V for Vendetta | Alan Moore

The cover of Moore's V for VendettaWhat do you get when you cross a fascist totalitarian government with a masked anarchist with a penchant for revenge? V for Vendetta!

Moore and Lloyd first started publishing this comic series in Warrior comics in 1982, but the comic was cancelled before the series was finished. It wasn’t until 1988 that D.C. Comics convinced Moore and Lloyd to finish what they had started.

The story takes place in 1997, which was at that time 15 years in the future. After a nuclear war, the government of England assumed total power and kept its citizenry in check through it’s various agencies. At the centre of the regime sat their computer system, “fate,” which enabled them to maintain control. The dehumanizing nature of the regime was emphasized by their agencies which were named purely for their purpose: the propoganda department is called the “mouth,” the state police are called the “finger”.

V, the anti-hero of the tale, begins by taking out the state propaganda system and continues from there, setting people free from state control through violence. Believing that freedom can only be birthed out of chaos, V espouses the “do what thou wilt” philosophy of Alister Crowley.

V for Vendetta is a classic graphic novel for good reason. The story is as involved as any novel, and the dystopia feels all too real.

—Alan Moore and David Lloyd with Steve Whitaker and Sidbhan Dodds, V for Vendetta (New York: Vertigo, 2008).

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