Disney+ reported earlier this week the pilot episode of the new Marvel Cinematic Universe series “The Falcon and the Winter Solider” became the streamer’s most-watched premiere episode (a claim made without external verification), earning more views than the launches of “WandaVision” and “The Mandalorian.” But one person who did not watch “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is Ed Brubaker, the writer who co-created the Winter Soldier in 2005 along with artist Steve Epting. In a recent edition of his personal newsletter (via Screen Crush), Brubaker, who also previously served on the writing staff of HBO’s “Westworld,” shared “mixed feelings” over the debut of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
While Brubaker praised Winter Solider actor Sebastian Stan (“he’s both a great guy and the perfect Bucky/Winter Soldier, and I’m glad to see him getting more screen time finally”), he noted, “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.”
Brubaker suggested his inability to watch “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” comes from not getting paid for his part in creating the Winter Soldier since he did so as a worker-for-hire under Marvel Comics. Marvel owns the character, not Brubaker, and thus Marvel doesn’t have to pay the writer for using the character in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” or any Marvel Cinematic Universe property.
“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,” Brubaker wrote. “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.”
Brubaker concluded, “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.”
The writer’s last TV project was co-creating “Too Old to Die Young” with Nicolas Winding Refn for Amazon. New episodes of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” debut Fridays on Disney+ over the next five weeks.