A young son retrieving his alcoholic father. A Chinese tourist couple hopelessly lost with a shitty translation device. An upstart band suffering through a love triangle. This is the cast that finds itself in the bar tended by a wise owner who seems to know more than he lets on. And after the world population reaches eight billion and releases Eight Billion Genies–with one wish for each human–the Lampwick bar suddenly might be the safest place on Earth.
I’ll be honest–all I needed to know about this book was that the creative team behind it consisted of Charles Soule and Ryan Browne. After the insanity that was Curse Words, I knew I was in for a treat with a title as ridiculously hyperbolic as Eight Billion Genies.
Setting the stage for this book was a little slow-going at first, but once you hit that pivotal moment in the middle of the story, you never want to put the genie back into the bottle. The absolute ridiculousness of every human on Earth having one wish–any wish they want–is equal parts hysterical and horrifying. The quick thinking of the bar tender tees us up for the weirdest small-space survival story you’ll ever encounter. And the characters’ struggles, as well as the questions of free will, all present philosophical conundrums that keep this book from solely relying on its hook.
And, of course, Ryan Browne gets to go all-out with the artwork when humankind gets to wishing. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe you’ll cry, maybe you’ll vomit, but the chaotic scenes of humans doing anything and everything is almost worth the cover price alone.
Charles Soule and Ryan Browne are a match made in heaven, and Eight Billion Genies further solidifies that truth. Sadly, this miniseries comes in about 7,999,999,992 issues short of the titular number. If I had one wish, it would be Soule and Browne comics forever.
Eight Billion Genies #1
The logic behind the hyperbolic number10.0/10
Tourist couple getting lost at exactly the right place10.0/10
The sheer madness of everyone getting a wish10.0/10
Return of the Curse Words Kings10.0/10
- Script: Charles Soule
- Art, Colors, Design, and Cover: Ryan Browne
- Letters: Chris Crank
- Variant Covers: Jenny Frisson, Steve Seeley; Declan Shalvey
- Publisher: Image Comics