V for Vendetta Paperback – 14 Apr 2000
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V for Vendetta is, like its author's later Watchmen, a landmark in comic-book writing. Alan Moore has led the field in intelligent, politically astute (if slightly paranoid), complex adult comic-book writing since the early 1980s. He began V back in 1981 and it constituted one of his first attempts (along with the criminally neglected but equally superb Miracleman) at writing an ongoing series. It is 1998 (which was the future back then!) and a Fascist government has taken over the UK. The only blot on its particular landscape is a lone terrorist who is systematically killing all the government personnel associated with a now destroyed secret concentration camp. Codename V is out for vengeance ... and an awful lot more. V feels slightly dated like all past premonitions do. The original series was black and white and that added to the grittiness of the feel while the colouring here in the graphic novel sometimes blurs David Lloyd's fine drawing. But these are small concerns. Skilfully plotted, V is an essential read for all those who love comics and the freedom, as a medium, they allow a writer as skilled as Moore. The graphic novel contains all the V series plus two additional stories concerning V that were originally considered "interludes". This edition also contains an essay from Moore dating from 1983 explaining the creation process. For any comic fan it's a must-have. --Mark Thwaite
"Page-turningly paced- Moore and Lloyd suck you into V's warped world and you gawp as London burns..." -- Total Film February 2006
It's a force of nature. You don't question it or fall to your knees in awe. It just IS (like the sky or gravity) -- BookMunch Online Book Reviews June 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise of this book is that the Conservative government are voted out (as Moore expected at the time, but which didn't come to pass) and the new Labour government insists on nuclear disarmament. So it is that when the Cold War becomes World War 3, Britain is uninvolved, but not unaffected.
As nuclear fallout affects the weather and radiation causes widespread death a fascist regime rises to offer England stability and order. The price for this is the internment and execution of blacks, homosexuals, liberals and all those who don't conform to the fascist ideals. The future Moore paints is a bleak and painfully believable one.
However, one man decides to destroy this new order so that freedom can be rebuilt from the rubble. The man is known only as V. When it comes down to it, V is the greatest element of this book. He's cultured, witty, mysterious, charismatic and ruthless. Also, David Lloyd's design of the character as a man dressed in a smiling mask and Guy Fawkes costume is inspired. My favourite bit of the book is when V sneaks into the home of a child-abusing bishop and confronts the corrupt clergyman with a Rolling Stones quote; 'Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste'.
There are numerous other characters integral to the story; the widow Rose, forced to become a stripper; the Leader, an insane fascist in love with Fate, the computer which effectively controls England; as well as the various heads of the Party.Read more ›
This story was first issued in the early 1980's, as part of a British comic book called 'Warrior'. It was concluded in the late 1980's, after 'Warrior' had ceased operating and DC Comics had taken over the title.
The story is set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic (alternative history) Britain in the 1990s. A fascist state has arisen, led by the Norsefire party. Opponents of the state are rounded up in concentration camps and exterminated. A revolutionist - and anarchist - named 'V' (dressed in black and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask) has designed a complex and elaborate plan to bring down the government, and to convince the people of the need to rise up and rebel. As this plan is put into motion, V meets a young woman, Evey Hammond, who joins him on his quest.
This is an excellent book. The titular character and protagonist - V - is a great anti-hero. The political ideas invoked in the story, centering on anarchism and fascism, are dealt with in a sophisticated manner.
This graphic novel serves as the basis for the 2006 film, which I thought was well done.
I fully recommend this item for those interested in reading political-orientated fiction.
As with any Alan Moore work, the reader must consciously ask what is missing?
Heaped as it is with layer upon layer of symbolism, ciphers, allegories, and metaphors, V for Vendetta is the logical conclusion of the stereotypical comic book hero we all know.
As with that other genre defying work ( Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter) Moore presents us with a 'hero' we think we know, and one who's motivation we think we understand.
Scratch away at the surface, and all our assumptions turn to dust. V's back story may or may not be a complete fabrication. His refusal, or disinclination to reveal the face behind the mask, hints at the nihilism, or the epitome of justice as a whim of the universe that rewards the good or punishes the bad.
His adoption of the name V, is itself a mystery, heaped as it is with all manner of symbolic connections from Beethoven's fifth, to Thomas Hobbes' five organs of the nation state, and famously of course, the Guy Fawkes visage, he of 5th of November fame...
And of the story itself? Moore is on record as saying that fascism is the complete abdication of political responsibility, with anarchy it's polar opposite, as V, takes his political responsibility to the next level - destroying the apparatus of an England under the fascist yoke, before famously dying as though his entire life was nothing more than a Greek tragedy.
Moore also famously said that most superheroes were themselves masked fascists, doling out justice, and living by their own code. The irony is not lost on V as he sweeps his foes from the board.Read more ›
Set in London in some future, the world has been torn apart by some great war, and several continents are wiped out. England has prevailed. And now she is being controlled by a totalitarean (is that a word) and facsist government, who seem to put her future in the hands of the all knowing computer Fate. Anyone who strays from the ideals and looks the government want, are arrested and taken to camps. In this future, music, art and literature is forbidden, unless it is approved by the government, and not much is. In the middle of this we follow Eve, a young girl lost in the city and drawn to prostitution to survive, and her mysterious captor/savior V, a terrorist and visionary, who tries to turn England back to what it were before the war.
If you like Neil Gaiman or Garth Ennis, you'll love V for Vendetta, also if you like any story about dark futures, like George Orwell's 1984 (well that's more a dark past).
Now I really look forward to buying "The Watchmen" and "Swamp Thing". Guess my friend is too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best graphic novels of all time. I'm usually put off by super hero comics but this comic is dark, and more relevant than ever with the rising tide of fascism that seems... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
First Graphic Novel I have ever purchased.
I am an avid reader of books, and frankly, I thought my Comic Books days had long gone. Read more