The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's premiere has Winter Soldier co-creator, Ed Brubaker, feeling mixed emotions about the new Disney+ series. In a lengthy post to his blog/newsletter, Brubaker spoke up about why the arrival of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - and the expanding character arc for actor Sebastian Stan - doesn't make him happy, exactly. You can read the blog post below, but the long-short of it is that Ed Brubaker feels that he and his creative collaborator Steve Epting aren't getting their proper due, even as Sebastian Stan's live-action version of The Winter Soldier is getting more and more popular, worldwide.
Admittedly, the sentiment that Ed Brubaker expresses in the post below is one that more and more Marvel Comics creators have been echoing, to some degree. Whether it's Jim Starlin (Thanos), Kelly Thompson (Captain Marvel, Hawkeye's Kate Bishop, Jessica Jones) or Brubaker and Epting (Winter Soldier), a lot of creators have had to see characters and/or story arcs they made famous turned into million (if not billion) dollar content. And like the Marvel Comics writers and artists of old, they don't get more money, as these characters and properties become global icons. It's a double-edged debate, as clearly contracts about usage and copyright are now standard in the industry - even if Marvel Studios does in fact keep going back to the same creator's character arcs and storylines to help fuel Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV series.
"And of course, today the FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER show debuts on Disney+, which I sadly have very mixed feelings about. I'm really happy for Sebastian Stan, who I think is both a great guy and the perfect Bucky/Winter Soldier, and I'm glad to see him getting more screen time finally. Also, Anthony Mackie is amazing as the Falcon, and everyone at Marvel Studios that I've ever met (all the way up to Kevin Feige) have been nothing but kind to me… but at the same time, for the most part all Steve Epting and I have gotten for creating the Winter Soldier and his storyline is a "thanks" here or there, and over the years that's become harder and harder to live with. I've even seen higher-ups on the publishing side try to take credit for my work a few times, which was pretty galling (to be clear, I'm NOT talking about Tom Breevort, who was a great editor and really helpful).
So yeah, mixed feeling, and maybe it'll always be like that (but I sure hope not). Work-for-hire work is what it is, and I'm honestly thrilled to have co-created something that's become such a big part of pop culture – or even pop subculture with all the Bucky-Steve slash fiction – and that run on Cap was one of the happiest times of my career, certainly while doing superhero comics. Also, I have a great life as a writer and much of it is because of Cap and the Winter Soldier bringing so many readers to my other work. But I also can't deny feeling a bit sick to my stomach sometimes when my inbox fills up with people wanting comments on the show.
So… I'm sure I'll watch it, and you should too if you're a Marvel movie universe fan, but I'll probably be waiting a while to check it out myself. So please don't email me any spoilers, I guess, but go give Sebastian Stan lots of love wherever he is online.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+.