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V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore is a comic book series set in a dystopian future Britain where a mysterious anarchist works to destroy the fascist government and profoundly affects the people he encounters. It was originally published between 1982 and 1983, 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 who wished to reprint the series, Moore returned to the strip and completed it. The completed DC reissue was then collected as a graphic novel in the UK by Titan Books

Intense, and shot through with strong political views V for Vendetta is hard to classify in common genres. It poses a lot of difficult and ever relevant questions about authority, anarchy, hate, freedom, morality and human rights.

The series looks back to the Holocaust and the Second World War while taking in the modern world of computerised social control, CCTV monitoring and extremely individualised desires and politics. It extrapolates from the present to point to the future while also trying to incorporate the lessons of the past.

Set, in the fiction, in a post-nuclear war situation, Britain has been transformed into a fascist one-party state (a la George Orwell's 1984). The strict, technocratic social control system is disrupted and ultimately destroyed by the appearance of the terrorist, freedom fighter and self-proclaimed anarchist "V", who wears a Guy Fawkes mask to conceal his face, in a manner akin to the Phantom of the Opera.

V is something of a cypher whose identity and history though strongly hinted at are never explicitly revealed. Therefore the bulk of the story is told through two subsidiary figures: V's admirer and apprentice and the policeman hunting him.

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