Before reading this graphic novel, I had read Alan Moore’s other acclaimed work Watchmen. I enjoyed it, but I’m inclined to think right now V for Vendetta has some even better writing. Moore is a brilliant author who imbues poetic prose and engrossing narrative in graphic works. His characters are fascinating if not compelling. When I was reading this, I was afraid the darkness of dystopia would bring my mood down, but there were a couple of wonderful moments of beauty in this. Moore and co-author David Lodge weave a novel about society, politics, integrity, love, revenge, anarchy, fascism, security, and freedom. V is an intriguing character; a mad genius whose actions I do not necessarily condone, but whose arc makes this novel: “It’s everything, Evey. The perfect entrance, the grand illusion. It’s everything.” While the novel has extremities, there is a moral grey side to it. The work does probe at the human capacity for indifference and to be controlled. A great graphic novel.
I watched the film adaptation more than a year ago. I liked it, and I understand that while Moore does not, Lodge does. I consider them different entities as a result of the changes. While they are not completely divergent, they are notable changes to the ending and fates of characters. The graphic novel is understandably more involved and includes more characters and stories. I highly recommend reading the book, and then watching the movie.