Commando issues on sale 6 April 2017.
All set in different conflicts during WWII and following very different protagonists, the latest four issues of Commando deal with themes of duty and heroism, pushing the boundaries of both qualities and blurring the divide between the Allies and the Axis.
Our latest Home of Heroes issue, 5007: Ghost Ship deals with the WWII HMS Sheridan, a British Navy Destroyer on her last voyage. Writing duo Jim and David Turner’s story follows the Sheridan as she sails off the coast of South America, towards the Antarctic under new and inexperienced Commander Shaw, who does not respect his men, pushing them to mutiny as he recklessly pursues the mysterious Ghost Ship. Keeping in tune with Janek Matysiak’s dark and violent ocean on the cover, Keith Page’s interior artwork contrasts the icy blacks of the perilous south Atlantic against the towering, jagged white icebergs that threaten death at every turn.
STORY Jim and David Turner | ART Keith Page | COVER Janek Matysiak
Then, in a reprint from our Gold Collection, issue 5008: Operation Castaway offers a warmer backdrop, with lurid reds and yellows on the cover. Set mainly on the south Pacific Island of Taraka, Gordon C. Livingstone’s American style of illustration emphasises a tropical paradise, disguising the dangers that lurk within the foliage. Lester’s story focuses on the partnership between arrogant Yankee General ‘Fireball’ Flynn, whose plane has crashed on the island, and no nonsense British Sergeant Frank Preston who is tasked with rescuing him. There’s plenty of action and heroism in this issue, with Preston even clinging to a submarine’s broken periscope, with only his head above the water, to direct the sub safely through enemy waters.
STORY Lester | ART Gordon C. Livingstone | COVER Gordon C. Livingstone
(Originally issue 323)
However, in issue 5009, Ferg Handley’s Patrol Boat Prisoners, heroism and duty are brought into question. Showing the maturing values of Commando, this issue features less of the 1960’s hair raising action in favour of a more grounded story and an insight to pacifism. Set in Autumn, 1944, patrol torpedo boat Lieutenant Mark Murdoch captures two Japanese officers, one of which has lost faith in Japan’s cause, believing that the attack on Pearl Harbour brought them dishonour. Murdoch too expresses a disinterest in the war, fighting only because of his duty and his men. This is again emphasised by the gritty realism of Janek Matysiak’s cover and Jaume Forn’s interior art, which juxtaposes the mammoth ships against the small and indistinguishable figures of the men who fought on either side of the war.
STORY Ferg Handley | ART Jaume Forn | COVER Janek Matysiak
Finally, issue 5010: Treasure Hunt, a 1990’s reprint again follows a similar theme as Roger Sanderson’s story causes us to question if we can trust our enemies more than our allies? Focusing on a Nazi protagonist, Erhardt Schroider is given a sympathetic light as he detests his superiors for their indulgences while him men starve. Then, betrayed by his C.O., Schroider surrenders to the allies, striking a deal to give them information in order to save his men. Ian Kennedy’s cover is stylish and eye catching as always, with the title in a shocking mauve, and like Keith Shone’s interior art, details the Nazi, French and British uniforms with the historical accuracy that Commando is known for.
STORY Roger Sanderson | ART Keith Shone | COVER Ian Kennedy
(Originally issue 2578)