Winter Soldier creator bummed? Let’s go back a step. At one point there was no Winter Soldier in the Marvel Comics. Like all the MCU stars we see today Winter Soldier was created, in this instance Ed Brubaker was one of the co-creators of the character. Brubaker recently appeared on Kevin Smith’s Fatman Beyond Show, and he talked a little about what it’s like to create something, see it everywhere, and not get paid for it.
“As the years went on, I started to just think well, why am I not getting anything for this really? Like how can we really get a thanks to or a credit, but like these movies are making billions and billions of dollars, and it feels like we just kind of got a bad deal. And I remember sitting there during the third movie, and knowing how much they—like I had actually turned down this tiny little thank you check, because I was like ‘this is in insult.”
“I write these things and I was watching that movie [Captain America: Civil War], and…a plot line that I wrote for a year in my comic book, about Bucky training all these other Winter Soldiers, It was like their B-Plot. A lot of the emotional architecture of the movie was like stuff that would not exist had I not written these comics. It’s ridiculous that like being a co-creator of The Winter Soldier…I should not have to be worried about providing for my wife if I die. Like right now, I don’t live a high life…I do well…it started to feel like this kind of hurts a little bit. To be overlooked this way. I know that they’ve made deals with other people that have had less input on what they do. And I just kind of felt like, it just sucks.”
“Like I remember sitting in that movie and just feeling this little Jack Kirby cancer thing—or like ulcer thing like growing in my stomach, of just being like this is what it felt like. Except a hundred times worse for me…it’s hard for me on like a personal level, it actually hurts my feelings a bit…like some press, fans…everybody wanted me to talk about the show [The Falcon and the Winter Soldier]. ‘Aren’t you excited about the show?’ And I’m like I think I might be the only person in America not excited about this show. When I see the ads for the show, it actually makes me feel kind of sick to my stomach.”
“As a company, why would you want that to be how the creators feel. Like wouldn’t you want the creator [happy]?…When I work with people, I try to give them the best deal possible, and if something ends up being a bigger thing, I’ll try to actually adjust their deal so that they take part in that too. Because it’s like I want everybody I work with to feel like they got a really good deal. And that they were treated well. And it’s like, there’s nothing preventing anyone at Marvel from looking at how much the Winter Soldier has been used in all this stuff, and calling up me and Steve Epping and saying ‘you know what, we’re gonna try and adjust you know the standard things, so that you guys are actually…feel good about this.’”
“I like Kevin, I like the guys who write those Captain America movies. I love the Russo Brothers. They’ve been nothing but great to me, all the Marvel Studios people…James Gunn has had me around to like, to see early cuts of his movies. I love James. All of these people have treated me so great…but at the end of the day, I’m like, you know, don’t do me favors. I’m a professional writer, I wrote this stuff, I work in Hollywood…I’ve worked in TV, I’ve worked in film.”
Is Brubaker Right?
I get it, it must feel awful to have created something that so many people love and to be getting paid buttons , whilst that property makes Billions. This is capitalism folks. Every day there are people who make products which they do not own, they get paid a wage, and the company reaps the rewards to their skill. This is the way the world works and so far I’ve not heard a better system that actually works.
I’ve almost been there myself, back in the day I almost got a TV show to film. I created it, I wrote the first two scripts, and I was told how much money I would make if they released it. I was also quite clearly told that they would own this idea and not me. If the company I was working with had decided to change the ending, like they changed the name of the show to something I hated, I’d have been annoyed. However, I also knew where I stood. In the end it wasn’t filmed. Even then, I was told I could not sell the idea to anyone else for two years. It just sucks.
Brubaker was working for Marvel at the time he created Winter Soldier and getting paid. Sadly that means that Marvel, not Brubaker own his creation and stories. Marvel as we know, is owned by Disney. Disney like money, they do not like having to pay the MCU’s creators anymore than they have to. I do sympathize creatively with Brubaker. Though, business wise, I also have trouble blaming Disney for this.
What do you think of Winter Soldier creator bummed out by the success of his creation? Where do you stand on this argument? Leave your thoughts below.