Here’s our regular intel on the latest issues of DC Thomson’s war comic Commando (Issues 4959 – 4962) – on sale from 6th October 2016 in all good newsagents and various digital platforms.
By the way, our secret agents tell us that some WHSmith stores, perhaps hell bent on ensuring no-one buys comics, have taken to hiding Commando behind (or even under tve counter), claiming they’re probe to being shoplifted.
If you don’t see Commando on display, ignore all the other even smaller items they do have on display we’d suggest are more liable to such illegality – chocolates, pens, etc. for example – and ask if thay have the comics in stock.
It might just be they’re trying to give you a World War Two-inspired “under the counter experience” of course, but since you might also need to ask if they have 2000AD lurking there, too, that’s unlikely.
Yes, we think it’s a really stupid decision, too, but nothing WHSmith management does these day to confound its customers really surprises us…
Commando 4955 – Midnight Mission
Story: George Low
Art: Vicente Alcazar
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Flight Sergeant Nick Nolan was a reliable, thoughtful type. He yearned to fly a fighter like a Spitfire or Hurricane but his superiors reckoned he “didn’t have enough fire in his belly”.
Nonetheless, he undoubtedly had skills so Nick was selected to transport secret agents and supplies into German-held France. Aboard his Westland Lysander, the pilot never knew what dangers might spring from the darkness – dangers like a marauding Junkers 88 Night-fighter out for the kill!
“Subito! Quickly! Across the road, no noise, no lights — the German lorries come. In them are the captured British Commandos sent to blow up the secret arsenal beneath Castello Santuzzo.
“These men are trained to do what we can never hope to. They must be freed and aided. Who knows, it might be that in return they will make sure that at least one Commando knife slips into the black heart of Kommandant Von Schneider.
“He has tortured and killed too many of us. His time has come. We, the mountain men of the Italian resistance, will make it so.
“So quickly, quietly…”
“In order to fight a Nazi threat, a squad of British Commandos form an uneasy alliance with a ragged resistance group hiding in the Italian hills,” notes Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery of this re-presented tale.
“What’s different about this book is that the back cover blurb is written in the first person – from the point of view of one of the resistance men. It’s quite a rare occurrence but is certainly effective in conveying immediate drama – and I’m surprised that Commando hasn’t done this kind of thing more often.”
Yuri Muryavev, a retired “Shock Force” Spetznaz Commando, had settled in the UK but, after the collapse of communism, he returned to his Russian homeland. Wishing to do honest work, he took on a job offer to provide security for an aid agency operating in South America.
However, Yuri did not realise that he was in the employ of Anatoly Speck, a sinister Russian billionaire who had plans to wreak havoc upon the world.
Now the former soldier faced a danger even greater than ever before and only he could stop it…
Horses against tanks and aircraft? Not a recipe for success, you’d think. But that was the best that was available for a gallant band of guerrillas – men and boys – battling against the Japanese in the Philippine Islands… as they waited for the Americans to return and set them free.
“We’ve been very fortunate throughout Commando’s 55-year history that our versatile artists can draw anything – from tanks to battleships, aircraft to infantry,” notes Scott of this story. “But, unlikely as it sounds, a few artists have told us that horses are a challenge to draw well.
“As a non-artist myself, I’m not sure why this might be – presumably the amount of detail required to render each beast must be very time-consuming. So I can only imagine how an illustrator might shudder when they read scripts with words like: ‘A horde of cavalry riders storm across a crowded battlefield…’
“However, as you will see, veteran Commando stalwarts C. T. Rigby and Phil Gascoine rose to the occasion.”
Are you sure you don’t mean ‘ridden to the occasion’, Scott?
Commando Digital Editions
- Available on the App Store for Apple devices
- Available on ComiXology
- Available on Readly
- Android App on Google Play
- Available on Kindle
- Available as browser edition
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.