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V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

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I must admit that I didn’t have any inclinations to read graphic novels despite the good films that inspired them: Road To Perdition by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner and Sin City by Frank Miller quickly come to mind.

The funny thing is that most of my friends in grade school and high school were huge fans of graphic novels, and somehow they never fully convinced me to read them. It took Natalie Portman’s beautifully shaven head for her film adaptation of V For Vendetta to get me to read the original novels. If someone as mondo talented and beautiful as my future wife could be inspired to alter herself for a film role, then the material must be some powerful stuff.

Let me start by saying V For Vendetta is amazing. Moore and Lloyd offer a realistic portrayal of a society ravaged by war where the future’s bleak outlook allows for unjust men to take power. What government usually rises under these conditions is a totalitarian one. “V” is the one man who tries to rise about the Leader’s tyranny and leads the police into an exhaustive investigation into his motives and plans after V destroys a Parliament building.

“Book 1: Europe After the Reign” is the best of the three books with its engaging and thrilling story of the detectives going on a lead in trying to find who is “V”. Their investigation leads them to the Larkhill Resettlement Camp where they “V” as one of a few dozen people who were experimented on during the war. “Book 2: This Vicious Cabaret” is the least thrilling, but nonetheless captivating as “V” continues to help set Evey free from the confines of her “prison.” “Book 3: The Land Of Do-As-You-Please” concludes “V” quest and somehow the trilogy comes full circle in the last of the three.

V For Vendetta journeys into the blurry definitions of happiness and thought. What makes us happy? What makes us free? Do they mean the same thing? “V”’s interactions with Evey, a young girl whom he saved, provides us with his reasonings and philosophies. One of the main messages of the trilogy is that one man can make a difference. All it takes is one voice – one (wo)man’s courage to inspire.

The direction in the frames are unbelievable and the images themselves are even more so. I wish that I had read this when I read 1984 by George Orwell. The two make excellent companions. 1984 deals with the realities of totalitarian societies and how one can find solace in them. V For Vendetta deals with the idealities of totalitarian societies and why one should not give in.

I can’t wait to watch the film adaption, although with how The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions came out, I certainly don’t have much faith in the Wachowski Brothers’ ability to make good films. But I do have faith in Natalie Portman, err I do love Natalie Portman that is.

About Tan The Man

I am a proud dork and loser.
  • Greg Smyth

    Nice piece. V is a fantastic book and IMHO Moore’s best work, particularly since it doesn’t require the insider knowledge of comic book archetypes required to fully appreciate Watchmen. You’re right to make parallels with 1984 – I read them roughly around the same time and totally agree.

    As for the film, I suspect they’ll ruin it. They’ve already changed the plot.

  • Tan The Man

    Yeah, I just read that Alan Moore refused a seal of approval on the project. I think he might taken his name off of the movie. GRRR.

  • Greg Smyth

    After the mess people made of From Hell and League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Moor does that as a matter of course. His name shouldn’t have been on the film in the first place… that it was p*ssed him off royally. Check out this site for more details of the V fiasco.