COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE DEATH-RAY
What happens when you find out your dad messed with your hormones so you could have power and made you a death-ray? You try to become a superhero, duh!
The Death-Raywas written and illustrated by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Wilson, Eightball), and published by Drawn And
Quarterly. It’s about a man named Andy who remembers a time in his youth when
he tried to become a superhero after finding out that his dad made him into
death ray, making it so that whenever he smoked a cigarette he would get super
strength. Now before I continue the review, I want you Advent Seven fans to
remember that smoking cigarettes will indeed not give you super strength, but
will cause health problems like emphysema, cancer, and death. Don’t ever start
smoking, and if you do, try to quit. There are a lot of people who really love
This is the first Daniel
Clowes book that I have read, and based on how much I enjoyed this one I would
recommend checking out his other books as well. What I liked most about The Death-Ray has to be the story. It
was fun watching Andy learn about his powers and then attempting to become a
superhero. He has to deal with his family and friends too, which makes it hard
for him to balance superhero and home life. Another thing I liked most about
the story is how it captured what it was like to be an adolescent in the 70’s, something
that I’d be curious about since I wasn’t alive at that time. The story is not a
very happy one, so if you were counting on a happy ending to the story then you
will be disappointed. Who says all graphic novels need to have happy endings?
The artwork of The Death-Ray is just as good as the story.
I can’t really pinpoint the art style of The
Death-Ray, but the artwork is very similar to newspaper comics. Considering
the author Daniel Clowes is also a cartoonist, it would make sense that its
artwork is similar to newspaper funnies. Don’t expect any artwork to appear
like it’s straight out of Garfield
though; the artwork is actually perfect for the story, considering the time
period of its setting. It’s always nice to find an original graphic novel with
its own unique artwork, considering how most of the artwork in all major comic
book companies like Marvel, DC, or even Valiant all look the same.
In conclusion, The Death-Ray is the perfect graphic
novel if you are looking for something unique and interesting to read. The
story is very good and the artwork blew my mind. The Death-Ray truly shows how the graphic novel is a valid art form
not only as a way of showing great visual art, but also great literary art.
Also, just to reiterate, don’t smoke—it’s bad for ya.
You can check out more comic book reviews by Julian on his tumblr page here.
Picture via flavorwire.files.wordpress.com
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