In an interview published yesterday, superstar writer Ed Brubaker announced that he would be leaving Captain America, the comic book that he’s been writing for eight years. Brubaker, who is been the only Captain America that many newer and younger readers have ever known, says that the decision is mutual and made it clear there was absolutely no bad blood between himself and Marvel Comics. Rather, he’s leaving to focus more on his creator owned work (Fatale as an example) and upcoming film and television work.
To quote from the interview, which was conducted by Tom Spurgeon and published over on The Comics Reporter…
SPURGEON: Now, you told me that you’re wrapping up on Captain America.
BRUBAKER: Yeah. By the time this interview comes out, I will have written my last issue.
SPURGEON: Congratulations. And that’s… eight years on Cap?
BRUBAKER: 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.
SPURGEON: So why now?
BRUBAKER: Partly, it’s the beginning 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.
Beginning with issue #15 of Captain America, Brubaker will be working with a co-writer, Collen Bunn, for four issues. Then for issue #19 (which will be coming out either in October or November, depending on shipping schedules), Brubaker will go back to writing solo and that will be the end of his Captain America run. So why, after eight years, work with a co-writer for four issues? Especially so close to the end of his run? Obviously, that came up in the interview as well…
SPURGEON: 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.
And while Ed Brubaker is leaving Captain America after issue #19, he made it clear that he’ll continue to write Winter Soldier for as long as he can, or alternatively, as long as Marvel Comics will allow him. Considering that after he leaves Cap behind, Winter Soldier will be Brubaker’s only remaining Marvel writing gig, I can’t imagine Marvel wanting to rush him off of it and lose a talent of his caliber. And, as I mentioned above, Brubaker will also continue to write Fatale, his creator owned book, for Image Comics.
Ed Brubaker is leaving Captain America. Even though I just wrote a whole post about it, and read a bunch more, it still feels wrong and dirty to be typing it. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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