Review – Eight Billion Genies #6 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Charles Soule
Artwork: Ryan Browne
Lettering: Chris Crank
Release Date: 23rd November 2022

When we pick things up the beginning of this issue, it has been 13 months since “G-Day”, the moment when every single inhabitant of Earth was given their own personal genie and the ability to make one wish. As you might expect, the world has changed quite a lot since that day, not least in terms of its population, which now stands at a little over 32 million.

Previously, we saw “The Idea Man” (Floyd to his friends) perform something of a ‘factory reset’ on the planet, removing a lot of the craziness and leaving the world split into different sanctuaries, each with their own outlook on how things should be moving forwards. Into this bold new world we follow the former inhabitants of the Lampwick Bar as they try to find their own way, and this latest issue covers almost seven years(!) of their lives as each smaller group ends up in very, very different situations.

In the early portion of this series, I applauded Soule and Browne for keeping things tight, focusing almost exclusively on the small group of characters in the Lampwick Bar and only giving us brief snapshots at what was unfolding in the world outside.  Now however, I am firmly on board with the large scale worldbuilding on display, with almost every page that passes giving us more insight into the monumental ways that the world has changed since “G-Day.”

It’s fascinating to see the “evolution” of the world, to the point where people who still have their Genies are viewed as either a dangerous threat or a valuable resource, depending on what circles they’re moving in. Soule and Browne continue to throw some fairly wild concepts at the wall in rapid succession, but it’s safe to say a lot more are sticking than missing at this point.  I particularly enjoyed the idea of “Fun City”, an oasis of art, music and creativity where newcomers have to effectively ‘audition’ in order to gain membership.

Visually, it’s clear that Browne is still having an absolute blast, and while the widespread craziness is certainly dialed down significantly here (mainly due to there only being around 315,000 “unspent” genies left in circulation) there are still some cracking artistic flourishes along the way here.  Double-page spreads abound, from ‘polaroid’ montage sequences to in-your-face rock-n-roll excess, and the design for the aforementioned “Fun City” is pure genius.  Browne also deserves a lot of credit for providing his own colours yet again, delivering a vibrant and energetic palette to go along with the wilder storyline beats.

By the end of the issue, we’re a total of eight years removed from “G-Day”, with our sprawling cast of characters each finding unique ways to survive in the new world.  It’s going to be interesting to see how Soule and Browne tie everything back together in the final two issues, but given the growing friction between the different sanctuaries, you can bet that when they do, we’re going to get a finale that goes beyond our wildest dreams (or should that be wishes?) A fantastic premise executed with an almost giddy flair once again, and if you haven’t picked up this series yet, you should definitely try to remedy that before it wraps up this coming February.

Rating: 4/5.


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