V for Vendetta is a dystopian future tale, set in the a time after nuclear war has decimated the world and Norsefire, a fascist regime, rules the UK. The story follows a young woman named Evey who is saved from police brutality and rape by V. V is a masked vigilante who wears a Guy Fawkes mask and whose real face is never seen. An ambivalent figure, he is an expert bomb maker, hacker, and gadfly who is well versed in the arts, literature, and music. Many of those artistic endeavors are illegal in the current government, and he does everything he can to kill the Norsefire leaders and foment revolution. At first, Evey is taken by his cause, but she wavers in her allegiance and questions his methods.
This story was originally published serially in Warrior, a UK magazine. It was written by Alan Moore and drawn by David Lloyd. Moore is a prolific comics writer with multiple titles and accolades to his credit. Lloyd has been creating comics for decades now, working on numerous projects including licensed characters such as Dr. Who and James Bond as well as original characters like Espers and Hellblazer. He also works on original graphic novels, including the crime thriller Kickback.
V for Vendetta was adapted into a very popular movie in 2006 that starred Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman. As with other adaptations of his works, Moore distanced himself from the movie, criticized its producers, and refused royalties. Lloyd was more receptive to the adaptation. The movie has been an inspiration for the internet group Anonymous, who engage in civil disobedience via the internet and in person, attacking Scientology and the Bank of America among others, while wearing Guy Fawkes masks in the style of V. David Lloyd speaks about Anonymous' appropriation of his work here.
V has also been linked to the more contemporary Occupy movement in the US.
This graphic novel is now considered a classic in the medium and has received much praise. Andy at Grovel wrote, "This book has an eloquence and beauty to it, stemming from both the writing and the artwork, both of which are at the peak of their craft." William Jones added, "It is another fantastic entry into the world of subversive comics by the industry’s best." Timothy Callahan called it a "major work" and summed up that it is "an unconventional comic book, with the core of a superhero story, the remnants of an Orwellian nightmare, and the soul of a cabaret show."
A preview is available from DC Comics, the book's US publisher.