Here’s the inside intel on DC Thomson’s latest issues of Commando (Issues 5015-5018), on sale from today in all good newsagents and various digital platforms.
This week’s bundle of Commandos will take you across the battlefields and skies of World War Two, from the Steppes of Kursk to Northern Italy and the perilous skies above the English Channel, and perhaps even a little further…
As a quick aside, downthetubes contributor Jeremy Briggs reports the Tank Museum at Bovington has just received the US Army’s Elefant – the tank featured prominently in Issue 5017 – and has put it on display as part of their Tiger Tank Collection. It is one of only two Elefants to survive the war – the other is in Moscow.
The exhibtion will run for two years. More details here.
The Tank Museum also, of course, will be of interst to comic fans as it also has “Charley’s War” art on display.
Commando Issue 5015: Hunt and Harass
Story – George Low
Art – Muller
Cover – Ian Kennedy
As you can tell from Ian Kennedy’s thrilling cover, Tom’s team from “Sucker Punch” (Commando No. 4979) are back in George Low’s latest original story, and this time they must face the evil Rauss, notorious for his love of torture, and his sidekick Weiss, a Nazi dame with a killer shot. This time Tom’s crew reluctantly team up with Yankee Major Jake Ryan, who has his own vendetta against the deadly Weiss.
Muller’s artwork style is reminiscent of its period setting, opting for larger eyes and narrower chins, characteristic of 1940s animator Grim Natwick. Natwick, best known as the creator of Betty Boop, also had a flair for adding drama and dimension, experimenting with different angles and perspectives. (You can read an interview with him here on Animation Artist).
Commando Issue 5016: The Loner
Originally Commando No 336 (June 1968)
Story – Feldwick
Art – Sostres
Cover – Ken Barr
Legendary pioneering Commando artist, Ken Barr’s cover says it all. As the dastardly Nazi pilot fires his luger from his ditched plane, pilot Jacuqes Ledoux flies overhead, the French flag on his tail just visible (detail of which is certainly not lost in Sostres’s interior art), as the blood red of the title bleeds into the blue waves underneath.
But, unlike the shooting Nazi, Ledoux is a true gentleman, who believes in chivalry above all else, even in war. However, Ledoux’s squadron don’t like that, believing the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi.
So why is Ledoux showing them mercy? Could he be a German spy?
Set in the skies over the English Channel, Feldwick’s story masterfully uses this location to show two nations fighting against one, and how two rival pilots might learn to bridge their differences.
Commando 5017: The Elefant
Story – Colin Watson
Art – Vicente Alcazar
Cover – David Alexander
Colin Watson’s original story is inspired by the tank battles on the Steppes of Kursk in 1943, in which 6,000 tanks fought, making it the largest tank battle in history. But no detail is spared in David Alexander’s cover or Vicente Alcazar’s depiction of Panzer Mark IVs, T-34s, Ferdinands, and, of course, the Elefant.
The story follows the crew of one such Ferdiand, and later the eponymous Elefant, led by Heinz Schmitt, who are fighting the Red Army in Operation Citadel, until they are blackmailed by their reprehensible CO, Oberst Oscar Braun, whose only concern is profit.
Commando Issue 5018: Time Warp Warrior
Originally Commando No 2604 (October 1992)
Story – Mike Knowles
Art – C. T. Rigby
Cover – Ian Kennedy
In a spectacular collaboration of three Commando Comics veterans, the editorial team at the comic dig deeper into the Science Fiction vein of last release’s “Flight of Fancy” (Commando No. 5011), in a story featuring time travel, telekinesis and body transference.
Mike Knowles’ story is set far in the future of Earth, when a wise and kind council rule peacefully. However, this harmony is threatened when evil Dextra travels back in time with four others to retrieve the lost art of warfare from different periods in human history.
Humanity’s only hope is “ancient” warfare historian, Cam, who is sent back to stop them, armed only with his vast knowledge of war…
C. T. Rigby’s detailed art captures everything from the Roman uniforms in ancient Britain, to the armour of King Henry V, and finally the battlefronts of World War One and World War Two.
And, as usual, Ian Kennedy’s cover is spectacular, depicting Cam as literally out of this world, standing tall with planet Earth behind him.
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.