Review – Eight Billion Genies #3 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Charles Soule
Artwork: Ryan Browne
Lettering: Chris Crank
Release Date: 13th July 2022

Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker and Jim Morrison walk into a bar…

For those new to this series, or perhaps those who only heard about it by virtue of it recently being picked up by Amazon with the intention of turning it into a movie and an “expansive cross-media universe”, the premise here is very simple: What if every single person on the planet got their own personal genie and were granted one wish?

As it turns out, the emphatic answer to that question is “nothing good”, as the world is immediately thrown into absolute chaos as competing desires and impulses run rampant. Some wishes cause relatively low-key changes, like celebrities and famous authors being brought back from the dead, while others are a little more wide-reaching, as we bear witness to a few pages into this issue via a snapshot of the planet Earth, complete with arms and legs, wearing giant boots and gloves with a hefty chunk having been bitten out of it.


Thankfully, Charles Soule and Ryan Browne – the reunited creative team responsible for the truly awesome Curse Words which ended a few years back – don’t completely overload us with the dizzying scope of “G-Day”, instead focusing on the inhabitants of the Lampwick Bar and Grill in Michigan. Wisely, the owner of said bar used his wish almost immediately to “wish proof” the place against the chaos which is engulfing the planet, so it now serves as something of a sanctuary from the craziness outside.

This latest issue sees a few unexpected guests arrive (see above), while on the outside, Wang uses his new near-invulnerable super suit to navigate the wish-laden wasteland to find the Lamp Lighter Bar to make good on his promise.  We also get an impromptu Doors concert, as well as some more glimpses at how certain people have chosen to spend their wish, for better or worse.

What’s interesting to me the is way Browne’s artistic style has changed significantly since Curse Words, adopting a slightly looser, almost sketch-like approach to some of the panels and pages here.  While I’m personally more of a fan of the thick-lined aesthetic of the former, Browne is still more than up to the task when it comes to bringing the unbridled silliness of a world beset by wishes to the page, and his characters are all still suitably expressive, emotive and dynamic in motion when the occasion requires it.

One particular visual nuance from Browne that I’m enjoying is the way the ‘unspent’ Genies that are hanging around start to mirror the people they’re attached to.  Glasses, cigarettes, even guitars all appear in the possession of these little floating blue boogers, and alongside everything else that’s going on in the wider world, it adds a neat little level of immersion that rewards repeat readings.

This issue also introduces an intriguing new wrinkle in the form of ‘remnants’, which are essentially the results of wishes that still exist, albeit temporarily, after the wisher has died.  An interesting addition that obviously plays quite heavily into the dynamic between Robbie, his dad and his recently resurrected mother, and promises to have some significant impact on the story as it continues to unfurl.

The final pages see an exciting shift in the status quo as youngster Robbie finally decides what to spend his wish on, and considering we’re only eight days into the wish-pocalypse, I’m already absolutely hooked on this series and desperate to know what happens next.  High concept carnage from a creative team that are clearly having an absolute blast. What more could you wish for?

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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