V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wish I'd not seen the movie first. That isn't to say the movie isn't good, but it is so stripped and watered down.
Here, in this comic we have a complexity. We have the chance to see someone breed and abuse another human and use pretty words.
We ask ourselves, is this the price of revolution? This violent and ugly thing? And of course it is. Revolution is inherently ugly and violent.
However, whereas the movie shows us that V is a hero of culture, the comic shows us that, despite a visionary and revolutionary, he is scarred. His mind is broken and because of that we must ask if he is truly the great man he claims to be or if the idea he represents is a good, wholesome idea or just another form of fascism, only this time one that hides behind a mask.
The psychology of this character is more akin to an anti-hero than that movie representation. Here we have a man that faced horrors and yet did not come out the other side, reborn as a phoenix, but rather he slithers free like a basilisk.
The truth of it is, what Moore explores here is not simply the danger of conservatism, but also the ugly face the revolution can have. He hides V behind a mask for this very reason, for if we were to see his true face we would see that he, like his goals, are frightening. They are as a mirror to the world we live in and the steps we must take to claim the one we desire.
We see a man who, much akin to Lenin during the Russian Communist revolution, fights with his goal in mind. He does not concern himself with the short game, but rather the outcome of the war he secretly wages. In this sense he is a true revolutionary and here Moore forces us to see the steps we must take, forcing us to choice between the comfort of fascism and the dark waters of revolution.
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or buy the book here: V for Vendetta