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Frank Herbert’s Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 1 Review

Just read the novel.

“Frank Herbert’s  Dune: The Graphic Novel Book 1” is an adaptation by Brian Herbert (Frank’s son) and sci-fi veteran Kevin J. Anderson who have continued on with the Dune universe after the passing of Frank Herbert. For those that need a quick recap of what “Dune” is all about, it’s a sci-fi epic that revolves House Atreides who are en route to Arrakis where the Duke (Leto) is set to take care of business on the desert planet (which is a key resource for spice production). Alas, Baron Harkonnen of House Harkonnen plots to overthrow the Duke and takeover Arrakis himself. Can Leto’s son (Paul) and wife (Lady Jessica) make it out alive?

Initially released as a tie-in to the forthcoming “Dune” motion picture before it was delayed to Oct. 1 2021, this is the first volume of the graphic novel adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal novel of the same name (book 2 is scheduled for a spring 2022 release). If you’re a Dune completist or are curious to see what this story looks like in comic form, this would be a good pick-up for you. If not, I’d recommend just reading the novel instead. I may be biased, however, as “Dune” is my favorite novel of all time. It’s about, well, everything. It’s such a rich and still relevant story about politics, religion, power, control, natural resources etc. The world building is nothing short of astonishing and you can see its influence in everything from “Star Wars” to “Game of Thrones.” Truth be told, Herbert’s prose and descriptions are what’s really missing in this graphic novel adaptation. Sure, the story is retold well enough, but it misses Frank’s pages.

Now, it would be one thing if the art by Raul Allen and Patricia Martin was extraordinary, but I found it underwhelming for the most part. The character designs are flat at times, the panel layout is uninspired, and the color palette is off. Maybe i’m picky, but I don’t feel it did the story justice. I will say the sandworms are well designed though. It would have been far more visually engaging if renowned artist Bill Sienkiewicz (who did the cover) did the full book himself.

February 12, 2021 - Posted by | Book review | ,

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