Warner Bros. Pictures

The V for Vendetta movie came out in 2006 when I was a little teenage edgelord, and I absolutely loved it.

So what better day than The 5th of November to remember, remember the catalyst for ninth grade me starting to tell everyone that I was an anarchist? Sure, at fifteen years old I probably didn't have a particularly strong grasp on politics. After all, teenage edgelords subsist on diets of offensive Internet jokes and Mountain Dew, not polished political rhetoric. But how could a masked, alliteration-spitting, vigilante rising up against a fascist regime not burn a fire deep within my darkened, edgelord soul?

V––the titular antihero of the movie based on the Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name––was every edgelord's wet dream. He was a master assassin, capable of expert knife-play and hand-to-hand combat. He enjoyed old romance films and outlawed books, giving off the air of a misunderstood intellectual. But most importantly, V dressed in all black (with a stylish brimmed hat, m'lady), save for his white mustachioed mask based on the 17th century English revolutionary Guy Fawkes––the same mask that would become the calling card for all manner of edgy Internet men, from anonymous 4chan users to me on my Myspace profile.

Anonymous MaskVery cool.AFP/AFP/Getty Images

I wanted to be V with all my heart. But how could a young boy growing up in a safe, predominantly Jewish suburb stand up against an oppressive government? Easy. I had my mom drive me to Hot Topic, and I purchased a Guy Fawkes mask of my own. I later learned that the Time Warner media conglomerate owns the rights to the mask and profits off every purchase, but I didn't know that at the time. Perhaps if one wants to rise up against the system, one must accept the necessary evil that movie merch comes at the price of fueling capitalism.

Regardless, mask in tow, I rose up against the forces that reigned at my suburban high school.

Some days, I bore the mantle of V during lunch, approaching fellow students outside the cafeteria and reciting the poem: "Remember, remember, the 5th of November, the Gunpowder treason and plot! I know of no reason, the Gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot." These dimwitted children would stare at me with their mouths ajar, and I'd smirk to myself knowing that I just opened their minds to the wonders of anarchy. Down with the government. Rise of the people.

I began watching old romance films, too. In the same way that Natalie Portman's Evey fell in love with V even after he literally tortured her (for the good of the resistance, of course), I knew that girls would find me attractive if I was a total jerk but also had well-formed opinions on black and white love stories. I also bought a switchblade from an army story in Chinatown and taught myself tricks through YouTube videos. "Just like V," I thought.

Slowly but surely, I transformed myself from a young, wannabe edgelord into a full-fledged revolutionary. By the time I was eighteen, I had mastered the art of romance and perfected a few cool switchblade tricks after cutting my finger 1000 times. But it was 2009, and new Alan Moore graphic novel-based movie was on the horizon––a movie that would change my edgelordiness forever.

RorschachWarner Bros. Pictures

Watchmen introduced me to Rorschach, a new masked vigilante with an ever-shifting ink mask (like a Rorschach test!) and an angrier ideology based around justice against a broken, immoral society: "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it." Rorschach reflected me––broken, dark, and angry in my small suburban town, living an existence that nobody could understand.

By then, I was old enough to drive myself to Hot Topic. I bought a shirt with a picture of Rorschach on the front and that very quote on the back. It was time for me to don a new mask.

Over the decades, the meaning of the the 5th of November, or Guy Fawkes Day, has changed time and time again. Originally, the day was a celebration of Guy Fawkes' failure to assassinate King James I. Nowadays, in stark contrast, Guy Fawkes Day is a celebration of rising up against oppressive governments.

Much like Guy Fawkes Day, teenage edgelord me has changed a lot over the years, too. When I look back on my high school years, the first word that comes to mind is cringe. I no longer think wearing movie masks in real life is anything short of lame, and I've thankfully realized that trying to act like a badass movie antihero in real life is a pretty big hindrance to one's social standing. I'm also not an anarchist, not by a long shot. At the same time, I think I have a better understanding of the message of V for Vendetta now than I ever did as a kid––a message that is more relevant in Trump's America than ever before. Guy Fawkes masks might be out of fashion (or maybe they never were in), but maybe we should break them out for old time's sake. After all, what better day is there than today to rise up against fascism?


Episode three of HBO's Watchmen, "She Was Killed by Space Junk," premiered on Sunday and continued the show's general trend of extending the graphic novel's alternate history into the modern era, slowly adding loose connective threads to the original text.

Many viewers have been turned off by the slow pace, the relative lack of direct references to Alan Moore's work, and the show's heightened politics (as opposed to the graphic novel, wherein Nixon was president forever, a literal God fought for America's empire, and a fascist maniac ranted about washing the streets clean…). Others will find the show's moody, beautifully-shot dystopia to be a much more fitting tribute to Moore's work than Zach Snyder could ever hope to give it. And while the connections to the original story are slow to form, they are beginning to raise intriguing, spoiler-heavy questions (better stop here if you haven't watched yet)—how did Angela's wheelchair-bound grandfather get Judd Crawford up in that tree? What were Crawford's ties to the Seventh Kavalry? What's Doctor Manhattan up to? And what the hell is going on with the giant sky-magnet? But no question is more pressing than this: Where is Adrian Veidt being imprisoned?


In this episode we're introduced to FBI agent Laurie Blake, former Silk Spectre and current member of the Anti-Vigilante task force, as well as her unwanted sidekick known as Agent Petey. Petey is a useful stand-in for the viewer—in that he is generally detested by those around him, and he has an obsession with the familiar events of the novel, which allows him to fill in some of the blanks for us while fleshing out the intrigue of others. He cues us into a question of Veidt's whereabouts within the show's narrative, introducing the fact that he has been missing for long enough to be declared dead, as well as the rumors that persist about plastic surgery and a new identity in South America.

Laurie BlakeHBO

This only serves to add to the mystery of Jeremy Iron's "Lord of the Manor" character—finally confirmed to be Veidt in this episode—whose interludes have grown stranger with each episode. Here's what we know: He is isolated in a large and lavish estate in an undefined location. He has an endless supply of faithful and lobotomized clone-servants to do his ruthless bidding without emotion or fear of death. He has no outside technology, but can build some impressive stuff with the help of his clones. He writes plays while naked. His grounds are home to American Bison but also to tomato trees, so that probably doesn't tell us much. He wants to be Ozymandias again. And he is policed by a man known as "the game warden," who has a gun, wears a mask, flies a jolly roger, and in a letter, refers to the terms of Veidt's "captivity."

Initial thoughts suggested time travel or a Pablo Escobar-style resort prison, but the most telling bit of info comes from the game warden's response to Veidt's latest experiment. Veidt has begun fashioning a space suit from metal armor and leather—tanned clone-skin?—and launching clones into space with a catapult. When the leather fails and Adrian starts hunting buffalo for their "thicker skin," the game warden responds as though this is an escape attempt…


Okay, so that pretty much narrows the possibilities to two real contenders. Veidt is either in some kind of dimensional bubble-prison that he is trying to escape, or he is in space, possibly on Mars, almost certainly imprisoned by Doctor Manhattan. I also have little doubt that we will find out soon that the game warden is actually another clone, but my fan theories are always wrong, and considering Damon Lindelof's role in the show…there's a decent chance that none of Watchmen's intriguing mysteries will ever be resolved. Here's hoping he and I will both defy history.


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