Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 gives us a rather dark take on one of Sheriff Woody’s classic catchphrases. It seems that Gurney Halleck will go very far indeed to get his revenge on the Harkonnens.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 ~ Details

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" main cover art by Christian Ward.
When Gurney Hallecks collide. Main cover artist: Christian Ward.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 is the 4th and final issue (you can read reviews of issues #2 and #3 here) of this sci-fi comic book series taking place in the Dune universe by Frank Herbert. Dune prequel authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson are still the writers behind this, with Francesco Mortarino (Power Rangers) still the artist, Raúl Angulo (Go Go Power Rangers) still the colorist, and Ed Dukeshire (Once & Future) still the letterer. Junggeun Yoon (Magic) and Francesco Mortarino (Power Rangers) drew the variant covers. Lastly, BOOM! Studios is still the publisher of this comic book.

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" variant cover A art by Junggeun Yoon.
Clearly, this is the Battle of the Sideburns. Variant cover A artist: Junggeun Yoon.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 went on sale on August 17, 2022, for a retail price of $4.99. You can purchase it from your local comic book shop. If you don’t feel like walking, then you can purchase it online on the Previews World webstore. Strangely enough, even though BOOM! Studios publishes this comic book, their webstore has none of the issues available. Maybe they’ll remedy that situation one of these days.

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" variant cover B art by Francesco Mortarino.
There’s no way even Gurney Halleck would last more than a second against a Shai-Hulud. Variant cover B artist: Francesco Mortarino.

Warning: spoilers for Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 below. If you want to see how this tale of Gurney Halleck ends for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve found out how Woody’s catchphrase has to do with this.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 ~ Plot Summary

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" preview page 3.
My, this is a luxuriously big cave for a bunch of smugglers.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 picks up where we last left off, with Gurney Halleck reporting back to his smuggler boss about the utter failure of his attempt to steal the Harkonnen water tanker ship. What else would you call returning with most of the team dead and not a drop of water to show for it? Fortunately, Gurney has a backup plan, and he’s going to use a stolen Harkonnen uniform to witness the fruits of it in person.

Gurney’s stolen uniform is enough to get him into a chamber deep in the seat of Harkonnen’s power. There, Baron Rabban throws a celebratory party where his officers feast on the water they’d brought back. Except for Rabban himself, who shows his contempt by wasting a cup of water on the ground, and instead drinks a bottle of wine from the Atreides stores. Ironically, this is what saves Rabban from Gurney’s backup plan. Do you remember when he injected that pink liquid into the water back in the last issue? Yeah, that’s coming into play now.

Sheriff Woody Was Right

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" preview page 4.
All that currently worse-than-useless water, you mean.

Yes, Gurney Halleck poisoned the water. As it turns out, that pink liquid was some kind of neurotoxin. After nearly 90 minutes, all of the officers who’d drunk even a drop of the water were dead. All save for Baron Rabban, whose penchant for Atreides wine manages to save him through sheer luck. Fortunately, Gurney manages to sneak away in the chaos, but not before grabbing a bottle of Atreides wine for himself. Apparently, he plans to use it to celebrate with once the Harkonnens are finally kicked off Arrakis.

As Gurney leaves behind dead bodies and spilled water, he finds a nice isolated alley to tear his Harkonnen uniform into shreds. He then manages to somehow find a baliset (a fictional string instrument in-universe) and plays a “sweet” but “sad” song for the fallen Duke Leto and Paul Atreides (at least, as far as he knows). Thus ends the tale of Dune: The Waters of Kanly.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 ~ The Good

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" preview page 6.
You can tell that I never read the first issue, because I still have no idea who Kanly is.

As befitting Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, the story of Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 is the best part about it. It’s kinda fascinating watching a once-honorable soldier turn into a grim assassin all because of a desire for revenge. It is more a bit on the dark side, but fascinating regardless. Kind of like reading a story of how Captain Nemo began his descent into submarine piracy in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas.

The art of Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 is also top-notch. As you can see in the preview pages, Francesco Mortarino did a wonderful job with the artwork of this comic book. His predominant use of dark colors and shadows really fit the overall tone of the story. The way the colors get bright again at the very end also signifies Gurney completing his vengeance, or at least considering his vengeance to be complete. For now, at any rate.

Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 ~ The Bad

"Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4" preview page 7.
I guess skyscraper-sized water tanker ships make good lightning rods.

As great as the story of Dune: The Waters of Kanly #4 was though, I do have a single complaint about it: it’s too obvious and there seems to be some holes in it. I’ll bet virtually everyone could see that the water was going to be poisoned ever since issue #3. Granted, it’s hard to imagine just what else that pink liquid could’ve been.

I also wonder what would’ve happened had Gurney and his team actually seized the water tanker. Did they have an antidote to counter that neurotoxin handy or something? I feel Gurney was missing some steps in his plan when he poisoned that water, and that’s not even going into the risk to the civilian population, even if Gurney did justify it as Baron Rabban refusing to share the water with the local commoners. I think this story might’ve done better with just a bit more explanation, especially when that smuggler was yelling at Gurney at the beginning.

Source: BOOM! Studios

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