New Dune Comic Tells Tale of the Sardaukar Legion

BOOM! Studios’ line of Dune comics is expanding. Today, the publisher announced Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar #1, a standalone story, set during the epic events of Frank Herbert’s original science fiction novel and its 2021 movie adaptation. Due for release in July, the comic book will delve into the lore of the famed Sardaukar, ruthless enforcers of the Padishah Emperor’s rule and most feared warriors in the Imperium.

This issue will be illustrated by artist Adam Gorham, colorist Patricio Delpeche, and letterer Ed Dukeshire. As with the currently ongoing Dune: House Atreides comic series, the script is written by Brian Herbert (son of Frank Herbert) and Kevin J. Anderson, who have co-authored 14 books and a dozen short stories—including the piece that this new comic book is adapting—set in the Dune universe.

Jeff Dekal’s main cover portrays Jopati Kolona, battle-hardened warrior and high ranking officer in the Sardaukar army, who reports directly to the Emperor himself.

'Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar' comic book. Main cover art by Jeff Dekal.

Blood of the Sardaukar, originally a Dune short story written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, was published in Unfettered III: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy (2019), an anthology edited by Shawn Speakman.

When we wrote this story, a standalone tale set during the events of the original Dune, we were excited for this first opportunity ever to delve into the history and traditions of this mysterious force of warriors, showing it through the eyes of one particular Sardaukar.

Brian Herbert

Colonel Bashar Jopati Kolona, the point of view character, also plays in key role in Dune: The Duke of Caladan, first book in a current prequel trilogy telling the story of the year before Dune.

We very much enjoyed being able to flesh out the background of the Sardaukar, and this character became a prominent force in our new Caladan trilogy. The comic adaptation shows Dune fans places they have never seen in Frank Herbert’s universe.

Kevin J. Anderson

In our first look at Adam Gorham and Patricio Delpeche’s interior art, the Sardaukar legion storms the Planetary Governor’s residence on Arrakeen. The close-quarters melee—fought with short blades and body shields—between the Emperor’s elite forces and Atreides defenders is fierce and bloody. Soldiers fall on both sides, however the final outcome is never in doubt.

'Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar' comic book. Interior artwork depicting combat between Sardaukar and Atreides soldiers.

Here’s the official synopsis:

When the choice is vengeance or honor, which lies at the heart of a Sardaukar? Jopati Kolona is one of the Sardaukar: the emperor’s elite military unit. The Sardaukar are unbeatable, unbending in their devotion to the emperor, and feared throughout the galaxy. When Jopati meets Duke Leto of House Atreides, the house he believes responsible for the destruction of his home planet and family, he will be forced to question a life-long hatred. Tasked with overthrowing the Atreides stronghold on Dune for his master, Jopati will be forced to choose between duty and forgiveness.

Three variant covers have also been revealed, respectively by Max Fiumara, Adam Gorham, and Gerald Parel.

'Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar' comic book. Variant cover art by Max Fiumara.
'Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar' comic book. Variant cover art by Adam Gorham.
'Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar' comic book. Variant cover art by Gerald Parel.

It’s an honor to work with Brian and Kevin to expand the Dune mythos into the comic book medium with this story that dives deeper into one of the most mysterious and brutal forces in the Dune universe—the Sardaukar. Fans can expect a gripping and exciting new look at the elite fighting force that are renowned throughout the known universe for their prowess and ruthlessness, as well as an emotionally charged tale about honor and responsibility.

Jonathan Manning, Editor, BOOM! Studios

Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar is expected on shelves in July 2021. Print copies will be available from local comic book stores or directly via the BOOM! Studios webstore, while eBook versions can be purchased from Amazon, comiXology, and other digital stores. We’ll provide further updates, once the comic book is listed for pre-order or purchase.

Source: BOOM! Studios