V for Vendetta

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V_for_vendettax.jpg
Cover art for V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is a comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd (Tony Weare did the art for "Vincent" and additional art for "Valerie" and "The Vacation"), set in a dystopian future Britain where a mysterious anarchist works to destroy the fascist government and profoundly affects the people he encounters.

Contents

About the book

V for Vendetta was originally published between 1982 and 1985, in black and white, in the UK comic Warrior, but was unfinished when that magazine ceased publication. In 1988, at the instigation of DC Comics, Moore and Lloyd returned to the series and completed it with the addition of colour art. The entire series was then collected as a graphic novel, published in the US by DC's Vertigo imprint (ISBN 0930289528) and in the UK by Titan Books (ISBN 1852862912).

The series is set in a future Britain where, in the chaos following a limited nuclear war that left the country mostly physically intact, a fascist one-party state has arisen. It resembles the Nazi regime — including government-controlled media, secret police, and concentration camps for racial and sexual minorities — but with a British cultural flavour, and a greater reliance on technology, especially closed-circuit television monitoring in the mode of George Orwell's 1984. (CCTV had not yet become common in England at the time Moore wrote the series.) When the series begins, political conflict has ended, the death camps have finished their work and been closed, and the public is largely complacent, until "V" — a terrorist and self-proclaimed anarchist, who wears a Guy Fawkes mask and has an improbable array of abilities and resources — begins an elaborate, violent, and theatrical campaign to bring down the government.

V himself is something of a cipher, whose history is only hinted at; it is strongly suggested that he is physically and mentally abnormal. The bulk of the story is told from the viewpoints of other characters: V's admirer and apprentice Evey, a world-weary policeman who is hunting V, and several contenders for power within the fascist party. V's destructive acts are morally ambiguous, and a central theme of the series is the rationalization of atrocities in the name of a higher goal, whether it is stability or freedom. The character is a mixture of an actual advocate of anarchism and the traditional stereotype of the anarchist as a terrorist and advocate of anarchy in the sense of chaos.

The series was Moore's first use of the densely detailed narrative and multiple plot lines that would feature heavily in Watchmen. The backgrounds of panels are often crammed with clues and red herrings; literary allusions and wordplay are prominent in the chapter titles and in V's speech (which also often takes the form of iambic pentameter).

Related works

David J. of the band Bauhaus, who has collaborated with Moore on other projects, recorded a version of V's song "This Vicious Cabaret" and other music inspired by the book, which appeared on an EP titled V for Vendetta.. The obscure British band Jocasta used Moore's dialogue in their song "The Land of Do-As-You-Please".

A film adaptation was announced in January 2005, to be directed by James McTeigue (first assistant director on The Matrix films) from a screenplay by the Wachowski brothers. Natalie Portman will star as Evey and Hugo Weaving as V alongside Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Sinead Cusack, Tim Pigott-Smith and Stephen Fry. See V for Vendetta (movie).

Plot

Volume 1: After the Reign

Consists of: Chapter One, The Villain; Chapter Two, The Voice; Chapter Three, Victims; Chapter Four, Vaudeville; Chapter Five, Versions; Chapter Six, The Vision; Chapter Seven, Virtue Victorious; Chapter Eight, The Valley; Chapter Nine, Violence; Chapter Ten, Venom; and Chapter Eleven, The Vortex.

London, 1997. V rescues a young woman, Evey Hammond, from a gang of police agents who are about to rape and kill her. After blowing up the defunct Houses of Parliament, V takes Evey to his secret lair, the Shadow Gallery. Evey tells her life story, describing the nuclear war of the late 1980s, and the fascist coup in which her father became a political prisoner.

The investigation into the bombing is assigned to Eric Finch, an experienced investigator who serves the government out of a love of order rather than political conviction. Through him we meet other figures in the corrupt Party, including the Leader, a recluse who is fixated on the police state's computer system, "Fate".

V next blows up the Central Criminal Courts, and confronts three Party figures to accuse them of past crimes: Lewis Prothero, the propaganda broadcaster who serves as the "voice of Fate"; Bishop Lilliman, the Party's representative in the clergy; and Delia Eldridge, a seemingly apolitical doctor who had a personal relationship with Finch. V drives Prothero insane and kills the others. Finch's research reveals that all three victims were officers at the infamous Larkhill Resettlement Camp, and that over the previous several years, every other staff member from the camp has been killed, apparently by V - the vendetta of the title. V is the only survivor of the camp, and no records exist of his real name. All that is known is that he was subjected to medical experiments in the camp, similar to those of Josef Mengele, which apparently caused V's transformation into a brilliant and obsessive avenger.

Volume 2: This Vicious Cabaret

Consists of: Prelude; Chapter 1, The Vanishing; Chapter 2, The Veil; Chapter 3, Video; Chapter 4, A Vocational Viewpoint; Chapter 5, The Vacation; Chapter 6, Variety; Chapter 7, Visitors; Chapter 8, Vengeance; Chapter 9, Vicissitude; Chapter 10, Vermin; Chapter 11, Valerie; Chapter 12, Verdict; Chapter 13, Values; and Chapter 14, Vignettes.

Six months later, V breaks into the broadcast centre for the Party, to broadcast an anarchist speech that calls on the people to take charge of their own lives; he escapes by a cruel and fatal ruse, which leads to Eric Finch being suspended.

Evey has developed a strong attachment to V but also begun to challenge his morality. After a confrontation in the Shadow Gallery, she finds herself abandoned on a street, unable to contact V. She is taken in by Gordon, a petty criminal, and they cross paths unknowingly with Rose Almond, the widow of a policeman killed by V; Rose has been forced to work as a burlesque dancer and has developed a hatred for the Party. Creedy, the leader of the secret police, begins organising a private militia, hoping to use V's destabilization of the Party to mount a coup against the Leader. V, maintaining surveillance on all of these characters, appears to be manipulating them against each other.

When Gordon is murdered by a gangster in Creedy's employ, Evey attempts revenge but is arrested, detained, and tortured. In her cell, Evey finds the memoir of a former inmate, Valerie, an actress who was imprisoned for being a lesbian. Evey's interrogator gives her a choice of collaboration or death; inspired by Valerie's defiance, she refuses to give in, and is told she is free. Her imprisonment was a hoax constructed by V, to put her through a spiritual ordeal like the one that shaped him. He reveals that Valerie was another Larkhill prisoner, who died in the cell next to his. Evey's anger gives way to acceptance of her new identity.

Volume 3: The Land of Do-As-You Please

Consists of: Prologue; Chapter 1, Vox Populi; Chapter 2, Verwirrung; Chapter 3, Various Valentines; Chapter 4, Vestiges; Chapter 5, The Valediction; Chapter 6, Vectors; Chapter 7, Vindication; Chapter 8, Vultures; Chapter 9, The Vigilo; Chapter 10, The Volcano; and Chapter 11, Valhalla. The series also includes two inteludes, Vertigo and Vincent.

November 1998. V destroys the Party's communication and surveillance centre, leading to the start of wanton violence and hedonism which is violently surpressed by Creedy's street gangs. Meanwhile, V notes that this is not the end result he wants, mere chaos in The Land of Take What You Want, but rather a interim period which he intends to follow up with the establishment of true anarchy, a voluntarily orderly society. Finch's assistant Dominic realises that V has been hacking the Fate computer; this news accelerates the mental collapse of the Leader.

Finch travels to the abandoned site of Larkhill, where he takes LSD. His hallucinations lead him to an intuitive understanding of V, and returning to London, he discovers that the Shadow Gallery is hidden in Victoria Station. Finch enters the underground and mortally wounds V, who escapes to die in Evey's arms. Evey chooses not to learn V's identity, but to assume it, donning one of his spare costumes. Meanwhile, Rose Almond's private vendetta has led her to assassinate the Leader. In the ensuing chaos, Creedy's own men kill him, while Finch reports the news that V is dead. When Evey appears to the crowd as V, a general insurrection begins.

Evey completes V's final terrorist act, the destruction of 10 Downing Street. She rescues Dominic from the mob and takes him back to the Shadow Gallery, implying that she intends to train him as her successor. Finch observes the anarchy raging in the city before heading to the countryside. All forms of authority in Britain are now gone; its future is left uncertain.

External links

pt:V de Vinganša

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