Adam Susan was a former British police chief constable who entered into politics. In the wake of the nuclear war between the United States and the U.S.S.R., Susan gathered like-minded right-wing extremists and corporate executives into his inner circle, and exploits the poverty, chaos, and panic occurring in Britain into seizing power over the country under the dictatorship of the Norsefire party. Susan became ruler of Britain with an iron grip. A firm adherent of pure fascism, he values order above all else and sees civil liberties as unneeded luxuries which are ultimately threats to a secure society, in which he believes in "the destiny of the Nordic race", and subsequently despises anyone who is not white, Christian or heterosexual. Despite the latter, he disdains all sexual contact as "brutish coupling", and has subsequently remained a virgin his entire life.
In order to further monitor the state, Susan takes control of the internal intelligence departments known as the Eye and the Ear, the criminal-investigation department called the Nose, and the military police called the Finger, and the propaganda department called the Mouth. These are run by his subordinates, Derek Almond (later Peter Creedy) at The Finger, Conrad Heyer at The Eye, Brian Etheridge at The Ear, Eric Finch at The Nose, and Roger Dascombe at The Mouth. The leaders of these departments run the day-to-day affairs of government with regular oversight from Susan, making the highest council of the Norsefire government—the Head. From his inner sanctum, he forsakes virtually all human contact, resolving to be feared and respected if he cannot be loved. He reserves the closest thing he can manage to human feeling for Fate, the super-computer which both surveys security and maintains the bureaucracy of his government, loving and worshipping the machine as a goddess (it is at one point suggested that he masturbates in the presence of Fate. It could even be further suggested that he has a Mechanophilia fetish).
His rule begins to crumble when a masked terrorist calling himself "V" blows up the Houses of Parliament on November 5 (Guy Fawkes Day), and begins to attack public trust in the government with a series of kidnappings, bombings, and disruption of normal television programming for a very public declaration to the people. His defiance gradually inspires the public to rebel against Norsefire's reign. Susan tries desperately to capture and kill the mysterious vigilante, but remains increasingly powerless to stop him. Susan eventually finds out that V has been manipulating the Fate super-computer to express the forbidden emotion of love, and make the Norsefire government work against itself by controlling its own, driving him further into insanity.
Susan was then ultimately shot and killed during a publicity parade by Rose Almond, the widow of Derek Almond, Peter Creedy's predecessor. Creedy immediately takes total control of London for a short time before he too is killed by one of his underlings, soon resulting in the total collapse of the government.
Appearances in Other Media
In the 2006 feature film V for Vendetta the character of Adam Susan was named Adam Sutler and he was played by veteran actor John Hurt. The surname "Sutler" is an amalgamation of Susan and Hitler, a way of drawing a parallel between Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and Susan's Norsefire Party.
The film version of the character is not as complex as the novel version; the inner turmoil so prevalent in the novel is absent in the film. While his graphic novel counterpart genuinely believes in achieving order and stability at any cost, this version of the character seems to care only about achieving power for himself and merely uses promises of peace and security to keep the populace in line. The film version of the character also claims to be a "deeply religious" Christian as a way of furthering his rise to power. In the film, Norsefire seizes control of England by murdering thousands of people with a laboratory-engineered plague, blaming the catastrophe on terrorists, and promising to restore order. He then uses the supposed terrorist threat, along with an ongoing propaganda campaign in the state-run media, to cow the public into silence and justify Norsefire's genocidal policies. As in the graphic novel, Sutler lives in an underground bunker in self-imposed exile and leaves the day-to-day operation of his empire to his lieutenants.
Toward the end of the film, Sutler blames Creedy for the failure to capture V. Creedy then makes a deal with V to kill Sutler. Creedy and his men kidnap Sutler and bring him to V in the London Underground, where Creedy executes his boss by shooting him in the forehead.
- 4 Appearances of Adam Susan (V for Vendetta)
- 3 Images featuring Adam Susan (V for Vendetta)
- 1 Quotations by or about Adam Susan (V for Vendetta)
- Character Gallery: Adam Susan (V for Vendetta)