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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Commando 5043-5046

Brand new Commando issues 5043-5046 are out soon! Ready your guns for incoming Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine and Wehrmacht as our Commandos face air, sea and land skirmishes against the Axis forces. From R.N.L.I. volunteers to Eastern street cleaners, our heroes come in all sizes.

5043: Lifeboat Heroes!
Often dubbed ‘Weekend Warriors’, R.N.L.I. volunteers patrolled the dark waters of the Channel, rescuing the men they found from the icy drink, though their heroics were often overlooked and forgotten…
    Keith Page’s instantly recognisable artwork matches and conveys both the humour and earnestness of Colin Watson’s story. This balance is always maintained, as the comically affronted facial expressions of the crew lighten the tone, while the perilous night-time rescue missions are filled with heavy blacks, sustaining a sense of dread throughout these darker moments. And Page’s cover is one such moment, showing the carnage of the Dunkirk evacuation in a stylised spectrum, from yellows and blues, to greens and even purples.

Story: Colin Watson
Art: Keith Page
Cover: Keith Page

5044: Wings of War
Sanfeliz’s action packed cover perfectly captures these ‘Wings of War’, as a lone Spitfire showers bullets at two attacking Messerschmitts, and mid loop nonetheless!

But these aerobatics are not lost in the issue’s interior as Repetto’s thin line strokes and attention to detail really add to the depth of the art, contouring the landscapes beneath the planes and giving more dimension to the aircraft. Meanwhile, Fitzsimmons pilot officer, Jack Mitchell is all edge, determined to beat his father’s WWI record for shooting down twenty-five Luftstreitkr√§fte planes, by any means necessary. Looking every inch the R.A.F. hero of Commando, Jack’s actions seem callous and downright deplorable as he shuns his fellow pilots and shoots down planes mercilessly.

Story: Fitzsimmons
Art: Repetto
Cover: Sanfeliz
Originally Commando No. 391 (March 1969) 

5045: The Sniper
An expert marksman, Sergeant David Woking was the guardian angel of his squadron, taking out anything and anyone that threatened his men. But his superiors didn’t think too highly of snipers, or Woking’s rogue manner. Within this issue, Colin Watson takes full advantage of both Woking’s one-man battle and his time with his teammates, working on the individual characters and how these personalities interact. Jaume Forns then adds to these personas through his art, giving the precise, unerring Woking his thin moustache and bright eyes, and the mischievous Roger his freckles, adding to their charm.
    Completing this is David Alexander’s cover art, mixing watercolour, acrylic and ink to create a traditional looking piece with its own quirks. Keeping our eponymous sniper front and centre, as he hides among the undergrowth, Alexander also inserts images of Woking’s targets, highlighting his deadly accuracy.  

Story: Colin Watson
Art: Jaume Forns
Cover: David Alexander

5046: Sewer Rat
Finally, looks can be very deceiving in Mike Knowles story of a scruffy Lance-Corporal, dismissed immediately by his superiors for his careless appearance. Yes, Thomas Henshaw may have a bit of stubble and be rather inept at ironing, but his heart was in the right place. So, when his C.O. and crew are taken to a Japanese P.O.W. camp, he takes to the sewers, using the network of tunnels for raids and ambushes on the enemy. These underground systems are perfectly depicted in Keith Shone’s interior art, as he uses thick blocks of black for the background, highlighting the characters in white, as the shadows take over and appearances are rendered meaningless. And emphasising this theme is Alan Burrows cover, as Tom’s expression and figure is overcast in deep purple shadows, giving him a rather Gothic look.

Story: Mike Knowles
Art: Keith Shone
Cover: Alan Burrows
Originally Commando No. 2629 (January 1993)

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