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"You run and tell Kingdok I'm watchin' him!" - The Great Red Dragon

Bone 5 sees Grandma Ben's Farm get attacked by rat creatures which causes Thorn and Fone Bone to flee. While on the run they find The Great Red Dragon who helps them scare off the rat creatures and return to Grandma Ben's Farm. While this occurs we see Phoney finally arrive to Barrelhaven where he meets back up with Smiley. This is the first issue where Lucius Down appears as well as many other residents of Barrelhaven. Along with this we see Barrelhaven and the Barrelhaven Tavern for the first time. Bone 5 takes place in the Vernal Equinox story arc which is also known as The Valley.

This issue of Bone is preceded by Bone 4 and is followed by Bone 6. 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 June 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 Thorn and Fone Bone walking down the stairs to meet with Grandma Ben who sitting lighting candles. Thorn suggests that they put out all the light before Grandma Ben explains to them the current situation they are in and why they need to keep them lit to convince the rat creatures they are awake. Grandma Ben than asks Thorn to put shoes on and grab the poker from the fireplace while she makes her way to a wall. Grandma Ben than tells how she has a rough idea of a plan which consists of Thorn and Fone running when Grandma Ben tells them too. Fone questions it right before Grandma Ben turns to the wall smashes here hands through it and grabs two rat creatures pulling them into the house. She than tells them to run which Fone questions before Grandma Ben tells him she will be fine. Grandma Ben continues fighting rat creatures while Thorn picks up Fone and exits the house. Thorn and Fone than quickly run away into the woods dodging rat creatures, jumping over branches and running down hills before Fone gets hit in the head with a branch falling to the ground. Thorn picks him up again and runs to hide behind a tree before explaining that they have to go back to help Grandma Ben. Fone questions this wondering why they didn't help her to begin with and Thorn explains its because she didnt realize the forest was flooded with them. Thorn than motions to Fone to be quiet before they look around the tree right at a rat creature who loudly growls. Thorn than uses Fone's head to knock the creature out before they begin to run again. They than run into a clearing where they quickly are surrounded by lots of rat creatures.

While this is occurring Phoney arrives in Barrelhaven and enters the Barrelhaven Tavern. Here he walks past various locals and up to the bar where he orders a beer. He makes a comment about people looking at him before he turns back around and sees Smiley looking right at him. Phoney hugs him telling how hes very glad to have found him so Fone Bone will let them leave the valley. They than share in a toast to Boneville which Smiley asks to have another. Phoney talks about how his luck will change and they begin discussing Grandma Ben, The Great Cow Race and betting. Phoney than starts telling Smiley about his bookkeeping scheme before Smiley begins to bring up various ideas Phoney had in Boneville that did not workout well. Phoney than distracts with the idea of Smiley wearing a cow suit which Smiley happily agrees too. Phoney than tells Smiley to be quieter so people don't know they are working together. In the background Lucius realizes another Bone has entered and rushes over. He voices his concern that Phoney won't be about to pay his tab just like Smiley which Smiley uses as an excuse to leave. Lucius demands two eggs as payment which Phoney responds with offering the cash market price for two eggs back in Boneville. Lucius takes the money and rips it up telling Phoney how he will have to work off his debt. Phoney than grabs Lucius yelling about how nobody will tear up money in front of him. Smiley than informs Phoney that they don't use money in Barrelhaven because they use a bartering system. Lucius states Phoney is his now calling him "Baldy" before Phoney asks Smiley why he did not inform him about this, especially since Phoney does not carry dairy products. Smiley than walks away stating how he needs to clean more dishes.

Fone Bone and Thorn still surrounded ask the rat creatures what they want with them, the rat creatures respond they want Fone which Thorn yells back that they can't have him. They once more demand telling how that will not be tolerated when they return order to the valley. Fone Bone than smells brimstone signifying The Great Red Dragon is nearby. Fone Bone quickly becomes joyous again and walks over to the rat creatures telling them how they should leave now and taunting them about The Great Red Dragon. The rat creatures respond telling how they don't smell brimstone and Fone realizes he doesn't either. The rat creatures than attack Fone who Thorn quickly pulls away. One of the rat creatures is quickly pulled away and tripped before the other rat creatures turn to see The Great Red Dragon accompanied by Ted. The Great Red Dragon makes some quip comments about a meeting of local community leaders before a rat creature tells him about the many warriors they have around. The Great Red Dragon than guesses about the two thousand soldiers between him and the waterfall which he than states violates the agreement. Ted than leads Fone and Thorn away to a safer location. The rat creature responds telling The Great Red Dragon how he wouldn't act this way if Kingdok was here. The Great Red Dragon than tells the rat creature to tell Kingdok that he is watching him. While he says this smoke begins to come out of The Great Red Dragon's nostrils. The rat creature than threatens the dragon before realizing is comrades have left him so he quickly runs off into the woods following. Thorn and Fone walk over to The Great Red Dragon while holding Ted and Fone tells how he knew there was a dragon in excitement now that Thorn sees him. Thorn than informs the dragon about there situation which the dragon replies to telling them to get on his back. The four of them than rush to Grandma Ben's Farm. Once they arrive Thorn remarks how its to late looking at a destroyed, smoking farm. The issue ends here with an ad for the next issue titled "Phoney's Inferno".

Publication history[]

Background & Development[]

This issue of Bone was developed by Jeff Smith prior to June 1st, 1992 as a continuation of the story presented in the previous 4 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 5 has seen it's release many times in various reprints and collected editions. Beginning with it's initial release on June 1st 1992 under Cartoon Books, Bone 5 would see at least 6 more printings. The first six printings were under Cartoon Books at unknown dates (besides the 6th printing which was released March, 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 May 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
  • Worm
Groups & Organizations[]
  • Rat Creature Army
    • Rat Creature Warriors
  • Drifters
  • candle
  • fireplace
  • table
  • poker
  • shoes
  • plants
    • tree
    • bush
    • leaf
    • branch
  • teeth
  • sign
  • door
  • chair
  • stool
  • smoking pipe
  • bar
  • mug
    • glasses
    • cup
  • ale
    • beer
  • barrel
  • money
  • food
    • dairy products
    • salad
      • salad bar
    • Lettuce
  • cow suit
  • brimstone
  • smoke
  • race
    • cow race
  • bookmaking
    • betting
  • nuclear reactor
  • franchise
  • school
  • lamaze
  • bungy-jumping
  • king kong
  • credit
    • tab
  • prayers
  • barter system
  • Fur
  • town meeting
  • voting
  • The agreement after the Big War

Trivia & Notes[]

  • This was the first appearance of Lucius Down
  • This was the first appearance of Euclid
  • This was the first appearance of Tom
  • This was the first appearance of Barrelhaven
  • This was the first appearance of Barrelhaven Tavern
  • This was the first appearance of various Barrelhaven residents
  • This issue saw the introduction of the idea of The Mystery Cow

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