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V for Vendetta #1-10

V for Vendetta

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A new trade paperback edition of the graphic novel that inspired the hit movie!

A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet.

In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

This new trade paperback edition features the improved production values and coloring from the 2005 hardcover.

288 pages, Comic

First published January 1, 1990

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About the author

Alan Moore

1,771 books19.1k followers
Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moore is notable for being one of the first writers to apply literary and formalist sensibilities to the mainstream of the medium. As well as including challenging subject matter and adult themes, he brings a wide range of influences to his work, from the literary–authors such as William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Robert Anton Wilson and Iain Sinclair; New Wave science fiction writers such as Michael Moorcock; horror writers such as Clive Barker; to the cinematic–filmmakers such as Nicolas Roeg. Influences within comics include Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Kirby and Bryan Talbot.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,804 reviews
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,125 reviews3,551 followers
November 5, 2018
Remember, remember the fifth of November...

This TPB edition collects the original 10 comic book issues, then divided in the graphic novel in three chapters.

Creative Team:

Writer: Alan Moore

Illustrator: David Lloyd


Remember, remember! The fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot; I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!

It's one of the first sentences that came to mind when you think about the masterpiece by Alan Moore & David Lloyd. And certainly something quite easy to remember each year on the infamous mentioned date.

However, the most powerful quote that sticks to my mind is...

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

That quote resumes the very power of this majestic story.

The story of one man.

One man who can be everybody.

Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain, everybody. Everybody has their story to tell…

And the story of "V" is one very powerful to tell...

Good evening, London. I thought it time we had a little talk. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...


This is my favorite graphic novel ever!

One of the first impacts when I read reading this graphic novel the first time, it was when I realized that you don't start to read in the beginning of the story.

No, the plan of "V" is so carefully crafted that when the government think that he started, he is already finishing it.

V? You're almost finished, aren't you?

It's very likely that by now, you may have watched the film and it's a very good adaptation. I liked it a lot and it's one of my favorite movies. Are there differences? Oh, yes! But, honestly, as a hardcore Alan Moore's fan, I think that the changes are good thinking that film is a different format than comic book and therefore, some things can be changed and still delivering the same powerful message.

There's no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There's only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.

However, if you are a truly V for Vendetta's fan, like me, you must read the graphic novel at some point, or you will be missing a lot.


Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.

It's a wonderful joy to watch how Alan Moore put everywhere the letter "v", in the titles of the chapters just to mention an example.

Also, David Lloyd is a very creative partner of Moore, making into art many original concepts like a chapter made entirely in the form a music sheet.

Wonderful concepts that you only can get in the format of a graphic novel.


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.

I am a huge fan of Alan Moore's work and I have the luck to find a lot of his work, not only the quite known examples like Watchmen and this very graphic novel V for Vendetta but also his entire runs of Swamp Thing, Top Ten, Tom Strong, Promethea, Fashion Beast, along with great issues like For the Man who has everything, The Killing Joke, Whatever happened with the Man of Tomorrow, etc...

...and I loved to read everything and I have to say that my favorite work by Alan Moore is this graphic novel V for Vendetta.

I think the strongest issue that convince me to realize that V for Vendetta is my own personal favorite graphic novel but also my own personal favorite work by Alan Moore is because it's that each little detail on the story was so carefully done, so carefully thought, so carefully presented.

And that's the beautiful irony of all.

Since this is a story about chaos, but it's done with a precision where nothing is left to chance. Everything is where that's supposed to be. No more or less than needed to tell the story.

And threrefore, My own personal opinion is that this is his masterpiece in the middle of an universe of masterpieces written by Alan Moore.

Not only is a strong political story but also an impressive artwork.

Also, the terrorist known as "V" is one of the best characters ever made in literature.

What was done to me created me. It's a basic principle of the Universe that every action will create an equal and opposing reaction.

That will be all. You may return to your labors.

England prevails.

Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
793 reviews3,599 followers
October 2, 2022
Probably at least as important as Brave new world and 1984, because it can easier be read by younger audiences who, hopefully just still, aren´t into real reading

Some may be crucified for calling graphic novels no real literature, but at least without brainwashing, endless torture, and unfunny camps.
The optical impressions mixed with Moores´ ingenuine, deep, and sophisticated writing makes it even more disturbing than general dystopias that lack the imagines burned inside one's mind forever. On the other hand, it´s not just sheer, each time subjective and unique, imagination like with novels, so maybe each purist of one side has some points here.

Be pessimistic and don´t just look at real dictatorships, but especially at the ones in the backlash making by socio evolutionary degeneration
Quite easy to name a few Orwellian nightmare states, but who could say which democratic countries backlashed hardest, besides „fill in a few names I won´t choose because of not wanting to get flamed and trolled“? Of course, nobody wants to face creepy facts about who is really ruling, oligarchies, democratic governments, corporations, secret societies, or, maybe a cool mixture of these, let's say conglomerates who are inextricably fused with the military, politics, and especially all the secret services of already and aspiring superpowers. Of course, this could be called weaving crude

Conspiracy theories, but real life already taught several lessons
to people who aren´t living under a stone, like me, or in ivory towers, like the lucky few privileged ones. Not to forget cognitive biases and stuff. After all the scandals, whistleblowers, news about the technical possibilities, what is going on in „add you favorite surveillance state“, one should assume that there might be little fissures in constitutions, human rights, etc. This would be an endless list and because I don´t like my reviews getting hidden by bots searching for nasty words, I won´t use direct bad language. Instead, take a wiki walk regarding all these topics, I seem to just not be able to get out of my skin, beginning with
leading to whistleblowers driveling
with the option of further escalation towards, hidden and politically correct,
Because one can´t go full frontal
nowadays, it has to be integrated into some public private partnerships, sham elections, and fringe free press.

Enourmous sociocultural and media impact
It´s a trope forming, legendary milestone of art, not just opening the minds of millions to the dangers of distilled power, but an ingenious use of Chekhovs and MacGuffins, combining symbols with sense, depth, and a Chuck Norrising political commentary. That´s what graphic novels should ultimately do, mixing important topics, informing about lurking dangers, and warning an already pre enlightened, young audience about how fiction aka cooptation in education and mass media, and reality are complete opposites by asking
Who are the good freedom fighters or bad extremists?
Again, many ethical questions regarding freedom, government, ethics. etc. are the driving force of an outstanding work. Nobody can really say when and if violence against far bigger crimes is legitimated, especially if it are discriminations and injustices created and strengthened by the system itself.

Guy Fawkeing in your face, bigoted establishment
Symbols are so important and besides being splendid for hiding from the cameras, and evolution of the mask concept in series like Mr. Robot, there is real life. With hacker collectives like Anonymous and all freedom fighters, anarchists, progressives, and protesters even risking their lives with any kind of disguise in states that already failed and became part of the Norsefire party.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
April 20, 2011

For all of the criticism heaped on movie versions of novels and other literary works (well deserved in many cases), there are times when the filmmakers get it very right (e.g., Lord of the Rings, the Princess Bride, Schindler’s List). The Graphic Novel, in particular, is a format that lends itself well to adaptation and, in the right hands, can often IMPROVE on the source material. Examples of this, IMHO, would include: From Hell, Road to Perdition and Sin City. To that small but distinctive list I would add V for Vendetta as I thought the film version was superior to the print.

That's not to say the graphic novel is not good. Alan Moore deserves a lot of credit for this ground-breaking, original story. Had I not seen the movie prior to reading this, I would likely have been far more impressed with it. However, as it is, I couldn't help feeling that the film did a better job of conveying the “oppressive nature” of the fascist society envisioned in the story. The stellar cast assembled for the movie didn't hurt either. While reading, I often found myself thinking to myself that I preferred the film's vision of the narrative.

Without spoilerizing, one example of this is that I thought, in general, the character depictions were vastly enhanced, largely due to the superior casting. I mean seriously, the movie had
....NUFF SAID!!!

I also think the movie more clearly defined the central plot, allowing the underlying message of the story to be delivered with more power. As for the climax, the movie's was golden, and I thought the addition of the public’s “participation” was inspired.

To be fair, the GN had its share of moments of advantage as well, enough to make reading it worth while even if you have seen the movie. V’s “confrontation” with the “Voice of London” was much more elaborate in the graphic novel, and V’s back story is expanded upon and given more depth. Both of these are interesting and well done.

Still, overall I found the movie was superior and I think my rating of the GN suffers a bit, unfair or not, as a result. Thus, a good read and one that I recommend...just make sure to see the movie as well!!

3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
September 10, 2021
V for Vendetta (V for Vendetta Complete), Alan Moore

V for Vendetta is a British graphic novel written by Alan Moore.

The story depicts a dystopian and post-apocalyptic near-future history version of the United Kingdom in the 1990's, preceded by a nuclear war in the 1980's that devastated most of the rest of the world.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهارم ماه نوامبر سال 2015میلادی

عنوان: وی مثل وندتا؛ نویسنده: آلن مور؛ مترجم: فربد آذسن؛ در 360ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده 20م

در این داستان در آینده ای نه چندان دور، «انگلستان» زیر سلطه یک حکومت دیکتاتوری درآمده، دختر نوجوانی به نام «ایوی هموند» را یک یاغی فریبکار و کاریزمانیک، که نقاب بر چهره دارد، و خود را «وی» مینامد، از ��طر مرگ نجات میدهد؛ یک یاغی که یک تنه به رودررویی با ستم و سرکوبگری حکومت «انگلستان» برخاسته است ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 21/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 18/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Marpapad.
45 reviews95 followers
February 16, 2018
I adored this graphic novel, every single page of it. If I could give it more than 5 stars, then I would.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
February 10, 2017
Prison. What exactly is prison? Is it just the confinement in which we are placed after crime? Or is it something more? Can we become imprisoned without being aware of it? Can we even imprison ourselves? Perhaps even to the state?



Alan Moore depicts these questions in this scary graphic novel that is set in some crazy right-winged London that reeks of fascism and corruption. It’s a dark, eerily real place; it is a place that might have actually been in an alternate history. Just like in Watchmen Moore shows us an alternative past that is stark and weirdly possible. The people struggle under an oppressive regime; they have no voice; they have no liberty or identity: they are in a monumental prison of both body and mind. And, worse yet, because of the mass propaganda campaigns, intimidating armed troop patrols, and lack of freedom in general, the people are not fully aware of their own oppressive plight. They’re ignorant and led along by the voice of power and authority. They have no free will.

This is where V. comes in. In the guise of a shadowy villain, the costumed rogue represents pure anarchy. His way of thought, as he himself admits, would lead to nothing but chaos. But, anything is better than fascism, right? Well, you’d think so but V. is far from the morale crusader he identifies himself as. Despite his form of vigilante justice, he is not morally good. What he inflicts on his protégé is nothing but damn nasty; yes, it opened her eyes to the prison of life, but in order for them to be opened he had to inflict great cruelty. Do the ends ever justify the means? Anarchy is the complete lack of authority over the populace, which is what V. is striving for, but he is acting with the power and ruthless of the very thing he is trying to overcome.

Indeed, what he exacts is a form of manipulative control, which is the very thing he is trying to destroy through his wave of terrorism. He is certainly a dark and complex character. Perhaps his ethos is even slightly self-defeating and contradictory. I don’t think he’s any better that what he is trying to destroy, but perhaps that’s the idea. Perhaps, Moore is trying to suggest that corruption is the very essence of human nature, and that nobody is beyond it. I think V. is less a man than an ideal. He represents something much bigger than himself, which is signified by his legacy. But, what this thing is destructive and extreme; his idea is not necessarily something beneficial to mankind.


I much preferred Watchmen to this; it was less political and focused on human nature rather than the complex nature of politics. I think the right reader could take a lot from this, but for me, I thought it was too bleak. There's little in the way of redemptive themes here.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for  Teodora .
302 reviews1,632 followers
April 17, 2020
Me: *is 21 yo and has no idea what tf V for Vendetta is about*
My friend: *hands me her personal graphic novel in disgust* I pity you
Profile Image for Baba.
3,559 reviews848 followers
April 13, 2023
An interesting premise - a lone, solitary man waging a vendetta against the power behind a totalitarian post-holocaust UK in a stark speculative future dystopia. Another Alan Moore classic, but one that loses direction as it progresses, from my point of view. 6 out of 12, Three Stars.

The global reach of this work and its long standing cultural impact is because of the appropriation of the mask by numerous parties and movements to mimic the book's protagonist and and its context in regards to combating presumed totalitarianism.

2010 read
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews9,760 followers
October 4, 2010
I struggled for a long time with the growing notion that conservatives simply aren't funny. At first it seemed a silly idea, since conservatism draws from sources as varied as progressivism: all levels of intelligence and wealth, all kinds of people from all walks of life--yet none of them are funny.

Certainly they can tell jokes and be charming, but not satirical, not biting. Subversion doesn't come naturally to them, and it should have been clear why: Conservatism relies on ideals, on grand heroic notions which are to be believed in. Progressives (or Liberals) rely on deconstruction of these notions, which is in itself a subversion.

That might not entirely explain the sad discrepancy between Doonesbury and Mallard Fillmore, but it's a start. I feel like this difference in mode is also to blame for some of the more common critiques of Alan Moore's work.

He's recently achieved notoriety as a Hollywood Gold Standard--and as the scowling, bearded mascot of rebranding 'Comics' as 'Graphic Novels' (despite the fact that Moore, Gaiman, and I all prefer the original term). As a product of this new visibility, he has been discovered by new readers, some of whom dismiss him as a subversive anarchist.

I agree that he is subversive, and that he is interested in exploring violent anarchism in his works, but he has too much subtlety to be saddled with the views of some of his characters. Critics can quickly identify attacks on their ideologies, but seem less skilled at seeing how an apparent 'progressive' like Moore simultaneously attacks his own representation of the agents of change.

Rorschach in Watchmen is a parody of the superhero staple of morality by violence (or is it the other way 'round?), a parody the film version completely fails to recognize. Likewise, 'V' is meant to be flawed, fraught and difficult, and Moore invites us to question his philosophies and methods.

Moore always gives his characters motives because his characters operate by their psychology: their history, their disposition, their experiences. But in 'V', Moore is giving us a background to establish a motive, which is why we might end up on V's side (beyond the David and Goliath trope).

Moore gives us this motive so that he can communicate his ideas clearly. We see that V's actions are accountable personally, which leads us to ask whether they are accountable socially, morally, or ethically. It is, after all, a story concerned with the nature of politics, power, subjugation, and resistance. Like a philosopher hashing out his ideas, Moore explores his theme by setting limits to focus the hypothesis.

Whether V can be excused or praised outside his personal motivations is another argument, but the fact that Moore has isolated and located this argument at a point in narrative space shows his thoughtful, deliberate mastery of the form.

Like Watchmen, the film version mostly strips out this layer of complexity, and is content (like the majority of action films or violent dystopias) to let this personal struggle be the end of the moral question, thus reducing V to a violent hero (or antihero). This idealized 'personal morality' is common not only in action movies, but in cape comics and conservatism--yet focusing on a wholly personal response precludes observing how politics works, or any grand social scale which is necessarily defined by the impersonal.

The personal is simply not important, not viable, and in the end, gets lost in the mix. The billions of personal elements counteract one another into a kind of Brownian Motion, stirring without direction, while the real forces of power move above them and alongside them, shaping the world.

Think of all the people acting out their personal moralities, proud as peacocks. You hear people talk about turning off the water when they brush their teeth despite the fact that more than ninety percent of water use is industrial. People buy free-range organic despite the fact that the money still goes to the same five companies (and the term 'organic' is entirely unregulated). People get self-satisfied about their Prius when five shipping tankers produce as many tons of emissions as all the cars in the world.

It is not that these personal beliefs cannot change things, in fact they often come to the forefront, but this change is momentary and complex, and hence, no great theory could be made to predict it, so it cannot be harnessed, only taken for granted by the forces of power. The more people act personally, the more they will be taken advantage of, impersonally.

It isn't surprising that critiques of Moore tend to focus on these personal, symbolic journeys, but that's simply not how Moore operates. Sympathy for his characters should be mistrusted, just as we must mistrust Milton's Satan; even with all his charm, it is the utmost foolishness not to recognize him for who he is.

You don't have to look hard to see these little subversions--these clues that something isn't right--but you do have to look. There is a fast-paced, exciting, complex plot atop it all, and it's easy to get caught up in Alan Moore's stories. Unlike some authors, Moore won't spell it out for you, but calling him an Anarchist is an oversimplification.

In interviews, Moore has said that an Anarchist state is one where the powerful rule the weak by fear and force of arms, noting that this describes every government and nation in history, no matter what florid terms are used to make such governance more appealing. Moore may use V to present the ideal of the Anarchist, but we must remember: he doesn't believe in ideals.

Which is why Alan Moore is funny. When you are quite sure that he is being serious, you can be certain that he is being funny. After all, the surest sign that we have ceased to think clearly about something is that we can no longer laugh at it. So remember: if you aren't laughing, you aren't thinking; and if you aren't thinking, then you definitely won't understand Moore.

My Suggested Readings in Comics
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book859 followers
January 14, 2021
Post-catastrophic dystopias were all the rage in the 1980s. After all, the end of the century was just around the corner, and millennialism was getting into a gentle simmer — it is now, it seems, in a running boil. It was a second “golden age” for science fiction and dystopian visions of the future: the time of The Handmaid's Tale and Neuromancer and Blade Runner and Terminator and V (the miniseries with the reptilian aliens) and many others. V for Vendetta, published around 1988, fits right in there.

The story is set in a fiendishly Orwellian version of Britain, turned into totalitarian Oceania after Europe has been wiped out by nuclear war. The difference with 1984 is that the protagonist is not an isolated and impotent victim. This time, he is a mysterious and androgynous ninja-like hero who speaks in Shakespeare quotes, wrapped in a Guy Fawkes costume, wearing an ever-grinning and creepy doll mask. This faceless superhero saves a young woman from rape in the opening scene. He then takes her in his underground lair, a sort of hidden museum and library, where he keeps copies of Cervantes, Dante, Goethe, Homer, Dickens, Swift, Shelley, Pynchon… the cultural legacy that has been banned by a Labour Party turned into neo-fascism and racism. However, what starts as a sort of Jean Valjean / Cosette relationship will take a different and quite startling direction down the line.

It is altogether a fascinating graphic novel, that starts as a dark superhero story (the closest character to V, in the DC Comics universe, is probably Batman — especially in the unbeatable albums of Frank Miller) and ends up in a somewhat ambiguous way, dialogues turning into long monologues, and direct actions into memories — the evocation of the concentration camps are chilling —, dreams, metaphors, reflections, Cockney wordplay, silence. The artwork makes ingenious and sometimes dizzying use of angles, shadows and repetitions, but the style and looks are conventional. The book was initially published in black and white. For some reason, the latest editions have been coloured: the result is visually shabby and irritating.

Since Moore and Lloyd’s book, V’s mask has become the famous icon of the Anonymous cyber-activists and protesters movement. I guess the authors would not disavow this ideological twist: after all, V for Vendetta is an anarchist vindication of resistance, rebellion and, even, of revolutions — which, as it happens, is a diametrically opposite stance to that of George Orwell. I guess it might also be read as a vindication of media manipulation, terrorism, civil unrest and political chaos — a widespread phenomenon 30-odd years later —, which is one of the many deliberate and troubling ambiguities of this book.

I watched the 2005 film adaptation by the Wachowskis, with Natalie Portman, a few years ago. She, of course, is, as always, outstanding. I particularly remember being both elated and terrified by the opening and closing Bonfire Night scenes, with the pyrotechnics over the London skyline and the detonating cannons in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. I forget about the rest.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
August 23, 2017
I enjoyed the 2005 film V for Vendetta starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving and so my son bought me the book.

The BOOK turned out to be a graphic novel.

I asked if this was an illustrated version of the literature and searched to discover that this WAS the book. So the graphic novel sat on my bookcase for months and months while I read other books, more traditionally published.

But then I learned that Neil Gaiman had published The Sandman series and I recalled fondly my high school days when I read Marvel and DC comics and I have helped to enliven in my youngest son a fondness for the comics as well and he and I have had fun as he discovered this exciting medium.

And then, out of the blue, I found the copy of Alan Moore’s well written and well illustrated story of hope growing like a rose amidst the imagination stifling autocratic theocracy that had become England and I found myself liking it very much.

And so, Sam I am, I WILL read graphic novels, in a box, and with a fox, …

Profile Image for Bookwraiths.
698 reviews1,041 followers
October 26, 2015
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

When I picked up this graphic novel (after years of telling myself I’d get to it one of these days), I really wanted to love it. Watchmen by Moore is one of my all-time, favorite graphic novels, so I always envisioned V for Vendetta being another masterpiece of comic writing along those same lines: not only entertaining but enlightening as well. Unfortunately, I was immensely disappointed by this graphic novel.

Now, to be fair, I hate overtly political literary works. If a writer wishes to explore political themes in the framework of an interesting and compelling story then I am fine with that, but I personally do not enjoy stories that are only about politics. And for those of you who have read V for Vendetta, you already know that this graphic novel is 100% a work of political theology. It preaches. It prods. It shouts at you to pay attention. But no matter V’s incessant soliloquies, it utterly falls flat.

Probably the majority of the blame for V for Vendetta’s failure goes to the fact that in order to have a story you must first have a character, and V is not a character but a political ideology given human form in his iconic black suit and white mask. He is an idol to anarchy, wrapped in pop culture coolness to make anarchism an attractive viewpoint.


And to make this political theology even more appealing, Moore squares him off with the most repulsive opponent he could concoct: an ethnocentric, homophobic, pedophilia, racist, anti-science fascism that drapes itself with religious justification for its inhumane actions.


No matter his opponent, however, V quickly proves himself to be insane. (Whether his insanity is mild or extensive is up for debate, I suppose, but there is little doubt that he is not going to pass a psychological evaluation without getting several diagnoses.) He kills when he needs to. He blows up things when he deems it appropriate. He tortures – both physically and emotionally – his foes and friends alike when he believes it serves some greater good. And he shows no regret for any innocents who might be harmed in the aftermath.


Revolutionary behavior, I hear some of you saying. Perhaps. Yet,V never seems to have any rhyme or reason to his madness. At least not one that he sticks with. There is no desire to fix the problems of the world, but rather an all-encompassing desire to unleash chaos so that it may spread in a wild conflagration until anarchy is obtained and, somehow, remolds society into a chaotic utopia. Sure, apparently innocent people will get harmed , but, ultimately, all the world’s problems are these people’s fault anyway, so why shouldn’t they suffer for their poor choices.


To describe the story as convoluted is to be gracious to its famous writer, because this tale is filled with ambiguity to the point a reader has no idea if V is a “good” guy, a “bad” guy, or just some mentally deranged person running around killing people and blowing things up for fun. He will aid a person one page only to set them up for horrible things to happen to them the next. He will give a grand soliloquy on the need to “Vomit up the values that [have] victimized me” one moment, then turn around and exhibit his new, enlightened values by torturing his “supposed” friend to induce a level of insanity comparable to his own. Honestly, V’s display of anarchist morality becomes a tiresome exercise in futility.


The sad truth about this graphic novel is that V for Vendetta is a work of political proselytism. A piece of demagoguery whose message takes precedent over the actually story being told. V more an avatar for anarchy than a real revolutionary attempting to better the lives of his fellow men and women. This graphic novel is not inspirational. It doesn’t expand your mind by forcing you to analyze your current political leaning. Rather, it is just another piece of political ideology, where the writer frames the narrative in his terms so that only his viewpoint is attractive, and as such, it is better left undisturbed by those seeking a true story.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,532 followers
October 29, 2019
There are some classics that it takes time to get around to reading, watching, and appreciating. I recall the hubbub around the movie premiere of V for Vendetta but for some reason, I didn’t go see it or even take interest in the comic book. Somehow, the other big hits of 2005 – Star Wars III, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chronicles of Narnia, Peter Jackson’s King Kong (with the delicious Naomi Watts), Brokeback Mountain, and Walk the Line (amazing interpretation of the Man in Black by Joachim Pheonix)…come to think of it, 2005 was a BIG year in cinema and for me, V for Vendetta fell through the cracks. I was also not into comics back then… Well, there is a time for everything and the time to explore Alan Moore‘s apocalyptic vision of the United Kingdom in V finally arrived. I will talk first about the comic book, then about the movie, then about my general impressions. Hope you enjoy it.

The comic book from 1982 is definitely a classic. From the same author as the superb and similarly pessimistic Watchmen (reviewed by yours truly here), the story takes place in a future England following a global nuclear conflict with England tightly ruled by a vicious, vindictive, totalitarian Fascist party, the Norsefire, that has killed off the “denizens” of society (minorities, homosexuals, etc) in concentration camps. A mysterious terrorist arises called simply V who threatens the established order. His destructive path crosses that of Evey and their relationship is the primary focus of much of the comic. The government is run by various entities ingeniously identified by various body parts: The Eye (visual surveillance), The Nose (regular police), the Finger (secret police), the Mouth (propaganda), the Head (executive Brand embodied in the “Leader” Adam Susan) and the Ear (audio surveillance). There are several interweaving plot-lines besides the V-Evey story primarily focussed on the lives and sometimes deaths of various members of the government as well the cat-and-mouse game between Eric Finch of the Nose and his target V. It is a surprisingly complex tale – more so than I had imagined – and requires concentration to fully understand and follow. The artwork of David Lloyd is pseudo-realist sort of like that of Frank Miller, but a bit darker in color choices (primarily black, white, blue, and yellow throughout). It is a long read, but ends up being very rewarding – at least as much as Watchmen in terms of a standalone story.

The film as previously noted came out in 2005. It did a respectable $132m at the box office given the $50m production cost. The performances of Hugo Weaving as V and Natalie Portman as Evey were both outstanding. There are lots of signature Wachowski moments (overhead views of rain falling on Evey after her “liberation” just like the Matrix shot before they go in after the Oracle or the slow-motion V fighting scenes) and the action is pretty much non-stop. There are quite a few divergences from the comic here – two example: Evey does NOT take on the mask after the death of V, V is presented more as a liberator and lover of freedom (while still being a “monster”) than in the comic where his persona was far more ambiguous. Another major departure from the book was the confrontation at the end between V and the Finger where the blood splashes as V hacks through the secret police troops – again classic Wachowski (Hugo Weaving borrowing some of his Smith moves from Matrix) but still lots of fun to watch. The great thing about this movie is that it is relatively timeless and shot in such a manner that it will probably still look fresh in another 10-20 years. As for Portman, despite my skepticism about her (I have a real problem with anyone associated with The Phantom Menace and the rest of the Star Wars Prequel trilogy), she was extraordinary in this film as Evey. The final kiss notwithstanding, it was not overacted and was challenging (shaved head, torture – lots of difficult acting choices to make), so I regained some admiration for her acting skills. Overall, this is a keeper for sure.

As for the themes and atmosphere in the universe of V, I can’t help but wonder at this seeming obsession with fascism in the early 80s in the UK. I got to thinking about The Wall which came out in 1979 and also showed a fascist side to England (Roger Water’s interpretation anyway). I also recall some of the criticisms aimed at punk rock having a strong fascist vein to it (associations with swastika tattoos, jackboots, etc). I have only really known the UK since the late 90s and I find it so far removed from fascism today that I have a real hard time suspending disbelief and imagining a fascist dictatorship in place of the parliamentary democracy. Perhaps some of my UK readers that remember the 70s and 80s can speak in the comments about how prevalent and realistic fears of a fascist coup d’état were at the time. Was it really a reaction by artists to the strictures of Thatcherism or perhaps preoccupation with the Irish crisis and unrest at home? I am really curious about this. Another thing that is a bit forward-looking perhaps in the book is the treatment of the pedophile Bishop Lilliman. I don’t believe that the scandal of pedophilia in the priesthood had quite made the news back in 1982, but it is at the center of one of the key V kills where Evey was the bait. Was this visionary on the part of Alan Moore as well or had there already been some high profile scandals back when it was written?

The relationship between Evey and V is a fascinating one that ebbs and flows throughout the graphic novel and the film. The love that V has for Evey has a fatherly aspect, but also a brother-sister aspect as well. It does not seem sexual in the least but it is profoundly important to V. Evey comes to love V profoundly as well as she is the only one to see behind the mask – while respecting his desire to never glance behind the mask – because she sees his indomitable spirit despite the suffering he endured at the hands of the government and she realizes that despite the violence, his integrity is intact. In the best fiction and film, our values of good and bad are challenged (Walt in Breaking Bad, Tony Soprano, Julien Sorel, Raskolnikov…) and here we want to root for V despite his massive acts of violence. The author and filmmakers did a great job of putting us in Evey’s shoes as we understand and sympathize with V’s motivations. I think that is the essential timeless quality of this V for Vendetta and why it will remain a cult classic for years to come.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,481 reviews12.8k followers
March 16, 2014
V for Vendetta is one of those books that has the reputation for being one of the greatest comics ever written and frequently appears on “graphic novels everyone must read” lists. It’s a celebrated classic by the most acclaimed comics writer of all time, Alan Moore, and is one of the few books many non-comics readers have read. But why is this so feted? V for Vendetta is a badly written, even more poorly conceived pamphlet espousing anarchism as the ideal political system featuring non-characters in a moronic dystopian future world with a storyline of the most convoluted revenge.

The setup: when nuclear war breaks out, the environment goes to hell, flooding and black skies etc., and Britain suffers so badly that democratic government falls to pieces. Fascism rises and the country becomes a military dictatorship, banning things like art, music, and public freedom just because, and everyone is ok with this. Even when concentration camps (called here “resettlement camps”) start popping up and people get shuttled there to die and be experimented upon. One of these poor souls experimented upon survives and takes the roman numeral on his door as his name – V. This man quietly builds up a hideout of contraband and weaponry as he prepares to tear down the government and begin a revolution.

Ok, the nuclear war thing was a product of its time. V for Vendetta was written in the 80s when the Cold War was going on and everyone thought the nukes would start flying at any moment. But the extreme left wing reaction of Moore’s to Thatcher’s Conservative government is also outdated, comparing her policies to one step away from things Hitler would enact (and how dreary is it when western politicians get compared to Hitler?).

So the setup right away dates this book and makes its proclamations of future dystopianism seem utterly ridiculous and hysterical - which they are. But the rise of fascism in Britain is completely unbelievable. People in Britain will protest at the drop of a hat - a cutting of benefits in certain public sector jobs, an unfair tax, and so on. That NOBODY would protest or stand up against the dismissal of democracy, the rise of fascism, concentration camps, strict curfews, the loss of basic freedoms, and insane amounts of prejudice and random violence from the people supposedly in charge? It’s the fantasy of a lunatic. Or an extreme left winger like Moore. Or both.

But it serves it’s intended purpose which is Moore’s idiotic belief that anarchism is the answer. Look, fascism clearly doesn’t work, but giving up on democracy because of Thatcher? Madness. 30 years later and we’re still standing - dare I say, even better off with her time in government? My point is that anarchism is definitely not the right political system, but to Moore it is the perfect form of everything. Under anarchism, people are free to be themselves, live in peace, enjoy things they like, etc. - oh if only we had a political system in place for such things to exist. Oh that’s right we do: democracy. But democracy has to fail because Moore believes anarchism is the answer and so paints democracy as bad and anarchism as good.

Nearly all of the characters in this book are ciphers. V isn’t a character because he doesn’t have characteristics - he’s just Moore’s mouthpiece for his political rantings (when he’s not quoting literature or rock lyrics). And interestingly given Moore’s recent views on superhero characters being juvenile and examples of stunted emotional growth, V, arguably Moore’s most famous creation, is a superhero himself. He’s a character who’s basically invincible until he’s meant to die in the script, and can dispatch enemies and execute his plans perfectly as if there were no obstacles in his way (and is there anything less interesting than a hero who gets his way every time? Where’s the conflict?).

Evie isn’t much of a character either. She’s a helpless dull girl who gets caught up in V’s campaign against the government, “learns” that anarchism is the greatest thing ever (after being tortured by V), and then parrots said nonsense back to the people at the end. The detective character, Finch, is equally boring. He meanders about uselessly following V’s footsteps, always too late to stop him, until the end when he’s supposed to be a competent detective. Oh yeah and through Finch we discover that apparently if you take psychotropic drugs in abandoned places where bad things happened, you literally time-travel and the past comes to life around you!

The Leader is also an awfully constructed “character”. You might remember John Hurt’s performance in the V for Vendetta movie as a brittle old ranting tosspot but the Leader of the book is a very quiet and unremarkable man who sits in front of screens murmuring to his underlings. Guess what Moore’s revelation about him is? If only the Leader had known love in his life, he wouldn’t have become a dictator!!!

Moore’s writing is generally quite tedious but his work in V is the most turgid his prose has ever been. The pages are simply glutted with captions and long-winded speeches, slowing down what little action there is to a snail’s pace, and removing any kind of reader-interpretation from Moore’s overly stated scenes. And the problem with having characters you don’t care about means you don’t care about anything that happens to them in the story. Certain scenes are meant to be emotional and powerful like when Evie stands naked in the rain, “free”, after enduring V’s tortures. Except I read that scene and felt nothing. It was two non-characters making empty gestures.

The story is repetitive: V kills someone who was at Larkhill Resettlement Camp, goes and tells Evie about the wonders of anarchism, Finch shows up and uselessly tries to figure out who killed the person, the Leader looks at a screen and stares at a screen. Repeat this a dozen times and you’ve got the book.

There’s an interminably unfunny scene where V “talks” to Lady Justice, the statue, taking on both personas as he argues for why he’s fighting against fascism. And here’s the thing: is anyone reading this book going to actually favour fascism? I don’t, you probably don’t - I don’t imagine anyone reading this does! So what a daring position to take: a stand against a failed political concept that everyone is already against! Hearing an argument - made numerous times - against fascism is like listening to a child who’s just discovered Hitler and the Nazis and is telling everyone what a bad thing they were. DUH, we already know, stupid! It’s like saying “killing people is wrong” - agreed, and?

Because this is the viewpoint of V for Vendetta, criticising the book gives the impression that you’re for oppressive/far right government, which I doubt anyone reading this is (I know I’m making a lot of assumptions but I’m sure most people aren’t this stupid - quite the opposite belief that Moore adopts in this book). I’m not a fascist, I’m not pro-fascism, I’m not against people liking all kinds of culture or being who they are - I just don’t like this crappy comic. It’s like this book comes prepackaged with an automatic response mechanism: dislike this and you’re immediately a bad person.

The book is written from a childish viewpoint - assuming that people would be docile against such oppressive movements and it wouldn’t occur to anyone to rebel in any way even when family members and friends are literally being beaten in the streets, taken to death camps, and experimented on. Give the people some credit! If that kind of blatant villainy started happening, they wouldn’t need a Velvet Underground quoting superhero like V to tell them to rebel, they’d already be doing it!

And really, nobody thought to check the underground to see if that’s where V was hiding? Hmm, we’re expecting an attack on the seat of government, Parliament. Well, we’ve checked everywhere except the underground - but he probably won’t be coming from there. I mean, there are rails leading directly to Parliament which he could use to equip a train with explosives on and send it straight to Parliament but he probably won’t do that so we won’t check! You see what I mean? It’s like a halfwit wrote this drek!

The bad plotting, non-characterisation, terrible writing, and obnoxiously moronic political posturing is like listening to a teenager wittering on ceaselessly about something that could only make sense to someone who shared his worldview, not to anyone with a considered opinion who thought for themselves. Which makes me wonder about the overwhelmingly high ratings this book gets - is it purely because Moore anticipated the “surveillance state” where CCTV cameras are everywhere, that this is rated so highly? I’ll give him that, but to ignore everything else about this book and call it a classic is ridiculous. I applaud the sentiment of personal freedom, celebrating culture and embracing other cultures, and accountable government by the people and for the people, but I detest the way Moore’s gone about it in this near-unreadable book.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,056 reviews1,719 followers
April 9, 2015
"فکر کردی میتونی منو بکشی؟ زیر این شنل گوشت و پوستی وجود نداره تا با گلوله از بین بره؛ زیر این شنل فقط یه آرمانه و آرمان ها ضد گلوله ن."

یکی دیگه از کمیک های معروف و خیلی خوب "آلن مور" نویسنده ی افسانه ای کمیک.
داستان این کمیک در انگلستانی مشابه آنچه جورج اورول در 1984 توصیف میکنه اتفاق میفته و به شرح مبارزات یه هرج و مرج طلب با نام مستعار "وی" میپردازه.

مقایسه با فیلم
کمیک خیلی از فیلم بهتره. شیوه ی روایت آلن مور، شیوه ی کنار هم گذاشتن تصاویر و ترکیب دیالوگ ها با صحنه ها، خیلی هنرمندانه است. اوج این شیوه ی روایت رو توی کمیک دیگه از همین نویسنده، "نگهبانان" میتونید ببینید.
علاوه بر شیوه ی روایت، پایان کمیک به کلی با پایان فیلم متفاوته. پایان بندی فیلم شدیداً هالیوودی و کلیشه ایه و اصولاً فایده ی "ایوی" (دختری که پیش "وی" زندگی میکنه) چیزی جز فایده ی عنصر زن در فیلم های قهرمانی هالیوودی نیست: نقش معشوقه یا موجودی ضعیف تر که با تکیه کردن به قهرمان، قهرمان رو قوی جلوه میده.
ولی در کمیک نقش ایوی به کلی متفاوته و بودنش توی کمیک، هدف داره.

شخصیت "وی" که قهرمان داستانه، زیادی قدرتمند و باهوشه. بدون هیچ مشکلی هر کس رو که میخواد میکشه، هر ساختمانی رو که میخواد منفجر میکنه و به ابررایانه ی دولت نفوذ میکنه و پلیس ها مدام دور خودشون میگردن، بدون این که بفهمن چه اتفاقی افتاده. این که هیچ چالشی سر راهش نیست، از جذابیت داستان کم میکنه.

ثانیاً "وی" زیادی شعار میده که باعث میشه تک جمله های نابی که بعضی وقت ها میگه، بین انبوه سخنرانی هاش به چشم نیان و هدر برن.

جدای از این ها، شخصیت شوخ طبع، قدرتمند و حکیم "وی" خوب و به یاد موندنی بود و "هیو ویوینگ" خیلی خوب نقشش رو توی فیلم در آورده بود (هر چند فقط صداش شنیده میشد.)
Profile Image for Bryce Wilson.
Author 10 books155 followers
July 9, 2008
If Watchmen is Alan Moore's Sergeant Pepper, and From Hell his Abbey Road (And in the end the love you take is equal to the number of prostitutes you disembowl) then V For Vendetta is his Rubber Soul.

Like Rubber Soul it tends to get overlooked and undervalued because it's "merely" a perfect pop record rather then a artform redefining masterpiece. V is simply put a potent piece of Pop Art. The story is bracing, the art beautiful, the way it plays with iconography of humanities past sins is simply genius. It's politics are more earnest then they are sensible. I find Anarchy to be a very coddled philosophy. It's the same reason I snicker whenever I see someone wearing an Emma Goldman or Ayn Rand T shirt. Not because I have any great love for government, but because I side with The Joker in my firm belief that so called "civilized" people will eat eachother alive when given the slightest reason or provocation. Hell most of them do it anyway.

Anyway rant ended, great book, Alan Moore Prevails.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,815 followers
April 24, 2022
V is for Vendetta is one of those graphic novels that I would think that everyone at least kind of knows about due to the 2005 movie with Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving or the fact that the Guy Fawkes mask from it has become a popular pop culture symbol. It has been a long time since I have seen the movie, but it feels like in many ways it followed the graphic novel closely. But, if you want the full experience of the story as it was meant to be, reading the graphic novel is a must.

This was definitely the longest it ever took me to complete a graphic novel. This is not the fault of the graphic novel itself, it just happened to be chosen as the monthly read for one of my book clubs when I was in the midst of one of the worst reading slumps of my life. Because of this, I never really gained any momentum with this one. So, do not look at the length of time it took me to read this one and it does not really reflect my experience with it at all.

However, I would not say I am in with the people who were blown away by this book or feel like the experience is life changing. I know that this story has a passionate following considering it has become the symbol of how some people feel about government in general. It is very easy to see why this is the case as this book doesn’t pull any punches in the same way that 1984 didn’t pull any punches. And, while I can 100% appreciate that, I didn’t quite connect with this as much as I had hoped. I truly think that this relates to the fact that time in my life that I met this book. Over the past few years of dealing with political debate in America, I have become quite exhausted with it all, so I think this felt like reading the news that I have been trying to avoid!

All that being said, it is a good and thought-provoking story. If you enjoy dystopian fiction and don’t mind when it doesn’t fall too far from the reality tree, then you will find something here to scratch your reading itch.

Profile Image for Sud666.
1,936 reviews159 followers
February 19, 2017
V for Vendetta is superb. For people wanting to read this book, that's really all you have to take away from my review. Written in a period of liberal angst (over Thatcher's Election as PM) wherein he forecasts a dystopian view of England's future. There has been a nuclear war (not very specific as to the who/why) but England has been spared. The government is Fascist and uses Orwellian terminology for it's different departments-the Head, the Fingers, the Eye, etc. In this world we are introduced to V.
The story is about V and his attempt to bring down the government. V channels his inner Guy Fawkes (aka Guido Fawkes-a Catholic Englishman who attempted to kill King James I by blowing up Westminster Palace. Um he didn't. He was found guarding the Gunpowder, arrested and managed to fall off the scaffolding, before being hanged, and promptly broke his neck.) by blowing up Parliament.
He is joined inn this by Evey Hammond. Evey was nearly raped and killed by a group of Fingermen, when she is rescued by V. Her metamorphosis from meek to her "reincarnated" mindset near the end of the story is quite remarkable. As far as V- he is something more than human. I shall not spoil the rest of the story or the plot for you-especially if you are unfamiliar with what happens.

The plot of the angst driven anti-hero fighting a fascist government is really not that original, but what sets this book apart is Alan Moore's prose. It is quite simply beautiful. It flows smoothly and compels the reader to pay attention to each and every word-a rarity in comic writing. This is Moore at his finest (though Watchmen and Swamp Thing are also of similar quality) using Shakespeare and other famous authors to give V's speech a measure of class and culture that serves up memorable lines. This is a story that can be read merely for the writing itself.

The art is quite decent especially considering the time. The art complements the dark story line. The colors are muted and only a few colors are used. The entire feel is a mix of dreary, depressing and yet sinister all at the same time. Quite in keeping with the nature of the government in the tale.

If you are looking for a great story, phenomenal prose that will stay with you after finishing the book and most of all- the salient points it makes about people and their particular relationship with their government, self-development and concepts of what is freedom make this a deep book. Unlike most comics, this not only entertains-but it gives food for thought. It paints a stark warning of the price people will pay for "security". This is not a fun tale, though there is a great deal going on and is meant to be more of an engine to drive the thoughts of readers. There is a lot of subtle things such as V- is it V for Vendetta? Each chapter of this tale has a word that starts with "V" as its title. There is something to be said also for "Evey" (V?) and her eventual transformation.

A superbly written tale. That's the best summation for this magnum opus from the mind of Alan Moore. Even people who have no use for comics, should read this one. The prose alone makes it worth it. Highly recommend to anyone for with a love for the written word. Do yourself a favor and do not let the movie be the reason you know this tale- read the original, far deeper, far darker version.
Profile Image for Algernon (Darth Anyan).
1,493 reviews958 followers
March 25, 2014
Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea ... And ideas are bulletproof.

Comic books are for geeky kids who dream of men in tights saving the world and women in skimpy outfits who swoon into their brawny arms, right? Who takes comic book seriously? Alan Moore is not the only name to be put forward in answer to this question, but he is for me the best example of the power behind the medium. I rate 'V for Vendetta' on the same level as '1984' or 'Animal Farm' or 'Fahrenheit 451' : one of the literary manifestos that have come to define our modern society (as Voltaire and Montesquieu defined the French Revolution), an allegedly dystopian future that is painfully already become the present we are living in. 

Honestly, the actual presentation of the book was uneven, alternating between brilliant script passages and stark, powerful poster-art graphics down to muddled secondary characters and slow paced detours from the main story. But, like it says in my opening quote, the idea behind V is stronger than the execution (Alan Moore was still experimenting with the medium and developing his skills in this early piece). The proof of the enduring quality of the tale is not necessarily in the success of the movie version (which I liked even better than the comic), but in the recent proliferation of masked 'Guy Fawkes' anarchists who are starting to challenge their governments in their abuse of authority, and who believe in the freedom of information and the freedom of expression, with Wikileaks, Anonymous, assorted whistleblowers and antiglobalization protesters hopefully only the tip of the iceberg:

People should not be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their own people.  

And in another place:

 “Authority allows two roles: the torturer and the tortured. Twists people into joyless mannequins that fear and hate, while culture plunges into the abyss.”

The society presented in the novel is an exaggeration of trends towards fascism and mass surveillance that Moore noticed already in the early 1980's, while the nuclear conflict that caused the collapse of democracy in his story has been avoided so far, terrorism being the rallying point of fearmongering. The artist uses his anarchist premise in a didactic role ( with V as the teacher and Evey as a stand-in for the reader) , as a challenge to take a hard look at our own lives and do something about changing the world:

Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself

The artist is 'V', who makes a spectacular entrance as the flamboyant masked justiciary in a cape who saves a damsell in distress (Evey) from the clutches of secret police thugs. His introduction is a riot of wordplay and innuendo, and of course I've bookmarked it for savouring it at my leisure:

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition! The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me "V".”

Pretty soon Evey learns her saviour is no knight in shiny armour like Superman or Captain America, but a dangerous anarchists who is bent on bringing down the government in a blaze of fire. I will leave the actual details of the plan and of the execution out of my review out of consideration of readers unfamiliar with the comic, only mentioning that Alan Moore did a sterling job subverting the myth of the superhero, pointing out the risks of taking the law into your own hands and the fact that destruction is necessary but not enough for creating a better world.

I'm the king of the 20th century. I'm the boogeyman, the villain, the black sheep of the family.

The identity of the man behind the mask remains a mystery to me, as it should, because 'who' he is is less important than 'why' he is. Sometimes I found his teaching methods too brutal and hard to swallow, but at the end of the journey in his company I knew him in his secret heart and I bleed for him and for my own inadequacy:

“But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”

The comic spends a lot a panels on fleshing out the oppressors, the politicos supported by police, army, secret surveillance, propaganda, religion, scientists involved in concentration camp research on immigrants and indesirables. They are called in the book The Eyes, The Voice, The Fingers, The Head etc. This is the part I sometimes found confusing and less well executed, with the exception of an elderly crime investigator who still reads books and thinks outside the box.

“Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”

Since I named the comic a literary manifesto, I will close my review with the rest of the slogans that jumped out of the panels to write themselves on my conscience. I hope they will remain there to burn brightly as I continue my literary pursuits in other directions.

My mother said I broke her heart ... but it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it's all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us ... but within that inch we are free.


While a truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.


Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.
Profile Image for Bill.
908 reviews161 followers
October 27, 2022
I love V for Vendetta! Every November for the past few years I either watch the film or read the graphic novel. Sometimes I listen to the film soundtrack too. I really must get out more!
Alan Moore may try & squeeze too much dialogue into the panels of a comic, but reading this dystopian thriller is always a delight.

And here is my previous review from 2016...
This dystopian tale of a near future Britain has always been one of my favourite comics. While the comic is often praised the film version is usually criticised. Both have their faults, but I think they are both excellent & full of great ideas.....& ideas are bulletproof.
Profile Image for Imme [hiatus] van Gorp.
487 reviews205 followers
February 19, 2023
|| 2.0 stars ||

This is kind of like a mix between 1984 and (anti-)Nazi Germany inspired politics, packaged as a graphic novel.

The story takes place in a dystopian society under a fascist regime that indoctrinates all of its citizens and sends everyone who falls outside of their idea of ‘perfection’ to a concentration camp (those people include gays, people of colour, socialists, etc.).
In these concentration camps certain experiments take place, and one of these involuntary participants is our main character V. We are not entirely sure what kind of experiment he was used for, but we do know he escaped and is now out for vengeance. He wants to spread chaos and anarchy as an anonymous vigilante; he wants to overthrow the totalitarian regime by taking away the propaganda tools the leaders use to manipulate people. However, is V doing this out of the kindness of his heart? Does he have ulterior motives? Is he simply just insane after the experiments he has endured?

The other protagonist is Evey, and she becomes more important in the second half of the story. She is a desperate girl living under the regime and she is saved by V early on in the comic, after which they develop a hard too define and extremely troubled relationship. I don’t want to say too much about her journey because it would be a spoiler, but her storyline is quite sad.
I personally did feel like her characterization was weak and her character oftentimes felt rather empty. She could have been a much more impactful character if she was written better, and not only as a naive, stupid, silly, pleading and frail girl. She simply didn’t have much of a real personality, which was a shame. She did have one powerful scene somewhere in the middle of the comic, but that was quickly forgotten afterwards and she just became uninteresting again. In summary, most of what she did was ask unanswered questions and follow V around: It wasn’t very impactful or intriguing.

Despite the story having a very fascinating and compelling premise, it was hard to feel a powerful emotional connection to the characters or any of the action. The writing simply lacked feeling and it was honestly a little stale. It often read like a political pamphlet or a theology lesson.
Some of the writing was also a little too flowery. I didn’t really like that so much was said in such hard too follow prose like it was a pretentious little riddle (especially when V was talking) or when the words were written down in certain accents. I have to admit to not being able to understand what was going on sometimes. It was annoying and often gave me a headache. I mean, there were times when I genuinely had no clue what we were even talking about, to whom was being spoken to, why something was happening, where we were, etcetera. It could all be very... confusing.
There was also a lot of it that felt quite repetitive and it almost became rather preachy. A lot of scenes were honestly just boring, and they didn’t matter to me at all.

I didn’t really like the drawings in this comic either. The lines weren’t very pronounced, and there were a lot of dark spots. I found it hard to distinguish between different faces or different facial expressions. I honestly could not tell any of the characters apart (other than V and Evey), and I didn’t find any of the pictures particularly well done. It was honestly hard to see anything clearly; the pictures really didn’t add much to the story for me, and I think that’s a very bad thing indeed for a graphic novel.

All in all, I wish I would have just watched the movie. I will probably still do that sometime in the future anyway, because I think the story has the potential to be great, it was just the execution of it that was a fail for me.
Profile Image for Brett C(urrently overseas again).
784 reviews165 followers
May 2, 2021
"Ideas are bulletproof", pg. 236

This was a decent story. This can be labeled as action, political, and very philosophical at the same time. The plot was about a post-war England that has become a dictatorship. The fascist regime Norsefire promoted racial ideology and rhetoric similar to National Socialism. The party had all the elements of state-sponsored media, single party rule, surveillance, and corruption in all levels. The hero of the story, a dark cloaked and masked man named V, focused on taking down the totalitarian regime. On the personal level he took revenge against individuals from his past. On the larger scale he promoted revolution and anarchy to overturn the government. As the story progressed he took in and trained a counterpart that eventually became his replacement.

Overall I enjoyed it and found it entertaining. This was my first Alan Moore story. I heard he had a unique storytelling style and this proved it. At times the dialogue was hard to follow and the character interactions were confusing; I had to go back at times to review what I just read because it felt disjointed. I originally read this in 2005 shortly after seeing the movie. I didn't finish it because I lost interest about halfway through. My initial impression still remains that I enjoyed the movie better. Still I would recommend it for fans of the movie and graphic novels. Thanks!
Profile Image for Sara.
369 reviews321 followers
June 15, 2021
This was my first time reading this and I enjoyed it immensely.
V is wonderful and I understand now how his character has stood the test of time.
Profile Image for Laura.
126 reviews34 followers
April 30, 2008

Okay. There's political writing, and then there's political comics (Watchmen, also by Moore). Pure political writing, essays or editorials or what have you, doesn't have to leave everyone satisfied. It can leave some angry or displeased or challenged, so long as it makes its point.


A political comic must not only make a clear political point, but it must ALSO be interesting in a way that is peculiar to comics: it must have a gratifying narrative, it must be artistically sound, and it must have the same kind of emotional influence that a regular old novel or movie would have, because comics are, primarily, STORIES.
V for Vendetta is a glut of political writing stuffed into an attractive skin of art and garnished over with the platitudiest delivery I have ever had the misfortune to be exposed to outside a 50s superhero comic. My god. It's got the same blind and senseless energy of delivery that any Superman-hurling-a-car comic would have. This stems, I think, primarily from the fact that it's an anarchist comic, and making anarchism into a coherent and attractive viewpoint is nearly impossible, given that anarchism is probably the illest-conceived of any extant ideology.
However, because it's ANARCHISM, because the writing is coherent and cleverer than most graphic novels', because it's all draped over with mystery, because it's a well-designed book, tone and layout-wise, and because the art is fantastic, the essential failure of the book-- the fact that it lacks anything behind its shell of hyperenergetic blathering-- gets a pass.
Seriously. The book tries so hard to be political and symbolic it crushes itself. Premise-wise, the story doesn't make a lot of sense-- we hear that England was living in a government vacuum for several years, and that London was straight-across flooded, and that every other landmass on the planet has been nuked, AND that a nuclear winter has occurred, but for some reason they're still living in a fully-mechanized modern consumer society. All right. Sure. Also, it appears that the only remaining political ideologies in the universe are Fascism and Socialism/Communism, with Anarchism resting on its own crazy-ass axis out who the hell knows where. All right, again. Beginning to sound more and more like Revolutionary Spain/every third world country ever. Sure. Got that. 'First and freest Republic in the world loses all sense of its political heritage and persecutes the hell out of its inhabitants' is the ONLY trend in British apocalyptic fiction, but this is the worst I've ever seen it done.
I don't know. What is Moore posing here as the only options for political ideology? He paints a world in which one can ONLY be EITHER a ethnocentric homophobic racist fascist or an 'anarchist'. All right. What does he mean by this? Returning to a state of nature? Gradual and spontaneous shift to democracy? End of the modern mechanized world? Spontaneous national adoption of a sort of leaderless socialist state? Hmm. Moore handles his material childishly. For me, the political-apocalypse stories that WORK show the protagonists yearning after a state of leave-me-alone-let's-all-be-friends sort of political neutralism-- a state of 'let's have universal human rights and that's all please' joy. A utopia of 'being a normal person'. Children of Men is like this. Even Watchmen is less heavy on the socialism and focuses more on the 'let's stop being persecutors and start being nice to everyone else again' mentality. Readers can therefore identify with the protagonists-- they aren't radicals. They're just normal people trying to be normal again. But in V for Vendetta, the only way peace can be achieved is if every individual person is a politically-radical crowd member willing to use mob violence.
Not inspirational.
I don't care what you think about the degree to which individuals must be political to preserve their rights. This book makes no coherent political point and the messages it DOES articulate are comprised solely of platitudes. It fails to rpesent any realistic view of any political spectrum whatsoever. Instead of focusing on human rights/the dignity of man/the right to be free, it sours the whole batch by presenting some shallowly-conceived idea of anarchism as the solution to all modern political crises. The fact is that this book reads like a poorly-contrived piece of anti-Thatcher propaganda.

Which is essentially what it is.

EDIT: I've read some other reviews of this book on goodreads and I've decided I have to make one point.

You CANNOT like this book becuase 'V is an amazing character.' V IS ALMOST NOT A CHARACTER. Moore specifically has him talk about how who he is is not important. V is a big bundle of soggy political ideology stuffed up into a man-suit with a funny mask on the front. The whole backstory bit exists to give the situation-- the SITUATION, not the character-- plausibility. The fact that the backstory even exists sours Moore's ideological point, which is unfortunate, since the point was shallow enough to begin with. V is suppsoed to be an 'everyman', and is supposed to represent the potential in all of us to make a difference. But how did he get like this? First of all, he's insane, mildly or seriously, but slightly insane at some level, at any rate. Secondly, he's got SUPER POWERS of combat/the mind that he was given in a crazy SCIENCE-FICTION HORMONE EXPERIMENT. All right. So the potential to make a difference is there in all of us, but we need a hero to tell us this is so, and that hero himself needs to be a super-human person in some way before he can take up the job? I don't think so.
There's some extreme cognitive dissonance in this story. Moore can't decide whether to espouse the power of the people as a body or the power of the individual-- an individual who, in some ways, is nearly as charismatic as a 20th-century dictator, yet who is, in other ways, utterly flat and irrelevant.
V is not a character. V is an idea, and a cloudy one at that.
Profile Image for Nickolas the Kid.
306 reviews70 followers
March 17, 2018
That was a great graphic novel!
In dystopian times, the UK government has taken all civil liberties from the citizens, allowing them to spy on anyone without warrant at anytime. V will stand against the oppressive and controlling British government at all costs.

The masked hero V is a good crusader like Batman or Zorro, but for me and because of his relationship with Evey, he has a lot of similarities with the Phantom of the Opera. Both are masked (because of their deformed face) and they have a score to settle....

Profile Image for Kate The Book Addict.
129 reviews229 followers
June 7, 2022
“Silence is a fragile thing.
One loud Noise,
And it’s gone….

Our Masters have not heard the people’s voice for generations.”

Everyone should read this graphic novel; we’re all being conned and manipulated by our governments, no matter what country you live in. They’re out for themselves, throughout the world. Although genius Author Alan Moore wrote this literally 40 years ago, it remains a warning today too. 1984.
Profile Image for Ayman Gomaa.
447 reviews566 followers
December 14, 2022

One of the best graphic novel i read ever
My second reading for Alan Moore after Batman:the killing Joke and to be fair he is the best graphic author ever , if he was wrote only this novel it will be enough to make him the best coz of the idea and the imagination he had , but we are lucky to enjoy more of his Masterpieces .

Many People don't prefer Alan Moore novels because they see it's so dark and in a Dystopia World , well he is right , the world is a mess and enough with the fairy tales and lies xD

Now about
i loved it really , when the idea is good and touch u that is enough , over the last 6 year we saw a lot that makes this novel is remarkable and got more famous coz we lived it , the injustice , lies , dictatorship .

the novel not like the movie, i repeat not like the movie

it's not like the movie all about Evey and V , here is more characters and more lives , feelings , but same idea , the finale is different a little , i kinda liked the movie more .

-Gordon character in the novel is different not like the movie , i liked Gordon in the movie more , the way he drew him as media critic comedian host like Jon Stewart and Bassem Yousef .

-Valerie story loved it <3 so emotional

-V in his mask , costume , conversations , sense of humor and his ideas are all perfect
Who is V ?
he is my father and my mother , my brother , my friend , he was U and Me , he was ALL OF US .
V character is one of the greatest characters i read about in book and i watch in movies <3

" People should not be afraid of their governments, Governments should be afraid of their people . "

- Evey : most of us is Evey, the people who accept their fate , the injustice messy world , the people in prison all their lives , V set her free " I didn't put you in prison , i just showed you the bars "

Profile Image for Blaine.
747 reviews603 followers
August 17, 2022
“The past can't hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.”

“Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof.”
The part of this book that will stay with me the most is one the author could never have intended when he wrote it 30 years ago. On the second page, the government spokesperson in this fascist Britain implores those listening to “make Britain great again.” Talk about art imitating life.

I don’t read many graphic novels, but I needed to read one for a book challenge, so I gave this one a go. I did not love the art as much as some people seem to. There were frames where I found it difficult to see what was happening. The story is solid, though again, I didn’t love it as much as some people seem to. I found the middle third—which focuses more exclusively on V and Evey—to be the best and most original section of the plot. Recommended, but it’s no Watchmen.
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