296 pages, Vertigo, ISBN-13: 978-1401208417
Maybe my expectation were too high after reading my first graphic novel "Watchmen," but I was rather underwhelmed by this critically acclaimed story. The concept was intriguing. Moore once again creates a clever political dystopia. The novel is set in 1990s UK which is under the rule of the fascist party. The party came to power after a nuclear war which eradicated Africa and Europe and drastically changed climate which in turn caused various natural disasters, hunger, and chaos in the country. V is a masked vigilante whose goal is to overthrow the totalitarian government and to bring the country into a state of anarchy which, in his opinion, will help people of England to establish a new fair and honest regime.
I did like the idea of the book (BTW I wonder what was so special about 1970s that gave Moore these crazy dystopian ideas), as for the execution, it definitely lacked. First of all, I think this book should have been longer to provide better background for both characters and events. For instance, it was said that UK was under totalitarian regime, but it was not really shown what exactly was bad about it aside from surveillance and arrests of minorities which had happened decades prior. What I mean is, the everyday struggles of people under this supposedly oppressive regime were never described, and therefore I didn't really come to care for this regime to be overthrown. In regards to characters, I would really want to know more about them if just to be able to distinguish numerous men in suits from one another. Seriously, there were so many of them, they all played some significant role, but I was always lost. If I am honest, I was able to completely understand the book only after reading plot summary on Wikipedia. Until I did that, I was a little confused who did what and why. This brings me to my next concern - the story itself wasn't structured very well, it was choppy, story lines ended abruptly, and many questions were left unanswered in the end. Finally, my probably biggest disappointment had to do with the fact that identity of V was never revealed. He had such a great background story, but I felt I never knew him enough.
Overall, a great idea, but poorly executed. I'll try other graphic novels in future, hopefully Watchmen is not the only one which is worth reading.