cover image Dune: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1

Dune: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1

Frank Herbert et al. Abrams ComicArts, $24.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3150-1

Reasoning that cramming the entirety of Herbert’s landmark 1965 space opera into one graphic volume could prove futile, veteran Herbert world expanders Brian Herbert (son of the classic’s author) and Kevin J. Anderson’s dutiful adaptation covers just the prose version’s first third, in a planned three-volume release. They break down the story into bright plot points drawn by Raúl Allén and Patricia Martin (the Harbinger Wars series). Thousands of years into the future, the royal house Atreides moves to the desert world Arrakis, recently vacated by their rival house Harkonnen. Though Arrakis is a valuable source of the coveted drug “spice,” Duke Leto and his Jedi-like concubine Lady Jessica realize it is also “infested with Harkonnen intrigues” and prepare their son Paul for a bloody power struggle. Herbert’s Middle East history—and ecology—informed universe is on full display, including imperial infighting, Medici-like assassinations, the Bedouin-like Fremen tribes, and extremist water conservation (for instance, spitting is a sign of respect). Though the arc moves swiftly, the traditionalist art feels stiff in talky scenes with characters poised mid-gesticulation—but it excels in broad action shots, such as the first spotting of a massive sandworm maw. This efficient take will whet appetites for more adventures to come. Agent: John Silbersack on behalf of Trident Media Group, and Mary Alice Kier, Cine/Lit Representation. (Nov.)