‘Eight Billion Genies #4:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Here we are, eight weeks into the cataclysmic event that brought genies into the lives of every single person on Earth, granting them each one wish. With those wishes has come an incredible amount of destruction, death, and bonding, as a small group of people inside a dive bar called the Lampwick have found themselves protected thanks to a wish from the owner. In the eight weeks since things began, the world population has decreased significantly with the granting of wishes. People have become whatvever they wanted, helped others, hurt others, and made generally selfish wishes. But with time comes clarity, and, finally, this issue begins to unravel not just what is happening outside the Lampwick, but why it's happening, as well.

It was only a matter of time before the fun and games ended and the serious talks began. Without spoiling the twist, the reasoning for the arrival of the genies is finally revealed, all amongst the backdrop of what has been dubbed the “Powered Age,” as those who wished for superhuman abilities go out into the world to help save it or bend it to their whim. Violence and mayhem ensue as the world continues to spiral out of control.

This series is very hard to explain. Superpowered children, celebrities coming back from the dead, kaiju walking the Earth . . . it's a lot. But as each issue passes, we get more and more insight into how this all came to be, why it happened, and what will happen next. As the world gets more out of control, it also begins to make more sense. It's a unique skill of co-creators Ryan Browne and Charles Soule to create a compelling story out of disaster and chaos.

Soule is an excellent writer, laying everything out in a controlled, but hilarious, way. Once the hammer drops in this issue, the tone shifts a bit, but not in a way that feels out of place or forced in any way. Browne, who does all of the art on the series, is a mad genius. I will continually heap praise on his use of comedic lettering every chance I get. Also, the rest of the artwork is excellent, with heavy lines and a knack for creating compelling characters who all stand out among an ensemble cast.

This series has hit its halfway point, but it also feels like it's only just begun. With the back half still to go, things are going to get wild. And in a book in which eight billion genies popped up out of nowhere and basically helped to create an apocalypse, that's saying something.

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