A few years ago I considered submitting a script to DC Thompson's Commando series. These unique comics were favourites of both Steve and I as children and they retain the power to entertain. The short Walking Wounded story Hot Air (from Massacre For Boys In Colour) was done in the Commando style as a tribute to one of our favourite war comics. In the end I decided against making a submission, but here is the summary I prepared for a possible full-length Commando adventure.
Privates Duncan Saunders and Luke Watts are two lifelong friends who join up together at the outset of WW2. They vow to watch out for each other, come what may. The pair are posted to France in 1939, but find themselves confronted by Hitler’s Blitzkrieg. Duncan is killed by a Panzer shell as the Allies are forced back.
At Dunkirk, Luke finds himself in the path of a dive-bombing Stuka. However he is pushed to safety by Duncan, who has come back as a ghost to fulfil his pact. Duncan soon realizes that no one, not even Luke, is aware of his presence, but sticks with him anyway.
Once back in England, Luke is briefly reunited with his fiancée, so Duncan leaves them alone. However, Luke is soon posted to a new unit in North Africa and Duncan is ready for him on the boat.
Soon after arriving, Luke is part of a patrol ambushed by a crack platoon of the Afrika Korps. As the English are forced to surrender, Duncan reaches into one of the German’s belts and sets off a grenade. This totally turns the tables and the German survivors are rounded up and brought back in triumph to the English base. Luke starts to believe he has a guardian angel.
The next day, Luke is involved in a fierce gun battle for control of a small but strategically important port. A Nazi has a clear shot at him but Duncan notices in time and nudges the enemy soldier’s shooting arm. Instead of hitting Luke, the Nazi gets his commanding officer in the leg, and is promptly court-martialled.
A few weeks later, Luke and some of his mates are holed up and under siege in a native house, behind enemy lines. Duncan assesses the situation and declares that even he has his work cut out on this one.
To start with, Duncan focuses on a heavy machine gun emplacement that has the English pinned down. He ensures the gun jams by standing on the ammo sit will not feed properly. Then, he sabotages a sneak attack by calling out in German just as the Nazi soldiers are about to open fire on their defenceless victims. Of course, once the English are aware of them the advantage is lost so Luke and company can use superior cover to drive their opponents back.
Finally, reinforcements arrive and the Germans are forced to retreat. Luke notices a rooftop sniper giving the enemy covering fire, but as he goes to shoot him his gun is out of ammunition and the sniper gets away.
Duncan is confused, until he notices a German ghost jingling bullets, obviously just taken from Luke’s gun. The two ghosts salute each other then head off in opposite directions after their respective charges.