Sunday, December 8, 2013

V For Vendetta: A Graphic Novel Review

I can’t count the number of times that I have seen this movie.  I just love it!  With that said, I decided it was time to check out the book, as I usually prefer books to movies.  This is the very first graphic novel that I have read, and I was so excited to read this when I first got it in my November Book Haul.  I think that the illustrations in this novel (or any novel!) really bring the story to life!

Title: V For Vendetta
Author: Alan Moore; Illustrator: David Lloyd
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Publication Date: March 1982
Pages: 296
Out in Paperback?: Yes; October 24, 2008
My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"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..."


V is such a fascinating character from the very beginning.  Described as an anarchist, he works to spread his ideals of freedom and justice to the city of London.  His destructive actions are inspired by the Gunpowder Treason Plot, hence the Guy Fawkes mask that V always wears.  Despite his portrayal as a masked villain, V is very likeable (if not loveable), thoughtful, and kind to Evey.  Evey Hammond is a 16-year old girl, who allows V to show his softer, compassionate side throughout the novel.  I will say that I didn’t prefer Evey too much in the novel.  She seemed a bit immature, however, this was necessary for the reader as V needed to explain many things to her (I think I was a bit annoyed simply because I have seen the movie before so I knew the reasoning behind what he was doing without needed to have it described to Evey).  Aside from the 2 main characters, Adam Susan, the leader in the United Kingdom at this time, plays a fairly big role.  As the dictator, he is exactly what you would expect – frustrating, vindictive, and malicious.  Overall, he is a great contrasting, antagonist for the novel.  Other minor characters include those that work for the government and for Adam Susan as Fingerman.  These characters could be a bit confusing at times throughout the novel because there are many that you are introduced to, such as Dominic Stone, Peter Creedy, Conrad Heyer, and Derek Almond).  I found that it takes some time to get to know these characters, but many have interesting and developing stories that you discover later in the novel.


V For Vendetta takes place in a post-apocalyptic United Kingdom with Adam Susan acting as the leader and dictator of the country.  Adam Susan, his government workers, and the Fingermen act to instill fear in those residing in the country.  However, one person decides to fight back against their rule, V.  V wants to introduce freedom and independence to the people in London, and he works at this goal through a variety of ways, for example, gaining control of the only allowed broadcast in London.  Through his acts, he meets Evey, a young girl living in London under fear of Adam Susan and the Fingerman; her parents were political activists, and she wishes to be as strong as they were, an idea that V helps her with throughout the novel.  This novel has amazing character development.  I absolutely loved to see how different events impacted specific characters, and as the plot continues, those characters grow and develop.  By far, my favorite to watch change is Evey.  However, I found Adam Susan’s evolving relationship extremely interesting to watch.  As you continue reading, the plot really grabs a hold of you, making you want to know what happens next and why this is going on.

Writing Style:

This graphic novel is broken up into 3 different parts (perfect to read in 3 different sittings).  Since it is a graphic novel, the pages seem to fly by quickly!  However, I was amazed that Alan Moore was able to convey such a deep, intriguing story with only a few lines in each square!  That definitely takes talent!  I really enjoyed picking this book up as my first graphic novel; having seen the movie, I knew that I was already interested in the storyline and that did make it easier to follow.  At times, I was a bit confused by some of the government workers and differentiating their unique job titles, as some were not mentioned in the movie so that did take some time to get used to.  Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of reading a graphic novel and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested (as it was easy to fly through)!

Movie Review:

As I mentioned earlier, I love this movie!  Now, I typically prefer books over their movie counterpart, but with this specific situation, I loved both the movie AND the book (this has really only happened with The Notebook … just saying)!  Described as an action thriller, this is definitely my kind of movie, especially since it stars Natalie Portman (who I love)!  This movie was released in 2005, and I know I saw it for the first time shortly after that (when it was on DVD); however, since then I have seen it many more times.  There are so many interesting, unique details that I feel like every time I watch it, I pick up something else that I may have previously missed (especially with all the symbolism in this story!).  Some of the main differences that I noticed, after I finished reading the book and then watching the movie again, was Evey’s age and Adam Susan’s love interest.  In the graphic novel, Evey is much young and seems more naïve than she is in the movie.  Part of me enjoyed Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Evey a bit more than the younger version in the novel, but I do think her naïve ways allow the reader to learn more since she asks many questions.  As far as the love interest of the Leader, I am not sure how they would portray that in the movie; however, I thought it add an extra element to the novel that was interesting.  Overall, I definitely would recommend checking out the movie, either before or after reading the graphic novel!

Have you read this graphic novel?  What did you think of it and in comparison to the movie?  Have you read Alan Moore’s Watchmen?  I’m curious to check it out!

FTC Disclaimer:
All items mentioned were purchased by me.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliate links were used.

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