When V for Vendetta first arrived in cinemas back in 2006, it seemed unlikely to trouble the box office. After all, it was based on a 1980s comic book by Alan Moore and David Lloyd that was practically unknown to non-comics fans, giving it very little brand recognition to trade on.
And yet director James McTeigue’s take on the material – which follows the efforts of Guy Fawkes-clad V (Hugo Weaving) and his protégé Evey (Natalie Portman) to topple a totalitarian UK government – nonetheless wound up being a huge critical and commercial success.
With Bonfire Night upon us, now seems like the perfect time to revisit the film, so here’s a list of five things you didn’t know about V for Vendetta!
Given comics is a largely serialized medium, it’s not surprising that its history is filled with brilliant – and not-so-brilliant! – plot twists. After all, what better way to entice readers to read the next chapter than with an earth-shattering last page cliffhanger that leaves them thinking “How are they ever gonna resolve this?!”
There’s also few things more rewarding as a fan than seeing a meticulously crafted – and cleverly hidden – plot twist come to fruition. It’s the thrill of being surprised, combined with the satisfaction of knowing that the writer involved has played fair by providing ample little hints in the lead up to the big reveal.
Of course, some comic book plot twists are better executed than others. Indeed, more than a few have fallen flat, often because they either made no sense, or actively damaged decades worth of stories that proceeded them.
In instances like these, it sometimes seems like the twist was designed more from a shock value point of view, rather than as a payoff designed to enrich past and future adventures. Still, regardless of whether a major comic book reveal was outstanding or underwhelming, they’re almost always memorable.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look back at 20 of comic’s biggest narrative surprises, in order to round up this list of the 10 Best (And 10 Worst) Comic Book Plot Twists of all time.
The recent release of the trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke – the direct-to-video adaptation of the comic book by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland – has reignited the long-standing debate over the artistic merits of the story in general, and its handling of the Batgirl character in particular.
This last point feeds into a wider ongoing discussion about the portrayal of women in pop culture, and the fine line between expression and exploitation in fiction.
Chances are if you’ve only ever read one comic book in your life, it will have been Watchmen.
Created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons and published by DC Comics, Watchmen is frequently held out as one of the finest examples of the medium’s potential, and its psychologically nuanced take on superheroes in the “real” world continues to make it accessible to comics newbies and die-hard fans alike.
For better or worse, the book – along with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley – has defined the face of “capes and tights” comics for the next 30 years, which serves as a pretty solid indication of just how influential it was (and still is).
Something that often comes up when discussing Watchmen is how cinematic it feels, and certainly, an argument could be made that it is to comics what Citizen Kane is to cinema.
As with that film, Moore and Gibbons haven’t simply invented new storytelling tricks (although they certainly do plenty of that), but also brought numerous existing techniques together to build one cohesive story, the end result of which is nothing short of dazzling.
And yet, as much as Watchmen shows us how similar comics can be to film, it was also designed – as Moore himself noted – to highlight the ways the two differ, and to showcase what comics can do that movies simply can’t.
A perfect example of this can be seen in the opening sequence of the book’s first chapter, “At Midnight All The Agents…”, which forms the basis for this month’s Anatomy Lesson feature.
What’s this? Another review of V for Vendetta? Has The Pop Culture Studio run out of ideas already, less than a month since the site first launched? Fear not, gentle reader, for rather than being a retread of the original review, this post concerns itself with the 2006 film adaptation of the classic 1980s comic by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
It seems fitting on Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night, depending on where your sympathies lie) to re-examine 1980s comic book classic V for Vendetta, which (by way of its 2006 film adaptation) brought this very British occasion to the attention of the wider global consciousness in recent times.