Next SFF Author: John Brunner
Previous SFF Author: Pierce Brown

SFF Author: Ed Brubaker

(1966- )
Ed Brubaker is an Eisner Award-winning comic book writer and cartoonist. Brubaker’s 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. He later became known for writing superhero comics such as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Catwoman, Uncanny X-Men, and The Authority.
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Batman: The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker

Batman: The Man Who Laughs (2005) #1 by Ed Brubaker

Ed Brubaker is one of the best writers in comics overall, and he is unquestionably the best writer of noir comics. Batman: The Man Who Laughs is a re-imagining of what Batman’s first encounter with the Joker might have been like. In the story, the Joker makes his presence known and tells Gotham that he will kill one-by-one prominent Gothamites. He even names the specific day and time of each death. After the first wealthy target — surrounded by police and watched covertly by Batman — dies precisely on time,


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Criminal (Volume 1): Coward: Noir comics at their best

Criminal (Vol 1) by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

In Ed Brubaker’s Criminal (vol 1): Coward, we get noir comics at their best. Until I first read the Criminal series about ten years ago now, I was still not persuaded that comics could be a great form of art. But once I read this series, I was convinced I should read more: I thought, if comics can be this good, then there must be many more out there like this one. And so my passion for comics began with the story of Leo,


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Criminal (vol. 2): Lawless: Should not be missed

Criminal (vol. 2): Lawless by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

In Criminal (vol. 2): Lawless, Ed Brubaker tells a noir story of family loyalty. One brother — a criminal — dies and the other seeks justice, doing what he can to be an avenging angel on the wrong side of the law. When we meet Tracy Lawless, he’s been in the military, and for some unexplained reason, he’s been thrown in the hole for eighteen months (we do get the explanation later in the book). When he gets out,


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Criminal (Vol. 3): The Dead and The Dying: Does not disappoint

Criminal (Vol. 3): The Dead and The Dying Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

The Dead and The Dying, the third volume in the Criminal series by Ed Brubaker, continues the noir tales that began in volume one. In this series, we get the background on a few characters we’ve already met in the previous two volumes, and we are reminded that in the world of noir, the meaner you are, the more likely you are to end up on top,


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Criminal (Vol. 4): Bad Night: The twists and turns in plot are some of Brubaker’s best

Criminal (Vol. 4): Bad Night Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Jacob Kurtz is the focus of Bad Night, the fourth volume of Ed Brubaker’s wonderfully disturbing noir series Criminal. His job is writing the newspaper comic strip that shows up in Criminal (vol. 1): Coward. The comic, based on Dick Tracy, is entitled Frank Kafka, Private Eye, and it’s as puzzling as the stories written by Franz Kafka, after whom he’s named. Frank is put on cases that go nowhere with leads that could never result in understandable clues.


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Criminal (Vol. 5): The Sinners: Will have you feeling conflicted

Criminal (Vol. 5): The Sinners by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Tracy Lawless, whom we met in Criminal (vol. 2): Lawless, returns in The Sinners, volume five of Criminal. In this volume, he’s working for Sebastian Hyde, the man behind most of the organized crime in the city. He doesn’t want to work for Hyde, but he’s given his word (due to reasons explained in volume two), and Tracy always keeps his word — which keeps getting him into trouble.


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Criminal (Vol. 6): The Last of the Innocent: Don’t miss this

Criminal (Vol. 6): The Last of the Innocent Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

The Last of the Innocent is volume six in the Criminal series by Ed Brubaker, and it tells the sordid tale of Riley Richards, another perfect noir character from this series of comics. What makes this an unusual noir tale is that the story, which takes place in 1982, is blended with flashbacks from the late 1960s that are told as if the characters are from the Archie comics. Even the style of the art changes to an Archie-style imitation,


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Captain America Vol. 5: “The Winter Soldier”

Captain America, Vol 5.: “The Winter Soldier” (Issue 1-14) by Ed Brubaker

There has been a long-standing rule for writers of Captain America: his sidekick Bucky must stay dead because his death is central to understanding the character of Captain America in the present. The basic story is that Captain America takes a teenaged Bucky under his wing in his fight against Nazis in World War II. In an explosion that nearly kills Captain America, Bucky Barnes dies. When Captain America is found years later preserved in the ice and is brought back to life,


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Fatale (Vol. 1): Death Chases Me: A must-read for fans of noir or Lovecraft

Fatale (Vol. 1): Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Death Chases Me is the first of five volumes in the Fatale series by Ed Brubaker and his frequent collaborator Sean Phillips. In the prologue to this story, Nicolas Lash is attending the funeral of his Godfather, Dominic Raines. Dominic was known as a hack writer of detective novels, but still, when Nicolas, as executor of the Raines estate, returns to Dominic’s home and finds the manuscript of Dominic’s unpublished first novel,


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The Devil’s Business: Another excellent Brubaker and Phillips collaboration

Fatale (Vol 2): The Devil’s Business Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

 The Devil’s Business, Book Two of Fatale, continues Ed Brubaker’s noir thriller within a Lovecraftian universe. Josephine, our femme fatale, has been in hiding for about five years since she has gotten rid of Hank from Book One, Death Chases Me. The year is now 1978, and Miles, an out of work B-movie actor, is looking for his friend Suzy Scream. When he finds her in the basement of a party hosted by a religious cult,


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West of Hell: You can’t look away

Fatale (Vol 3): West of Hell by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

In West of Hell, Book Three of Fatale, Brubaker adds depth to the character of his femme fatale, Josephine. He also adds more mystery because we meet two women who look like Jo, but do not go by that name. These two women show up in the four interlinked stories that make up West of Hell. The first story is set in the Great Depression,


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Fatale (Vol. 4): Pray for Rain: You will want to pick up Book Five

Pray for Rain by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Pray for Rain is Book Four in the Fatale series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. And the noir-Lovecraftian story continues in unexpected ways. First, we find out what’s going on with Nicolas. And then, we get the story of Jo and a grunge band in Seattle in the 1990s. But of course, there are other characters in play: A strange man named Wulf is seeking her out, and Bishop, the cult leader, is still tracing her scent.


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Fatale (Vol. 5): Curse the Demon: A fitting close to the Fatale series

Fatale (Vol. 5): Curse the Demon by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

In the fifth and final book of Fatale Curse the Demon — Ed Brubaker returns us to Nicolas Lash’s story throughout most of the book. The year is 2014, and Jo, our femme fatale, has decided to fight back, and with Bishop, or Sommerset, on her trail, it doesn’t take much to lure him in. The question is who is luring whom, because from Sommerset’s perspective, he’s the one reeling Jo in so that they’ll meet in a grand finale.


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My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies: A noir coming-of-age story

My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies: A Criminal Novella by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Jacob Phillips (colorist).

My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies: A Criminal Novella is another Ed Brubaker-Sean Phillips work of perfection. It’s another tale of danger and the criminal world.  The story and the art are each five-star outings, the storytelling melding well with the visuals. Simply put, this noir story has matching noir-ish artwork, but if you’re familiar with Phillips’s work in previous Criminal titles, you’ll be surprised by the light pinks and purples and light blues used this time,


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Friday, Book One: The First Day of Christmas: Encyclopedia Brown grows up

Friday, Book One: The First Day of Christmas by Ed Brubaker (author), Marcos Martin (artist), and Muntsa Vicente (colorist)

Ed Brubaker’s Friday is what he calls a post-YA book. It tells the story of eighteen-year-old Friday, who was once a kid detective with her friend, the young genius Lance. Friday was the Watson to Lance’s Sherlock Holmes. In the present of the story, Friday has just returned from her first semester at college, and she is apprehensive about seeing Lance for the first time since their disastrous meeting the night before she left for college.


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Night Fever: We are our own worst enemies

Night Fever: We are our own worst enemies

Brubaker and Phillips have done it again in their latest offering: They have given us another noir comic that is as stunning visually as it is engaging narratively. In Night Fever, Jonathan Webb, a businessman in Europe, cannot sleep, and his insomnia leads him to venture out into the night. This journey into the darkness is both literal and figurative, of course, and his drug- and alcohol-fueled adventures take a dangerous turn as he starts finding out that not everyone he meets after the sun goes down has his best interests in mind.


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Where the Body Was: A re-readable murder mystery about the passing of time

Where the Body Was by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Jacob Phillips (colorist)

Ed Brubaker’s new graphic novel Where the Body Was with Sean Phillips is another excellent work of crime fiction. These two creators, with Jacob Phillips on colors, turn out the most amazing stories, and this one is no exception. Where the Body Was is a little different from some of the more noir books that they have put out over the years. This graphic novel is ostensibly about a body that is found by a young girl as she skates around the neighborhood.


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Next SFF Author: John Brunner
Previous SFF Author: Pierce Brown

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