Absolutely nothing is known about V's early life. Resident in England at the time of the nuclear war that devastated the world, he was amongst the "undesirables" that the fascist Norsefire party began rounding up in about 1992. Imprisoned at the resettlement camp at Larkhill, the person who would become V was the subject of medical experimentation. Injected repeatedly with an artificial hormonal compound, V was the only person who survived the trials physically intact, though his mind was apparently warped by the procedures. Despite this, he was allowed to begin a garden on the grounds of Larkhill, at which he was very successful. He began to hoard fertilizers and other materials in his cell, and arranged them in intricate patterns on the floor, which was taken as a symptom of his madness by his jailers. In secret, he used these chemicals to create mustard gas and napalm, which he then unleashed on the camp, killing dozens and allowing him to escape. He travelled to London, where he established a hideout and spent four years systematically killing individuals who had worked at Larkhill, clearing the way for his plans to take down the government.
V was created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. He made his first appearance in Warrior #1.
Major Story Arcs
V for Vendetta
On his way to the bombing of the Houses of Parliament, V sees Evey Hammond being harassed by Fingermen. He attacks, killing several and bringing Evey with him to watch the explosion, and from there to his home, the Shadow Gallery. He later attacks the train carrying Lewis Prothero, abducting him and forcing him to watch as he destroys his precious doll collection. Having succeeded in driving Prothero irrevocably insane, he dumps him at New Scotland Yard. He next targets the Old Bailey, and destroys it. Returning to the Shadow Gallery, he takes Evey up on her offer of help and uses her as bait to distract and trap Bishop Lilliman. Sneaking into Westminster Abbey, V forces Lilliman to take communion, actually a wafer of cyanide, killing him. This drives a wedge between himself and Evey, who forgives him but swears never to help him kill again.
He next travels to the home of Delia Surridge, the doctor responsible for the experiments that were carried out on him and his fellow inmates. Aware of her deep remorse, he kills her with a painless chemical injection before she wakes, and speaks to her until she succumbs. Leaving her room and her journal as a clue for the investigators, he is surprised by Derek Almond, whom he manages to kill, as Almond had previously failed to load his gun. Soon after he abandons Evey on the streets when she questions whether he is her father. He carries out an attack on Jordan Tower, where he forces the Mouth to play a message to the people of England in which he berates them for their complicity in Norsefire's crimes and urges them to be better. He sets Roger Dascombe up to be shot in his place, allowing himself to escape.
He goes underground for a few months, during which he continues to monitor Evey, and when she tries to get revenge for the murder of her lover he abducts her. Masquerading as the government, he holds her prisoner and subjects her to some of the treatment he endured at Larkhill. When she ultimately refuses to give him up he releases her, and encourages her as she goes through the shock, betrayal, and ultimate catharsis of her experience. Continuing to manipulate the supercomputer Fate, to which he has had access for several years, V sends messages of love to Adam Susan, who is in love with the computer, in order to destabilize him. Emerging again, he destroys the headquarters of the Ears, the Eye and the Mouth, and seizes control of the communications systems to inform the public that they will be unmonitored for the next three days.
As events in England begin to spiral out of control-- helped in part by his manipulation of Fate to cause food shortages and the delivery of his own pamphlets-- V reveals his presence in the computer to Susan, driving him over the edge. Continuing to prepare for his endgame, he takes Evey on a tour of the Shadow Gallery, concluding with a train that he has loaded with explosives and lilies. Refusing to tell her what he plans, he awaits the arrival of Eric Finch. When Finch finally appears, V attacks him, allowing himself to be shot several times. Dying, he stumbles through the Shadow Gallery to Evey. Urging her with his last breath to complete his work by destroying 10 Downing Street and taking up the mask to become the new V, he dies in her arms.
Powers and Abilities
V possesses a genius level intellect, and is exceptionally skilled at planning and putting his intelligence and vast stores of knowledge to practical use. He is very athletic and skilled in close combat. He has an enhanced physiology, including greatly enhanced reflexes, strength, and agility, due to the medical experimentation that was conducted on him.
Weapons and Equipment
V always carries at least three short daggers that he uses primarily for stabbing. He always wears a mask, typically a Guy Fawkes mask. He is adept at creating explosives and chemical weapons with minimal resources.
V for Vendetta
V appears as one of the main characters of this adaptation. His characterisation is significantly altered from his characterisation in the comic book. He is portrayed by Hugo Weaving.