‘Eight Billion Genies #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Well, it happened again. Image Comics let Ryan Browne and Charles Soule make another series. Regardless of how good of an idea that is for the world at large, Eight Billion Genies is here, and it's just as delightfully ridiculous as anything else these two creators have put out. Somehow, they managed to put Browne's previous hit, God Hates Astronauts (as well as their previous collaboration, Curse Words), to shame, and we've only gotten the first issue.

Eight Billion Genies answers the question that nobody asked: What if every person in the world got a genie that could grant one wish, all at the same time? And answer that question it does, as this first issue spans the first eight minutes of this seemingly random global occurrence. Of course, the world immediately goes wild, making bizarre and incredible choices that instantly send the globe into total chaos. That is, except for a single dive bar in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, where the owner's one wish was that nothing on the outside of his walls affect him or anyone inside his establishment.

Browne and Soule might be my favorite creative team to ever make comics. The absolute boundlessness of imagination that they put into their books is unmatched, and this is coming from the same creator of God Hates Astronauts which has a main character called King Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger. Their books are creativity unbound, with ideas no one else could come up with or even want to think of. Curse Words was a wild ride, and it already feels surpassed by one issue of Eight Billion Genies.

Soule and Browne are bound together as storytellers in this series, but as undeniably talented as Soule is as a writer, Browne is the true star here. His artwork is intense, irreverent, and wholly his own, illustrating the most beautifully weird things in a way only he can. Together, they create magic, and this series is going to a ride that no one is ready for - or will ever forget.

It's hard to explain just how much this series is a continuation of everything I never knew I wanted in a comic. Funny, intelligent, and just outright bizarre, this book contains multitudes, and we're only getting started. What we've seen in just the first eight minutes of storytelling gives this book a record-setting pace for displaying a world gone fully off the deep end. My thanks and sympathies to whoever has to edit this series, because trying to keep up with whatever storytelling chemistry Browne and Soule have must be a daunting task.

That being said, I've already figured out my one wish: that Soule and Browne have to make comics together forever, because there is nothing like it in this or any other medium.

Okay, that probably wouldn't be my wish, but I do really like this series and can't wait for more.


Creative Team: Charles Soule (writer, co-creator), Ryan Browne (artist, co-creator)
Publisher: Image Comics
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