Brian Wood Of Dark Horse Talks Terminator: Sector War

Recently I spoke with Brian Wood of Dark Horse about the new comic series “Terminator: Sector War”.


Was writing a Terminator story something you had always wanted to do?


BW: Well, yes and no. I’ve always been a fan, but sometimes you don’t really consider the possibility of having some creative involvement until its offered to you. Like when I wrote Star Wars – it never occurred to me to pitch for it, but when I was invited, I realized how badly I wanted in. Same thing here.




Where did you draw some of your inspiration for The Terminator Sector Wars from?


BW: It’s an Eighties book, so the references I gave to Jeff and Triona were the same that got my blood pumping: The Warriors, Death Wish, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, After Hours, stuff like that. Obviously the original Terminator film was the primary influence.




With so many other works, and lore written in The Terminator franchise how difficult was it to come up with an original idea? Was the story something you had been thinking of doing long before the opportunity arose, or did it all come together when it presented itself?


BW: This story is a direct play off the original film. The premise is that John Connor could not be the only important person in the future war against the machines, and that Skynet would try and take them all out in a single operation in a single night. So it’s both a new story and a familiar one. The trick is finding the perfect balance between the two.




Is there any personal preparation you do when you are preparing to write a story (for The Terminator universe or any other?) Do you review works from other people? Watch the movies? Something else all-together?


BW: I try and figure out what it is about the source material that speaks to me, that I can get emotionally invested in and write with some authenticity and heart. That’s always the starting point, and honestly if I can’t find that thing, then I probably shouldn’t take the job. It’ll show on the page. But once I have that thing, I can start to build a story around it.




Were there any unique challenges writing The Terminator Sector War (or in The Terminator Universe) that you hadn’t encountered before in your other works?


BW: I’ve written a bunch of licensed books and they all have challenges, some emotional, some practical. Often you have to find a path thorough a lot of existing continuity, or plans that the license holder has, or other things that may be already in progress. Sometimes its frustrating, but usually I welcome the creative challenge. It’s very different from writing a creator-owned book.




You have a very diverse portfolio writing for numerous popular franchises…outside of The Terminator franchise is there another franchise you’d love to write a story for?


BW: Putting aside commercial viability? I’ve wanted to write Rambo for a while, the First Blood version of Rambo. A whole bunch of video games. I worked up a great Punisher pitch, Punisher in the age of the real-world lone wolf gunman, what does that look like? But as is often the case, you come up with such a great idea it makes more sense to turn it into something creator-owned rather than let a corporation take ownership.