Following in the footsteps of Marcos Martin, who left Marvel's Daredevil to focus on creator-owned work, Paolo Rivera is leaving the title for similar reasons. Rivera's last issue was #10.
"So why am I leaving? The short answer: ownership," Rivera said on his blog. "With the exception of just a few published pieces of art (which belong to other companies), Marvel owns the copyrights to my entire professional portfolio. And why shouldn't they? I was, of course, compensated fairly for it, and for that I’m grateful — but the sum total of that work is not enough to support me in the distant future. My page rate is essentially the same as when I started at 21, so I've decided to invest in myself. What I create in the next decade needs to pay dividends when my vision gets blurry and my hands start to shake (and who knows what else). Now is the time to make that choice, while I’m still young, possess 'great power,' but have few responsibilities."
This doesn't mean the end of his relationship withe Marvel, however. "...I’m not done with Marvel by any means. They've been nothing but supportive throughout my decision, as has been the case throughout my career. I will continue to do covers for them and occasional projects as I see fit, just not exclusively." It's a very classy exit post from a classy guy, so be sure to head over to his blog to read the whole thing. He also teased a secret project he's got in the works on Twitter.
Daredevil, written by Mark Waid, is arguably Marvel's most critically acclaimed title right now; in fact, the word "arguably" in that statement is probably the most arguable part of it. It was certainly a favorite in Robot 6's year-end round-up of our favorite titles, and it topped Comic Book Resources' top comics of 2011. Chris Samnee, who joined the title recently on rotating arcs with Rivera, is taking over as the artist of the title full time.