection – Danger at Dawn
Story: Allan | Art: Martin | Cover: Penalva
First Published 1970 as Issue 501
The American military policeman, fatally wounded, gasped out his last words — in German! And that was more than enough to set British Captain Bob Lawton thinking hard. For he and his CO, Lieutenant-General Digby, were in the care of Yank MPs behind enemy lines in North Africa and far from any friendly unit.
To Bob, it seemed they’d been caught up in some nightmare Nazi trick. If they were, one false move could mean death. So Bob would just have to wait and pick the exact second to act…
In print for the first time since 1970, “Danger at Dawn” offers a classic Commando. With Allan’s story, Martin’s artwork and Jordi Penalva’s stunning cover, you’ll wonder why it wasn’t reprinted sooner.
Commando 5705: Action and Adventure – Hold Fast, Digger!
Story: Brent Towns | Art and Cover: Guillermo Galeote
Australian Corporal Jack Harris was in the thick of the action at Milne Bay when the Japanese invasion force landed. The fighting was fierce, and he and his unit were forced to retreat, leaving behind many comrades in the chaos, including a young private named Tom Cooper.
When Jack got safely back to base, Sergeant Bob Cooper was told about his brother. Now he was out for revenge, blaming Harris for his death. Between the Japanese and Cooper, if Jack was going to survive, he had better watch his back…
Commando 5705 is a companion piece to Brent Towns issue 5685 “Fly Fast, Skipper”, both set during the Japanese assault on Milne Bay. But in this issue, rather than action in the skies, Towns takes the story down to the ground alongside the Aussie soldiers in the thick of it.
Guillermo Galeote made his debut in Commando back in June, and while occasionally, some panels feature some odd figure work and many suddenly lose any detail to faces, the varied storytelling angles and energy to some pages make for some powerful storytelling, albeit with rather a liberal attention to kit detail that perhaps needs addressing in future.
But some art issues aside, Brent Towns really delivers a gritty tale of attempted murder in this issue, and there’s a no holds barred viciousness as Bob Cooper seeks his vengeance, his anger at perceived injustice spiralling out of control as the story develops. This is a modern, gritty and hard-hitting Commando tale well worth your attention.
Commando 5706: Silver Collection – Shoot-out
Story: CG Walker| Art: CT Rigby | Cover: Ian Kennedy
First Published 1981 as Issue 1506
For centuries the Nebbit family had been renowned for their marksmanship. Their skill with bow and arrow had won them the respect of a powerful Norman lord — and the right for them to keep their land. Now, hundreds of years later, Joe Nebbit was to prove that his family were still crack shots — this time with .303 Lee Enfield rifles!
First published in 1981, “Shoot-out” is a classic Commando tale of class rivalry, with an added layer of perhaps misguided family loyalty from the German characters featured that ultimately proves transformative for the British adversaries in the story. Another classic from the archive, although Ian Kennedy’s cracking cover bears little relation to most of the story… but it’s Ian – so who cares!
“Meet” Commando cover artist Neil Roberts!
If you’re a Commando fan and want to know more about the work that goes into creating the comic, then join artist Neil for a live online presentation and Q&A organised by the Company of Makers on Tuesday 12th December 2023, and discover the art of drawing action and creating eye-catching images that can capture your experiences. Tickets available here
Neil will delve into the creative world of comic book art, guiding you through the exciting process of creating amazing comic covers. From generating ideas to the final product on newsstands, he’ll share insights on crafting captivating illustrations, revealing the techniques for making your artwork come to life by drawing inspiration from history, film, and the human condition. Discover the art of drawing action and creating eye-catching images that can capture your experiences.
Neil’s talk will be followed by an interactive Q&A session, so you’ll have the opportunity to get involved and he’ll answer as many of your questions as we can squeeze in.
Neil Roberts is a freelance illustrator, sculptor, writer, lecturer and comic book artist residing in Lincolnshire, UK. He is responsible for the covers on Commando Comics, 2000AD, and the New York Times best-selling series, The Horus Heresy, which has sold over one million books. His art covers Sci-Fi, History, Fantasy, his own designer toy range and much, much more. A classically trained painter, Neil spent many years in the videogames industry working on a wide range of games and believes in applying a traditional approach, using modern technology, to create memorable imagery.
• If there’s a past Commando comic you would like to see reprinted, contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org
Commando Issues 5703 – 5706 Cover Gallery
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.