Bringing their twelve-issue long comic book adaption to an end, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s narrative for this twenty-two page periodical undeniably brings some semblance of resolution to the trials and tribulations of Duke Leto Atreides. But whilst the young ruler of Caladan succeeds in protesting his innocence before the great Landsradd Court on Kaitain, courtesy of a personal plea by the upcoming Padishah Emperor himself, the vast majority of this publication disconcertingly seems much more concerned with laying down the groundwork for the collaborative authors’ subsequent printed chronicles rather than even partially resolving the numerous character-arcs of this particular storyline’s sizeable cast.
Perhaps the biggest of these disappointments is the notion that Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is never once suspected of being behind the mysterious destruction of a Tleilaxu ship aboard a heighliner, despite the fact that his animosity towards the Atreides is apparently well-known to the numerous noble houses of the distant future. If Leto himself wasn’t behind the surprise attack, and Thufir Hawat is convinced of this despite all the crime’s physical evidence suggesting otherwise, then surely the famed Mentat and Master of Assassins would quickly deduce just who would be manipulating the events so as to destroy his duke; “We were supposed to start a war that would wipe out both House Atreides and the Tleilaxu! It failed entirely — and now that pup is seen as a hero!”
Likewise, debatably out of no-where, the audience discovers that both Hasimir Fenring and Earl Dominic are unconvincingly destined to set up a base of operations upon Arrakis so as to further their own personal ends. Just why Crown Prince Shaddam would exile his former friend upon Dune as its Imperial Spice Observer is never explained, nor how the “harsh desert planet” seemingly still has water enough to create large ice caves within which the outlawed Vernius Family can house their fighters and atomics for a surprise attack upon the treacherous Emperor..?
Happily however, what Issue Twelve of “Dune: House Atreides” debatably lacks in satisfying resolutions, it does make up for with some eye-pleasing pencils. Dev Pramanik’s layouts for the Tleilaxu wheeling their torture device into the court-room and enthusiastically declaring their intention to “drain every drop of his blood” if they succeed in their prosecution of Leto are tremendously well-drawn, as is the determination upon Dominic’s grim visage to have his revenge upon the murderers of his beloved wife, when the embittered Earl visits her final resting place on Bela Tegeuse.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]