Ed Brubaker is best known as a writer of comic books, often in the crime genre. He began his career writing and drawing in the alternative and independent scene. He produced 'Pajama Chronicles' for Blackthorne Comics, 'Purgatory USA' for Slave Labor Graphics and his partially autobiographical series 'Lowlife', which was serialized by Slave Labor and Caliber Comics. He received an Ignatz Award nomination for his 1997 comic 'At the Seams', which was issued by Alternative Comics, the publisher for which he also made one issue of 'Detour'. Throughout the 1990s he contributed to the Dark Horse Presents anthologies, writing among others the graphic novels 'An Accidental Death' (art by Eric Shanower) and 'The Fall' (art by Jason Lutes).
From the mid 1990s Brubaker was also working in the mainstream field, starting with the political satire 'Vertigo Visions: Prez, Smells Like Teen President' for DC's Vertigo imprint, with art by Shanower. He then began a fruitful collaboration with artists Michael Lark and Sean Phillips, starting with the 1999 limited series 'Scenes of the Crime'. Further DC and Vertigo credits include writing various 'Batman' series ('Gotham Knights', 'Gotham Noir', 'Turning Points'), as well as 'Deadenders' (art Warren Pleece), 'Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives' (art Bryan Talbot) and 'Gotham Central' (together with Greg Rucka, art Lark).
Starting in 2002, he was present at DC's Wildstorm imprint with 'Point Blank' (art by Colin Wilson), 'Sleeper' (art Sean Phillips) and 'The Authority' (art Jim Lee and later Dustin Nguyen). Additionally working for Marvel from 2004, Brubaker has worked on 'Captain America' (art Steve Epting), 'Books of Doom' (art Pablo Raimondi), 'X-Men: Deadly Genesis' (art Trevor Hairsine), 'Uncanny X-Men' (art Billy Tan, Clayton Henry), 'Daredevil' (art Michael Lark) and 'Immortal Iron Fist' (with Matt Fraction, art David Aja). With Sean Phillips he launched the creator-owned crime series 'Criminal' under Marvel's Icon Comics imprint.