COMICS: Ed Brubaker To Leave CAPTAIN AMERICA After An Eight Year Run

Ed Brubaker has been writing Captain America for nearly eight years, and his run on the book will surely go down in history as one of the best ever. Hit the jump for his thoughts on why he's now leaving the book and whether or not he'll continue writing Winter Soldier.

In a lengthy and fascinating interview with The Comics Reporter, writer Ed Brubaker has confirmed that he is stepping down as writer of Captain America. Since he relaunched the series back in 2004, Brubaker has resurrected Bucky, killed Steve Rogers, put a different hero behind the mask and then brought back the real deal. Needless to say, it's been an epic run. However, all good things must come to an end, and in an excerpt from his chat with Tom Spurgeon, he reveals why exactly he is leaving Captain America, and confirms that he will be sticking around to continue working on critically acclaimed new series Winter Soldier.

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 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.

Brubaker also goes into the specifics of why he felt now was a good time to bring his run to an end, confirming that Cullen Bunn (who recently started co-writing Venom with Rick Remender before he takes over that book later this year) will work with him on his final arc before he wraps things up for good with Captain America #20.

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

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.

How do you feel about Ed Brubaker bringing his epic run on Captain America to an end? Who should Marvel choose to replace him on the title? Sound off with your thoughts in the usual place and be sure to click on the link below to read the interview in full, where he also discusses his other projects and much more besides.

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