June 18, 2024


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Cover of Dune House Atreides issue 5 by Boom Studios

Court intrigue are the highlights of Dune: House Atreides issue #5

After a brief hiatus the Dune: House Atreides comic series is back with issue #5. House Atreides is an adaptation of the first novel in a trilogy by Boom! Studios. Based on the original novel from over 20 years ago. It was a prequel to the original Dune novel, this time written by author Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I always enjoyed this trilogy, the court intrigue and the additional background on many factions made it the best in the Expanded Dune Universe. So far the comic adaptation illustrated by Dev Pramanik has not disappointed. So let’s see how Dune: House Atreides issue #5 fares.

Earl Vernius and daughter Kailea in Dune

Just as with the previous issue it progresses each of the major storylines a few pages. Now, it is focused down on just four: the court of Elrood IX on Kaitain, Leto’s residence with House Vernius, Kynes’s integration with the Fremen and Duncan’s Idaho’s escape from the Harkonnen’s. Except for the latter storyline each is covered at least twice in this issue. That ensures there is a sense of progression of time. This issue starts on Arrakis. After Kynes saves several young Fremen their tribe feels indebted to him. Yet, their leader plans to kill him to prevent either the emperor or the Harkonnen’s from learning too much if them. His bold ideas for terraforming Arrakis also irks some, but others are enthusiastic. The Naib, or leader, arranges for Kynes’s death, even going to so far as to send assistants with the assassin to prevent water being wasted.

Kynes and Ajidica

Yet Kynes’s enthusiasm proves infectious. The little the assassin hears of the terraforming Dune into a green lush planet convinces him to abandon the attempt. Instead, he kills himself after feeling guilt of having nearly robbed his people of this opportunity at a new live. Kynes’s stature with the Fremen reaches new heights and they begin to worship him as a prophet. For some readers of this comic this may all seem sudden, and it is true that this adaptation shows only the highlights. Yet, the Fremen have always been superstitious. They also have the means to collect water and grow small plants. The components for terraforming are there, now Kynes just lit the match. Meanwhile on Ix Leto attempts to warn Rhombur Vernius of the impending revolt of the Suboid workers. But he is met with skepticism. I enjoyed a small scene between Kailea and her father Earl Vernius.

Dune House Atreides issue 5 Ajidica and emperor Elrood IX

Their knowledge of palace intrigue should have alerted them to the plans of Elrood IX. Before long the Suboids are in revolt forcing Rhombur and Leto to flee for their lives. To their consternation the revolt is being led by Tleilaxu. This brings us to the third and most interesting storyline. On Kaitain emperor Elrood IX is introduced to Tleilaxu Master Ajidica. Unbeknownst to Elrood it was his own son Shaddam and Fenring who set up the meeting. Ajidica proposes a joint venture. The Tleilaxu will create artificial spice if the imperial house can muster a secure laboratory. Elrood agrees. Meanwhile the health of the emperor is slowly declining. With ever increasing amounts of spice beer he drinks he is poisoning himself. A Suk doctor who is called in cannot find a cause or a cure, but does suggest that Crown-Prince Shaddam should take up more duties.

My opinion of Dune: House Atreides issue #5

The final few panels show Duncan Idaho finally arriving on Caladan after his flight from the Harkonnen. He ventures out to seek Duke Paulus and offer him his services. While I keep on enjoying this adaptation of Dune: House Atreides I beginning to see some problems. It covers just the highlights and at times that makes it feel as if the story is jumping around at random. Long conversations had between characters in the original novel are mostly gone. In this comic more often than not we see the results of those conversations. I did enjoy the introduction of the Tleilaxu in this adaptation. They have always been a mysterious race in Dune and I am never quite sure what they look like. The artwork has so far been brilliant in this series and issue 5 is no different. The vibrant colors across all of the storylines.

The assassination of Kynes

I am not sure when Dune: House Atreides will return, hopefully after the brief hiatus it will return to a monthly schedule. I will keep you posted on that. If you want to know more about this comic then you can always read my prior reviews (issue #1, issue #2 and issue #3). Or you can visit the official discussion board. If you are interested in more Dune content then please visit my dedicated Dune pages. *** Issue #6 is set for April 28th ***