For most comic books, when a nobody teenager discovers super powers and a gun that zaps anything out of existence, it usually results in his getting buff and facing the dilemmas of responsibility in between fist fights with ubervillans. Forget that. This is Clowes' world. Here, even with such accouterments, a nebbish stays a nebbish. The 23rd issue of Clowes' "Eightball" contains a single short story, "The Death Ray," about Andy, a milquetoast who discovers he gains super strength while smoking, and his only friend Louis, who has no powers but a giant ego just the same. Together they up-end every superhero clich in a series of interconnected vignettes bookended by Andy as a middle-aged dullard. Ingeniously, "The Death Ray" moves way beyond a mere superhero parody and into the uncomfortable territory of exploring the way people can or cannot change who they are. "Eightball" #23 continues Clowes' ascendancy as one of the medium's premier storytellers.