Although the Dune movie by director Denis Villeneuve is delayed until October 2021 the franchise is expanding. Yesterday saw the long-awaited release of the Dune Graphic Novel. It adapts about a third of the original novel by Frank Herbert. While I am reading through it we also got the second issue of the Dune: House Atreides comic series. This series adapts the prequel novel trilogy written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. It is set a few decades before the events of the original novel and expands upon characters and plot points. Despite initial skepticism I thoroughly enjoyed issue #1. The review of which you can check out by following the link. For those readers of this blog who are unfamiliar with Dune but want to known what the fuss is about then this comic series might just be your thing, along with the graphic novel adaptation.
Dune: House Atreides is a straight up adaptation of the similarly entitled book released over 20 years ago. In this issue we see Pardot Kynes arrive on Arrakis to take up his position of imperial planetologist. He makes no impression on the Baron Harkonnen, which is probably a good thing. He does agree to go on a worm hunt with the Baron’s nephew, Rabban. For those familiar with Dune lore know that a sandworm is not easily killed. Rabban finally manages it by letting a worm eat a stockpile of explosives. Which proves just how derivative The Mandalorian really is. Just to spoil Rabban’s prize the dead corpse of the sandworm quickly disassociating into tiny worms. Rabban quickly loses interest in the worm and vows he will continue a hunt on Giede Prime proving how ephemeral Harkonnen judgement is. Yet Kynes is interested and start his journey into the desert.
The Bene Gesserit and the Harkonnen
This issue then switches to Wallach IX and the home of the Bene Gesserit. There reverend mother Anirul provides a presentation of bloodlines and how they plot a route to the Kwisatz Haderach. This person, should he ever be born, will become the ultimate super-man. This person of course features largely in the original Dune novel, but for now The Bene Gesserit need a daughter from the baron Harkonnen. To accomplish that they intend to blackmail the baron who has been defrauding the emperor of spice taxes. Meanwhile on Giede Prime we see the origin story of Duncan Idaho, future sword master in service of House Atreides. We see how as a boy he was hunted for sport by the Harkonnen. After showing defiance Duncan’s parents are killed, but not before he himself vows to survive. And so the authors of the original novel deftly intertwine several story threads.
The final few pages of this issue show future Duke Leto Atreides arrive at the planet Ix by way of Spacing Guild Heighliner. Leto is already feeling homesick but he intrigued by Earl Dominic Vernius. Under the Earl’s supervision Leto will undergo further tutelage. As house Vernius controls the most important industrialized planet in the imperium Leto will be at the center of intrigue. However, when Leto actually arrives on the planet all is not as it seems. The Spacing Guild have dropped him off in the middle of a meadow, and from the air Leto could not see a single city on the surface. Is he being dumped by his father? And so, ends issue #2 which to me is about as faithful an adaptation of the source material as possible. Reading through it I have developed a new appreciation for the novel series.
One small point to Dune: House Atreides #2
If there was a flaw I could point out is that because there are four separate story threads none were deepened. We got the beginnings of new story threads. It will take a few more issues before their interrelation and subtleties will come to fruition. But that is how it goes with comic series, you get one issue at a time. Right now I am intrigued enough to continue reading this series as it releases issue on a monthly basis. The illustration by Dev Pramanik are beautiful as is the coloring by Alex Guimaraes. I hope you enjoyed this review of Dune: House Atreides issue #2. If you did then don’t forget to fill out the subscription widget on the right. Do return tomorrow for my review of the Dune Graphic Novel volume 1.