Review – Dune: House Atreides #3 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
Illustrations: Dev Pramanik
Colours: Alex Guimaraes
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover: Jae Lee & June Chung
Release Date: 23rd December 2020

Somewhat disconcertingly in a comic of five distinctive parts, this twenty-two page periodical’s flow is repeatedly disrupted by the book simply providing a short-lived awareness as to the ‘goings-on’ at one specific location before suddenly upending its readers and depositing them upon another planet entirely. True, such siloed storytelling does mean that the latest issue of Dune: House Atreides contains a handful of dramatic cliff-hangers with which to ensnare its audience for future instalments. But it also strongly suggests that this particular mini-series is probably far better suited to being enjoyed as a complete trade paperback, rather than the lengthy, twelve-part episodic format “BOOM! Studios” have decided to present it in for now.

Luckily, each compartmentalised insight is still extremely well-penned by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, and definitely holds the attention, whether the perusing bibliophile be a fan of House Harkonnen, Pardot Kynes, Duncan Idaho or Leto Atriedes. Indeed, every leading cast member is arguably very well-served within this comic, as the writing duo appear to go to great lengths to award them with plenty of limelight along with some quite noticeable character development; “The Sisterhood has issued their instructions. And I must obey… You must impregnate me. Rest assured, this will not be pleasant for either of us.”

Foremost of these moments is the one involving the future Swordmaster of the Ginaz and his harrowing efforts to escape being fatally recaptured by his Harkonnen captors on Giedi Prime. Armed only with “a knife, hand-light, [and] a few metres of rope”, the recently orphaned adolescent demonstrates all of the fighting savvy he will become famous for in Frank Herbert’s original novel by painfully removing his tracker implant from his back and using it as bait for a particularly nasty trap. Wonderfully pencilled by Dev Pramanik, there’s a palpable vulnerability to this sequence’s early panels, which soon hardens into deadly determination once the boy resolves to stand and fight, rather than give Glossu Rabban the pulse-pounding pursuit “The Beast” desires.

Likewise, the Imperial Planetologist on Arrakis is similarly well-served by the creative team during his data collection in the vast open desert. Seeming initially to be utterly occupied by his job to discover how life somehow manages to survive on the supposedly waterless world, Kynes suddenly demonstrates a surprising savagery when the ‘scholar’ shocking takes sides with an outnumbered group of Fremen against a band of Harkonnen thugs, and literally guts a handful of the barbaric antagonists with his blade before they even know what has hit them.


The writer of this piece was: Blax Kleric
Blax Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

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