“Treasure Hunters”

BONE 25th ANNIVERSARY REVIEW: “Treasure Hunters” is a collection of six comics written and illustrated by Jeff Smith (Rasl, Tüki: Save the Humans) and published on November 6, 2002. This colored version was published in 2008 by Scholastic, with the colorist being Steve Hamaker. Having made the journey to Atheia, the Bones, Thorn, and Grandma Ben look for allies who can aide them in their preparation for war. However, there seems to be a small number of people who can, as the city has changed since she left it. While Fone Bone stays by Thorn’s side to give her comfort during her problems with the dreaming, Phoney Bone concocts a plan to get a serious amount of gold from local merchants.

As the world of Bone is expanding, so are the forces being led by the Locust. If there’s one thing to respect about this graphic novel, it’s its exploration of Atheia. I loved the design of this city, and how it was drawn to show how chaotic the world is getting now that ghost circles have taken away people’s homes. There’s a lot of tension in this story, as our heroes have to watch that Thorn does not fall into the hands of the Hooded One and that they keep their identities hidden, being as how they are wanted by the king of Atheia and every evil force out there. This is the build-up novel; sure, most of this series is a build up to the ninth book, however this one is the last domino in the long set of pieces. You can feel the ending drawing nigh, and it’s a great sense to have when reading. In his genius, Smith has crafted yet another entertaining novel filled with many juicy bits to sink your teeth into. I loved all of the story arcs in this, from Phoney Bone dealing with sketchy salesmen to Rose reaching out to her connections in the city. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s more to be discovered, and this is a world that excites. “Treasure Hunters” is really a novel that sets itself apart from the rest. It’s has a new location, introduces new people, and dives deeper into the threat at hand. I’m learning more of the dreaming and the background to how this ongoing war began. It’s engaging stuff, and one aspect I especially enjoy is the character of Tarsil. Though the man doesn’t get many panels, the talk of him as well as his character model is completely awesome. He’s the kind of guy I’d like to explore more of, even though his story is given by word of mouth; too bad he was introduced this late into the game. Compared to the other books, “Treasure Hunters” is consistently strong in content. Even though it isn’t better than most of the other graphic novels, it surely puts up a fight. I think that at this point, the Bone franchise has plateaued in greatness, and it’s hard to see it top itself. This book did a fantastic job in continuing the story while introducing new elements that enrich the reading experience. I can’t wait to see what the next, and final, installment shows. FINAL SCORE: 92%= Juicy Popcorn

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