Title: V for Vendetta
Author: Alan Moore & Dave Lloyd
Release Date: May 1, 1990
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The year is 1997, and England is a fascist state. There is no such thing as privacy or personal freedom. Minorities and homosexuals have been eradicated from the population. One man, masked and caped, has taken it upon himself to change the face of society.
Though the reputation of graphic novels and memoirs has been changing recently, generally speaking, they aren’t widely read. However, I think amazing things are happening within this genre, so I’ve taken it upon myself to start reading more and trying to understand how the genre has developed over the past twenty years or so. I was very impressed with V for Vendetta; it’s a complicated story that is incredibly thought-provoking.
V for Vendetta accomplishes amazing things within its pages. Conventional wisdom leads to the conclusion that “comics” can’t convey the same depth as literary fiction, but this book proves those naysayers wrong. First, there’s the character of V. He is such an intriguing character, with so many layers and an incredible level of complexity. Is he crazy, or is he possibly the last sane man left in England? His skills suggest that he hasn’t experienced a break with reality, but at the same time, is it possible to do the things he does and not be slightly insane?
There’s also the question of morality – is V “good” or “bad”? While he is fighting for freedom and justice, his methods are somewhat barbaric. Do the ends justify the means in this case, when he seems to be fighting for the greater good? And is that actually what he’s doing, is the welfare of the English people what’s driving him or is this some twisted form of revenge?
There are many questions this book poses, so many amazing points of discussion. If your book club isn’t averse to violence and is open to new formats and genres, I would highly recommend picking this book. After finishing it, I’m itching to discuss it with someone because I know I wasn’t able to grasp everything, and there are so many possible interpretations of what happened.
V for Vendetta is an incredible work of dystopian fiction that tackles many important subjects. The artwork is well done, the dialogue is captivating (especially V’s speaking style), and it’s an engrossing work that I couldn’t put down. If you want a graphic novel with the heft and power of literary fiction, look no further. V for Vendetta is what you’re searching for.