Review: Eight Billion Genies #1

Eight Billion Genies #1

When you see the names Charles Soule and Ryan Browne on the cover of the comic, you can be pretty sure you’re going to be in for a treat. The duo have a long list of great reads under their names separately and together. Eight Billion Genies #1 kicks off their latest collaboration that explores an interesting “what if?” scenario. In this story, everyone on earth at the same time gets a genie with 1 wish. What would happen? What’s the impact? How insane would things get?

Written by Soule, Eight Billion Genies #1 is a solid start. Soule does what he does best, focus on the characters and then builds a story around them. The actual main concept of the story doesn’t begin for quite a while. Instead, the first issue sets up the initial characters we’ll focus on. We get their conflicts, their issues, a good sense of who they are. Mixed in with the comics’ overall concept, it gets the ideas of the reader going as far as what this opportunity means for each of them. We get to get to know these characters a little before things drop and get insane.

And it’s insane.

Soule and Browne deliver an over the top result as the wishes start flying. We get subtle things within the bar the story takes place but it’s like being hit in the face as the door to the bar opens and we see the impact of how much things have gotten out of hand. What’s also interesting is another visual Soule and Browne have included, a “body count”. We see the world’s population and the genie population and then the impact to that number as the wishes begin to flow. It’s an interesting concept that further challenges the reader as you begin to ponder what happened to all of these people.

Browne’s art style is perfect for this comic. With lettering by Chris Crank and color assists by Kevin Knipstein, the comic’s visuals go from 0 to 10 in the visual crazy quickly. As I said, the majority of the comic takes place in a bar with a few people. It’s calm, it’s “realistic”, it’s centered on a setting that anyone can experience. There’s nothing remarkable about all of that and the art keeps things grounded in a way. It helps focus on the characters. There’s some details here and there but it’s the characters that are center stage. But, once the wishing begins things spiral visually. You wait to see where the crazy is and it hits you. Browne easily shifts the comic from that grounded, every day feel, to Looney Tunes and back easily. It’ll be interesting to see how that’s handled as the comic progresses and the wishes get more out of hand.

Eight Billion Genies #1 is a great start to the series. It opens up a literal world of possibilities as we see how wishes from genies can get out of hand. While the world as a whole spirals, its focus on a few individuals keeps the comic focused and something the reader can relate to. As expected, it’s a great read and an absolute “buy”.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Ryan Browne
Color: Ryan Browne Letterer: Chris Crank Color Assists: Kevin Knipstein
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW