The story starts in the future, November 5th, 1997 (this was published in 1988). A young factory worker, Evey Hammond, hits the streets of totalitarian England in this oppressive, dystopian world ruled by Norsefire, the fascist government. She is starting her job as a prostitute, as factory work is not able to pay her bills. Upon approaching and soliciting the first man she meets, she finds, to her own dismay, that he is an undercover cop. Before a gang of policemen gather to rape and kill her, a mysterious figure in a conical hat, cape and Guy Fawkes mask appears, reciting lines from a Shakespeare play and dismembering the group before rescuing Evey. Up on a rooftop, the figure introduces himself as V before showing her Parliament being blown up right before her very eyes. From here, the fight for freedom begins.
V himself is an anarchist, and throughout the story he discusses the importance and meaning of an anarchic society, how exactly the totalitarian government oppresses society, and how the society just allows them to do it. Themes of past sins, hypocrisy, corruption and tyrannical order all also play important parts in the story. I remember seeing, around the time the movie came out (2006), titles and posts on imdb.com asking if it was ok to promote terrorism at a time like that, when America was still somewhat sensitive to 9/11, the Iraq War and xenophobia. And while thinking that this was an asinine sentiment at best, I admired the Wachowski Bros. (the producers of this film and the directors of The Matrix Trilogy) and James McTeigue (the director of this film) for putting forth a story that spoke of not letting the government restrict your freedom and life through fear and terror. V never takes his mask off (although, for the film, if you know the actor, you know exactly what he looks like), and the story uses this to symbolize that he is solely a representative of an idea, or of the ideal that every person should strive to achieve in their own rational ways. The message of the graphic novel is clear, and the story is highly entertaining and intriguing. I'd recommend to everyone.