The Illuminerdi reviews issue #1 of Boom Studios’ Dune: House Atreides.
Marvel and DC are the undisputed kings of the comic book game, and quite frankly, I don’t expect that to change in my lifetime. Now, while this certainly has it’s perks. (We are living in the golden age of comic book adaptations after all, thanks in no small part to the DCEU and MCU) These two companies have overshadowed smaller publishers for decades, and that is truly a shame.
Take for example, Boom Studios, and before you ask, no, they didn’t pay me to write this. Boom Studios has been quietly supplying comic book fans with solid comic books, both original creations and new entries in beloved franchises, for several years now.
Boom first came on my radar after joining The Illuminerdi team, and I have fallen in love with their catalog since. From insane crossovers, to fantastic Power Rangers stories, to exhilarating horror, Boom has a bit of something for everyone. This week, I had the pleasure of reviewing the first issue in the new series, Dune: House Atreides.
Dune: House Atreides
Now, before reading this review of Dune: House Atreides, it is important to understand that I have no familiarity with the franchise outside of the trailer for the upcoming Denis Villevenue adaptation. The widely expansive franchise started as a book, Dune, written by Frank Herbert and released in 1965. In the decades since, prequels, sequels, adaptations and other such content has created a sprawling “Duniverse”.
Finding the trailer for the new film to be quite riveting, I did some light research on the series and sought out an entry point. I ended up choosing Dune: House Atreides, more out of convenience than strategy, and ultimately discovered that this was not the right place to start my journey into Dune canon.
The comic jumps around the universe of this space opera, focusing on multiple protagonists briefly as opposed to one singular hero. There are soldiers flying over Arrakis, otherwise known as Dune, who are rather dismayed when an explosion takes out a spice factory. “Spice” is a substance unique to Arrakis which prolongs life, enables interstellar travel, and likely possesses other magical qualities. For a substance so vital to the people of this world, as well as the plot, it is drastically underdeveloped in this book.
For example, the emperor and leader of “The Imperium” literally hires a scientist, a scientist who is characterized very unbelievably might I add, to study the world of Arrakis. Again, I stress the fact that Spice, which only comes from Arrakis, allows for extended life and interstellar travel. The emperor is 155 years old if I’m not mistaken, and they are definitely using interstellar travel in this comic. Maybe I’m just getting hung up on this one plot point, but I have to mention that it strikes me as very odd, and not quite realistic.
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The third story arc in this issue follows a son of royal lineage, and his father who fights a large alien bull in a colosseum, Gladiator style. This bit was certainly the most exhilarating part of Dune: House Atreides, but it wasn’t anything groundbreaking. I finished this arc, and subsequently the book, wondering how this bit would fit into the other plotlines. The first and second threads centered on Arrakis, but this seemed isolated.
I’m certain that question will be answered in a further issue, which I hope that Dune fans read and enjoy. I will be reattempting to enter the franchise as a fan through either reading the original book or watching the 1984 film. While Dune: House Atreides wasn’t aggressively bad, it left no strong impression on me after I closed the book, and for that reason I cannot recommend it. That being said, if I become a fan of the franchise, I will gladly read this again, from a new perspective.
What did you think of Dune: House Atreides #1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!
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