Eight Billion Genies: A Work of Pure Genius
It's been a while since I took the time to write one of these things, so if you're new around here...let me introduce myself!
I'm Missie. I'm a bookworm, not a huge comic geek (despite being married to and co-owning a comic book store with one). The purpose of this blog is for me to read a popular (or unpopular) comic book and review it from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about comics. The big question is: Can I be converted from a bookworm to a comic geek? We shall see!
Eight Billion Genies by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne
This edition's story of choice is Eight Billion Genies by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne, published by Image Comics. The premise of this story is that all eight billion people on planet Earth receive their very own genie at the exact same moment. Each person is granted one wish, and only one. The possibilities are endless here!
Where do I begin? Or should I say, how do I go about writing this review without giving away spoilers? I could give away the story by sharing my opinion on every aspect of it, but that would defeat the intended mission of this edition: TO GET YOU TO READ EIGHT BILLION GENIES.
I'll start with this: I didn't have high hopes. I vaguely knew the synopsis of this story, but not enough to stir a strong desire to read it. In all honesty, Izzy handed the book to me and said, "I think you should do a blog post on this." So being the awesome, accommodating wife that I am, I spent my sick day at home reading the entire graphic novel. All 8 Issues in one sitting. I enjoyed it so much, I immediately had to jump on here to write this post.
The character introductions in the story are well thought out, leaving me with few questions. I like that. Sometimes I'll read a comic and get confused because there isn't enough information given for me to form a clear picture of who that character actually is. If I'm going to be invested in a story, I want to know who I'm reading about. They did an amazing job of that. I Immediately knew which characters I connected with, and which I didn't care much for.
My Favorite Character: Daisy
I was impressed with how the timeline progressed. Although there are time-jumps, they are basically seamless because the story is so well thought out. Nothing is worse than reading a few pages and suddenly being tossed into an entirely different era with no context, causing you to have to go back a few pages to make sure you didn't overlook something.
The art in Eight Billion Genies is eye-catching. Not in a distracting way that takes away from the story. The genies are absolutely adorable. I love how their personalities are apparent in the way they are drawn. The colors in this book are very appealing and there are several panels throughout that I would gladly make prints of to display in my house.
My One Complaint
There is one storyline I would have liked to see more of a backstory on, and that was the story of the Zhangs. I felt like they left a bit out and I would have liked to see more of an explanation.
I absolutely loved the ending of this series. I felt gut-punched, but in a good way. So simple, yet so complex. I was not prepared for the story to end the way it did. It has such a great message and left me feeling warm and fuzzy.
I'm left with the question: If I had only one wish, what would I wish for? That's a tough one. I'll be thinking on it for a while, which I suspect was exactly what Mr. Soules and Mr. Browne intended.
Bookworm rating: 10/10 Highly recommend. I hope they make a movie.
Get a copy of the Izzy's Comics exclusive Eight Billion Genies Issue #7 Branflakes Art Cover here.