As with prior installments, Eight Billion Genies #4 takes its time to look at the effects of everyone living out their wish fulfillment fantasies. This issue focuses on Robbie, who ended the previous chapter by wishing himself into becoming a superhero. Robbie is joined by a number of other superheroes who then do battle with people who wished themselves into supervillains.
These battles take place across the globe and artist Ryan Browne does a great job making these scenarios visually interesting. The heroes and villains all have powers one might expect people to wish for, but with designs and applications that feel unique to this book. Charles Soule also does a great job capturing the voice of who these characters are, remembering that Robbie, for all his heroism, is just a twelve year old boy. This dynamic isn’t unique – *gesticulates towards the Captain Marvel family* – but the execution here is top notch.
Thankfully, Charles Soule and Ryan Browne don’t limit this issue purely to superhero commentary. There are also some massive wrinkles introduced to the world as the denizens of The Lampwick Bar & Grill learn more about just why the genies are here and what to expect next. These new dimensions help create excitement for future chapters and grow the series into a place that makes the superhero aspect child’s play.
It’s not just the plot that gets these extra dimensions, though. Eight Billion Genies #4 juxtaposes Robbie’s external solo adventures with the emotional journeys of the adults still at the bar. An interesting dynamic occurs as the genies serve as translators for the language barrier between some of the cast, but the reader is given all the information. The moments when the genies don’t translate everything lead to some of the most poignant moments in the book.
Ryan Browne’s artwork continues to be a highlight of the series. Here the global adventures of Robbie bring in all sorts of insane images, and Browne does a good job making the madness seem impressively real. The backgrounds are just as dense and crazy as the foreground — at one point there’s a LEGO building surrounded by giant flying jellyfish — and that subtle chaos that threatens your sanity on every page really helps sell the concept that this is everyone’s one wish from the genies.
Eight Billion Genies #4 continues the excellence established from the debut issue. Charles Soule and Ryan Browne are executing at a near perfect level and getting the most out of a concept that always feels like it could wear thin, but never does. The superhero angle of this issue isn’t quite as fresh feeling as the previous chapters, but Soule and Browne still find ways to make it entertaining.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!