Bone 4: The Dragonslayer

bone volume 4 the dragonslayer cover trade paperback tpb scholastic
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Bone is just a great comic

The speed and tone of Bone shifts

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Bone

Publisher:  Image Comics/Scholastic

Writer:  Jeff Smith

Artist:  Jeff Smith

# of Issues:  8

Release Date:  2006

bone #23 cover image bartleby fone

Bone #23

Reprints Bone #20-27 (October 1995-April 1997).  Phoney Bone has a new plan for profits…dragon-slaying!  Using the villagers’ fear of the dragons, Phoney is building himself a following, and Lucius isn’t happy about.  Meanwhile, Gran’ma Ben, Thorn, and Fone are trying to reach Barrelhaven, but Kingdok and an army of Rat Creatures could stand in their way…but a little Rat Creature named Bartleby could prove that not all Rat Creatures are evil.  The power of the Lord of the Locust is growing, and Thorn could be the key to everything!

Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, Bone Volume 4:  The Dragonslayer is released under the Graphix imprint of Scholastic.  Following Bone Volume 3:  Eyes of the Storm, the collection reprints the transition between Cartoon Books and Image Comics run of Smith’s award-winning series in color and issues in this collection have been collected multiple times.

This volume of Bone represents where I started reading Bone.  I didn’t hop on immediately and then when I was more aware of Bone, back-issues were already soaring.  While this section of Bone might be one of the slower parts of the book, I have a sentimental attachment to it.

Jeff Smith keeps Bone going, but there is a lot of world building in this volume.  Thorn is starting to come into her own, and he has to add a lot of background to the Lord of the Locust and even the Stick-Eaters aka the Disciples of Venu.  It is necessary to the story, and it is a bit heavier than some of the lightness of the early comics.

bone #24 hooded one image

Bone #24

The Phoney Bone storylines are always a lot of the fun of Bone.  Phoney is always played as a less scrupulous Scrooge McDuck, and here (in modern times), Phoney’s fear mongering about the threat of Dragons takes a different tone.  Like modern political events, Phoney stirs up the people into frenzy to kill a Dragon and nearly murder an innocent in the process…Phoney’s plans are even worse now.

The art of Bone is charming in general and while the black-and-white originals have a real texture to them, the color really adds an extra burst.  In fact if you are a fan of the series, I recommend reading both the black-and-white and the colorized versions because they have a different feel.

Bone 4:  The Dragonslayer ups the bar for the series, and it starts to become more adventure based.  Once you start reading Bone, you’ll have a hard time stop reading Bone until you reach the end.  Bone is one of the great saga of comics, and a must for readers of comics and even those who rarely pick-up the medium…an all-ages comic for everyone.  Bone 4:  The Dragonslayer is followed by Bone 5:  Rock Jaw:  Master of the Eastern Border.

Related Links:

Bone 1:  Out from Boneville

Bone 2:  The Great Cow Race

Bone 3:  Eyes of the Storm

Bone:  Tall Tales

Bone:  Quest for the Spark—Book 1

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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