Creator Highlight: Winter Soldier Creator Ed Brubaker

Lukas Luna, Co-Copy Editor

Though he has already been a featured player in Marvel’s cinematic universe, The Winter Soldier’s starring role in the Disney + series “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” has increased his popularity tenfold, as the same was done recently with the Scarlet Witch and her role in “WandaVision.” In honor of this increased visibility, it seems only appropriate to place a spotlight on Ed Brubaker, the co-creator of the character. His work represents some of the very best storytelling comics have to offer and are great introductions for those looking to familiarize themselves with the medium.  



Where better to start than the series that put Brubaker on the map and set the standard for so much of his future work. Criminal is a generation-spanning crime epic that tells the story of the Patterson and Lawless families. This foray into film ready hard-bitten crime with artist Sean Philips (the first of many collaborations between the two) would expand into seven mainline volumes and multiple one-shot side stories. This book showcases Brubaker in his element, as no one writes desperate characters at the end of the line quite like the Winter Soldier scribe. The recently published Cruel Summer prequel graphic novel is a perfect introduction for any looking to begin reading the beloved comic. 



Departing from his crime-riddled roots, Brubaker ventured into the field espionage for this miniseries. The reteam with Winter Soldier co-creator Steve Epting tells the story of Velvet Templeton, secretary at a clandestine spy agency who is secretly one of their deadliest assets. When she is wrongly framed for the death of an agent, she must employ her long dormant skills and dig into her dark past to survive. This globe-trotting spy thriller was collected in both three individual volumes and one over-sized omnibus. Perfect for new readers. 


Kill Or Be Killed 

Putting a new spin on his tried-and-true crime fiction formula, Brubaker and constant collaboration Phillips get together for one of the best vigilante stories ever told. Depressed college student Dylan (no last name ever given) jumps off the roof of his building in the opening issue. As he falls, he realizes he still has the will to live and wishes desperately to survive, which miraculously, he does. Before he can fully appreciate the new lease on life he’s been afforded, a demon appears to him and reveals a sinister truth: He was responsible for saving Dylan’s life and if he wishes to remain alive, he must deliver the demon the soul of one evil man every month as a sick form of rent for his new life. As the masterful miniseries unfolds, the once timid protagonist slowly becomes a killer while coming to terms with the idea that this demon may merely be a fragment of his fractured psyche. One of the best miniseries of the past five years is available in four beautiful, stark red volumes. 

The Fade Out 

Paying homage to the film noirs that have colored so much of their work together, Brubaker and Philips craft a tragic mystery set in the heart of old Hollywood. Waking up next to a dead starlet, screenwriter Charlie Parish tries desperately to remember the night before as his studio employs morally questionable methods to accommodate for the death of their leading lady. This miniseries, drawing both from classic literature and motion pictures, is collected in both three volumes and omnibus format. 


Captain America 

Last, but certainly not least, is Brubaker’s character redefining stint on Captain America. His first time working with future Velvet collaborator Steve Epting, the writer and artist thrust the Star-Spangled Avenger into the morally gray world of 21st century espionage with a spy thriller centered around the identity of the mysterious new agent known as the Winter Soldier. While the ultimate reveal of this inaugural story is known the world over by this point, it does little to diminish the impact of this take on Cap. The first arc of this four year run on the character is collected in the volume entitled Captain America: Winter Soldier 


New episodes of The Falcon And The Winter Soldier premiere on Disney + every friday.