Dune: House Atreides #1 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, art by Dev Pramanik, colors by Alex Guimarães and letters by Ed Dukeshire. The Imperium stretches across the stars. Ruled by Padishah Emperor Elrood IX, its reach is beyond measure. Yet the distance between stars is only accessible due to the use of spice. Spice who’s only planet of origin is the hostile, barren world of Arrakis. Or as it’s also known by some of it’s inhabitants, Dune.
Introducing readers to star-spanning societies, and the stories that weave through them is a tricky business. A person can become overwhelmed with new characters, places, and sights, leaving them with a sense of bewilderment. These hurdles are further complicated by the need to actually present the beginnings of the book’s narrative. Suffice it to say, it’s a lot. Given the ambition, and scope of what it feels like it is setting up, Dune: House Atreides #1 does as good a job keeping everything clear and in order, as can be expected. Although it does have it’s struggling.
While it provides the key information necessary to understand what is happening, even if the reader has no prior experience with the Dune franchise it still becomes quite confusing. There are several different plot threads introduced within this book. And while it is easy to see how they might all converge it’s just too much for one 25ish page comic to get going smoothly. I can’t help but think Herbert and Anderson would’ve been better served to hold back one of the plotlines perhaps. Or giving it a smaller hint, and delving deeper next issue. As it is, Dune: House Atreides #1 just feels a little too full.
Having said that, I do feel that Herbert and Anderson go a long way to combating the overstuffed nature of the plot with how well they introduce the numerous characters that Grace the pages. Despite most of them having only a handful of pages at best, the reader is given a great sense of who these people are. This helps ground the story to it’s characters. Always a strong anchor if you can make it work.
The art of Dune: House Atreides #1 does a great job keeping pace with the ever-shifting locales. Pramanik does an excellent job establishing everyplace, and indeed, every person. The garb and look of individuals is just as varied as their environments. Further giving the Imperium a true sense of scope.
This variety in the art is further enhanced by Alex Guimarães lovely colors. He seamlessly shifts the light from panel to panel. This greatly enriches the mood present within each image. Excellent performance of the coloring craft. Finally, we have Dukeshire’s solid delivery on letters. The story plays out cleaning within the panels, and never interferes with the art. This is the core requirement for letter work in a comic and Dukeshire delivers nicely.
So while Dune: House Atreides #1 feels a bit overstuffed, it will hopefully deliver for its narrative in the long run. As long as you can take a sizable amount of information in stride this book has a lot of promise.
Dune: House Atreides #1 is available October 21st wherever comics are sold.
Dune: House Atreides #1
So while Dune: House Atreides #1 feels a bit overstuffed, it will hopefully deliver for it’s narrative in the long run. As long as you can take a sizable amount of information in stride this book has a lot of promise.