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"V Is For Vendetta"

In celebration of Guy Fawkes Day and one of the greatest graphic novels of all time...

"Remember, remember the fifth of November..."


 
I remember it was about five years ago when I drove to the opening midnight showing of the film. My sister and I were both laughing, throwing pop corn at one another, acting a lot like kids waiting for the movie to start. It was still cold, around March of 2005, and the perfect night to go to the theater. It's funny how a film can be so thought provoking and so moving that it alters your mood almost completely, which is exactly what happened to me upon seeing 'V For Vendetta' for the first time. I will admit, before that night if you had asked me who Alan Moore was, I probably could not tell you. I can not lie and say that I was familiar with the graphic novel, I wasn't. Five years ago I was not reading comic books. After watching 'V For Vendetta' I remember crying, a lot. My make-up was smudged and my sister and I were silent on our drive back home. If I had to guess, I would say that my reaction was directly related to the powerful message that was speaking through 'V' to me, or so I thought. The character moved me. Perhaps when you're young, you think that you have the power to influence change in people, which is exactly what 'V' did; and is essentially the definition of what being a superhero is, at least in my opinion. To me, 'V' personifies the ultimate hero. He is a martyr who so desperately wanted to alter the political landscape for future generations, that he sacrificed his own life for the sake of a cause. That in itself, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful concepts for any character or story ever to exist in comic books, and is exactly the reason why 'V For Vendetta' remains, to this day, one of my favorite comic book stories of all time.   
 
The story, inherently, is about a man who wanted to evoke political reform. It is the idea that one person, man or woman, has the capability to influence and make real change; and that to me was a beautiful thing. 'V For Vendetta' took about ten years to complete, and was first started by Moore back in the summer of 1981. The first issue was published almost ten years later in the Spring of 1988. No doubt, Moore drew on the political atmosphere of the time, which in the span of those eight years, altered considerably. As did his own personal understanding of politics in general.
 

"There is a certain amount of political inexperience upon my part evident in these early episodes. Back in 1981 the term "nuclear winter" had not passed into common currency, and although my guess about climatic upheaval came pretty close to the eventual truth of the situation, the fact remains that the story at hand suggests that a nuclear war, even a limited one, might be survivable. To the best of my knowledge, this is not the case...Naivete can also be detected in my supposition that it would take something as melodramatic as a near-miss nuclear conflict to nudge England towards fascism."   
-Moore, Alan. "I began V for Vendetta..." DC Comics, September 1988. Vol I of X


While his opinions and understanding of politics in general changed over the course of the years in which he wrote 'V For Vendetta,' what remains true and solidified is the overall message that 'V' himself represents. Change, faith, hope and heroism are all elements which exist in Moore's story. Nevermind the details which no doubt change from one political administration to the next; the overall message and the idea will forever remain "bulletproof," and will therefore forever remain timeless. 
 

I call on you this November the fifth to celebrate Alan Moore's masterpiece, 'V For Vendetta' by going to your local library and re-reading the graphic novel, or heading to your local bookstore and picking up your own copy. I promise you will not be disappointed. Also, if you have not yet done so, you should definitely watch the film. If my words have not provoked you, then I hope you at least enjoyed the movie trailer! 
 

"How purposeful was your vendetta. How benign, almost like surgery...your foes assumed you sought revenge upon their flesh alone, but you did not stop there...you gored their ideology as well. The people stand within the ruins of society, a jail intended to out-live them all. The choice is theirs, as ever it must be. I will not lead them, but I will help them build, help them create where I'll not help them kill. The age of killers is no more."
- Moore, Alan. "V For Vendetta." DC Comics, 1988. Vol. X of X (p. 26)


    
 "Remember, remember the fifth of November..." and have a happy Guy Fawkes Day!  
 
Love,
B
44 Comments
Posted by InnerVenom123

I'm so glad a post like this was made. Remember remember the fifth of November, Freedom forever, England Prevails, ETC.
 
:D

Posted by Riezner

Great movie, never read the graphic novel. But after reading this post, I think I'm gonna have to pick it up. And also, buy this movie on Blu Ray, AWESOME!

Posted by HaloKing343

Somebody actually came up to me and started quoting "Remember, remember the fifth of November..." and I was amazed.
Edited by crazed_h3ro

Todays my Birthday this makes it extra special  YAY  ^_^
Posted by FLStyle

We set off some fireworks this evening and it was great! Is the graphic novel drastically different from the film, anyone?

Posted by wadey wilson

one of the best stories ever made
Edited by aztek_the_lost

wait, it's the fifth of November?? I can't believe I didn't notice before I read this :( 
 
but I have watched the film at least half a dozen times (and loved it!) and I've also read the graphic novel having already seen the movie (as it turns out the graphic novel varied quite drastically from the movie but it was also great) and I still love BOTH the movie and the graphic novel, at the same time! That's right...I love the story in both mediums...such a thing is unheard of but it's true. 
 
And if it weren't already so late and me so tired I would re-watch the movie and re-read the graphic novel tonight but alas...it is late and I am tired...maybe I'll read over a favorite part of mine in honor of this great day. Or I will try and memorize V's intro speech in the film, that was awesome! 
 


  • 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 and 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. [laughs] 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". 


Moderator
Posted by SuperGamera


ideas are bullet proof.

i love this book and the movies good to

Posted by Sparda

People shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
 
I'm really glad that this article was made. VfV is one of my favourite movies and also one of my favourite graphic novels.
 
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November!

Posted by reaper2923

Oh yeah I forgot about this date.

Posted by The Sadhu

Great review Babs!
Edited by bx1

Read the book a while back. Still haven't sat through the film though. My take on it? V For Vendetta is 1984 with a superhero and a happy ending. I loved it.

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

My friend actually reminded me today, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed. We celebrated appropriately
Edited by Dr. Detfink

There's no question the movie screwed the pooch when it came to the ending and to no surprise Alan Moore had a cow.  It misses the point that destabilizing gov't leads to anarchy and mob without direction becomes a mindless mass that turns in on itself. So freeing people without structure is no better off than the tyranny it sought to destroy. Except now every one is defenseless...much like how Rome was sacked and the dark ages began.
 
In the graphic novel, Helen Heyer played a significant role (and doesn't exist in the movie) as the first prostitute (that doesn't look like the winner of the genetic lottery) tried to convince Finch to save her from rampaging mindless mob of men bent on raping her and all the women that engaged in allegedly "freeing England." Now a cop without a gov't, he realized that there is no order thanks to blowing the shit out of Parliament and walks down an uncertain road. Thus, showing that anarchy is Not really this utopian view that we can live without rules or structure. Also nixes that there are more good people in the world than wicked.
 
In the movie, I think they did a decent job of skimming the surface, romanticizing humanity, and focused more on discrimination and Civil Rights than showing the other side of why gov't and structure was created in the first place. V for Vendetta was for Discrimination in the way that Crash was about Racism. Visual but hollow. Still, its entertaining action done by the Matrix bros.

Posted by Korg

I bought my copy of V for Vendetta on November 3rd of 2007. I had already seen the movie. The combination of reading the book and watching the movie again prompted me to get into more Vertigo comics, and drastically altered my reading and buying habits. I also joined Comic Vine two days later. On the 5th of November.  
 
@aztek the lost said:

"Or I will try and memorize V's intro speech in the film, that was awesome! 
 

  • 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 and 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. [laughs] 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".  "

Such a great piece of alliteration, and writing in general. There is some beautiful use of the English language in the film, and also in the book, though they are written very differently at times. Hugo Weaving was an excellent casting choice for V. His delivery really grabbed me when I watched the movie the first time, and it still does every time I watch it. One of my all-time favorite comic/graphic novel adaptations, and a really great movie all around. I love in the beginning (and the end) scene with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and the accompanying explosions. Awesome. 
Posted by FLStyle
@aztek the lost: @Dr. Detfink: 
 
Thank you, I'll pick up the graphic novel ASAP.
Posted by ryanwh

Both the comic and the movie are great for different reasons and really Alan Moore is a crazy old guy who hates everything so there's no point pretending to hate a pretty good adaptation that could have been leagues worse (pun intended) just because he hates it like he hates half the comic industry and several dozen other random things including but not limited to shaving. 
So yeah. Great work, though the real world is depressing enough as it is so I'll wait till we're in better shape before revisiting this.

Posted by jakob187

Such a terrible movie, yet such a great graphic novel.

Posted by Toastalchemist

I watch the movie every November 5th. 

Posted by Korg
@jakob187 said:
" Such a terrible movie, yet such a great graphic novel. "
Purely out of curiosity, what do you dislike about the movie?
Posted by Blindside002

Loved the movie, really wish it would have been on the TV today since I don't own it. Recently studied up alot more on the actual event V kept talking about during the movie too. :)
Posted by EisforExtinction

Guy Fawkes, the only man to enter parliament with honest intentions.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

I watched the movie and found it very thought provoking. Watching a twist of history and the corruption of power. It's sort of an example that shows us just how important term limits and a balance of power can be.
 
I don't know if anyone else was effected by this scene. One of the more....intriguing moments was when he went to kill the doctor who worked on those experiments. She was in bed and V is there. She asked him if he was going to kill her, and he said he killed her a few minutes ago in her sleep, holding up a syringe. She asked if it would hurt and he said "No". Something about that moment gave me a bit of a chill.
 
Yes, he was a man who wanted reform, but there was something a bit selfish within his actions. The people he struck at did hurt him in a profound manner. This personal aspect of his fight didn't hurt his message.

Posted by Media_Master

I remember seeing the movie, but I feel I should read the graphic novel.

Posted by The WeatherMan

I loved the movie. To this day I saw it 6 times and its my favorite movie ever. Read the novel too and while its far better than the movie, the movie still instilled the sense of real heroism in me. I wish Alan Moore would write more graphic novels.
Posted by crazywolf

Nice review Babs! Forgot all about Guy Fawkes Day.

Posted by The Messanger

This was such a Great Movie!!! I'd say it was better than Watchmen.... I remember the first I saw this too. I thought it was gonna be just a regular superhero movie, but I was wrong..... My dad wasn't to fond of it, but I thought it was one of the most BA superhero movies I've seen.. With the awesome action scene around the end and the goose bump chilling words of truth from V... I loved this movie!!!!!       Remember, remember the Fifth of November..

Posted by The Messanger
@crazed h3ro said:
"Todays my Birthday this makes it extra special  YAY  ^_^ "

Happy Birthday!! Mine was yesterday November 4th...
Posted by jagged glass

Didn't think Americans knew about Guy Fawkes day. It's more of a British holiday. Yes, Alan Moore has serious anger management issues cause DC, Marvel and every other comics company he's ever worked for keeps pinching his superhero toys and lunch money.  
 
Bad joke. Sorry.    
Posted by Darkchild

REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER!!

I have had alt happen to me on the fifth of november, first break up of first ex that was just an odd thing and odd timing. I remember after the break i remembered this line from the book was quite hilarious to me at the time.

First car crash, first time got pulled over by a cop, first....nevermind. Fifth of November is both a good and bad day for me so HAPPY GUY FAWKES DAY!!

Posted by NightFang

I will never forget the... Fifth of November.    

Posted by xerox_kitty
@EisforExtinction said:
"

Guy Fawkes, the only man to enter parliament with honest intentions.

"

Sheer genius!
Edited by Tyler Starke

Great article Babs, that was awesome, V for Vendetta the movie was what turned me on to alan moore as well. Goddd was that five years ago already f***.

Posted by The Psyentist

V for Vendetta...<3

Posted by Whiplash

Great review. The movie wasn't terrible at all.
Posted by BatGhostin
@FoxxFireArt:
I'm a little behind here but am now interested.  So is the govt. already socialized and V is fighting against that? or
Posted by Daily-Bugle

I am love this comic and movie. It's real beautifull!!!!!

Posted by 04nbod

I hate Bonfire Night, its a national menace and a relic of religious hate.

Posted by G'bandit

I watched the movie yesterday XD 
 
I got a new date for you people!
 
REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 2ND OF NOVEMBER! 
 
ITs MY BDAY WOOO! :P

Posted by papergodess

The first graphic novel I ever read, excellent stuff.
Edited by Moomin123

I loved V for Vendetta! I thought the film was amazing. Is it me or does some of the music in the trailer sound just like the music from the Dark Knight? 
 
"Remember, remember, the 5th of November, 
Gunpowder, treason and plot, 
I see no reason, why the gunpowder treason, 
should ever be forgot!"
Posted by HaloKing343
@04nbod said:
"I hate Bonfire Night, its a national menace and a relic of religious hate. "

Go die
Posted by OhhIzzy

I am a little late to reply to this, but I really enjoyed this article. 
 
I have only heard of the movie and wasn't even aware that there was a comic, but now ill be sure to read the novel and watch the movie!
 
Goodjob

Posted by Dane

I've actually never gotten around to reading V for Vendetta and as of writing this I'm staring at page 1 of the 1st chapter so here goes :P