Don't let the headline worry you. DC Thomson's long-running Commando is still in its 64 page pocket size format but it's now printed on thicker paper stock giving it a chunkier appearance. I'm sure most readers will welcome this move as the previous paper stock was very thin.
I was tempted to run with the headline 'Thicker Commandos' but thought better of it. Anyway, here's the info from editor Calum Laird on the latest four issues that are out now. (Hopefully! My local shops haven't received theirs yet.)
It takes nerve and skill to hold a bucking, weaving Sea King in position over a casualty while one of your crewmates is winched down to try to pluck him to safety. Lieutenant Jamie Price had both these qualities which helped make his crew one of the best in the business.
Yet his brother Owen, a Sea Harrier pilot, ranked him only as a glorified bus driver, never missing a chance to sneer.
He never dreamt that he’d have to trust his life to that bus driver in the hostile skies over the Falklands Islands.
Story: Steve Taylor
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Keith Page
The second in our mini-series of Falklands tales 30 years on.
Commando No 4492 — The Blood Feud
So how did it come to pass that Warrant Officer Greg Blake was about to take on a menacing German Zeppelin during the First World War, armed with only a Martini-Henry rifle?
It’s a thrilling tale — one which stretches back to the Boer War, and tells of a bitter blood feud that spanned a generation…
Story: Mac MacDonald
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Like great birds of prey the gliders swoop into enemy territory, defying the might of the Luftwaffe and the savage assault of the flak batteries.
Once on the ground their bellies open to spill out bands of fighting men who strike terror into German hearts — the famous airborne Commandos. They give no mercy — and ask none, these men who have been taught to kill…
Introduction by Calum Laird, Editor
Spoiler alert! In 1962, when this gold nugget was first unearthed, the plot device of the trainee who couldn’t quite cut it was new to Commando. We’ve used it many times since, because it’s still an excellent premise for a story. Eric Hebden makes fine use of it here.
The inside art by Bonato has a clean, clear line to help the story-telling. He’s sparing in his backgrounds, keeping the emphasis where it should be, on the characters who are taking the fight to the enemy on his own ground.
You can’t fault Ken Barr’s cover composition or execution for drama and colour — no wonder the original title was so small, no-one wanted to cover any of it up.
Glider Pilot originally Commando No 32 (April 1962)
Story: Eric Hebden
Cover: Ken Barr
As a Japanese dive-bomber roared in to destroy their trucks, a group of British soldiers scattered for cover. Every man knew they now faced a long trek through the Burmese jungle, trying desperately to stay ahead of the enemy advance.
It wouldn’t be easy, buy they must never give up.
Introduction by Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor
Commando stories are fictional, of course. However, our tales do not shy away from the grimness of war, while still providing solid action yarns.
As a young Commando reader — many years ago — I always found jungle stories to be especially hard-hitting. I could just imagine being immersed in that all-encompassing, claustrophobic atmosphere, where the enemy could strike out of nowhere at any time…
This story reflects all of the above, as a motley crew of heroes — including one man who, in reality, isn’t particularly heroic — strive against the odds to blow up a bridge while all the time ensuring that they “Don’t Give Up!”
Don’t Give Up!, originally Commando No 2105 (April 1987)
Story: R.A. Montague
Art: Cecil Rigby
Cover: Ian Kennedy