Brand new Commando (Issues 5115 – 5118) from DC Thomson are on sale in all good newsagents this Thursday. Storming Messines Ridge, blasting Bettys in a Buffalo, tunnelling under the trenches with Maori Miners, and defending a Scottish island from an infiltrating U-Boat… it’s all in a day’s work for this release’s heroes!
This set also sees the welcome debut of new writers Andrew Knighton and Jason Cobley, the latter a name regular downthetubes readers will recognise for his work in British independent comics. Not only os he the creator of Captain Winston Bulldog but his latest indie project, Amnesia Agents, created with artist James Gray, was funded in under a week over on Kickstarter.
Andrew Knightonis a comics writer, author and freelance writerwho writes science fiction, fantasy, steampunk and historical fiction, with short stories in a wide range of publications and several books of his own. He also writes custom murder mystery party games – you can find out more and commission your own game here.
Commando 5115: Home of Heroes – To Win Just Once
Story: Andrew Knighton | Art: Vicente Alcazar | Cover: Neil Roberts
On the 7th of June, 1917, at Messines Ridge, the largest explosion the world had ever seen was detonated. After battering Jerry with artillery fire through the night, the shells stopped just before dawn and the birdsong began. At 3:10am, over 450 tons of explosives went off under the German line. They could hear it in Paris, and they felt it in London. But the battle had only just begun…
Andrew Knighton’s debut issue of Commando treats the First World War with gravitas, perfectly balancing developed characters and white-knuckle action.
Accompanied by meticulous interiors from Vicente Alcazar, the intensity of the trenches is felt on every page, especially the prodigious wrap-around cover from Neil Roberts.
“I’m very proud of this story,” says Andrew, who has posted story notes on his blog. “The battle portrayed in this story is a real one. The assault on Messines Ridge was one of a series of battles fought around the town of Ypres. This was some of the most heavily contested territory of the war and the whole area was left devastated.”
Commando 5116: Gold Collection – Buffalo Patrol
Story: Staff | Art: Mira | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 519 (December 1970)
Dave Kerr just wanted to be an RAF pilot but, even though he was a skilled flyer, he failed every exam. Sent to Singapore along with his pilot friend Patrick Elliot, Dave ran to Patrick’s tent to wake him when the Squadron Leader called in a scramble but found him asleep, pushed to exhaustion. Dave knew what he had to do — he grabbed Patrick’s flying helmet and goggles and ran for his Buffalo!
An unusually vibrant background for an Ian Kennedy cover, the burning orange sets an explosive backdrop for the duelling Buffalo and Betty, preparing us for the aerial onslaught Mira skilfully provides inside.
Commando 5117: Action and Adventure – Tunnels of Arras
Story: Jason Cobley | Art and Cover: Carlos Pino
Digging the Medieval tunnels deep beneath Arras in France, the New Zealand infantrymen thought they were tunnelling into Hell itself. With the ground above them frosted, the caverns underneath were icy, but the soldiers made it their own. They knew that after the losses at Verdun and the Somme, their only chance of defeating the Germans above was to dig beneath them. But what if the Germans had the same plan?
First time Commando writer Jason Cobley’s refreshing focus on the New Zealand Tunnellers and the Maori Pioneer Battalion in the First World War is compelling in its detail, including the graffiti and place names marked in the eponymous Arras tunnels, which Carlos Pino details in his claustrophobic, yet homely interiors.
Commando 5118: Silver Collection – In Trouble Again
Story: Mike Knowles | Art: CT Rigby | Cover: Mike Dorey
Originally Commando No. 2741 (March 1994)
When a U-Boat surfaces offshore from a remote Scottish island with nothing but a radio station run by the Royal Signals on it, Charlie Potter of the Intelligence Corps knew their only chance was to fight back. The invading SS waved the white flag, telling the Britishers that if they surrendered they would be spared, but Charlie knew that the Nazis would never take prisoners on to a submarine.
With cover art from Mike Dorey of DC Thomson, IPC and 2000AD fame, the hazy fog and choppy waves surrounding the Scottish island are like something straight from When Eight Bells Toll. This combined with Mike Knowles tale of trouble seeking anti-hero Charlie Potter and veteran Commando artist CT Rigby’s interiors makes this a classic boys’ adventure comic for any age.
• Commando is on sale in all good newsagents and some digital platforms