“Remember, remember the fifth of November…”
Mention the name “V for Vendetta” for any comic lover and they will do one of two things: get super excited or burst into tears.
Alan Moore’s graphic novel, “V for Vendetta,” has been crushing souls since 1982. It follows the story of a vigilante that calls himself “V” and his companion, Evey.
The novel is set in the United Kingdom during the 1980s. Most of the world had been destroyed through war, and an ever vigilant fascist government is thriving… until V gets his hands on it.
V, a man constantly disguised in a Guy Fawkes mask and wig, has a deep seeded hatred for the current government.
These factors are partially responsible for his insanity, the novel begins with V setting out on a mission to assassinate everyone who had previously worked at a detainment camp that was infamous for experimenting on its prisoners.
Despite V’s talent for murder, he often shows compassion. He rescues Evey, a beautiful teenage orphan, from being gang raped and murdered by undercover police officers.
Evey also has her own reasons for disliking the government, as they were responsible for her being an orphan. V takes her back to his fortress, where he acts as a surrogate father to her, at least for a little bit.
Meanwhile, the inner members of the corrupted government are scrambling to find V and stop him before he stops the government because they know and fear, what V wants: anarchy.
However, V’s anarchical dream is not one of chaos and riots and general unpleasantries, but rather one where the people simply govern themselves.
V believes that people are capable of choosing for themselves and that the government should not hold total, or any, power of its people.
Alan Moore, who also wrote “Watchmen” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” is especially good at creating graphic novels that have the perfect blend of both heinous violence and philosophical questioning.
In 2005, “V for Vendetta” was turned into a film by the same name. If you haven’t seen it, Natalie Portman shaves her head in it and there are a lot of explosions, and the takeaway message of it is that everyone looks cool in a Guy Fawkes mask.
In my own experience reading the graphic novel, I found that I have never wanted to set the world on fire more than whilst reading it.
V’s world is, more or less, damned, with video cameras on every corner and the government is run by corrupt and greedy politicians, so his desire for an anarchical state is understandable, as well as relatable.
“V for “Vendetta” can be found on amazon.com or at the book stores Barnes & Noble and Powell’s. \
Paige Jurgensen / Columnist
Paige Jurgensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org