What is Commando?

Wed 08 Dec 2010

In the early 1960s a market opportunity was spotted for a self-contained war story in a booklet form that would provide a longer tale than was available in the traditional comics. First published in 1961, they were an instant hit, going from the original two per month up to the current eight a month in a very few years. At first only Second World War stories were featured but this has widened as the years have passed and readers have asked for other backgrounds for their stories.

What Is... Air

Physically Commando is a complete 63-page story of around 135 black-and-white illustrated frames with text in panels and balloons to provide the narrative.

This is wrapped in a full-colour cover which wraps around the back of the book where lies our trademark dagger and the back cover write-up.

Between the covers and the story proper lies an assortment of advertisements or features on matters military.

The stories are always fiction but they're all set against an authentic background based in solid fact and research.

But a Commando is more than just paper and ink. It's a story of a struggle against adversity, a tale of action and adventure that can be set against the background of the Roman invasion of Britain, the battlefields of Nazi-occupied Europe or, sometimes, the imagined battleground of the future.

The action can take place anywhere from the depths of the ocean or the dizzy heights of space.

What Is... Sea

Every story has action, drama and conflict as well as (most importantly) strong characters and a good, exciting plot. Commando heroes tend to be normal, morally-minded, young "everymen", most of whom have been drafted into the army and are doing their best to help their mates get through to the end.

They fight the recognised enemies but also conflict with characters or authority within their own ranks. Good trounces evil but sometimes at a very high personal cost.

Think 'action' not 'violence'. 'Everyman hero' rather than 'superhero'. War never appears trivial or glamorous, but not unremittingly bleak either. It's a delicate balancing act.

What Is... Land

Have your say 5 comments so far…

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  1. panda_ammonium
    panda_ammonium11 April at 10:44AM

    I grew up on a staple diet of "Commando" over two decades. Played a major influence in my life- from a merchant mariner to a now CAE-designer, and hopefully military eqpt designer..I wholeheartedly recommend you subscribe- that tingling anticipation when you have a new issue in your hands is second to none!

  2. jacj
    jacj13 March at 6:31PM

    Have the writers ever been interested in making any of the stories into video games? What I mean is take a standard game editor engine such as the GEM engine from the WWII set game 'Men of War'. The engine already has all the necessary things like vehicles,men, arms etc. All that required is a little voice acting and event scripting. I would love to play through a Ramsey's Raiders campaign.

    Sincerely Jac

  3. luftwaffle
    luftwaffle24 February at 7:47PM

    Absolutly love the art work, its just fantastic, as well as the stories, these stories have inspired me too take art for GCSE and history, i buy the comics every weekend, so keep up the good work!

    KAFDOG08 February at 2:10AM

    Even at 35 (still a boy at heart) and after spending 15 years in the Army….I still enjoy Commando…it was a great read when I was young boy and I still love it....keep them coming

    Thanks guys

  5. SEAL76
    SEAL7601 January at 5:57PM

    I'm a former US Navy SEAL and Vietnam Veteran. I'd like to know how I might subscribe to this magazine. Looks like a good read.