Connect with us
Dune: House Atreides #1
BOOM! Studios

Comic Books

‘Dune: House Atreides’ #1 review

I’m sure there’s a way to play in the Dune universe with comics, but this dull, flat attempt isn’t it.

I cannot tell a lie: I’m a Dune nerd. 

OK, maybe not a true blue, diehard Dune nerd, but I’ve read several of the books and play board games and discuss lore with other nerdy friends. So when I heard BOOM! was taking on Dune in a prequel context written by THE Brian Herbert, I was excited. Unfortunately, this unambitious comic doesn’t showcase the universe in an entertaining way for fans or newbies. 

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

Set before the first Dune book, we follow two familiar sides: House Atreides (where we see a young Duke Leo) and House Harkonen (featuring a younger but still menacing Baron Harkonen). 

As for the writing, this first issue isn’t terribly exciting. Doing little more than setting up the characters, there’s very little plot or indication of plot other than vague mentions of plotting near the very end. 

Dune: House Atreides #1
BOOM! Studios

The characters are flat and little more than archetypes spouting exposition-heavy dialogue. 

Most damning is how this comic makes no effort to give us the deliberate pacing and razor-sharp nuance of the Frank Herbert books. Dune has stood apart from the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek, and any number of sci-fi or fantasy because they’re all about focusing on the cat-and-mouse dialogue interactions and power plays the characters deviously enacted on each other. 

Yes, slower pacing and muted, sly characters are hard to convey in an interesting way visually…but this comic makes no effort to try. So it comes across like the Dune mini-series: bereft of nuance and high on flat melodrama. 

Dune: House Atreides #1
BOOM! Studios

While mysticism in the Dune universe is usually more of a Fremen activity (desert-dwelling mystics on the planet Arakis), this comic doesn’t even attempt to get a little spiritual, much less philosophical, another element that keeps Dune exciting and fresh even today. 

Dev Pramanik is a decent artist, but his style isn’t dynamic enough to convey excitement in the characters and especially not in the world-building. If I had no idea what Dune was and I flipped through this issue, I wouldn’t remember any design elements or unique features that the book universe has and should be highlighted. However, I must compliment the color work by Alex Guimaraes, because it conveys a dusty, sandy tone without going overly monochromatic in the color scheme (which the Dune movie appears to be). 

Overall, Dune: House Atreides refuses to give us the mystic and subtle power of the source material; yet another example of a visual medium failing to convey Herbert’s brainchild. Unfortunately, I’m sure there’s a way to play in the Dune universe with comics, but this dull, flat attempt isn’t it. 

Dune: House Atreides #1
‘Dune: House Atreides’ #1 review
Dune: House Atreides #1
Overall, Dune: House Atreides refuses to give us the mystic and subtle power of the source material; yet another example of a visual medium failing to convey Herbert’s brainchild. Unfortunately, I’m sure there’s a way to play in the Dune universe with comics, but this dull, flat attempt isn’t it.
Reader Rating1 Vote
7.3
Alex Guimaraes' colors
No subtlety or mystic qualities, which are main components of the Dune universe
Art is too generic and lacks dynamism
Boring, archetypal characters
Little plot to grab onto, and what we have isn't engaging because the characters and dialogue are flat
5
Average

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

what lies below what lies below

‘What Lies Below’: Body horror by way of family drama

Movie Reviews

run run

Adventures in Movies! Episode 95: ‘Run’ review & movies that gross us out

Adventures in Movies!

Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: "I got screwed" Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: "I got screwed"

Alex Ross blasts Warner Bros.: “I got screwed”

Comic Books

SmackDown: The Uso family values soap opera SmackDown: The Uso family values soap opera

SmackDown: The Uso family values soap opera

Pro Wrestling

Connect
Newsletter Signup