After an amazing run, Captain America loses Ed Brubaker

When I was first getting into comics, I was attracted to the underdog, the misfit. I liked the X-Men because nothing ever went right for them. There were no successful romances. their house got blown up every month and they were often freakish mutants.

When I looked at the Captain America comic, below is an example of what I saw.

I just could not relate to it. He was very white-bread all-American and drove a van around the suburbs in full costume. It was absurd (and not in a good way). I’m not saying that there were no good stories in there, but the safe pastel image kept me from getting interested.

That all changed when the series was handed to Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, two men who catapulted Captain America into the realm of the coolest most exciting monthly book out there. Steve Rogers was a man out of time, taken out of one war and revived into a world at war where the enemy could be anyone. What was worse, his own enemies were far more powerful and numerous than he could anticipate. Frustrated and isolated, he fought a seemingly un-winnable war against a sea of troubles. Now THIS I could sink my teeth into!

A comic book creator most commonly known for his independent projects and Scene of the Crime for Vertigo, Brubaker seemed like an odd choice for this series. It had also been relaunched not that long before he penned a new #1. But he soon showed that he was a closet Captain America fanatic and brought such vitality to the series that I was surprised it hadn’t always been this good.

To add gusto to the new high impulse tone of the book, artist Steve Epting graced each issue with eye-popping visuals like the one below.

Captain America By Steve Epting

The Ed Brubaker run ranks up there with Brian Michael Bendis’ Daredevil, Matt Fraction’s Iron Man, Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man and Greg Pak’s Hulk. It’s so iconic and modern, giving the reader a feature film’s worth of entertainment in each and every issue. I’m very sad to see this era come to a close, but I am interested in what is next for both Cap and Mr. Brubaker.

Of course I am grateful that Winter Soldier is sticking around with Brubaker involved and recommend that with highest accolades.


In an interview with Tom Spurgeon, Ed Brubaker confirmed he is stepping down as writer for Captain America.
Here’s an excerpt.

Now, you told me that you’re wrapping up on Captain America.

Yeah. By the time this interview comes out, I will have written my last issue.

Congratulations. And that’s… eight years on Cap?

A little less than eight years. I think I started in August or September of 2004 writing my first issue, which came out in November of that year.

So why now?

Partly, it’s the beginning of a shift from work-for-hire to books I own, instead. I hit a point with the work-for-hire stuff where I was starting to feel burned out on it. Like my tank is nearing empty on superhero comics, basically. It’s been a great job, and I think I found ways to bring my voice to it, but I have a lot of other things I want to do as a writer, too, so I’m going to try that for a while instead.

Now are you keeping Winter Soldier?

Yeah, I am. That’s going to be my only Marvel book soon. I’ll do The Winter Soldier as long as it lasts… or, I’ll do it for as long as I can. [Spurgeon laughs] Because I don’t know if it’ll last, but I’m really proud of that book and the second and third storylines on it are some of my favorite stuff I’ve done for Marvel, ever.

What do you like about it? What do you think is laudatory? Are you in that place where you can say, “I did that, and I did that very well.”

I think I got to tell a long story. In the early days, I got to create a big soap opera about Steve Rogers and Bucky and Sharon Carter and keep this thrilling adventure ride going. And each arc bled into the next. Then we did the “Death of Cap” thing and I go to really do an 18-part story that still didn’t end with Cap coming back to life yet. [laughs] I got to do some stuff that was really challenging. I got work with some great artists. Steve Epting, he probably drew 35 issues of my run in the early days. I think we developed a really great collaboration. And I always liked that kind of epic storytelling.

Don’t they team you up with a writer to transition out of these titles? Like baton pass it to them?

BRUBAKER: That’s not on purpose for this one. That was a situation with scheduling. Marvel is trying to do this thing now that with some of their better-selling books they want to get out more copies per year than 12. They want to get out 15 or 18 issues. Amazing Spider-Man’s been doing more than one a month for a while now; someone I know does Uncanny X-Men or one of those books, and that comes out 18 times a year.

I couldn’t keep up with that schedule, honestly. I knew I was getting to the end of my run. I wanted to wrap up my run earlier. And [Marvel Senior Vice President Of Publishing] Tom [Brevoort] was like, “Well, you’re going to leave a bunch of plot lines dangling… do you want to go out like that? It’ll seem like you threw up your hands and said ‘I can’t keep up with this schedule.’” I was like, “No, I don’t want to go out that way.” So we brought in Cullen Bunn to write an arc with me. I gave him a list of a bunch of stuff. “Here’s all the dangling plot threads and here’s where we need them all to be by the time I get to my last issue.” And then we figured out a storyline together.

It’s strange. I did all these issues as an uninterrupted run. Then there’s four issues co-written by someone. Then there’s a last issue. [laughs] It’s a little odd.

Brubaker’s last issue will be Captain America # 20

Via The Comics Reporter

2 thoughts on “After an amazing run, Captain America loses Ed Brubaker

  1. I’m sorry but that image of Cap roaring out of the back of a van on a motorcycle is just *fantastic*! There should be more of THAT in modern comics – as, I believe the young ‘uns say “HELLS YEAH!”.🙂 Pah to the Winter Soldier and Brubaker Cap, gimme Englehart, DeMatteis, and early Gruenwald any day, I’m joshing you but I’m not a fan of the quasi-“realistic” spy-fic take on Captain A, but heck you know me, I yam what I yam (contrary) By the way I forgot to ask you in my comment to The Silver Turk : did you hear that Caroline John had died? Perhaps you could do a post on her underrated Liz Shaw character?


  2. In addition to my earlier comment, it seems Marvel is playing a dangerous game by demanding more issues. They may burn out creators and sabotage books through greed and short-sightedness. There’s an adage about not learning from past mistakes that applies here…


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