On the cusp of the new year Boom! Studios releases the third issue of the Dune: House Atreides comic series. The comic is an adaption of the first novel of the trilogy released between 1999 and 2001. It is a prequel to the original Dune novel written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I always had a high opinion of this trilogy. Even when I did not like many of the other expanded universe novel. The deadly politics of the imperial house and the secretive Bene Gesserit are all fantastic parts of the story. They are certainly the primary reason for me reading this adaption by Dev Pramanik and Alex Guimaraes. If you are interested in Dune: House Atreides then first read my reviews of issue #1 and issue #2.
One issue readers of this series will have to understand is that it is an adaptation of a novel with up to six concurrent storylines. That means that every issue of the comic can only focus a few pages on any given storyline. So don’t expect huge advances of the story. That said, I have noticed how this adaptation removes as much extraneous information as possible. The first storyline covered is that of Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam visiting Giedi Prime. She is there to blackmail the Baron Harkonnen into sex in order to produce a daughter with him. Despite the Baron’s anger and distaste (he is gay) he consents as his embezzlement of spice production on Arrakis means he could lose everything. I found it a nice touch that the artist’s showed a little bit of the Baron’s psychopathic nature by the depiction of his messy bedroom.
More sex please!
I think this plot could have shown more of the sensual side of the witches, but the scene was not concluded so we may see it in the next issue. The second story is that of the Duncan Idaho. He is once again set lose by the Harkonnens to be hunted for sport, but this time Duncan manages to arm himself after killing a soldier and so he may just turn the tables on his would-be pursuers. Meanwhile on Ix Leto Atreides meets Prince Rhombur of House Vernius. Leto is astonished that the planet’s entire civilization is housed underground. Before long Leto meets with the rest of House Vernius including Rhombur’s sisters Kailea. She of course will one day mean a great deal to Leto, but that is still many issues into the future. Rhombur does show off the new Heighliners whose greater efficiency are a threat to House Corrino.
The threat that Emperor Elrood faces to House Vernius will become all too clear soon. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Shaddam and his friend Hasimir Fenring fret on why it is taking so long for Elrood to expire. Fenring has poisoned the emperor with a slow acting substance in order not to arouse suspicion. But for the poorly tempered Shaddam it is all going too slowly. Fenring redirects Shaddam’s attention towards making plans for when he does become emperor. He suggests it would be a coup if they managed to create an artificial source for spice and mentions the often-despised Bene Tleilax. The final storyline focuses on Pardot Kynes and his travels across Dune. Despite collecting much ecological data, he has yet to find any Fremen. His chance comes when a gang of Harkonnen attacks a small group Fremen. Kynes sees his opportunity and with his own fighting skills helps the Fremen.
Opinion on Dune: House Atreides #3
And so, ends another excellent issue of Dune: House Atreides. I think with issue #3 the story is quickly developing. We also see the first beginnings of show the various storylines are interwoven when the Bene Gesserit visit Baron Harkonnen. It won’t be their last visit and their interactions quickly devolve into much nastiness that made the original trilogy worth reading. As 2020 is slowly drawing to a close (thankfully) it is time to consider what comics series I want to read next year. I can tell you that the Dune: House Atreides series by BOOM! Studios is definitely one of them. If they keep to their monthly schedule, they will have finished the adaption of the original novel by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson in September. I expect the adaptation of the sequel novel Dune: House Harkonnen to commence immediately afterwards.