V For Vendetta: New Edition
- Titan Books Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 27 March 2009
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Brilliant! I will never mark it down, even though it became a movie and didn't follow it's story very much. The movie was amazing, too!
The most interesting thing about “V for Vendetta” is that the main theme of the novel isn't actually one man standing up to Fascism, though that's an aspect of it. The more relevant political theme is Anarchism, though it's still only partly about that. The primary themes are about people; about people taking their freedom and the responsibility that goes along with it. The creeping Fascism of the book came not from the scheming of an elite, but from the failure of the countrymen to take control of their own lives, and instead taking the simple way out and following the group that promised to take away their fear.The freedom of “The Land of Do As You Please” isn't the answer, but rather than the opposite of authoritarian ideas of responsibility they're one and the same, both accepting the easy answer rather than standing up and actively choosing. Moore and Lloyd's Anarchism is a freedom of self-rule, where you take real responsibility for governing your own actions among your peers and hold your ideals in a way that can't be threatened. On a personal level, this a case made well; even Finch, who isn't pushed through this like Evey but goes through a (potentially absurd) revelation is better than Mrs. Heyer's ultimate dependency. The authors skimp, however, on the possible rise of this unruled order – the novel takes place under the old order. It's rather clear they would pin the blame on the people, and not the system, if it didn't work.Moore is certainly verbose; there's a lot of talking here and most of the fights are abrupt matters. Lloyd's art isn't outstanding or beautiful (though the faded color may due to the printing), but it's never a problem and the lighting, shade, and color augments the action. The minimal use of internal monologue, and complete lack of sound effects or thought bubbles means it has to pull it's own weight and it does. V for Vendetta is a great graphic novel – as much or more for it's warnings of letting us fall prey to our fears and appetites in a subtle way as for the overt threat of Fascism.
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 judgement to both, as they are completely different mediums.The movie is way different from the graphic novel. While reading the comic, 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 the book 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.
Solid freaking graphic novel. Check out all of the visual easter eggs throughout!
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