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V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta : V's Mask and Costume

The mask and costume worn by the character V in V FOR VENDETTA are dramatic and distinctive.

This blog will show you the mask and clothing of V, provide information and links to the history behind it, compare the graphic novel and film versions, and help you dress up in a V costume for a Bonfire Night or Halloween party. You can also get the DVD, soundtrack and related books here.

Whose Face Is That Anyway?

The face that V has chosen to wear is that of Guy Fawkes, the man who was found with 36 barrels of gunpowder in the basement of Britian's Parliment, early in the morning of November 5th, 1605.

Remember, remember the fifth of November The gunpowder treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, twas his intent To blow up king and parliament. Three score barrels were laid below To prove old England's overthrow. By God's mercy he was catched With a dark lantern and lighted match. Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring Holler boys, holler boys, God save the King."

The Movie Version of V

Or What Hugo Weaving Had To Put Up With

"The only verdict is vengeance, a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain."

As you can see, the translation from illustration to three dimensions came off without any major changes. By working the camera angles on the mask, shooting partial shots and using the shadow from the hat brim, it's possible to make the mask seem to have a range of different emotions.

The hat is a bit more rigid and the silhouette is a bit off from 1605, but both changes make a more graphic-looking and physically-stiffer hat, something which functions better in a movie. The choice of fabric in the movie lends a military uniform feeling to V's clothing, but obviously one of his own making.

One interesting note is that the role of V did NOT start out with actor Hugo Weaving, but rather with James Purefoy. After some weeks of shooting, he was replaced. Supposedly he found he had too much trouble breathing behind the mask. Given the masked performance, the audience has no way of knowing if there actually is or isn't any of Mr. Purefoy's performance in the movie V.

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici

By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.

V's personal motto, which is the title of this module and is translated above, is often credited on the internet as the personal motto which Aleister Crowley formulated for himself. In the graphic novel, V tells Evey it was first said by a man she's probably not heard of, a German gentleman by the name of Dr. John Faust.

Here is V as he originated, in graphic novel form. His mask and costume live here in still frames. Be sure to look at how line weight, shading, coloring all vary subtly in V's mask as he moves through the story. You'll see him be michevious, sad, angry, thoughtful and stone-faced, as well as many more expressions.

You can get all ten of the V FOR VENDETTA issues as a bound collection. Click here for more info or to buy V FOR VENDETTA by Alan Moore and David Lloyd


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