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DF Interview: Brian Wood reassembles law and order in RoboCop: Citizens Arrest
By Byron Brewer
Writer Brian Wood (DMZ, John Carter: The End, Briggs Land) and artist Jorge Coelho (Venom, Rocket Racoon) present RoboCop: Citizens Arrest, a provocative vision of a future where justice is crowd-sourced and lethal.
It's been decades since the RoboCop program first began. Corporations have taken over the schools and the government, and law enforcement is the biggest private contract of all. Traditional police forces no longer exist as all citizens are encouraged – and rewarded – to spy on their neighbors. There is only one authority on the streets: RoboCop!
DF immediatey headed to scribe Brian Wood to get the full 411 just for you!
Dynamic Forces: Brian, how does it feel to be working on an iconic character like RoboCop for BOOM! Studios? Were you a fan of the original film?
Brian Wood: I was, and am absolutely a fan of the original film … who isn’t? It’s smart and funny and relevant and violent, the music is great … it’s iconic. It ages really well, so if anyone out there hasn’t watched it in a while, you should. It’s sort of amazing how it’s stayed relevant.
DF: I take it this is all-new material, not any type of adaptation? If so, how does it tie into the classic original RoboCop film? Or DOES it?
Brian Wood: This is an Alex Murphy story, an original RoboCop story, but it does take place about 20 years after that original film. A quick way to think of it is sort of a Dark Knight RoboCop, or Old Man RoboCop, or an Unforgiven RoboCop … but really that’s only a starting point, a little bit of context. But the idea of a hero, now much older, being pulled back into the crap … it’s great drama.
DF: Tell readers a little about the world you and artist Jorge Coelho are creating here.
Brian Wood: We have OCP, and we have RoboCop, and we have a New Detroit. But these are new versions of themselves. A young tech guru has bought all the OCP branding and intellectual property and has relaunched it as an AI-driven private police company. His “RoboCop” is a fleet of autonomous machines and smartphone apps that encourage citizens to spy on their neighbors. New Detroit is completely reborn as a city of the future.
But these enclaves remain on the outskirts, neighborhoods of marginalized folk, and as OCP expands its power and influence, more and more people are at risk.
DF: Tell us about your iteration of Alex Murphy. Who is he as a character?
Brian Wood: Without giving too much away, Murphy is retired. He lives in the Shore, one of those enclaves, populated by ex-cops, ex-firemen, ex-EMT, ex-teachers and social workers and sanitation … all people made redundant and fired by this new OCP. Murphy passes his days as a man trapped inside himself, unable to do anything for anyone.
DF: What other characters do readers need to know about to enjoy this book? Can you introduce some of them to us, please?
Brian Wood: We have Leo Reza, a young ex-cop who sees in Murphy exactly what the city needs, even if Murphy can’t see it himself. His wife Sara works as a coder for OCP. Moses, a community leader in the immigrant enclave, and the Mayor, who is bought and controlled by OCP but hates himself for selling out his city. And The Old Man himself, that young tech pioneer who envisions a country run by OCP, a massive market for privatized social services. Detroit is his laboratory, his proof of concept.
DF: What does artist Jorge Coelho bring to this great table?
Brian Wood: Amazing art? That aside, these scripts I’m writing are DENSE with information and B and C storylines and Jorge’s handling it all with amazing finesse and attention to detail. It looks great.
DF: Brian, what other projects present or near-future can you tell readers about?
Brian Wood: I’m keeping busy with multiple creator-owned projects and other licensed titles, as well as working on a couple of TV pilots. It’s all up on www.brianwood.com
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Brian Wood for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. RoboCop: Citizens Arrest #1 from BOOM! Studios hits stores April 11th!
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