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"Go now.... We attack tonight" - The Hooded One

Bone 4 sees the rising of tension in The Valley as the Rat Creatures become more openly aggressive towards the main characters. Along with this we see the introduction of Grandma Ben's gitchy feeling, the progression of Fone Bone's infatuation with Thorn, the first appearances of Kingdok and The Hooded One, and lastly Phoney leaving for Barrelhaven by himself. Bone 4 takes place in the Vernal Equinox story arc which is also known as The Valley.

This issue of Bone is preceded by Bone 3 and is followed by Bone 5. It has seen many rereleases and has been collected in many different collected editions along with the other 54 issues of the original run of the Bone comic. It's original released date was March 1st, 1992 under Jeff Smith's publishing company Cartoon Books. Jeff Smith was the main creator behind this work, but did receive help from David Reed who airbrushed the covers of the issue.

Plot Summary[]

The issue opens with Fone Bone and Phoney Bone in the barn at Grandma Ben's Farmhouse. In the barn Phoney freaks out over the idea of having to milk the cows deciding that he quits. Fone Bone argues with him over the idea before the argument devolves into an argument about Grandma Ben and Phoney's dislike for her which Fone Bone counters saying how she is providing them food and shelter. The argument than switches to Phoney Bone's wealth and how the money he keeps with him is getting ruined in the conditions of the farmhouse. Phoney than agrees to go and get milk which is spilled during the argument. Fone Bone promptly leaves walking towards the main house to try and find Thorn.

While walking Fone Bone runs into Grandma Ben. They have a short conversation about Grandma Ben's bloomers and the barn before Grandma Ben gets the gitchy feeling. Grandma Ben explains to Fone Bone that the gitchy feeling is a feeling she gets that makes her feel sick indicating bad things will come in the near future. After explaining this, the gitchy feeling subsides. Grandma Ben tells Fone to keep an eye on Phoney after which they both part ways.

Fone Bone returns to the barn where he asks Phoney if he has seen Grandma Ben's bloomers. Phoney replies telling how he used them to patch a hole in the barn which promptly starts another argument between the two. During this Phoney discusses his wealth which leads into a conversation about the various awful ideas Phoney has had which lead to the Bone cousins getting run out of Boneville. After the argument calms down they than discuss the Spring Fair, during this Fone Bone tells how he hopes to find Smiley and Phoney learns about The Great Cow Race and the betting that takes place. The two than partways with Fone headed to find Thorn and Phoney staying in the barn. While here he develops a scheme to make money off of the betting and promptly leaves for Barrelhaven without the others knowing.

Fone and Thorn, once again together, walk to nearby water where Thorn discusses here enjoyment of the Spring Fair. While Fone is distracted, Thorn enters the water to take a bath which Fone did not expect. Fone promptly enters and eats the bar of soap they brought out of nervousness.

After this Phoney traverses the road to Barrelhaven where he promptly gets lost. While lost he comes up with a new plan to create better roads and make money off of them with tolls. He eventually runs into The Possum Kids who confuses him with Fone. They than ask him to play and Phoney denies before walking off in the wrong direction. The Possum Kids correct him and Phoney thanks them before walking off once again. While walking away he smells something really bad and than stumbles into The Two Rat Creatures who are asleep. Phoney than hears someone coming and quickly hides. Kingdok than walks over to The Two Rat Creatures and awakens them angrily. The Two Rat Creatures offer him food in apology but he rejects and tells them how he's had scouts looking for them. Kingdok than tells how The Hooded One has summoned them to a high council meeting. They respond in fear before Kingdok tells how the one who bears the star (Phoney) has been seen in there territory. They act surprised before Kingdok tells them to come with him and they leave headed towards The Hooded One.

After this during the night Grandma Ben, Thorn and Fone meet and discuss information. Grandma Ben tells them how everything is prepared to leave for The Spring Fair tomorrow which is followed up by Fone and Thorn telling how they could not find Phoney even after they walked to Old Man's Cave and back. Grandma Ben is cautious about the gitchy feeling she had earlier and tells Fone to come spend the night in the main house with them.

During the same night in the mountains The Hooded One surrounded by tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of rat creatures called The Two Rat Creatures in front of him. The Hooded One asks them why they have not brought the star bearer to him and they respond telling how they haven't seen him but they've seen a similar creature multiple times who is protected by The Great Red Dragon. The Hooded One sits in silence for a moment before The Two Rat Creatures inform him of Fone Bone's location. The Hooded One than tells how the dragons can not find out about his plans yet. He than orders Kingdok to take two war parties consisting of a thousand troops each, one to search the countryside for Phoney and one to attack the farmhouse and kill the other creature. He than remarks how he hopes this will get The Great Red Dragon to return to Deren Gard. The two war parties than depart and rapidly travel to the locations instructed.

Back at the farmhouse Thorn is having a nightmare, one that she does not know yet is actually a memory, of the time the rat creatures attacked the castle her and her family were the rulers of. In this dream figures around her tell her how the rat creatures are progressively storming the castle and it has fallen. Thorn than wakes up from the nightmare and promptly tells Fone Bone who is also awake about her nightmare. Fone than informs her how it is in fact not a nightmare, the rat creatures have the house surrounded, and Grandma Ben wants them both downstairs right away. The issue ends here with an ad for the next issue titled "Trapped".

Publication history[]

Background & Development[]

This issue of Bone was developed by Jeff Smith prior to March 1st, 1992 as a continuation of the story presented in the previous 3 released issues of the main 55 issue run of the Bone comics.

Publication, Collected Editions and Reprints[]

Over the course of it's lifetime, Bone 4 has seen it's release many times in various reprints and collected editions. Beginning with it's initial release on March 1st 1992 under Cartoon Books, Bone 4 would see at least 6 more printings. The first six printings were under Cartoon Books at unknown dates (besides the 5th printing which was released March 1st, 1994) followed by one printing under Image Comics during the period of time Bone was printed by Image Comics instead of Cartoon Books. This printing was released on April 1st, 1996. Along with many printings this issue has also been printed in many collected editions ranging from one volume printings of Bone to the well known Out From Boneville Scholastic Trade Paperback.

Collected Editions:

  • Bone One Volume Limited Edition Hard Cover - ISBN: 1888963174
  • Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic In One Volume - ISBN: 9781888963144
  • Bone 20th Anniversary Boxed Set - ISBN: 9781888963250
  • Bone Full Color One Volume Slipcase Edition - ISBN: 9781888963274
  • Bone One Volume Limited Blue Edition Hardcover - ISBN: Unknown
  • Bone Vol. 1: Out From Boneville Trade Paperback - ISBN: 9780439706407
  • Bone Vol. 1: Out From Boneville Hard Cover Color Tribute Edition - ISBN: 978054580070951499
  • The Complete Bone Adventures Vol. 1 - ISBN: 9780963660909



The reception of this issue was generally positive, similar to the other issues released around this time.


Featured Characters[]
Supporting Characters[]
Other Characters[]
Sentient Species[]
  • Cow
  • Bird
  • Chicken
  • Peacock
  • Rabbit
  • Flies
Groups & Organizations[]
  • Lynch Mob
    • Boneville Lynch Mob
  • Jugglers
  • Tumblers
  • Singers
  • Rat Creature Army
    • Rat Creature Scout
    • High Council
    • Rat Creature War Party
      • Rat Creature Warrior
  • Bucket
  • Milk
  • Axe
  • Food
  • Money
    • Phoney's Money
    • Coins
  • Hay
  • Teeth
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Door
  • Clothing
    • Grandma Ben's Bloomers
  • Head
  • Leg
  • Clothes-line
  • Popsicle Stand
  • Paper
  • Peacock Feathers
  • Silk Robes
  • Dye
  • Dress
  • Soap
  • Plants
    • Trees
    • Bush
  • Fone's Boots
  • Fone's Knapsack
  • Fone's Blanket
  • Candle
  • Torch
  • Breakfast
  • Gitchy Feeling
  • Taxes
  • Bookmaking
    • Betting
  • Race
    • Foot Race
  • Bath
  • Water
  • Roads
    • Toll Roads
  • Tail
  • Charm

Trivia & Notes[]

Links and References[]

A majority of printing information came from and physical copies of the original 55 issue run of Bone as well as collected editions. Any additional information came from publicly accessible website including Grand Comics Database,, and