Published by Paw Prints on 2008-10-01
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction
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"Good evening, London." It's nine o'clock and this is The Voice of Fate... It is the Fifth of the Eleventh, Nineteen-Ninety-Seven...
"The people of London are advised that the Brixton and Streatham areas are quarantine zones as of today. It is suggested that these areas be avoided for reasons of health and safety...
Police raided seventeen homes in the Birmingham area early this morning, uncovering what is believed to be a major terrorist ring. Twenty people, either of them women, are currently in detention awaiting trial...
The weather will be fine until 12:07 A.M. when a shower will commence, lasting until 1:30 A.M...
Have a pleasant evening."
A frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world, V for Vendetta stands as one of the highest achievements of the comics medium and a defining work for creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendetta brings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.
"Remember, remember the fifth of November..."
I should probably confess right now that I saw the film V For Vendetta way before I read the graphic novel. I saw the film multiple times in theaters, then bought it the night it came out on DVD. I loved the movie. LOVED it. Now, you are probably thinking, okay psycho, just talk about the book, or thinking I must have loved the movie way more than the book. Well, I did like the movie better, at least the story. However, I think it’s detrimental to use the same standards of judgment to both, as they are completely different mediums.
The movie is way different from the graphic novel. While reading V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and Dave Lloyd, I was thinking did the Wachowski brothers even read the source material the movie is supposed to be based on. However, I’m no purist, so I can’t exactly fault the film, and I can’t hate the graphic novel for not being the movie but with comics and words. Right-o. Might as well take my movie hat off and put on my comic-book hat, in order to further discuss.
The introduction of V For Vendetta starts off talking about television shows and cheeky characters. The author states this book isn’t about cheeky characters going along doing cheeky things, that V for Vendetta is for people who leave the news on, instead of changing the channel to a sitcom. I LOVED the introduction, and how serious it was.
The world of V For Vendetta is a dystopia. The government is controlled by this guy known as the Leader. Most aspects of life are controlled, the people are constantly monitored by cameras. Order is kept by this brute squad known as fingermen. All the gays, the people of color, and the leftists were basically murdered in some sort of genocide. The world is gritty and disturbing and scary. Some people are perfectly content in the lives they live, Evey Hammond, for one is pretty happy, except, well, she start hooking to pay the bills. Her path crosses with that of V, this guy in a mask, and her worldview eventually changes. V is a person who is not content with society.
Of course, I could not admire V very much. V isn’t so much a character, as he was an idea. He represents complete freedom and no control at all. Essentially he is a madman who thinks the world would be better off with anarchy than government. I, on the other hand, think anarchy is rather stupid. Call me a cynic, but I don’t exactly trust my fellow man, and think there is a great need for law and order. Now, on the opposite end of the spectrum from V is the Leader and those who drive England’s government. I couldn’t get completely behind them as well, as I think people should be free to make decisions and should not always be under surveillance even if that does represent safety. Really, both ends of the political spectrum are showcased here, and I didn’t really see any sort of middle ground. No moderates in this book, I suppose. I think both sides do reprehensible things, but perhaps I find these things so reprehensible because of the society in which I exist.
However, just because I was not in love with the characters does not mean I don’t recommend this book, because I absolutely do. V for Vendetta made me think about the role of big government. It made me question my political beliefs. It made me consider why anyone would want anarchy. I like a book that gets my mind spinning. I’d say, if you do read this one, don’t expect it to follow the movie very closely and vice versa.
Other reviews of V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and Dave Lloyd:
Oh, and the links at the top will take you to awesome youtube clips of the movie.