Review: “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore

It takes a little while to get going, and is a bit slow at the beginning, but it pays off in the end. The vision of home-grown British fascism (as opposed to a “what if” scenario where in the Nazi won WII) is all too convincing. Also, I love the way that the “surveillance society” aspects of the story just seem really tame to the Britain of 2008! Moore even got the propaganda on the CCTV cameras right: “for your protection”!The best aspect of “V for Vendetta”, though, is the well developed characters. It would have been all too easy for a lesser writer to make V an unambiguous super hero (and indeed, that’s apparently what the idiot Wachowski brothers set out to do in the Hollywood film — which I have no intention of watching and Alan Moore had his name removed from) and the fascists into Evil Nazi Baddies. But Moore is far too good an artist for that. That said, he still makes no apologies for fascism, and is obviously a supporter of V’s brand of philosophical “anarchy” (in contrast to the the socialism of the historical Anarchist movement). V’s actions and motivations are ambiguous at times, though — a fact that does credit to Moore and leads to a far more rounded and satisfying work.

Lloyd’s artwork is great, but the only thing stopping me giving this volume 5 stars is the colour work. To my mind, the whole thing would have worked 100% better in black and white, in which the original serialization of the first two books was apparently published in Warrior. The whole art style is made up of shadows and light. This may be just DC’s fault (and indeed, their reproduction here is pathetic — the pages are far too small as they are trying to squeeze the larger page size of British comics into the US format), but the authors apparently colourized it for the final volume when DC picked it up, allowing them to finish the story.

All in all, a political, noir classic, but I wish DC would issue a black and white version in the Absolute format. Because this work does indeed deserve the Absolute treatment. Read it, but I advise hold off buying it since they may well release an Absolute version (probably in colour though — bah).

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