DEATH-RAY lands on TIME’s Top 10 Fiction Books of 2011

'The Death Ray' by Daniel Clowes - The Top 10 Everything of 2011

TIME Magazine    |    Lev Grossman    |    December 11, 2011

10. The Death Ray by Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes continues to plot a lofty, lonely course through the subconscious of popular culture with this hilariously bleak graphic novel starring a superhero who, in his venality and triviality, makes the heroes of Kick-Ass and Watchmen look like Supermen. Andy, a skinny loser-type growing up in Chicago in the 1970s, discovers that smoking a cigarette gives him superstrength; later he comes into possession of the titular death ray, which looks like a classic Hugo Gernsback–style prop, except that it actually works. Andy is too lost and feckless to organize any kind of actual heroic activities — which, let's face it, is a pretty realistic assessment of how things would work out — and we watch helplessly as he, with the help of a weird outcast friend, completely and utterly squanders his gifts.
 



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