V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd
First published 1988
3/5 new authors (2013 Book Challenge)
Ahhh, yes, I read a comic book.
Well then shall we try a new “review format”? Yes, I think so.
Brief plot, right.
It is the 1990’s, for 80’s people — near future. A fascist leader party has taken over Britain, and dragged in with it the whole deal, historical and futuristic: concentration camps for Jews, all races except Caucasians, homosexuals, etc.; everyone is being watched and listened in on the whole time; the people are afraid to speak up; and a large computer system called Fate is controlling everyone. But, of course, there is the anarchist hero — V — who is a product of a vile concentration camp experiment which has altered him psychologically, and who wants to bring anarchy to the people of Britain so that they can regain control over their lives. Then, there is the innocent sixteen-year-old Evey Hammond who crosses V’s path and consequently joins him in his revolution.
Character criticism, next.
Donned in an all black suit, cape and all, wig, conical hat, and most importantly an ever-smiling Guy Fawkes mask, V is a modern day Guy Fawkes. He is a wonderful character — he easily became one of my favourites. It is the style, the chic, quoting Shakespeare and knowing Beethoven, the mask… Everything about this character is so stylized, a never-ending mystery.
Let’s add some general plot criticism…
At times the story moved along too fast, and as a newbie comic book reader I couldn’t identify transitions between plot lines, or there were none; and it seemed to me there were some plot holes that I would have liked to be patched up. The story, though, was interesting, smart, and poignant. A pleasure to read.
Ooo, something new, look I have point-form notes!
• Wonderful cover!
• Bad typeface. 😦 Sometimes I couldn’t discern letters, causing a less than smooth reading experience.
• I didn’t like the art and/or style. It was a bit too dark, classic comic style, for my preference… (On the other hand, some concept art added at the end was gorgeous.)
• Also read Watchemen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by the same author.
Finally we have quotes:
“Did you think to kill me? There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There’s only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.”
“…[Y]ou were so big, V, and what if you’re just nobody? … Or even if you’re someone, you’ll be smaller, ’cause of all the people that you could have been but weren’t…”
“If I take off that mask, something will go away forever, be diminished because whoever you are isn’t as big as the idea of you…”