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V for Vendetta – Comic Book and Movie Facts

Like it or not, V for Vendetta is one of the greatest comic books of all time.

The comic that was written in 1988 by Alan Moore was adapted into a film by Warner Bros in 2005, selling millions of copies.

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While the film is based on the comic, the two have a number of differences that can be attributed to the times they came out and the creators. Here is a breakdown of the two.


Comic Book

The beloved comic is a British graphic novel that was written by Alan Moore.

The hero, or rather anti-hero, of his story, was a man simply known as V, a man who donned a Guy Fawkes mask and believed wholeheartedly in anarchy. He tortured, he killed, and he rebelled against a corrupt government over a ten-issue limited series.

Moore wrote the graphic novel in 1988 as a reaction to Margaret Thatcher’s administration. 

The comic was inspired by Margaret Thatcher, a conservative prime minister who came to power during the Cold War and focused much of her efforts on free-market, disempowering trade unions, and centralizing power within a small government. 

In the comic, Norsefire focuses on morals and structure.

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In the comic, the big threat posed was one of nuclear war and destruction. This is because it was set during the tensions between Western countries and the Soviet Bloc. 

From the ashes, the Norsefire party takes control, destroying any opposition and ruling Britain as a police state.

Alan Moore distanced himself from the film, without having seen it. He asked for his name to be removed from all promotional materials because he had no involvement in writing the script or advising director James McTeigue.

DC Comics sold more than 500,000 copies of the graphic novel in the United States by 2006.


The Movie

The movie created by the Wachowski siblings was released by Warner Bros in December 2005. By the time the Wachowskis made the film, it became a critique of the Bush administration, especially the Patriot Act.

So while the comic was set in the UK, the movie was set in the USA.

The themes in the film were almost opposite as the film is all about fear especially of the government. Fear of terrorists. Fear of anything different.

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Rather than simply surviving and coming to power, in this version of V for Vendetta, the Norsefire party seizes control of the state.

They do so after secretly creating the very disease they use to justify taking the country, as they ride a wave of fear-induced compliance to victory.

The movie takes place in 2020 in the midst of global health concerns.

This is quite interesting to note as it is currently 2020 and the world is going through the current problem worldwide. It takes a more modern and nuanced approach by paralleling Fox News and other right-wing media outlets.

In both the comics and the film, V is not a clear-cut hero by any means, but the Wachowskis painted him in a much more favorable light than his creator did. 

Since the release of the film adaptation, hundreds of thousands of Guy Fawkes masks from the books and film have been sold every year since the film’s release, as of 2011.

Co-author and illustrator David Lloyd, by contrast, embraced the adaptation. In an interview with Newsarama, he said, “It’s a terrific film. The most extraordinary thing about it for me was seeing scenes that I’d worked on and crafted for maximum effect in the book translated to film with the same degree of care and effect.

The “transformation” scene between Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving is just great. If you happen to be one of those people who admires the original so much that changes to it will automatically turn you off, then you may dislike the film—but if you enjoyed the original and can accept an adaptation that is different to its source material but equally as powerful, then you’ll be as impressed as I was with it.”

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