Dune House Atreides #1 opens with Baron Vladimir Harkonnen on his way to oversee the extraction of a large deposit of the Spice Melange from the deep desert on Arrakis. There is a flurry of action around the huge rolling factory where the spice is being extracted when suddenly something goes wrong. There is a massive explosion and most all the people and equipment on the surface are lost.
The spice and the desert planet of Arrakis where it is found are at the center of Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction novel, Dune. But this comic is based on the novel Dune House Atreides written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, which takes place a generation before the story of Frank Herbert’s first novel and gives us a much broader picture of the Dune universe. Through the first three issues of this comic, the story moves from planet to planet introducing us to many key characters as their stories set in motion.
From the first scene on Arrakis, we then move to the Emperor’s home world of Kaitan where we see Emporer Elrood IX holding court.
We then move to the world of Caladan where we get a glimpse of the life of young Prince Leto Atreides, and find out that he is going to be sent to study on the machine world of Ix.
We get to see Leto begin his studies on the world of Ix, where there are entire cities built under the surface of the planet.
We meet a very young Duncan Idaho and see details of his very challenging existence on Geidi Prime, the Harkonnen home world.
We follow imperial Planetologist Pardot Kynes as he begins to explore the desert of Arrakis.
I have been a fan of Frank Herbert’s book Dune since I first read it. With the new movie directed by Denis Villeneuve (who directed Blade Runner 2049 which I also really enjoyed) about to come out, Dune has been on my mind recently. As soon as I heard this book was coming out, I wanted to pick it up and see what it was about.
The world of Dune is a complex one and getting a feel for the characters can be a challenge because there are so many of them. It is not unlike the confusion that can set in reading Tolkien for the first time. But if you can make it through the first few chapters, you will be rewarded with a truly epic, high-concept science fiction story in a world unlike any other.
The writing of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson in Dune House Atreides does a great job of introducing us to the characters in each world as the story lines intertwine. Having read these first three issues, I am pulled back into this world and when this arc comes to an end, I may have to explore some of the other books that Brian Herbert has written. This is just such a rich and fascinating world and I really enjoy going back to it.
The art of Dev Pramanik feels like it is slightly influenced by the aesthetic of Lynch’s 1984 movie, and that is not a bad thing at all. There are a number of worlds to depict and they all feel separate and distinct. As I started reading, the only thing that I wanted was a little more detail in some of the images, but as the pages went on, that fell away. I really appreciate the feel of some of the more ominous worlds like Geidi Prime that Pramanik captures.
I really enjoyed reading these issues and I think that even if you are not familiar with it at the beginning, Dune House Atreides may be the perfect place to start to wade into the world of Dune. The one thing I will say is that because each issue skips around a bit, giving you a piece of a few stories in each, I think that this will read better if you can go through multiple issues at once. Now that the first 3 issues are out and the 4th is right around the corner, this is the perfect time to pick these issues up.