The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta

Asia's Tech News Daily

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
Warner Bros. Pictures

Alan Moore and David Lloyd began the “V For Vendetta” graphic novel in 1982. Published in short chapters in a British anthology, it features the dark, fascist future of 1997 England after a limited nuclear war crippled much of the rest of the world. England was spared the worst, but a far-right government coalesced around the Norsefire party, a white supremacist group that killed people of color and queer individuals in short order. The story opens with 16-year-old Evey Hammond clumsily soliciting herself as a prostitute, only to find that she’d solicited a cop (known as the “fingermen”).

The police are set to assault and murder Evey before a strange man in a smiling mask gasses and kills them using highly theatrical and elaborate methods. Saving her life, he takes her to his home, which he calls the Shadow Gallery. The man has no name, but says that she could call him V. Then he blows up the Houses of Parliament, much as Guy Fawkes once tried to do. This sets off an elaborate story surrounding a morally ambiguous protagonist, his mysterious plans, and Moore’s own treatise on anarchism as a philosophy. It was also personal, as he saw signs of fascism creeping into England’s present and future (via COMICON). 

In 2005, a film adaptation of “V for Vendetta” written by the Wachowskis and directed by James McTeigue released. Let’s explore the stories behind both the comics and the movie.

From Warrior to DC Comics

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
Quality Communications

During the early ’80s, UK publisher and editor Dez Skinn left Marvel U.K. and started his own imprint, Quality Communications. In 2004, he told Ninth Art that he invited artist David Lloyd to do “… a detective noir type story. I had worked with Alan [Moore] on ‘Dr. Who,’ and so I asked him if he’d get involved with ‘V For Vendetta.’ … He had something more heroic in mind for V, but Alan took it and made it more theatrical.”

The first chapter appeared in Skinn’s new anthology, “Warrior.” Moore started “Marvelman” in the same issue, a strip that eventually became “Miracleman.” Moore wanted to incorporate a lot of themes, including riffs on George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Thomas Pynchon, “The Prisoner,” and many other cultural touchstones. Each issue featured a single chapter, and the storyline was organized into three separate books. Book one was “Europe After The Reign,” a pun on an apocalyptic painting by Max Ernst. Book two was “This Vicious Cabaret,” a song that V performed that was actually released as a record. “Warrior” ran for 26 issues, and “V For Vendetta” ran in every issue but one. The last two chapters of book two were set to appear in #27 and #28, but they were never published. 

DC Comics picked up the series, added color, and released the books as ten single issues before they were collected. The third book, “The Land Of Do-As-You-Please,” came from Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway Tree” series of books. The final issue was published nearly seven years after the first story appeared.

V's Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol of protest

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

V uses a Guy Fawkes mask and wears a wig to conceal his identity. His first major act is destroying the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 1997. Guy Fawkes was a Catholic conspirator who sought to destroy Parliament by packing it full of gunpowder and blowing it up. He was arrested before he could carry it out, and the “gunpowder plot” became a patriotic rallying point. The film version even depicts Fawkes doing this in order to introduce the image of his mask. Historically, Guy Fawkes day was celebrated to burn Fawkes in effigy, which is where the masks originated. 

Moore subverted this idea when he had V destroying these buildings, and David Lloyd made effective use of this frozen, smiling face throughout the book. The film inspired a number of people to don the mask in various forms of protest. Ironically, Time Warner owns the rights to the image and profits with each mask sold (per The New York Times). The hacker collective Anonymous uses the Guy Fawkes mask as a disguise for its activities, which have included cyber attacks on the CIA, KKK, the Church of Scientology, and various corporations.

The mask was also frequently seen during the Occupy movement and protests in Hong Kong, protecting identities while symbolizing protest. 

The comic and film explore different themes

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

Alan Moore made his disdain for the movie version of “V For Vendetta” clear during an interview with MTV. “[The comic] was specifically about things like fascism and anarchy,” said Moore. “Those words, ‘fascism’ and ‘anarchy,’ occur nowhere in the film. It’s been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country … It’s a thwarted and frustrated and perhaps largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values [standing up] against a state run by neo-conservatives — which is not what ‘V for Vendetta’ was about.”

Moore’s interest in anarchism was highly-developed, grasping it in its most basic sense: not a lack of order, but an absence of leaders (per Infoshop News). “V For Vendetta” was an experiment in V understanding that the conditioning of a fascist state in particular has to be stripped away before its people can choose their own way. Moore’s understanding of this was taking responsibility for one’s own actions as well as acknowledging that “they are acting in a wider group.” 

The ending of the film, which is essentially one big protest with people wearing Guy Fawkes masks, seems to confirm the idea that it was less about the total destruction of a fascist state to build something anew and more about the importance of direct action in a democracy, which is at the heart of liberalism. When V dies at the end, Finch asks Evey his true identity, to which she replies, “He was all of us.”

V's moral code is highly questionable

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

Alan Moore has frequently written protagonists who are not heroes, even if they are highly charismatic and carry much of the narrative. Rorschach in “Watchmen” and William Gull in “From Hell” are two of the more obvious examples, but this is definitely true of V as well. Even if Moore had an interest in anarchism, Moore deliberately makes the morality of V’s actions ambiguous.

First and foremost, V is an unrepentant killer. He murders dozens of people who worked at the concentration camp at which he was imprisoned and tortured. Part of this was to erase his identity, but he takes special pleasure in poisoning the Bishop and driving Lewis Prothero insane, just as V had been driven by the drugs he was forced to take as part of an experiment. 

Second, V is a cold manipulator. With the knowledge he gained from Fate and its vast surveillance network, he uses his own intuitive psychological skills to manipulate people to do what he wants. He pushes Rose Almond to murder the Leader. He pushes Conrad to murder the man who had been sleeping with his wife. Worst of all, he manipulates Evey several times in the guise of “freeing” her from her own prisons. In the first chapter, titled “The Villain,” V quotes “Macbeth,” only he positions himself as the rebel and the villain as he murders several Fingermen. V is in touch with his own morality enough to understand that he’s lost his soul.

V destroys Norsefire using its own supercomputer

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

The plot of “V For Vendetta” doesn’t have a lot of tension because V always seems one step ahead of his fascist opponents somehow. He is always vague about how he knows where his enemies are going to be, what they are doing, and what their weaknesses are. The Norsefire government sealed its own death warrant with their extensive use of surveillance and wiretapping, because V figured out how to hack their systems long ago.

There’s a sense in which “V For Vendetta” is really one long denouement, or as V himself demonstrates, the tipping of a single domino for a course that took a great deal of time to prepare. After hacking into the Fate computer and its cameras, he spends years observing his opponents and devising plans for disposing of all of them. He only directly kills those who know his true identity, because he wants them to know who he is. For most of the others, he manipulates people into doing his own dirty work, correctly predicting that they will all act on their basest instincts.

V’s most ingenious triumph is over the Norsefire Leader, Adam Susan. The erratic loner quietly professes his love to Fate on numerous occasions, and V messes with his head by having Fate tell Susan that she loves him too. That causes Susan to crack, leaving him vulnerable to assassination.

V's 'special rose' for Adam Susan

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

V’s plots are absolutely byzantine and frequently cruel. Rose Almond was the wife of Derek Almond, the head of the Fingermen. Unsurprisingly, Derek was abusive toward his wife, hitting and demeaning her, as well as terrorizing her with a gun. Almond rushes out when he is told where V is going to strike next, and V kills him.

Rose winds up with Almond’s rival, Roger Dascombe. She hates the idea of being with a sleaze like him, but she is denied government benefits and has nowhere else to go. Dascombe, the head of Norsefire’s propaganda arm, the Mouth, is shot to death by government agents after V ties him up and puts his mask and hat on him, leaving Rose nowhere to go once again. 

Rose joins a burlesque act to survive. The circumstances of her life keep pushing her from frail victim to something far more vengeful. V grew roses in his garden, and when he plucks one for somebody, it means he is going to kill them. He even offers Rose a stem for the man who killed her lover, but she refuses it. When asked about the Leader, V tells Evey that he had “cultivated a most special rose” for him, but not one in the garden. This ends up being Rose Almond, who acquires a gun and shoots the leader.

Valerie plays a key role in both the comic and film

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

The emotional climax of the graphic novel and movie arrives when Evey is taken by what she thinks are government forces and tortured, humiliated, and questioned. In the midst of all this, she receives a letter, hand-written on toilet paper, from the cell next door. It is from a woman named Valerie. A working actress who happens to be a lesbian, she was just starting to achieve success and was in a loving relationship when the war came. Norsefire took over, and she was rounded up and imprisoned. The letter urges not to let go of one’s integrity, that it is the one thing that can’t be taken away. It is also a moment of connection in an environment of total desolation. It helps give Evey the courage to resist collaboration.

While the entire situation is a set-up by V designed to get Evey to overcome her fears and transform the way he did, the letter is real. It was written by a woman named Valerie in Room IV. She sent V the note, and it gave him the push he needed to claim his own integrity and fight back. He planted roses in her honor (because she wrote about her partner giving her roses for Valentine’s Day) and tracked down posters and copies of her films. She was V’s central link to his own humanity, and she became Evey’s way of valuing her own integrity over everything — including her own life. 

Vs are everywhere

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

In the Parkhill Resettlement Camp, the concentration camp where people of color, queer folk, and radicals were shipped off to, a select number were chosen for “medical experiments.” Mostly, a scientist wanted to see what would happen when people were injected with an experimental drug. It killed all of them eventually. Everyone except for one patient: the man in Room V. 

Though completely insane, the survivor was also a genius, coming up with new ways to grow food. As such, they kept ordering the supplies he requested. One night, he revealed his endgame: he turned the supplies into mustard gas and napalm, killing dozens during his escape. He no longer had a name, and when he introduced himself, he told people to call him “V” — an identity he took to the extreme.

V’s headquarters are located under the defunct Victoria underground station, one of only two stations in London that start with “V.” He is drawn to vaudeville. He uses Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to drown out a conversation, the first five notes of which spell out “V” in Morse code. Every chapter of the comic starts with “V,” from the introductory “The Villain” to the concluding “Valhalla.” V quotes from the Thomas Pynchon novel “V.,” which is about a man obsessed with a mysterious person known only as “V.”

Evey and V's movie relationship takes a different turn

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

Apart from the divergent themes, the main difference between the film and comic versions of “V For Vendetta” is the relationship between V and Evey Hammond. In the comic, Evey is a naïve 16-year-old with no education. In the film, Evey is an employee of the British Television Network (the Mouth in the comic). In both cases, V rescues her from vicious Fingermen. 

Emotionally, the comic version of V is a kind of surrogate father for Evey, but he is also cruel to her. He always does it in a way that he calculates will help make her his ideal replacement, but he still manipulates her into helping murder the Bishop, abandons her on a street when he knows it is time for her to live life as an adult, and then kidnaps and tortures her to achieve the same kind of liberating, transformational experience he had.

In the film, the relationship between V and Evey is more romantic in nature. However, he still kidnaps and tortures her for similar reasons. The political jumble makes this relationship make a lot less sense. V wants someone morally pure to take his place, someone whose choices aren’t rooted in violence. In the film, everyone gets a Guy Fawkes mask, and Evey’s role is far less important.

V's devilish references

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

In V’s carefully-designed crusade to kill or leave comatose everyone who knows his true identity, his second victim is Bishop Anthony Lilliman, who was present at the Larkhill concentration camp where V was imprisoned. Lilliman is also a pedophile, who happily preaches about God and England every Sunday while the state sponsors and enables his horrific appetite.

When Evey volunteers to help V, he uses her as bait for the Bishop. She distracts him while V slips in. V uses this as an excuse for a series of riffs on god and the devil, positioning himself as the latter. After Evey scratches the Bishop to avoid his advances, V pops up and says, “Please allow me to introduce myself … I am a man of wealth and taste.” That’s the famous first line from the Rolling Stones song “Sympathy For The Devil,” wherein Lucifer recounts history from his perspective. V doffs his hat, revealing two devil horns sprouting from under his wig.

When Lilliman recognizes V, he shouts, “Who are you really?” V replies, “I am the devil, and I come to do the devil’s work.” A similar line was reportedly spoken by Charles Denton “Tex” Watson Jr., a Manson family associate, on the night of the Sharon Tate murders. V then asks about communion and the concept of transubstantiation, wherein the communion wafer is transformed into the body of Christ. Feeding the Bishop a cyanide-laced wafer, it is still cyanide when it reaches his stomach.

V knows there isn't a place for him in the new world

The Untold Truth Of V For Vendetta
DC Comics

V knows that he is a killer that has chosen destruction. He doesn’t see another way to bring down the fascist order. However, it is strongly implied that it would be all too easy for him to simply insert himself as a new leader — the last thing he wants. Just as he manipulates the deaths of so many others, he manipulates Nose detective Eric Finch into killing him. V knows that he has no role in the new world, but the symbol of what V represents is important. That’s why he grooms Evey to be his replacement, one who isn’t stained as a murderer and whose integrity is also impeccable. 

As he tells Finch when he is shot, “Ideas are bulletproof.” It seems perhaps like a bit of bravado, but it is also true. V creates a new persona, a new symbol, that now exists outside of himself. He tells Evey, “You must discover whose face lies behind this mask, but you must never know my face.” Evey realizes he meant that his actual identity is irrelevant, because it is now her face behind the mask.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Home Alone Booby Traps Ranked By How Much They'd Hurt

In 1990, director Chris Columbus and writer John Hughes released one of the most beloved Christmas classics of all time. With an all-star cast and a bright young newcomer at ... Read more »

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Director Teases Where He'd Like To Go With A Sequel

Sony Pictures Entertainment/YouTube Thanksgiving could be a horrifying time for some in the best way possible, all thanks to “Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City.” Based on the iconic Capcom ... Read more »

We Finally Understand The Ending Of King Richard

Cubankite/Shutterstock When the trailer for “King Richard” dropped earlier this year, it already had the internet teary-eyed. The biographical film is based on the origins of Venus and Serena Williams. ... Read more »

Why Bruno From Encanto Sounds So Familiar

Disney/YouTube “Encanto” is the newest film from Disney Animation Studios, which follows the story of the Madrigals that live in the Colombian mountains. They inhabit a magical house, which lies ... Read more »

The Love Actually Character You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Universal Pictures/YouTube The holidays are approaching, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to start watching “Love Actually” on repeat. While wars could be started over what’s the best ... Read more »

Why Pops From Bruised Looks So Familiar

Netflix Since becoming the first African American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actor with 2001’s “Monster’s Ball” (per Vox), Halle Berry’s career has been a bit of ... Read more »

Every George Miller Movie Ranked By IMDb

Warner Bros. From Guillermo Del Toro and James Cameron, many of today’s greatest filmmakers idolize George Miller, the director who burst onto the scene in 1979 with the low-budget “Mad Max.” Miller ... Read more »

Easter Eggs You Missed In Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City

Sony Pictures When “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” was announced, writer-director Johannes Roberts claimed the reboot would be a faithful adaptation of the original 1990s video games and would contain numerous ... Read more »

The Ending Of Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Explained

Sony Pictures Releasing/YouTube The “Resident Evil” film saga gets a reboot with 2021’s “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.” Skewing more closely to Capcom’s original video games than the previous ... Read more »

The Ending Of Encanto Explained

Disney/YouTube The sprawling Madrigal family is the focus of Disney’s animated feature “Encanto.” Ever since matriarch Abuela Alma (María Cecilia Botero) fled her home with her baby triplets and settled ... Read more »

Things Only Adults Noticed In Encanto

Disney The members of the Madrigal family from Disney’s “Encanto” can do amazing things. Ever since Madrigal matriarch Alma (María Cecilia Botero) was forced to flee her home, and watched ... Read more »

What House Of Gucci Got Right And Wrong About The True Story

MGM The history of the Gucci fashion company and the family behind it for so many decades is a long one, full of betrayal and scandal. At least, that is ... Read more »

Lee Yu-bi to star in romance movie 'Love Affair'

Actress Lee Yu-bi / Y-Bloom Entertainment By Lee Gyu-lee Actress Lee Yu-bi will be starring in a new movie called “Love Affair.” Newplus Original and Asia Lab, the production companies ... Read more »

Why Kate Bishop From Hawkeye Looks So Familiar

Marvel Entertainment/Disney+ “Hawkeye” is the next big thing from Marvel Studios and Disney+ and serves as the fourth live-action series from the streamer in the MCU. Jeremy Renner is back ... Read more »

Things Only Adults Notice In The Christmas Chronicles

Netflix From “Miracle on 34th Street” to “A Christmas Story,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “Elf,” it seems like the list of annual must-watch holiday movies gets longer just about ... Read more »

Renowned Japanese filmmakers head to Korea for new projects

Hirokazu Kore-eda / Yonhap Prominent Japanese filmmakers, including Cannes-winning Hirokazu Kore-eda, have been joining hands with South Korean productions amid the country’s increased presence in the global cinema scene. Kore-eda, ... Read more »

The Classic Spider-Man Character Fans Want To See In No Way Home's Post-Credits Scene

Marvel Entertainment The release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is less than a month away, and fans can’t stop speculating on who might show up from previous “Spider-Man” franchises.  There’s ... Read more »

The Indiana Jones Fan Theory That Places It In The MCU

Paramount Pictures It’s no secret that few expected 2008’s “Iron Man” to become the smash success that it was, let alone lay the groundwork for a sprawling cinematic universe. Nevertheless, ... Read more »

The Spider-Man: No Way Home Villain Theory Lighting Up TikTok

Marvel Entertainment/YouTube It’s hard to think of a movie that has garnered as much hype as the upcoming “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in recent years. Not since the release of ... Read more »

Is Jurassic World Dominion: The Prologue Part Of The Main Movie?

Universal Pictures/YouTube The “Jurassic Park” series, followed by the “Jurassic World” films that feature Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady and Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing has been set to return to ... Read more »

Here's Where You Can Watch House Of Gucci At Home

MGM/YouTube Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means it’s almost time for the long-awaited theatrical release of Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci.” The star-studded film tells the story of Patrizia Reggiani ... Read more »

Things Hocus Pocus 2 Needs In Order To Succeed

Disney On July 16, 1993, the original “Hocus Pocus” — starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the back-from-the-dead Sanderson sisters — made its way to theaters. ... Read more »

The Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Theory That Has Fans Looking Twice At Sandman

Marvel Entertainment/Disney Ever since it first became clear that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was going to be stuffed full of Spidey villains, fans have been ticking off their fingers. Green ... Read more »

Movies Like The Harder They Fall That Western Movie Fans Need To See

Netflix/YouTube The Netflix Western “The Harder They Fall” is taking audiences by storm. The film is impressing audiences not just because it makes a powerful racial statement, but because it’s ... Read more »

'60s Films You Should Watch After Seeing Last Night In Soho

Universal Pictures Director Edgar Wright is obviously an enormous fan of film, as seen in his affectionate parodies “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” which have tons of references ... Read more »

Eternals VFX Artist Reveals Which Costumes Were Entirely CGI

Marvel Studios/YouTube Marvel’s latest film, “Eternals,” is nothing short of visually stunning. Rather than adopting Marvel’s typical, green screen-heavy production style, the film’s visionary director, Chloé Zhao, chose to shoot a ... Read more »

The Matrix Resurrections Theory That Explains The New Blue Pills

Warner Bros. Since the announcement that the fourth entry in the “Matrix” franchise, “The Matrix Resurrections,” was on its way, fans have been asking questions. The third “Matrix” film, “The ... Read more »

House Of Gucci Review: Catastrophic Couture

United Artists Releasing No two characters in Ridley Scott’s new film “House of Gucci” speak as if they’re from the same country, much less the same realm of being, with ... Read more »

The Beloved Character Fans Hope Returns In The Expendables 4

Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Ever since the first film debuted in theaters in 2010, Lionsgate’s “The Expendables” franchise has been a hit for the studio. All three films have seen Sylvester Stallone ... Read more »

Harley Quinn's Most Underrated Moments

HBO/DC Universe Since her creation many years ago with “Batman: The Animated Series,” Harley Quinn has become as popular in the eyes of fandom as her psychopathic ex, the Clown ... Read more »

Bizarre And Disturbing Black-And-White Horror Movies That Scared Audiences

A24 Black-and-white horror films aren’t scary, are they? That’s the prevailing attitude among some horror fans and some filmgoers in general: if it’s in black-and-white, it’s boring and out-of-date, with ... Read more »

The Underrated Kevin James Comedy Fighting For Netflix's Top Spot

Sony Pictures Kevin James is just one of those actors who will forever be remembered for his iconic roles. He was “The King of Queens” back in the ’90s, starring in ... Read more »

The One Role That Changed The Course Of Halle Berry's Career Forever

Amy Sussman/Getty Images Halle Berry has been one of Hollywood’s biggest, most beloved stars for a good three decades now. Ever since her breakout role in the 1992 Eddie Murphy ... Read more »

All Of Hawkeye's Trick Arrows In The MCU Explained

Marvel Studios Clint Barton is many things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s an agent of SHIELD, a family man, a superhero, and a founding Avenger — but most important ... Read more »

Which Studio Ghibli Character You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Toho/Disney Founded in 1985 by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and producers Toshio Suzuki and Yasuyoshi Tokuma, famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli has delighted audiences around the world for ... Read more »

Why War Machine's Armor Makes No Sense

Marvel Studios The “Iron Man” movies wouldn’t be the same with Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, a.k.a. Rhodey. The U.S. Air Force pilot is Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) best friend ... Read more »

Best Pop Culture Versions Of Santa Claus

NBC Everyone knows who Santa Claus is — or do they? Originally based on Saint Nicholas of Myra, a real-life 4th century Greek Christian bishop who was known for giving ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic