Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 finally shows us how Gurney Halleck plans to get revenge on the Harkonnens for the murder of House Atreides. To start with: he plans to steal water from them. A lot of water.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 ~ Details

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" main cover art by Christian Ward.
I’d say he’s seeing red, but I think the spice (and the depression) is making him see blue. Cover A artist: Christian Ward.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 is the 2nd issue of this comic book series starring Gurney Halleck and his (mis)adventures as a spice smuggler. The Dune prequel duo of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson wrote for this comic book. Francesco Mortarino (Power Rangers) is the artist behind it, with Raúl Angulo (Go Go Power Rangers) as the colorist, and Ed Dukeshire (Once & Future) as the letterer. Christian Ward (Something is Killing the Children) drew the main cover, with Junggeun Yoon (Magic) and Raúl Allén (Dune: The Graphic Novel) doing the 2 variant covers respectively. Lastly, BOOM! Studios continues to publish this comic book series.

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" variant cover A art by Junggeun Yoon.
Is it just me, or does this cover art make Gurney look more like a berserker than a warrior poet? Cover B artist: Junggeun Yoon.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 went on sale on June 8, 2022. You can purchase it at your local comic book shop. The first look article for this particular issue claims that the BOOM! Studios webstore has it on sale. However, as of this writing, this is not the case yet, so check the webstore later. You can also download the digital version from comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Kindle whenever they have it available.

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" variant cover B art by Raúl Allén.
Okay, this is definitely the prettiest and artsiest cover out of all of them. Cover C artist: Raúl Allén.

Warning: spoilers for Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 below. If you want to see Gurney’s master plan for revenge for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve changed into the appropriate disguise for this heist along with Gurney and co..

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 ~ Plot Summary

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" preview page 1.
Don’t beat yourself up so bad, Gurney. Some of the best heroes in fiction are smugglers, after all.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 starts us off with Gurney Halleck setting off to acquire a spice bribe for a Count Fenring, having apparently convinced the titular Kanly and his band of smugglers to help him in his revenge quest against the Harkonnens. On the way there, they discover a razed Fremen village that the Harkonnens had decided was too much trouble to let stay alive. As it turns out, that village is one of the smugglers’ hometowns, and that’s enough for them to touch down in their ornithopters to look for survivors. Sadly, they find none. However, the Fremen who’re there to process the corpses into water turns out to be extremely angry at the Harkonnens too. Thus, Gurney and the smugglers strike a bargain with them.

Sometime later, the Fremen have gathered the spice bribe for the smugglers, and in record time too. The spice bribe is enough for Count Fenring, and he comes through on his end of the deal. Said end of the deal turns out to be a large number of Spacing Guild crew uniforms, along with identity cards, current access codes, and details about their target aboard the heighliner orbiting Arrakis. As for what that target is? Well, as it turns out, the Harkonnens need a lot of water during their stay on Arrakis, and they need to store it somewhere. A water tanker ship aboard the heighliner is serving that purpose, and wouldn’t it be a shame if someone stole her?

The Heist of the 23rd Millennium

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" preview page 2.
It’s a good thing these smugglers keep repeating their goal, isn’t it?

With their disguises and equipment ready, Gurney and the smugglers sneak into Arrakeen Spaceport and hitch a ride to the heighliner onboard a transport lighter shuttle. In between reminding everyone not to draw any attention to themselves, Gurney has plenty of time to brood. Especially over his (false) assumptions of Lady Jessica being the traitor who brought down House Atreides.

Fortunately, Gurney doesn’t have long to brood before the transport lighter has arrived at the heighliner. Once in, the smugglers make their way to a private area, where they remove their outer garments to reveal their Spacing Guild crew uniforms underneath. Thus armed, they head off to find and steal that Harkonnen water tanker. Will they succeed? Well, that’s what we’ll presumably find out in Dune: The Waters of Kanly #3.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 ~ The Good

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" preview page 3.
Well, the whole village massacre itself isn’t good. But at least it makes for some nice drama.

The story of Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 is the strongest part of it. Fitting really for the authors of the Dune prequel novels. If there’s anything they’d get right, it’s the story. Everything from the description of Dune‘s technology to Gurney Halleck’s obsession with seeing Lady Jessica as the traitor is pretty accurate to Dune lore. All of these touches and references are why I love the story of this comic book series.

The art of Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 is also pretty good. Francesco Mortarino may be best known for Power Rangers, but he’s doing a pretty good job on Dune too. The art for the characters and setting are nicely detailed, while the depiction of Dune vehicles and ships all feel like things out of a very high-tech science fiction setting. It’s all entirely appropriate for a universe set in the 23rd millennium, of course.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2 ~ The Bad

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2" preview page 4.
Yeah, when you’ve got burning villages, things are very bad indeed.

I’ve actually got a few minor complaints about Dune: The Waters of Kanly #2. My first is the lack of action in this issue. All of this is drama and prep work for the actual action that we’re presumably going to get in the next issue. This is a minor complaint because of that anticipation and honestly, I like the quiet scenes more than the loud ones.

My second complaint is actually Mr. Eyepatch’s reaction to finding his village in flames, and everyone he knew and loved dead. The reaction itself was nearly spot-on. However, I wish he’d call out actual names since he undoubtedly knew all of these people before they became corpses. Maybe he could’ve called out the name of his younger siblings, or even just a simple “Mom, Dad?!”. The rest of the scene kind of makes up for it, so this is a minor complaint as well.

My last complaint is even more minor and a bit petty on my part. I wish the writers and artist had used Denis Villeneuve‘s 2021 version of the ornithopter in this comic book series. Those buzzing dragonfly wings on that insectoid airframe made them look sleek and otherworldly. This version of the ornithopter looks…not bad, but it doesn’t quite evoke the same feeling of coolness. I feel like this is a YMMV moment here, so feel free to disagree with me.

Source: BOOM! Studios