Brand new Commando comics (Issues 5175 – 5178 are out this week from DC Thomson, on sale in all good newsagents (and online) on Thursday. But hang on, the chap in the gas mask on the cover of Issue 3178 looks awfully familiar… read on to find out why!
Watch as friends from South Africa fight in the Battle of Cambrai, the Angel of Mons visits the trenches, and we meet the next two Weekes’ siblings in Issues 2 and 3 of ‘The Weekes’ War’.
In other DC Thomson news, we’re very intrigued by teasers on Commando‘s social media about some fortieth anniversary celebrations in 2019 for another of the publisher’s popular but sadly long-cancelled Library titles – Starblazer. Could some collections finally be on the cards of this much-missed SF comic next year?
(Check out Jeremy Briggs’ guide to Starblazer – including creator interviews and a checklist of issues – here on downthetubes).
Commando 5175: Home of Heroes – Michael’s War
Story: Richard Davis | Art: Morhain & Defeo | Cover: Ian Kennedy
While his family fought on land and the sea, Lieutenant Michael Weekes took to the sky in his Armstrong Whitworth FK8, sweeping over German archies in the lead up to the Saint‑Mihiel offensive. Reconnaissance and fighter, Michael’s plane did more than its fair share of shooting.
But after crash-landing behind enemy lines, armed with only his Webley revolver and wits, Michael Weekes came face to face with a front of a different kind…
Issue 2 of ‘The Weekes’ War’
Commando 5176: Gold Collection: Flames of War
Story: Ian Clark | Art: Ibanez | Cover: Ibanez
Originally Commando No. 2918 (January 1996)
A line on a map separated British and German colonies in East Africa, but that meant nothing to Tom Denning and Hans Block. They had always been friends as boys, but when war came in 1914, they were put on opposite sides. It made them enemies.
And then they were both posted to France to experience the horrors of trench warfare at first hand. There their friendship would face its toughest test ever in the flames of war…
Commando 5177: Action and Adventure: Billy’s War
Story: Heath Ackley | Art: Klacik & Defeo | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Lieutenant Billy Weekes wanted desperately to see some action aboard the British Destroyer HMS Meadfoot. He had two brothers in the trenches, one in the skies, and a sister on the front line as an ambulance driver. They would all have amazing stories about their war experiences, but Billy… all he had to talk about was the weather reports.
That is, until a U-boat went rogue after ignoring the order to return to port, and the HMS Meadfoot was tasked with bringing it in.
Issue 3 of ‘The Weekes’ War’
Commando 5178: Silver Collection: The Condemned Men
Story: Sean Blair | Art: Olivera | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 3257 (July 1999)
The chances of survival were poor for the officers and men in action in the trenches during the First World War. They all knew it, and courageously got on with the dangerous job at hand.
One British officer found this harder than most, though. He was as brave as the next man, but he had a secret he knew he must try to keep to himself – a secret so frightening it will chill your blood…
We couldn’t help but notice the similarity of the pose of the key cover character with some photographs of former Commando editor George Low, featured in our interview with him from a few years back. Our immediate thought on seeing it was -is top artist Ian Kennedy enjoying an in joke at the expense of his old employer?
But another former Commando editor, Calum Laird, soon squashed our theory.
“I think it was George having the laugh,” he says. “That photo was taken when he retired in 2007, the cover is 1999.
“Unless, of course, George has the keys to a certain Polis Box and has nipped back and forth. Come to think of it, that would explain why he looks exactly the same today as he did when he retired. Hmmm.”
We like Calum’s theory!
• Commando Comics are available to buy and request in WHSmith and all good local newsagents
• Print and digital subscriptions are available worldwide, and can be bought through the DC Thomson website
• The DC Thomson online shop offers both Commando cover prints and T-Shirts – https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/our-brands/commando.html?cat=1178
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.