Jan 22, 2008

[Comics] V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta ComicWhen it comes to movie adaptations, I always do my best to divorce the original source material from the movie or TV series. It's just better that way, that each product is to be measured based on its own worth as a product of the collection creativity of the people involved behind the production. It helps even more when you haven't seen or read the original version, so there's really not opportunity to compare in any way.

I never had a chance to read the original V for Vendetta comic prior to watching the movie, which was probably a good thing since as much as I enjoyed the movie, it was pretty far away from the original masterpiece by Alan Moore and David Llyod. In this case, I'll have to break my own rule and really compare this comic with the later-released film adaptation if only to do it full justice.

Of course the movie made attempts to somewhat remain true to the original work - V is still a revolutionary of sorts fighting against a totalitarian fascist government. Evey Hammond becomes his unwitting accomplish initially and soon learns to understand his motivations, although the comic positioned her as a much younger girl who was about to turn to prostitution in desperation. The government still has multiple components that monitor various aspects of society like the Eye and such and of course the police force remains to be the Finger.

Now things start getting blurry here and once you really get into the comic book series (it originally ran for ten issues), you soon find that movie was but a pale comparison to the intricacy of the original tale. The movie paid homage by illustration key scenes and deaths but not quite capturing the original tone and cadence of the comics and not even coming close to approximating the true brilliance of Moore's original political statement within the story.

The final plan implemented by V in the comics was far more complex than the Hollywood ending managed by the Wachowski brothers. Much like how The Matrix Trilogy was an entertaining piece with all the trappings of a much deeper story but never really delivering, so too did the film adaption of this amazing work fall short of the strength and passion of Moore's original story. I now understand why he distanced himself from the production of the film.

If you liked the movie, then reading this will expose you to the full grandeur of what this story is really all about. Sure the art may not be up to our current standards of computer-aided comic design, but it certainly fits the dark and somber tone of Moore's dystopian future and the words are the true strength of this story.


  1. watched V for Vendetta recently, eye-candy effects, amazing how much character they developed into a mask, idealogical to boot, loved it.

  2. I loved the movie too! While it deviated from the original comic, it remains a worthy piece on its own.