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Brubaker Ends His Captain America Run

In a fairly extensive interview with Tom Spurgeon for the Comics Reporter, Ed Brubaker talked about many things. One of these things was the decision to conclude his eight year long tenure writing Captain America, though he will continue to write Winter Soldier.

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.

It sounds as though Brubaker will continue to write the series for the rest of the year, ending his run with a single issue story after a story arc co-written with Cullen Bunn. This likely puts his final issue at either #19 or #20. This also implies that Bunn will become the new ongoing writer per Marvel’s new practice of transitioning new writers into high profile books as we’ve seen with Sam Humphries on Ultimates.

I wonder how long Bunn’s Captain America and… series will continue once he takes over the main title full-time.

Winter Soldier
For those getting excited that Brubaker’s departure from Captain America is part of the rumored big shuffle of Marvel creators moving to new books, take a breath and calm down. That’s not what is happening here.

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.

So no, we aren’t about to see Brubaker’s take on Ghost Rider or Fantastic Four. …This does make me a little sad, because either sound pretty damn cool.

Instead, Brubaker will be focusing most of his energy on creator-owned properties for the foreseeable future. This is not a bad thing. Brubaker has wisely used the popularity he’s earned at Marvel to launch some successful creator-owned properties already. If you’ve yet to read any of Criminal or Incognito, you are missing out. Just like I know I’m missing out since I haven’t gotten around to checking out Fatale yet.

Still, I will be sad to see him leave Captain America. For my money, this will conclude the best run Captain America has had. Bringing his noir, grounded sensibilities to a character like Captain America proved to be a perfect fit by putting such emphasis on espionage and war history. He managed to do the impossible by bringing back Bucky Barnes. He killed off Captain America and continued writing the series for over a year without him. This will be one tough act to ever follow.

Captain America and Bucky
Beyond Fatale, Brubaker doesn’t really give any hints about what independent work to expect from him in the near future. Personally, I’m hoping to see another installment of Incognito sooner than later. The interview is well worth checking out, though. Besides Captain America and longtime collaborations wih Sean Phillips, he also discusses topics like the Before Watchmen controversy and the current state of mainstream comics.

In other related news, DC will apparently be releasing an omnibus of of Brubaker’s Wildstorm work Point Blank and Sleeper. If this interview is any indication, the deal he agreed to for that work wasn’t the best deal he could have made.

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