Last year saw the release of Dune, an epic sci-fi film directed by Denis Villeneuve which not only honoured the original classic novel by Frank Herbert, but also cemented itself as a classic whilst winning several Academy Awards. Now we have the official graphic novel adaptation from Legendary Comics. A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.
With a reputation as an all-time classic piece of science fiction, Frank Herbert’s original novel has proven to be a tricky work to adapt to the big screen. Alejandro Jodorowsky famously attempted to make the film in the 70s with an all-star crew and cast on every level, but the overly ambitious 10-14 hour run time hampered any chances of it getting made. David Lynch then made an adaptation in 1984 which was a commercial and critical failure. Third times the charm proved to be the case though, as Villeneuve’s film succeeded in every front – particularly in the casting, music and special effects departments. With the film’s sequel due out in November 2023, this graphic novel adaptation is an ideal excuse to revisit the world of Dune from a different perspective.
Legendary Comic’s adaptation has had a lot of care put into it which really shines through in the finished product. Lilah Sturges has plenty of experience at world building in both her creator owned projects and her work at DC (particularly in the Fables spinoff Jack of Fables she co-wrote with series creator Bill Willingham). Drew Johnson is also used to bringing elaborate worlds to life thanks to his work at DC and his previous Legendary projects involving Godzilla and Kong. Combined, the two bring together a faithful and captivating interpretation of the film. Sturges has a strong grasp on the characters and Johnson has some very epic art that is well suited to a story on this level of cinematic scope.
Fans of Herbert’s original novel will find plenty to enjoy and those who are hungry for more Dune content in the runup to the sequel need this on their shelves.
DUNE: The Official Movie Graphic Novel is out 15 December from Legendary Comics (9781681161105, h/b, £23.99)
Or support your local bookstore.
Want regular updates and weekly reviews on the latest in graphic novels and manga? Follow us on Twitter @turnaroundcomix.