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    ‘V For Vendetta’ Creators Reveal The Iconic V Mask Was Born Out Of A “Joke”

    V for Vendetta‘ stands as a towering example of a rebellious Hollywood movie set in a near dystopian world. Back in the 1980s, the comic ‘V for Vendetta‘ introduced us to a cool character named V, wearing a mask inspired by Guy Fawkes, a British historical figure. The artist behind this genius design was David Lloyd.

    Interestingly, the designer himself was not so sure about the idea, writer Alan Moore loved it from the start. The movie inspired by the comics was released in 2005 and went on to become a superhit. The iconic mask that the protagonist wears in the movie gained further popularity with the movie. But the story behind its origin is more interesting than one might think.

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    The Famous Mask From ‘V For Vendetta’ Was Born Out Of  A Joke

    Still from 'V for Vendatta'  (Credits: Getty)
    Still from ‘V for Vendatta’ (Credits: Getty)

    In a recent chat with BBC4’s Comics Britannia, writer Alan Moore spilled the beans about the early days of ‘V for Vendetta’, originally published in a magazine called ‘Warrior’. When Lloyd first came up with the idea for V’s iconic look, Moore was all up for it because it was inspired by an infamous figure who had rattled England once.

    Guy Fawkes, was an infamous real-life figure of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, who died on the executioner’s block in 1606, marking a dark chapter in the reign of England’s King James I. Fawkes’s name endured through centuries in British cultural memory. His capture date became a celebrated holiday and several folk poems and tales were also written about the notorious plot.

    Some contemporary illustrations portraying Fawkes’s visually distinct look was what laid the groundwork for the iconic mask in of ‘V for Vendetta‘. David Lloyd and Alan Moore later adopted in the comics.

    In an interview for Comics Britannia, Moore revealed that Lloyd introduced the idea of Guy Fawkes to the V character “almost as a joke.” “I don’t think he expected me to go along with it,” Lloyd said. But surprise, surprise – Moore loved it and didn’t dismiss it at all. In Moore’s words, it fit well with the story they were brewing.

    Recognizing the power of the image, Moore remarked, “As soon as I saw it, I saw that this was genius. It was connecting to this whole British mythology. There was something so British, and so striking, about that iconic image.”

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    ‘V For Vendatta’ Has Had A Powerful Impact On Cinema As Well As The Global Society

    Still from 'V for Vendatta'  (Credits: Getty)
    Still from ‘V for Vendatta’ (Credits: Getty)

    The impact that ‘V for Vendetta’ has on global culture is undeniable. The complicated translation to the screen brought David Lloyd’s mask design into the spotlight as a counter-culture symbol. It did not take long for the image to resonate on a global scale and even inspire real life social activism.

    The V mask has transcended its fictional origins to become synonymous with activism and protest in the real world as well. Social media has accounts that attach their identity to a mask similar as V, and carry on activities similar to the character in the movie.

    A particular account that goes by the name ‘Anonymous’ has often made calls for justice to higher authorities, threatening of hacking security systems and revealing harmful secrets. 

    Representing V as a modern Guy Fawkes, Moore and Lloyd inadvertently turned the character into a symbol. Little did they know that the “joke” would not add an excellent flavor to their comics and movies, but also bring about a cultural wave.  

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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