Writer Ferg Handley reveals the story behind Bomber Braddock’s return to comics

Commando Issue 5259 - the wraparound "Braddock" cover by Keith Burns

Commando Issue 5259 – the wraparound “Braddock” cover by Keith Burns

Commando presents the return of working class bomber pilot Matt Braddock to comic pages for the first time in over 20 years, the first of two new stories debuting this Thursday, on sale in all good newsagents and available digitally – and writer Ferg Handley has revealed part of the story behind the popular DC Thomson character’s revival.

A mainstay of DC Thomson storytelling, as we previously reported Braddock first appeared in prose adventures in The Rover in the 1950s, before being developed into a comic strip for The Victor and later, Warlord. Now Braddock comes to Commando pages, clashing with superiors and team-mates alike as he establishes himself in the RAF.

Having previously been written from the perspective of his navigator George Bourne, Braddock’s latest interpretation is from long established Commando writer, Ferg Handley, who has done away with third party perspective and given Matt the objective space to evolve from flawed rookie with attitude to true bombing hero.

“Sometimes, dreams do come true,” says Ferg. “As a boy, I loved reading the war stories in Commando and The Victor, so imagine my delight when I was offered the chance to revive one of DC Thomson’s old characters for Commando.

“I was given a list to choose from, and when I saw the name Braddock, I knew that this was the one for me. My father was a wireless operator/air gunner in Bomber Command during the war, so I’ve always been drawn to RAF stories.

Braddock on the cover of Issue 29 of DC Thomson's "Red Dagger" comic. You can see this art in all its glory on page 100-101 of The Art of Ian Kennedy book

Braddock of the Bombers on the cover of Issue 29 of DC Thomson’s “Red Dagger” comic. You can see this art in all its glory on page 100-101 of The Art of Ian Kennedy book

“I was tempted to dive straight in and write up a story. But on reflection, and after checking out Braddock’s early adventures, I decided to go for a full reboot and begin telling the pilot’s story from the very start.

“Braddock had found it hard to join the RAF as a pilot due to his background, so that made for some interesting incidents at the beginning of his career. And once he’d been accepted, the Battles of France and Britain made for some great action scenes, as the rookie struggled to make his mark.”

Artists Morhain and Defeo faithfully capture many of the details of Braddock’s missions as well as his no-nonsense attitude, while Keith Burns adds the well-known drama and flair of Braddock’s character to stunning wraparound covers.

Sergeant Matt Braddock follows Lord Peter Flint in a series of characters from DC Thomson’s archives to be brought back in the pages of Commando.

• Commando Issues 5259 ‘Braddock’ and 5267 ‘Braddock: Demons’ are out 5th September and 3rd October in select WHSmith stores or digitally via the Comixology or Readly apps. Alternatively orders can be placed by emailing shop@dctmedia.co.uk

Commando 5259 - Home of Heroes: BraddockCommando 5259 – Home of Heroes: Braddock
Story: Ferg Handley | Art: Morhain and Defeo | Cover: Keith Burns

Commando presents the return of maverick bomber pilot Matt Braddock! Following on from the triumphant return of Codename Warlord, DC Thomson brings back another beloved character – Braddock — this time from The Victor! Written by Commando veteran, Ferg Handley, with interior artwork by the prolific Morhain and Defeo, plus an wraparound cover by aviation enthusiast Keith Burns!

Coming Soon: Commando 5267: Home of Heroes: Braddock: Demons
Story: Ferg Handley | Art: Morhain and Defeo | Cover: Keith Burns
On Sale 5th October!

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Commando 5260: Gold Collection: Steel and SandCommando 5260 – Gold Collection: Steel and Sand
Story: CG Walker | Art: Gordon C. Livingstone Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 721 (1973)

Steel and Sand boasts a trifecta of classic Commando talent. From an exciting story woven by wordsmith CG Walker to wonderful interior artwork by Gordon C Livingstone, and then topped off with an amazing cover by the one and only Ian Kennedy! This is an issue you don’t want to miss!

Commando 5261 - Action and Adventure: Invasion: PolandCommando 5261 – Action and Adventure: Invasion: Poland
Story | Iain McLaughlin | Art: Morhain & Defeo | Cover: Ian Kennedy

To commemorate eighty years since 1st September 1939, and the beginning of World War Two, Commando is releasing Issue 5261 Invasion: Poland as a special one-off story focussing on Poland’s defence against the German Invasion. Featuring a dual narrative from Iain McLaughlin about a father and son torn between the Polish Air Force, the Army and the invasion.

Read our news story on this issue here

Commando 5262 - Silver Collection: Czech MateCommando 5262 – Silver Collection: Czech Mate
Story: Ian Clark | Art and Cover: Ibanez
Originally Commando No. 2670 (1993)

Czech Mate is the second part of Commando‘s 80 year commemoration of the start of the World War Two, this time from the Czechoslovakian perspective. Ian Clark’s story is about a pilot called ‘Richthofen’, but not the one you’re expecting! This ‘Richthofen’ was not a natural flyer but fate played its hand when he fled to Britain. Can this pilot get over the anxiety of living up to the ‘Richthofen’ name?


The Art of Ian Kennedy - Cover• Official Commando Comics Site:www.commandocomics.com

• Don’t forget The Art of Ian Kennedy is available to order here on Amazon (Using this Affiliate Link helps support downthetubes, thank you)


• David Hodgkinson has a profile of Matt Braddock, publishng information and a comparison with Braddock and Biggles on his Hawker Hurricane-dedicated web site here

• Vic Whittle’s guide to the early Matt Braddock adventures in Rover on his excellent web site British Comics

• The Victor Index lists the Braddock stories here

• Bear Alley: I Flew with Braddock 

• The Victor-Hornet web site offers a terrific introduction to The VictorThe Hornet and The Hotspur comics, celebrating three great British Boys comics packed with adventure, war, humorous and sports stories

• The Ultimate Victor Comic Web Site is a fantastic resource for fans of the comic

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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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

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