Get inside the mind of one of the Imperium’s most formidable fighters in Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar #1. BOOM! Studios has shared a first look at this standalone comic book, coming out on July 28, 2021. The issue’s main story runs concurrently with events in Frank Herbert’s original Dune novel and presents the fateful assault on House Atreides in Arrakeen—that we’ll see on the big screen in this year’s movie—from the point of view of the legendary Sardaukar warriors.
As with the currently ongoing Dune: House Atreides comic book series, the script is written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson—based on their 2019 Dune short story, Blood of the Sardaukar. Interior artwork is from Adam Gorham (artist), Patricio Delpeche (colorist), and letterer Ed Dukeshire (letterer). The team collaborated with Abrams ComicArts, who are publishing the graphic novel version of Dune, for consistent designs between these visual adaptations.
Four covers—by Jeff Dekal, Max Fiumara, Adam Gorham, and Gerald Parel—feature the story’s anti-hero protagonist, Colonel Bashar Jopati Kolona, who personally leads the Sardaukar legion into battle.
The first page opens on Arrakis, shortly after the Atreides family have relocated from Caladan and taken control of the coveted spice production. Duke Leto fully expects treachery from their enemies, however a full scale attack is coming sooner than expected. From orbit, combined forces of House Harkonnen and Sardaukar descend to Arrakeen. The latter are disguised as Harkonnen soldiers, ensuring the Emperor can deny any involvement.
Readers of Dune: The Duke of Caladan, the prequel novel set one year before Dune, will be familiar with Jopati Kolona. This isn’t the first time the Colonel Bashar has been ordered by the Emperor to annihilate one of the noble houses of the Landsraad. As a young boy, he had to survive deadly training on the hellish world of Salusa Secundus, before rising to the top of the elite army. The tale offers a rare look behind the curtain into what it truly means to be a Sardaukar…
The earlier announcement of Dune: Blood of the Sardaukar also includes another (unlettered) preview page depicting the “more intimate combat” with blades and personal shields, that Kolona is anticipating once they engage with the soldiers of House Atreides.
The issue’s official synopsis reads as follows:
* When the choice is vengeance or honor, which lies at the heart of a Sardaukar?
* Jopati Kolona 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.
If you’d like to read the original short story, it can be found within the anthology Unfettered III: New Tales By Masters of Fantasy, edited by Shawn Speakman. The eBook version is currently available for $2.99 on Amazon.