5970 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

V (V for Vendetta comic) (Alan Moore)

V

(V for Vendetta)


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

V for Vendetta was a major work by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. It was published from 1982 to 1985 in the British Warrior magazine, but is better known in the US format as a collected graphic novel.

It was part of a wave of British works during the early Thatcher years, about life in dystopian and authoritarian societies. Its distinctive visuals, themes and complex narration made it a classic. This led to a successful movie adaptation in 2006. From there the Guy Fawkes mas V wears became popular in some activist circles.


Advertisement


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: One unlikely fans’s theory is that he is the father of Evey Hammond. If so, he would also have an unnamed wife (deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: The Shadow Gallery (a huge secret complex under Victory Station, London).
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Unrevealed


Powers and Abilities

V is extraordinarily intelligent, competent and fast. To most observers in his world, “inhumanly” is probably a better descriptor than “extraordinarily”. He can shear through armed soldiers with just a pair of knives, and could outmanoeuvre, outthink and bring down the whole government of the UK within but six years.

He has demonstrated great skill in such varied areas as chemistry, demolition, piano, singing, horticulture, or poisons. He’s very, very stealthy and can inflict fatal penetration wounds with his bare fingers – or render a man unconscious with a sort of “Vulcan nerve pinch”. In DC Heroes RPG terms, both are uses of Martial Artist EV with special effects.

V often silently Intimidates his opponent by appearing from nowhere and staying still for a second, letting his unnerving appearance and reputation (Mystique) sink in. He’ll then charge with a pair of knives and Multi-Attack.


Advertisement


History

In V’s world, the global economic and political situation seriously degraded circa 1984. Britain was trapped in a bad recession, and the shift from Conservatives to Labour didn’t reverse the trend. Labour did manage to get rid of US nuclear missiles on British soil, however, being pro-peace in an increasingly warlike world.

The Cold War quickly became hot. In 1988 there was a nuclear exchange. It was mentioned that mainland Europe and Africa were “gone”, although parts of Russia still seemed inhabited.

After the war, Britain soon sank into chaos. Armed gangs roved the streets and tried to control food and other key resources. The government had melted away, and except for some strong gangs and warlords, authority vanished in a blink. This situation lasted for four years. Then a strong Fascist movement rose to power..

Norsefire

The Fascists, calling themselves Norsefire, re-established order in the streets. They seized most minorities — Blacks, Asians, homosexuals, progressives, Jews, etc. — and sent them into death camps.

V for Vendetta - Moore Comics - V atop a brick wall

The new government was united behind the Leader, who relied on a powerful computer system called Fate to administer the nation. Multiple secret polices served the Leader – the Ear, Eye, Nose and Fingers.

With the technological level of the pre-war years recovered within months, the citizens found themselves heavily watched, monitored and infiltrated by the police. All phone conversations were tapped, and a dense network of cameras filmed everyone. The state also managed the weak existing alimentary resources. It deeply associated with the Church to ensure maximal societal control.

In at least one death camp, experiments were attempted on human subjects. These included a highly experimental hormone treatment. Nearly all of the subjects were killed. Most died after having been driven to insanity and/or partially mutated.

Room number V

Only five survived for a significant amount of time, in prison rooms numbered from I to V. The subject in room V was not grossly bodily deformed – though it was mentioned his face was awful to look at. However, he was in some state of permanent schizophrenic fugue.

He became possessed of a strong charisma, an inhuman gaze looking at people as if they were insects, and a strange, hard to understand intelligence. The mutate  asked for various jobs within the concentration camp, such as horticulture. He produced amazing results. This led the fascinated researchers to allow him more freedom so they could observe his doings.

The subject from room V escaped one day in an orgy of explosions, napalm and poison gas. He had crafted these weapons using chemicals available in the camp. He then started to work for six years on a vast plan to remake the UK according to his political beliefs.


Description

V’s look, presence and smiling mask are deeply unnerving.

For non-British readers, his is a traditional Guy Fawkes  costume. It is patterned after the saboteur who attempted to blow up Westminster using gunpowder in 1605.

To the end V’s face remained unseen. There’s a good chance that he was Black, Asian or otherwise a visible minority. But he could have been sent to the camp for his politics, or his sexual preferences.

V’s symbol — a reversed V in a circle — is close to the usual symbol for anarchy, without the horizontal bar through the “A”.


Personality

V is defined by his anarchistic beliefs and his insanity. He is mysterious and abstruse. V almost always talks in quotes, parables, references and metaphors. He’s thoroughly inscrutable. His reasoning is often quite hard to follow, and his plans unexpected.

V upholds the Theatrum Mundi  concept. Thus, he often acts in a very theatrical way, delivering dramatic lines from the classics (especially the English classics) and famous British art such as the Rolling Stones’s hits.

V considers himself to be the guardian of the pre-Fascist culture and of the UK’s legacy to the world. As a result, his Shadow Gallery is packed with an unbelievable amount of books, records, etc. of all kinds, which he avidly reads and enjoys. Most works, especially by non-Fascists, have apparently been censored in the new Britain.

V for Vendetta - Moore Comics - V's equipment and costume

V is ruthless. He never hesitates to kill, slaughter, manipulate and trigger chaos. He is a true fanatic, and has even plunged people who considered him a friend into harrowing psychological and physical torture to make them discover what “true liberty” is.

He’s certainly not a good guy. He’s more akin to an elemental force. Viewing V has a ruthless, evil terrorist or as a genius-level freedom fighter are both defensible, yet both are probably missing the point of this formidable enigma.

V sees an anarchist’s work as a sort of Shiva. First destroying the old order, then letting humanity rebuild a voluntary, consensual order upon the ruins.

V’s plans are intricate, and unfold with clockwork precision. He always makes sure he has formidable resources and a stacked deck before putting his machinations into motion.


Quotes

“Please allow me to introduce myself – I’m a man of wealth and taste.”

Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici.

“Bring me my bow of burning gold
“Bring me my arrows of desire
“Bring me my spear ! O clouds unfold !
“Bring me my chariot of fire
“I will not cease from mental fight
“Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
“Till we have built Jerusalem
“In England’s green and pleasant land.”


DC Universe History

V could exist on Earth-10, the parallel history dominated by Nazis. Though in the end either V or the Nazis must disappear.


Sharing



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

V

Dex: 07 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 10 Wil: 09 Min: 07 Occupation: Revolutionary
Inf: 09 Aur: 07 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 015
Init: 030 HP: 050

Powers:
Ultra-vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Ultra vision only to see in darkness (-1).

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 07, Artist: 07, Charisma: 06, Detective (all saves Law): 07, Gadgetry: 04, Martial artist*: 07, Medicine (incl. Brainwashing): 07, Military science: 07, Scientist (computers): 09, Thief: 09, Weaponry (Knives): 08

Advantages:
Iron nerves, Expansive H.Q., Lightning reflexes, Scholar (British works of art), Schtick (Mystique, Paired Knives).

Connections:
Eve Hammond (Low).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, SPI, Magician’s code.

Equipment:

  • Knives (x3) [BODY 09, EV 03 (05 w/STR, 08 w/Martial artist)].
  • At one point V wore a fake left hand, which could easily be removed. It was primed to explode ten seconds after having been removed [BODY 01, EV 07 (Area of Effect over 2 APs), Grenade drawback] and once removed allowed for the release of a cloud of tear gas from V’s sleeve [BODY 01, Fog: 04, Chemical attack: 04, Grenade drawback, Bonus: Chemical attack active throughout the Fog].

V’s code and insanity

V’s behaviour is surprisingly similar to that described in the Book of Magic as the Magician’s Code – although there’s nothing mystical about V.

He bears the source of his power without emotion (he insisted his face should not be revealed, even after death, so he would stay an agent of change and not a man), he never shared his secrets with anyone but a slowly trained and transformed apprentice, and he never revealed any of his “tricks”. Other aspects of his codified conduct are explained in the Personality section.

V didn’t have any equals, but his behaviour toward the woman from room IV indicates he would likely treat them with great, codified respect – again as per the Magician’s Code.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): John Colagioia, Phil Dixon, Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: V for Vendetta comics. To be clear – this is *not* the movie version.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .