The world has changed. In response to biological terrorist
attacks and a fear fuelled by the media the population loses
its nerve and elects a right wing party to power, a party
that quickly transforms a devastated and demoralised England
to a fascist dictatorship. One man, V arises to challenge
the absolute power of the state and enact a personal act of
vengeance. When V saves Evey from being raped and killed both
their futures are altered...
for Vendetta, by Steve Moore, is the novelisation of the
film which, itself, is based on the late eighties graphic
novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Alan Moore is an astounding
talent, who has led the vanguard in bringing comics to a more
mature audience; many of his graphic novels have been turned
into films including Constantine, The
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From
Hell. Unfortunately, his Watchman graphic
novel has been languishing in production hell for far too
long. Steve Moore is no stranger to comics either having penned
more than I'm sure he would like to remember.
for Vendetta tells the story of an enigmatic anarchist
with a penchant for Guy Fawkes masks. Throughout the book
his identity is never revealed, this enables him to remain
a symbol, rather than a person. In the end of the book Evey
rightly identifies him as the embodiment of everyone, making
what he stood for more important than the mask that he wore.
Although, the name V for Vendetta is an obvious play
on the old World War Two poster V for Victory and had been
used previously in its more literal form in V The Series,
throughout the book it stands for many things. It is the first
letter of the name of the authoress of the letter that Evey
finds in her cell, it's the Roman numeral for five which adorns
V's own cell where he is medically experimented on, it stands
for vengeance, violence and vendetta.
Whilst, both the book and the film keep the core of Moore's
original graphic novel, many of the subplots have been removed
and the ending totally changed. The graphic novel starts with
the destruction of the Houses of Parliament and ends with
V's funeral train blowing up Downing Street. I presume that
this was changed for an international audience who would be
aware of what Parliament looked like and would have no idea
of the significance of the unassuming front door of number
it would be difficult to completely make a hash of a novelisation
based on such strong material, I've seen it done. Thankfully
Steve Moore does a great job at bringing out all the dark
ambience of a Britain under a fascist dictator. Descriptive
passages are brooding; full of menace and it is easy to see
why, at the beginning of the novel, Evey's spirit has been
crushed and cowed by circumstance. It is only through meeting
V and the transformation which V brings about is she able
to drop her mask of fear behind which she had hidden.
prose style which Steve Moore utilises, virtually drags the
reader through the plot twists as the police attempt to uncover
V's secret identity uncovers a much darker secret at the heart
of the new regime. The finished novel is a veritable page
turner and a good story in its own right.
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