Review – Dune: House Atreides #9 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
Illustrations: Dev Pramanik, Mariano Taibo
Colours: Alex Guimaraes
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 25th August 2021

Considering just how enthrallingly impactful this publication’s opening is, as the newly ‘crowned’ Duke Leto Atreides presides over the investigation into his father’s tragic death, it is in some ways a pity that this comic book adaption’s narrative soon shifts its attention away from Caladan and transports its audience to the likes of Ix and the Spacing Guild’s central planet instead. Indeed, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s ability to project the emotionally tense atmosphere within the young nobleman’s courtroom is so palpable that an entire issue dedicated solely to Thufir Hawat’s initial findings, young Duncan Idaho’s passionate recollection of his multiple warnings concerning the killer bull’s temperament, and the subsequent interrogation of the Stablemaster would arguably have proved no chore at all.

Somewhat disappointingly though, that is not how the plot to the latest issue of Dune: House Atreides plays out, as this twenty-two page periodical also follows the exploits of the son of the Ixian Ambassador to the Imperial Capital, C’Tair, the death of Elrood IX, and the murderous machinations of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Of course, all of these insights into the lavishly large universe of “the world’s best-selling science fiction novel” are important, as they each chapter revolves around the dead Padishah Emperor’s plan to secretly support the Tleilaxu in “an ambitious research project to create a cheap and plentiful artificial form of the spice Melange.” But some bibliophiles’ minds will likely still be distractedly racing from the revelation that Paulus was clearly murdered and that his cold-hearted wife is implicated in the despicable deed; “Mother, you will be silent, or I’ll have the guards evict you from the hall and lock you in one of the towers. I am the Duke.”

Ably aiding this comic’s storytelling are Dev Pramanik and Mariano Taibo’s artwork, which together do a proficient job in portraying the duplicitous political posturing occurring upon both Kaitain and Giedi Prime. However, it is the penciling of Leto’s increasingly sombre mood which really catches the eye, as Pramanik really manages to imbue the somewhat thin, diminutive figure sat upon his father’s great throne with all the haunted looks a reader might expect from one so young being suddenly thrust into the limelight of the Landsraad and proclaimed “Head of a Great House.”


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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