Graphic Novel Review: V for Vendetta

Posted December 13, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Graphic Novel Review: V for VendettaV for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd
Published by DC Comics on March 1982
Genres: Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 296
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted

A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V for Vendetta takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

2 Stars

I think most people are familiar with the story of V for Vendetta. I, like many others, have watched the movie, and I really really liked it. So when Gaby insisted on buying this for me as a late birthday gift, I was super excited. It’s one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while — and I really wanted to start reading more graphic novels.

Sadly, it didn’t go that well. The story is split up into three “books”. I really liked Book 1. It established the society that I was familiar with through the movie, and the art was gritty and really enthralling. Book 2 was all right but… odd. It took a weird storytelling method, telling it as if it were a cabaret or something… I was a bit puzzled, but I still liked how society was beginning to crumble and seeing more of V’s plotting and Evie’s transition.

But Book 3 was an absolute struggle to get through. I am not a dialect person, and Ally’s dialect almost made me throw the book across the room and give up. Because sentences like…

A wull, sleng the lettle goabshite en the waag’n wi’ the rest. Can y’no see am on ma lunchbreak?

A, et’s a doddle, all a thus money fur damagin’ some puir bastud an tachin ap thur messusez en the strep-serrch.

Yuz coapers ‘iz clever bastuds, keepen thess number tae yourseln.
and finally…

Nah, et’s juss thess berrd. Lessen, a foond some mair o’they letters, y’better have ’em tae luke at.
They really get in the way of the overall experience of the book. Look, I get it, some people have dialects. But can’t you simplify it so that we know they’re speaking a dialect, but it doesn’t take full minutes to understand one sentence? It was absolute painful torture.

For the rest… I don’t know. The art was okay, but a bit too dark at points to know what was going on. The dialogue bubbles were sometimes very oddly placed that made it difficult to see who was talking. There were a lot of dense monologues on V’s part that were tough to get through and understand, which made the overall message difficult to grasp. Book 3 in particular suddenly placed a bunch of characters in the foreground, but I hadn’t been paying attention to them before so I had NO clue who they were or where they worked or anything – which apparently I should have. I dunno. It was all pretty anti-climactic, and toward the end I just wasn’t that into it anymore.

Summing Up:

The overall reading experience just consisted of a lot of confusion. I was expecting more, to be honest. The story was confusing, the art was almost too dark, the dialogue had issues… But to be honest, I was reading this in the wrong mood. So I might reread it another time when I’m more open to this kind of style and story. I do think it’s definitely worth a reread, and it’s one of those books that if you read it every couple of years, you’ll take away different things from it. For now, though, I’ll stick with the movie.

Recommended To:

Classic dystopia fans.

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2 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: V for Vendetta

  1. I also liked the movie since well, I am a die hard fan of Natalie Portman. However, I never considered buying this one since I really don’t like reading graphic novels. What a shame that Book 3 wasn’t able to maintain Book 1’s awesomeness. I really hate it when things prequels are followed by sequels that are lackluster.

    But wow, I am glad to know that you are still willing to re-read this one. Good luck, Debby. I hope your second reading will be a success. 😀