Eight Billion Genies by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne

In this edition of the Storied Arcs deep dive into indie comics, we’re exploring the book Eight Billion Genies by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne. Typically our podcast will wait until a book is collected in its final trade paperback form. We were so excited for this book that we released our discussion as soon as all of the issues were released. However, it is readily available at your library, second printings, digital copies, and a collected hardcover edition. This book was released by Image Comics in 2022 and concluded after eight issues ending in April 2023.

The synopsis from Image reads,

If you had one wish…what would you wish for? Now, what if everyone else had one wish too? That’s EIGHT BILLION GENIES, the new eight-issue series from CHARLES SOULE & RYAN BROWNE (CURSE WORDS). At exactly the same moment, everyone on earth gets a genie and one wish. All hell breaks loose, in a very entertaining way…and that’s just the beginning. Buckle in for the wildest ride of the year!

If you’re familiar with this book and its creators, then we suggest diving straight into the discussion of the full series. If not, then it may be helpful to start with our zero episode which explores the backgrounds of Charles Soule and Ryan Browne as well as the premise of the book. The zero episode does not contain spoilers for the series! The main discussion episode will assume that you have read all eight issues. It is not a recap podcast, but rather a book club-style discussion of the plot, characters, themes, and message of the story. We hope you enjoy this book as much as we do!

Creator Spotlight on Charles Soule and Ryan Browne

Cover art from Eight Billion Genies with the Storied Arcs podcast logo overlayedIn our zero episode for the newest season of Stories Arcs, Mike and Alex discuss the creative team behind the recent Image Comics hit Eight Billion Genies, Charles Soule and Ryan Brown! They chat about the previous comic work published by the pair (with a fair amount of talk about Soule’s Star Wars work, which is a must-read for any Star Wars fan), including their first comic team-up, Curse Words. Then as always, they preview Eight Billion Genies and pitch you on why you should go pick it up.

This is an unusual choice for us because a)the comic just finished its run and b)doesn’t have a collected edition out yet. But fear not! Issues should be available at your local comic shop (good luck getting a 1st printing, though) and they are definitely available from your local library through apps like Hoopla. And since Amazon Studios has already optioned the rights to it, I guess you could get through comiXology as well. Anyway you do it, go read Eight Billion Genies and join us back here next week for another great deep-dive one-shot discussion!

Eight Billion Genies Discussion

Alternate cover art from Eight Billion Genies with the Storied Arcs podcast logo overlayed

“Humans are like a bucket with a hole in it. You try to fill it up with happiness, but you can’t. It runs out as fast as you pour it in, so you’re always trying to find ways to get more. Every wish we grant is the same wish. I wish I had enough.”

In this one-shot episode, Mike and Alex jump into Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s recently concluded hit, Eight Billion Genies (issues #1-8)! They discuss the structure of the storytelling, the mechanics of the wishes, and the note-perfect ending (well, almost note-perfect, if you’re Mike). They also talk about how they would use their one wish and what that wish might be, potentially revealing buried character flaws along the way. But that’s what this comic does; it forces you to ask yourself “what would I wish for?” and then deal with that your answer is. Who needs therapy when you can just read a comic book?

We hope you enjoyed diving into a recent release comic like this one, and definitely recommended pick up the deluxe hardcover collection that’s scheduled to be released later in 2023 (or that’s already available, depending on when you’re listening to this). We’ll be back next week for the start of another season of Stories Arcs. See you then!