(born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award
-winning American cartoonist
. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center
Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central, Sleeper, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Deadly Genesis, and The Authority, and for helping to revive the crime comics genre.
As of 2007, he lives in Seattle, Washington.
Alternative and independent comics work
Brubaker’s first work in comics was as a cartoonist, writing and drawing "Pajama Chronicles" for Blackthorne Comics, "Purgatory USA" for Slave Labor Graphics, and the semi-autobiographical series Lowlife
for Slave Labor Graphics
and later Caliber Comics
. At Caliber, he briefly edited the anthology series Monkey Wrench
In 1991, he began to contribute to the Dark Horse Comics anthology series Dark Horse Presents, a comic he would continue to contribute to intermittently throughout the decade. Among those contributions was the three part serial "An Accidental Death" (Dark Horse Presents #65-67), a collaboration with artist Eric Shanower, which garnered the two a 1993 Eisner Award nomination.
In 1997, he began to publish his cartoonist work through the small press publisher Alternative Comics. In the one-off At the Seams, a romantic triangle is explored through three stories which each depict a different participant’s point-of-view. The comic was a 1997 Ignatz Award nominee for Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection. His other work for Alternative Comics, the humorous and experimental Detour #1, was solicitated to be the first issue of a series, though only one issue was ever published. Detour was nevertheless nominated for the "Best New Series" Eisner in 1997.
The Fall, a graphic novel that was written by Brubaker and illustrated by Berlin creator Jason Lutes was published by Drawn and Quarterly in 2001. This work had previously been anthologized in five parts in Dark Horse Presents in 1998. The story involved a convenience store clerk who gets involved in a ten-year-old murder mystery after he uses a stolen credit card. In 2004 IDW Publishing announced that Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips would collaborate on a creator owned pirate series titled Black Sails for them. That series has not yet materialized and The Fall is the last independent comic book work by Brubaker to date.
Predating Brubaker's Alternative Comics work by two years, Vertigo Visions: Prez, Smells Like Teen President
(1995) was Brubaker's first work for one of the two major American comic book publishers. Published by DC Comics
’ "mature readers" imprint Vertigo
, the comic was a broad political satire
which revamped an obscure 1970s Joe Simon
creation. Brubaker worked with his "An Accidental Death" collaborator, artist Eric Shanower, again on the comic.
Brubaker's next major work for Vertigo was the four issue limited series Scene of the Crime (1999), which marked his first collaboration with both Michael Lark and Sean Phillips, two artists who would frequently work with the writer in later years. A slacker detective story set in San Francisco, the series was critically acclaimed and the first to gain Brubaker attention from Hollywood producers.
In late 2000, Brubaker signed a one-year exclusive contract with DC Comics. The contract was renewed in 2001. . That same year the writer began to do his first mainstream "super-hero" work, on the series Batman. He would continue to work on various series starring the Batman character until late 2003.
Returning to Vertigo in 2000, Brubaker and artist Warren Pleece produced the science fiction series Deadenders. The series lasted 16 issues before being canceled in 2001. Staying with Vertigo in 2001, Brubaker wrote the four issue Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives, which was drawn by artist Bryan Talbot.
Also in 2001 (and back at DC Comics' main super-hero imprint), Brubaker and artist Darwyn Cooke teamed up to revamp the Catwoman character. They started with the four issue serial "Trail of the Catwoman" which ran in Detective Comics #759-762. In the serial, private detective Slam Bradley attempts to investigate the death of Selina Kyle (AKA Catwoman). The story led into a new Catwoman title in late 2001 by Brubaker and Cooke in which the character's costume, supporting cast and modus operandi were all redesigned and redeveloped. Brubaker stayed on the series, which was met with critical and fan acclaim, up until #37 (January 2004).
At the 2001 San Diego Comic Convention Brubaker and Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis discussed co-writing a story which would team up DC's Batman with Marvel's Daredevil. The two writers were enthusiastic about their ideas, which included a fight between Batman and Marvel villain Bullseye as well as another between Catwoman and Elektra. DC editors Matt Idelson and Bob Schreck were also enthusiastic, but DC executive editor Paul Levitz objected to the project due to a prior disagreement with Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. The aborted project became controversial when Bendis publicly spoke Levitz's decision at the 2002 Wizard World Chicago comic convention. (Bendis later apologized for his comments, saying that he regretted ever discussing the project in public.)
In early 2003, Brubaker and writer Greg Rucka created and co-wrote the Gotham Central series. Focusing on the activities of the Gotham City Police Department, the two writers either co-wrote storylines or wrote alternate arcs separately throughout the series, which featured artwork from Brubaker's Scene of the Crime collaborator Michael Lark. The title was cancelled in 2006 shortly after Brubaker's last issue.
In 2002 Brubaker did his first work for Wildstorm
, (another DC imprint), with the series Point Blank
which featured the artwork of British artist Colin Wilson
. The series took existing concepts from the Wildstorm universe, such as Grifter
(the star of the series), John Lynch
and used them to set up his Sleeper
series which debuted later that year.
A collaboration between artist Sean Phillips and Brubaker, Sleeper, featured a secret agent protagonist ("Holden Carver") who goes undercover in a super villain’s powerful organisation, only to have the only contact he has in law enforcement fall in to a coma. With the authorities believing him a dangerous criminal, Carver is caught between the two warring sides with unclear allegiances.
In December 2003, in a unique publicity stunt conceived to help promote the first trade paperback collection of Sleeper, Brubaker organized an "arm-wrestling competition" at San Francisco's "Isotope - the comic book lounge" comic book shop. If participants were able to beat Brubaker at arm wrestling they were awarded free signed comic books. According to Brubaker, the writer wrestled 40-50 people and won most of the fights, losing only eight or nine times.
Although Sleeper was a success with critics and fans on the internet, the series underperformed commercially, and so it was canceled after its 12th issue, only to be relaunched in 2004 with the same creators as Sleeper: Season Two. Season Two also ended with its twelfth issue, the story apparently concluded.
Brubaker's other work for Wildstorm during this period was the third volume of The Authority. Brubaker first tackled the characters with artist Jim Lee on the one issue special Coup D’état: Sleeper which showed how a series of events led the Authority (a powerful team of super-humans) to take over the United States. Later that year and throughout 2005 Brubaker and artist Dustin Nguyen produced the 12 issue The Authority: Revolution which explored the ramifications of the team's actions.
In late 2004 Brubaker, no longer exclusive to DC, began to work for their main competitor Marvel Comics
. His first major work for the publisher was the fifth relaunch of the Captain America
series. Paired with artist Steve Epting
, Brubaker's Captain America
introduced new villains and resurrected the long dead character Bucky
as "The Winter Soldier". The series was a sales and critical success from its first issue.
In February 2005 Brubaker signed his first exclusive contract with Marvel, the deal allowing the writer to finish out his prior commitments for DC on Gotham Central and Sleeper. In an interview with Newsarama Brubaker attributed his shift of employer to the publishers' good treatment of him, the quality and high profile of the work Marvel was offering him and his lack of involvement in DC's "big plans" (DC's large intercompany crossover Infinite Crisis was in the final planning stages at the time). Brubaker's Marvel exclusive contract was extended and expanded in April 2006.
In early 2006 Brubaker wrote two limited series for Marvel; with artist Pablo Raimondi, he wrote Books of Doom, which retold and expanded on the origin of Doctor Doom; and with artist Trevor Hairsine, he wrote X-Men: Deadly Genesis, ret-conning information about the origins of the "All New, All-Different X-Men" who first debuted in 1975.
In addition, that year Brubaker started on Daredevil, having already planned his run with Brian. Once again teamed with artist Michael Lark, Brubaker followed Brian Michael Bendis' acclaimed stint on the title, exploring the ramifications of the characters imprisonment, which occurred at the close of Bendis' run.
He became the regular writer of Uncanny X-Men, working with artist Billy Tan and Clayton Henry, in July 2006.
A new creator-owned crime comic with Sean Phillips, Criminal, has been published by Marvel's Icon Comics imprint. It has generally received positive reviews . In 2007, Criminal won the Eisner Award for Best New Series for its first arc, "Coward." He and Phillips are now working on a new Icon series called Incognito, which Brubaker says is "about a completely amoral guy with super-powers forced to pretend he's a normal law-abiding citizen, because he's in Witness Protection, and how that shapes what he becomes. It's also a brutal noir twist on the super-hero/super-villain genre that delves more into their roots in the pulps, and it's going to be pretty over-the-top and action-packed.
Brubaker, together with Matt Fraction, co-wrote the new Iron Fist ongoing series, The Immortal Iron Fist, which started in November 2006 and quickly became of of Marvel's most popular books.
Recently, Brubaker has been pushed into the media spotlight for writing the Captain America issue involving the death of Steve Rogers. Brubaker has taken credit for conceiving the idea.
Brubaker first early comics work was primarily in the crime fiction
genre with works such as Lowlife
, The Fall
, Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives
and Scene of the Crime
. His initial super-hero comics work tended to incorporate some aspects of the crime genre - examples of this include Batman
(detective stories), Catwoman
(whose star is a cat burglar
) and Sleeper
(which featured a protagonist who goes undercover as a super-powered criminal).
This has continued with his work at Marvel Comics, such as Daredevil (the first issues of his run are largely set in a prison) and Criminal. However, he has also worked on more mainstream super-hero series for Marvel, such as Captain America (which features elements of the espionage genre of fiction), Iron Fist (pulp and kung fu) and Uncanny X-Men.
When working on licensed characters with extensive established histories at both Marvel and DC, Brubaker has consistently changed aspects of those characters' back-stories. Examples of this include the return of Holly in Catwoman, the return of Bucky in Captain America, and the introduction of the character Vulcan in X-Men: Deadly Genesis. Brubaker has defended himself against criticism of this aspect of his work by stating that the emergence of an unrevealed "secret from the past" is "one of the main tropes of all mystery and suspense fiction, as well as one of the oldest stories in the world - just look at Oedipus, for example".
Nominations and Awards
- 1993 Eisner Award nominee - Best Writer-Artist Team ("An Accidental Death")
- 1997 Ignatz Award nominee - Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection (At the Seams)
- 1999 Eisner Award nominee - Best Writer (Scene of the Crime) and Best Mini-Series (Scene of the Crime)
- 2007 Eisner Award nominee - Best Continuing Series (Daredevil with Michael Lark and Stefano Gaudiano, Captain America with Steve Epting)
- 9-11 - The World's Finest Comic Book Writers & Artists Tell Stories to Remember #2 ("Still Life"; DC Comics, 2002)
- At the Seams (Alternative Press, 1997)
- The Authority: Revolution # 1-12 (Wildstorm; December, 2004 - December, 2005)
- Batman #582-586, 591-607 (DC Comics; October, 2000 - November, 2002)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (DC Comics; Batman: Black and White back-up story "I'll Be Watching," July 2003)
- Batman: Gotham Noir (DC Comics; March 2001, ASIN B0006RN36U),
- Batman: The Man Who Laughs (DC Comics; February, 2005)
- Batman: Our Worlds At War #1 (DC Comics; August, 2001)
- Batman: Turning Points #2-3 (DC Comics; January, 2001)
- Books of Doom #1-6 (Marvel Comics; January - June, 2006)
- Captain America Vol.5 #1- (Marvel Comics; January, 2005 - present)
- Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 (Marvel Comics; May, 2006)
- Catwoman #1-37 (DC Comics; January, 2002 - January, 2005)
- Catwoman Secret Files and Origins #1 (DC Comics; November, 2002)
- Coup D’état: Sleeper #1 (Wildstorm; April, 2004)
- Criminal #1-10 (Marvel Comics; October, 2006 - November 2007 )
- Criminal 2 #1- (Marvel Comics; February, 2008- )
- Daredevil vol 2. #82- (Marvel Comics; April, 2006- )
- Dark Horse Presents #50, (Dark Horse Comics; "Burning Man", April, 1991)
- Dark Horse Presents #65-67 (Dark Horse Comics; "An Accidental Death", Sept - November, 1992)
- Dark Horse Presents #96-98 (Dark Horse Comics; "Here And Now", April - June 1995)
- Dark Horse Presents #100 (Dark Horse Comics; "Bird Dog", August, 1995)
- Dark Horse Presents #106 (Dark Horse Comics; "Godzilla's Day", February, 1996)
- Deadenders #1-16 (Vertigo; March 2000- June 2001)
- Detective Comics #758 (DC Comics; back-up story "History Lesson"; July, 2001)
- Detective Comics #759-762 (DC Comics; back-up story "Trail of the Catwoman part 1-4", August - November, 2001)
- Detective Comics #777-786 (DC Comics; February, 2003 - November, 2003)
- Detour #1 (Alternative Comics; 1997)
- The Fall (Drawn & Quarterly; 2001)
- Gangland #3 (Vertigo, DC Comics; "Small Time"; August, 1998)
- Gotham Central #1-6 (DC Comics; with Greg Rucka; February - May 2003)
- Gotham Central #11 (DC Comics; November, 2003)
- Gotham Central #12-15 (DC Comics; with Greg Rucka; December, 2003 - March, 2004)
- Gotham Central #16 (DC Comics; April, 2004)
- Gotham Central #19-22 (DC Comics; July - October, 2004)
- Gotham Central #26-27 (DC Comics; February, 2005)
- Gotham Central #33-36 (DC Comics; with Greg Rucka; September, 2003 - December, 2004)
- Hawkman #27 (DC Comics; June, 2004)
- The Immortal Iron Fist vol 2. #1-16 (Marvel Comics; November, 2006 - June 2008)
- Lowlife #1-4 (Caliber & Black Eye Books)
- Point Blank #1-5 (October, 2002 -February, 2003)
- Robin #86 (DC Comics; March, 2001)
- Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives #1-4 (Vertigo; August - November 2001)
- Scene of the Crime #1-4 (Vertigo; May - August, 1999)
- Sleeper #1-12 (Wildstorm; March, 2003 - March, 2004)
- Sleeper: Season Two #1-12 (Wildstorm; August, 2004 - July, 2005)
- SPX '97 Comic #1 (Small Press Expo; "Mysteries?", September, 1997)
- Tom Strong #29, 30 (America's Best Comics; December, 2004 - January, 2005)
- Uncanny X-Men #475- (Marvel Comics; September, 2006 - present)
- Vertigo Visions: Prez, Smells Like Teen President (Vertigo, 1995)
- Vertigo: Winter's Edge #2 (Vertigo; "God and Sinners", January, 1999)
- Vertigo: Winter's Edge #3 (Vertigo; "The Morning After", January, 2000)
- What if Aunt May Had Died instead of Uncle Ben? #1 (Marvel Comics; February, 2005)
- Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 (Marvel Comics; December, 2006)
- X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6 (Marvel Comics; January - June, 2006)
- A Complete Lowlife (Top Shelf, ISBN 1-891830-20-1)
- Portable lowlife (excerpts from Lowlife #1-4, Aeon, ISBN B0006P51BW)
- An Accidental Death (collects "An Accidental Death" from Dark Horse Presents #65-67, Fantagraphics 1993)
- The Authority: Revolution Book One (collects The Authority: Revolution #1-6, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0623-9)
- The Authority: Revolution Book Two (collects The Authority: Revolution #7-12, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0947-5)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Vol. 1 (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #1-7, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-1651-6)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Vol. 2 (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #8-9 & 11-14, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-1921-3)
- Captain America: Red Menace, Vol. 1 (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #15-17 and Captain America 65th Anniversary Special, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2321-0)
- Captain America: Red Menace, Vol. 2 (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #18-21, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2225-7)
- Captain America: Civil War (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #22-24 and Winter Soldier: Winter Kills, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2798-4)
- Captain America: The Death of Captain America, Vol. 1 (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #25-30, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2849-2)
- Captain America: The Death of Captain America, Vol. 2, The Burden of Dreams (collects Captain America (Vol. 5) #31-36, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2424-5)
- Captain America by Ed Brubaker Omnibus Vol. 1 (Collects Captain America Vol.5 #1-25, Captain America 65th Anniversary Special and Winter Soldier: Winter Kills; Marvel; ISBN 0-7851-2866-2)
- Catwoman: The Dark End of the Street (collects "Trail of the Catwoman" from Detective Comics #759-762 and Catwoman Vol. 4 #1-4, DC Comics, ISBN 1-56389-908-6)
- Catwoman: Crooked Little Town (collects Catwoman Vol. 4 #5-10 and material from Catwoman Secret Files and Origins #1, DC Comics, ISBN 1-4012-0008-7)
- Catwoman: Relentless (collects Catwoman Vol. 4 #12-19 and material from Catwoman Secret Files and Origins #1,DC Comics, ISBN 1-4012-0218-7)
- Catwoman: Wild Ride (collects Catwoman Vol. 4 #20-24, DC Comics, ISBN 1-4012-0436-8)
- Daredevil: The Devil Inside and Out, Vol. 1 (collects Daredevil (Vol. 2) #82-87, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-1988-3)
- Daredevil: The Devil Inside and Out, Vol. 2 (collects Daredevil (Vol. 2) #88-93, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2241-8)
- Daredevil: Hell to Pay, Vol. 1 (collects Daredevil (Vol. 2) #94-99, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2484-9)
- Daredevil: Hell to Pay, Vol. 2 (collects Daredevil (Vol. 2) #100-105, Annual #1, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2815-1)
- Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual (collects Daredevil (Vol. 2) #106-110, Marvel Comics, ISBN 0-7851-2889-2)
- Deadenders: Stealing the Sun (collects Deadenders #1-4, Vertigo, ISBN 1-56389-706-7)
- Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty (collects Gotham Central #1-6, DC Comics, ISBN 1-4012-0199-7)
- Scene of the Crime: A Little Piece of Goodnight (collects Scene of the Crime #1-4, Vertigo, ISBN 1-56389-670-2)
- Point Blank (collects Point Blank #1-6, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0116-4)
- Sleeper: Out in the Cold (collects Sleeper #1-6, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0115-6)
- Sleeper: All False Moves (collects Sleeper #7-12, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0288-8)
- Sleeper: A Crooked Line (collects Sleeper: Season Two #1-6, 2005, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0618-2)
- Sleeper: The Long Way Home (collects Sleeper: Season Two #7-12, Wildstorm, ISBN 1-4012-0627-1)
- Criminal Vol.1: Coward (collects Criminal #1-5, Marvel Icon, ISBN 1-8457-6610-5)
- Criminal Vol.2: Lawless (collects Criminal #6-10, Marvel Icon, ISBN 978-0785128168)
- Criminal Vol.3: The Dead and the Dying (collects "Criminal (Vol. 2) #1-3, Marvel Icon, ISBN 0785132279)