Set in the imagined future of Totalitarian England, Moore and Lloyd do their best to imagine the country under a fascist rule with the technology to make it every bit as terrifying and heartbreaking as you would imagine.
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
Genre: Comic Book/Sci-Fi/Politcal
Release Date: 1990
Source: Already Owned
On My Shelf: Yes
This was my second time perusing this book, and I’m so glad I took the time to reread this! The first time I read it was for an independent project when I was in college for a semester final, meaning that I was sleep-deprived, malnourished, and ready to check out for 10 years (actually, that’s pretty much my constant state…but anyway…) so I felt that I didn’t fully observe the contents of this comic. I had also just recently rewatched the movie, so it was difficult to absorb the differences and analyze what they meant to me and for my experience reading this graphic novel.
To sum up, rereading this was a far more touching as well as a down-right frightening experience. However, let me set up a bit of the context that made it even more frightening. I read this last november (because duh: “Remember, remember the fifth of November” and all that jazz) right before the upcoming election. That definitely added to the suspense of it all. And well, at least I’m prepared now?
I will say that because this was written over 20 years ago, there is some technology that definitely does not add up to our the current technology we have, but that is not the plot’s fault and, therefore, can be easily ignored. In fact, I find it incredibly interesting to look back at what past writers envisioned the future would be. The concept that technology was incredibly far-advanced in this graphic novel simply adds more to the terror of this story.
And, this plot has plenty of terror–I’m talking spine-tingling, hair-standing-up, shivers-all-over kind of terror. But, it’s more than that too. This book is often heartbreaking and hard to bear. It’s not something that is willing to overlook any aspect of a totalitarian regimen. Moore touches frequently on the concept of the purging of society for the ideal of a “pure race.” This is very WWII and actually draws many example directly from the world’s tragic past history. But, it’s also very eerie to have read this in current-day America. So much of it reminded me of Trump, and the people he has put in office has assured me that my connections were not far-fetched nor overdrawn.
But, I’m digressing from talking about the actual book. This writing is weaved together in, what I can easily allow myself to deem, a masterpiece. There were no plot holes, and Moore left just enough to be desired that gave this story an openness that allows it to almost transcend time and even, if it wasn’t for the frequent reminder that we were in the UK, space. As seen above, I’ve already been able to link it to two time periods very far from when Moore and Lloyd actually created this text.
Before and I rant and rave more about Moore’s work on this project, allow me to sidestep over to Lloyd’s contribution through art. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the artwork the first time around, but this second experience has caused me to experience just how beautiful it is. The art adds to the mystery of everything with its blurred lines (almost adding to how this story is blurred across time–scattered throughout history) and the deep, morbid colors that give off the subtleties of the atmosphere lending to the terror experience for the reader. This is easily the type of art that could haunt your nightmares and also increase the intensity of your tears. There is a sadness to it that adds to the morbid overtones of the story.
All in all, this is the sort of tale about a government gone bad and a story of fascism that you won’t soon forget. This book has haunted me since my first reading of it, but that looming shadow has become even more intense since my reread. I think of this text on more than an occasional basis and am constantly wanting to unravelling its deep layers again and again. This is the type of book I know I will gain something new from each time I reread it, and I don’t plan to let it gather dust on my shelf.
I absolutely recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who are deeply invested in reads that will not dissipate after reading, and especially especially to my fellow comic book and graphic novel readers!
Go forth and be terrified fellow readers.
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