Last week from BOOM! Studios came Dune: House Atreides 5. We near the half way point in this series, scheduled for 12 issues, and I can’t help but think both issue 12 and October 1 cannot get here fast enough. This isn’t so much slight as it is format and the very nature of Dune.
Dune is a highly advanced, sci-fi, political thriller. The maneuverings and machinations of the various entities involved make this story extremely complex and to get the story they are telling in this comic gets too strung out to be effectively told and understood. This series really needs to be read both in a single reading 1-12 and after the movie comes out. I saw the original 1984 film many years ago and loved it. I cannot wait for the new one, but this comic really drags for me right now, and I think I figured out why.
This issue is 24 pages. Take out the cover and credits page and we sit at 22 pages. In House Atreides 5, they switch scenes between 7 settings a total of 10 times! That means each little section is roughly 2 pages and then switches. Only at the end does the story step back a bit and tell the story in any type of “chunk”.
This makes it very hard to follow the huge cast in play, but I’m sure every one of them is needed. This is when knowing the movie would help sort all this out because we know where all the pieces will end up.
House Atreides 5 – The Short Stories
Although broken up into a few different sections, much of this issue centers around Planetologist Kynes. He sees a future where Arrakis could transform into a normal planet with water, gardens and no more environmental suits. The council sees him as a traitor and wants him dead. They hire an assassin, but this is where it feels like I’m missing something.
The assassin charges Kynes, but Kynes simply yells at the assassin to remove himself. The assassin walks away and removes himself…through suicide. Is Kynes telepathic and controls thoughts? I do not think so, but the about face by the assassin really confused me.
There are a couple of bit parts thrown in that update Kailea, Duncan, and Leto, but the other major story that gets some attention is Shaddam and his father the Emperor. Shaddam wants his father dead and to rule in his stead, but the poisons he’s using are working very slowly. Meanwhile, an ambassador shows up and thinks he can make synthetic Spice for the Emperor.
For those that know and understand Dune this series probably read better, but for the average reader who has not seen the movie at all, this series grows harder and harder to follow, unless you love political dramas. What do you think of House Atreides 5? Head over to THS Comics on Facebook and let us know what you think so far.