The Death Ray

The Death Ray

Summary

The Death Ray is the story of teen outcast Andy, an orphaned nobody with only one friend, the obnoxious-but-loyal Louie. They roam school halls and city streets, invisible to everyone but bullies and tormentors, until the glorious day when Andy takes his first puff on a cigarette. That night he wakes, heart pounding, soaked in sweat, and finds himself suddenly overcome with the peculiar notion that he can do anything. Indeed, he can and as he learns the extent of his new powers, he discovers a terrible and seductive gadget - a hideous compliment to his seething rage - that forever changes everything.

The Death-Ray utilizes the classic staples of the superhero genre - origin, costume, ray-gun, sidekick, fight scene - reconfiguring them in a story that is anything but morally simplistic. With subtle comedy, deft mastery and an obvious affection for the bold Pop Art exuberance of comic book design, Daniel Clowes delivers a contemporary meditation on the darkness of the human psyche.

Reviews

  • A super knowing romp around the superhero shtick, which knocks all recent competition into a cocked hat.
    Nicholas Smith, Dazed and Confused

About the author

Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes was born in 1961. He is the creator of the comic books Eightball, Ghost World, which was made into a film by the director Terry Zwigoff, David Boring, and Ice Haven. His adaptation of his own Ghost World graphic novel for the screen earned him an Oscar nomination. A regular contributor to the New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The Best American Comics, he lives in California with his wife.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more