I’ll admit it . . . I picked up this classic by Alan Moore more out of curiosity for the upcoming movie than for the many good things I’ve heard about it.
I’ve got one word-wow. This graphic novel is beyond mesmerizing. I suppose this shouldn’t have been much of a surprise considering that Alan Moore rarely misses with this genre. I literally could not put V For Vendetta down.
It’s the story of a post-apocalyptic England. It’s the year 1997 (keep in mind this was written in 1983) and the world as we know it is gone. Warfare has destroyed much of Western Europe, and it is only after a fascist political party steps up to take control over a lawless England that some semblance of order resumes. However, things quickly go wrong and the people of England move from lawlessness to total oppression. I’ll leave it up to you to draw the comparisons to real life.
One man, however, rises above it all to become a hero of the people. He is a champion of Anarchy, saying that he believes people should voluntarily rule themselves, and he seems quite insane. However, he fights to defeat the oppressors, and so we cheer for him. He may have been one of our original anti-heroes in the graphic novel medium. His identity is a mystery, as is his source funding for his elaborate operations, but he fights against the tyrants ruthlessly, using what many would call terrorist methods. Again, as you can well imagine, this brings up many philosophical questions.
The art is adequate, though I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but the dialogue and plot are exquisite, as is the tone and pacing. Moore has gone on the record as saying he has not been happy with the film interpretations of his work, so much so, in fact, that he now refuses to have his name attached to them. Let’s hope that the film version of V for Vendetta pleases this modern day master of the graphic novel literary form.