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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Commando re-branded into "Collections" - but new stories continue

The latest batch of Commando releases sees some changes to the title's format with it now coming four distinct guises - reflected on the covers - and a change to the focus of the stories inside.

The digest comic stories - the usual mix of new and old - will be themed under four distinct "collections" or series: The Home of Heroes,  focusing on British heroes; Action and Adventure, featuring a wide range of war stories; the Gold Collection, dusting off some classic tales from the title's earliest years; and the Silver Collection, featuring more recent popular tales from the title's library.

"Don’t worry, though," assures editor Calum Laird. "Our mission to bring our readers the best action and adventure stories remains unchanged."

Commando No 4475 — Invasion Dawn
The Home of Heroes Collection
Story: Mac MacDonald Art: Carlos Pino Cover: Carlos Pino

A minor military base in a remote corner of the British Isles would not be the place you’d expect to find a battle royal raging. And if you did, how could a group of the Home Guard’s old warriors stand up to an enemy attack.

They may have been put to the test in battles past, but that was a long time ago. And what of the Home Guard’s youngster, would he be up to the task? You can bet he would try.

Invaders beware!

Invasion Dawn is the first  story from Commando's brand-new "Home Of Heroes" Collection. "These stories always revolve around a British hero, no matter where in the world you may find him," Calum explains. "We rate these as The Best of British."

Commando No 4476 — Murder in The Heights
Action And Adventure Collection
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Olivera Cover: Janek Matysiak

The history books of the First World War concentrate on events on the Western Front in France, the scene of the fiercest battles the world had ever seen. The fighting, though, was not confined to France, for all over Europe armies faced each other.

In Greece, Italians, Greeks, Austrians and Germans battled it out on the plains and in the mountains.

Into this cauldron rode British Army Lieutenant John Fielding, little guessing that some of his enemies were prepared to go beyond the normal rules of war...

"Commando will continue to be Britain’s premier title for adventure stories," insists Calum Laird. "You’ll find stories from the depths of the sea, the dizziest of heights and from the four corners of the globe.

"Just like the others, 'Murder In The Heights' carries on Commando’s tradition of Action And Adventure."

Commando No 4477 — Lone Hero
Gold Collection: Originally Commando No 18 (Feb 1962)
Story Eric Castle Art Gordon Livingstone Cover Ken Barr

“Let The Other Bloke Be The Mug”

While his Eighth Army mates fought and died under the glaring desert sun of North Africa, Private Sam Deacon was content to drive a truck. Not for him the blood and guts of battle, the risk of stopping a German bullet: “Let the other bloke be the mug,” was his motto.

Then he met one of the ‘other blokes’ who wasn’t a mug — a hero who rammed those words down Deacon’s throat till he squealed for mercy — and found himself a hero too.

"Where would Commando have been without the combined talents of Ken Barr and Gordon Livingstone?" asks Calum Laird. "If this story from our Gold Collection (from 50 years ago) is anything to go by, the title would have struggled. The cover, with its generous helping of yellows and oranges, leaves you in no doubt that you’re in the searing heat of the North Africa desert. Inside, the line of the art charges from the first page to the last, packed with movement and character.

"We’d better not forget Eric Castle’s tale either, it’s another gold-plated cracker… which I think you should read for yourself!

"Following the feedback we had from our readers last year — our 50th — we’ve decided to do what they wanted and go right back to Commando’s earliest years to dust off some classic tales. You’ll see from the cover of 'Lone Hero' that it is part of our Gold Collection, one that first saw the light of day 50 years ago — in 1962."

Commando No 4478 — Death From The Sky
Silver Colection: Originally Commando No 2129 (October 1987)
Story Allen Chalmers Art Blasco Cover Ian McIntosh

Stuck in a shore job, Sub-Lieutenant Mike Wilson was desperate to see action — so desperate he even volunteered to check out an unexploded Jap bomb lodged in the hold of a merchant ship.

After surviving that ordeal, he thought serving in a sub would be a piece of cake. But with bombs, depth-charges and enemy suicide planes to contend with, he couldn’t have been more wrong!

"In this Pacific War tale we meet Sub-Lieutenant Mike Wilson, notes Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery. "He’s a gutsy bloke for sure, but not the brightest. And he’s pretty impatient too — preferring to act before he thinks. Admirable, but very likely to get himself and his mates killed. Perhaps it’s ironic that a budding Navy officer could (literally) get out of his depth! Especially with the threat of Japanese Okha planes, with Kamikaze pilots at the controls, on the horizon.

"So Mike is a brave, flawed but intriguing character — but can he become a true Commando hero? Read on and find out!"

"Many readers asked to re-read stories from a later period so the 'Lone Hero' companion 'Death From The Sky' is from a different era — 25 years ago," adds Calum, "and is part of our Silver Collection."

• The Draw Your Weapons exhibition featuring art from Commando continues at the National Army Museum in London this month and runs until 30th April 2012. For the latest information visit: www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/special-displays/draw-your-weapons-art-commando-comics

• Official Commando web site: http://www.commandocomics.com/

Commando Official Facebook page

• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846

Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.

Commando Comics iPhone App on iTunes

Commando Comics iPad App on iTunes

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