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The New 52 Interviews: Deathstroke

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To celebrate the relaunch of the DC Universe with 52 brand new #1 issues, IGN is doing an interview series with the creative teams behind this historic comics event. For the month of September, IGN Comics is your place to go behind the inner workings of these new books and find out what to expect from the new DCU. 

We talked with hot new writer Kyle Higgins about his work on the new Deathstroke series with artist Joe Bennett.  
 
IGN Comics: What motivates Deathstroke in this series? Is he a mercenary still, or does he have deeper goals? 

Kyle Higgins:
 He's definitely still a mercenary and he very much enjoys what he does. If you think about it, there are very few people in life that get to do what they love AND be the absolute best at it. Working the impossible missions, killing people for money... it's Slade's true calling. And in a lot of ways, it's inspiring that he "goes after it" as relentlessly as he does [laughs]. 

As for having "deeper goals" in the series, yes—there's an element of that, too. But again, his motivation isn't for any sort of "greater good" idea—everything Slade does is for himself. At the same time, the reason he does what he does the WAY he does it is very specific, and very much indicative of his greater goal. To Slade, there's nothing more important than his reputation and his legacy. "Friends die, family disappoints, but a legacy... that's forever." So, with that in mind, what happens when the perception of Slade within the DCU isn't what it once was? That's kind of where we kick things off.  
 
IGN: Is there a challenge in making a villainous character like Deathstroke seem sympathetic to the reader? Would you even consider him a villain in this series? 

Higgins:
 Oh, he's VERY much a villain in this series. Now, does he ONLY go after good guys? No -- of course not. The reality of the business is that if you're getting paid to kill someone, or work the types of jobs that Slade works, there's probably a good chance that your targets aren't squeaky clean. 

As for the sympathy angle... it's an interesting question. I'm not looking to make Slade sympathetic as much as I'm looking to make him understood. If there's a solid understanding for WHY a main character is doing what he's doing, and what it means to him/her, an audience will find things to identify with and relate to... even in the worst people. Now, I suppose that can be viewed as having "sympathy" for a character, though to me it's more empathy than anything. 

IGN: Deathstroke's look has changed a fair bit for the relaunch. Are there any new abilities that come with this new armor? 

Higgins:
 Not really, other than the obvious benefits that armor provides. As you'll see in the first couple issues, the missions he's going on are a bit more "aggressive" than those of the past. At this point in his life, Slade prefers "kicking down the front door" when he can, so to speak.  
 
IGN: Will Deathstroke's family members come into play in this book? 

Higgins:
 I'll never say never, but right now this is Slade on his own.

IGN: Will we see Deathstroke interacting with the new squad of Teen Titans? 

Higgins:
 Nope—not anytime soon. 

IGN: One of Slade's more defining moments in recent years was the battle where he nearly defeated the entire Justice League single-handedly. Can we expect action sequences on that level here? 

Higgins:
 Yes—definitely. I know some people don't like that sequence in Identity Crisis, but I love it—it's one of the seminal Deahstroke moments as far as I'm concerned. 

As for this book, I love writing sequences where you think a character is doing something for one reason, only to invert it and reveal that everything we've just watched him do was in order to achieve something else. Slade is a strategist—he's two, sometimes three steps ahead in a fight. And the fact that I'm writing this book with no voice over makes for these types of sequences a lot of fun. 

IGN: Deathstroke's Flashpoint series offered a fun pirate-influenced take on the character. Did that series influence the development of this book in any way? 

Higgins:
 It was a really cool series—one of my favorites of the Flashpoint minis. So as far as tone and feel go, yes—there was an influence. But in terms of content and story direction, no... Deathstroke won't be captaining a ship. Well, not in issue #1 anyway [laughs].  
 
IGN: This series is part of DC's "The Edge" branding. How much extra freedom does that allow as far as portraying violence and other mature content? 

Higgins:
 You know, I didn't think it did at ALL... until I saw the colors for issue #2. Holy God... I'll say this—if you hate cool, over the top violence, then this book definitely isn't for you [laughs]. 

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4 Persuasive Arguments For Why TDKR Set Photos are a Conspiracy

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Since ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ began filming, we’ve seen photos and footage of every single outdoor shoot. We’ve seen Tom Hardy in costume as Bane, we’ve seen him fight Batman, we’ve seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Batmobile.

More than one fan has wondered about the shocking lack of security on the set, especially since director Christopher Nolan is famous for cloaking every aspect of his films in a shroud of secrecy.

If he’s really intent on keeping his plots under lock and key, why on Earth is he filming outdoors, knowing full well those scenes will be on the Internet within seconds? Could it be a huge campaign of misdirection? Is it possible that none of those scenes will even be in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’? 

Four Persuasive Arguments for the Conspiracy Theory:

  1. Nolan’s level of secrecy makes those ‘Lost’ guys look like blabbermouths. No one gets into Nolan’s locked production office without an escort. “It’s very, very tight security,” Gary Oldman explained to Absolute Radio. Scripts don’t leave his office, and the movie’s ending exists only in Nolan’s mind, Tom Hardy told Dazed and Confused magazine. He personally tells the ending to each actor, Oldman said, to avoid any Internet leaks.
  2.  But he also keeps his actors in the dark: “Chris Nolan doesn’t tell you anything,” Hardy said in a recent interview. “So I don’t know what I’m doing or who I’m playing until the morning that I’m working.” Obviously, he knows that he’s playing Bane because he had to get ridiculously pumped-up to play the villain, but other than that, “everything is subject to change,” the actor says.
  3.  Nolan and his team are famous for spreading misinformation and they’ve really stepped it up for the third Batman film. A source in Nolan’s camp confirmed to Varietythat Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be playing Alberto Falcone (aka “the Holiday Killer”) and the magazine ran with the story. The truth (well, as we know it today), is that Gordon-Levitt will be playing a cop named John Blake. A Nolan source also reportedlyleaked a fake script as an April Fool’s joke.
  4.  In commenting on the numerous photos from the set, Anne Hathaway expressed some disappointment and frustration, but then she added, “I also think that [Nolan]’s having fun with it, kind of like spooning out secrets. He has a lot more control than you think.”
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The X-Perts: Psylocke

X-MEN: SCHISM has kicked off a startling metamorphosis in the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe that will split the Children of the Atom and lead to Regenesis in the fall along with two new ongoing series, each featuring its own distinctive team: UNCANNY X-MEN and WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN. 

With change in the air, here on Marvel.com we’ll be regularly gathering the creators and editors responsible for guiding the X-Men’s destiny to dissect each of their charges to examine what makes them tick and perhaps lend some insight into where they will find themselves once the Schism ends and the Regenesis gets underway.

This week, we look at Psylocke, a woman with a complex past and variety of relationships as well as membership in both the X-Men and secret X-Force team. Where’s her head at and where does her loyalty lie? 

How would you describe the core of who Psylocke is and what is most important to her?

Rick Remender (writer of UNCANNY X-FORCE): Betsy is, I think, somebody who [has] had a pretty spectacular life. [Her parents] were high level scientists. Her brother Jamie is a serial killing reality bender and her brother Brian is the shining hero Captain Britain. I think looking at her past, and then looking at who she is now, you see [a] character arc that goes from a child of affluence to somebody who’s had to make decisions to stick with her adopted family, the X-Men, at all costs. I think if you look at her character now and what she’s been through you can see the price all over her: She’s been killed, she’s had to change bodies, she’s now sacrificed all her former philosophies on killing and taking life to be a pragmatist and that sort of defines her I think from a nice English girl, who was supposed to become Lady Britain at one point, to becoming a shadowy ninja who’s working on an assassin squad.

Nick Lowe (X-Men Senior Editor): Betsy was a spy/fashion model for a long time, which is awesome. She has always seemed to me to be a carpe diem sort. Sure, she—like a lot of the X-Men—is driven by duty and responsibility, but she enjoys herself in the process.

Jody LeHeup (editor of UNCANNY X-FORCE): Betsy is a romantic. Deep down she is a passionate and caring person who values integrity and perseverance. I’d say that living up to the expectations of the ones she loves is very important to her, not letting them down.

 

 What is Psylocke’s view of how the mutant race should conduct itself moving forward? How does this contrast or conflict with others?

Jody LeHeup: Betsy has an opinion but tends to leave those questions to the leaders she’s put her faith in. I think personally she’s very concerned with the endangerment of mutantkind, so much so that she’s driven to join an extreme response team like X-Force, but I think she’s wary of living too much by the sword.

Nick Lowe: I don’t think that Betsy gets too much into this sort of thing. She has an opinion, of course, but her duty to her species is what really matters to her. She lets others tackle the bigger philosophical questions and busts heads and enjoys life.

Rick Remender: Well I think the debate in her mind is if there’s any room for Xavier’s dream anymore. If there’s any possibility for cohabitation; the fact that there [are] so few mutants left really changes the parameters of all these sorts of things. I think that Betsy has become a bit of a pragmatist and though it goes against a lot of her philosophical upbringing, she’s made her mind up to protect what’s left of the mutant species at any cost. In her mind, Utopia is probably the best option they have in order to keep themselves protected and to stay together in a clan and huddle basically given that genetically speaking they’ll eventually be wiped out.

 

 What toll have the radical changes in Psylocke’s body and mind over the years taken on her psyche?

Nick Lowe: I think they’ve demonstrated to her just how fragile life is and showed her how valuable it is.

Rick Remender: It’s become shattered I would imagine, so when I write her I try to think of somebody whose core has been broken into pieces and put back to together, and like a vase that’s been shattered and glued back together, it doesn’t entirely hold water. I think that’s the root cause of a lot [of] her turmoil and maybe some of the self-doubt we’ve seen with her lately in that she’s not quite sure if she’s herself or if she’s someone else. She’s got so many different pieces of other people that she’s picked up along the way, having housed The Shadow King in her mind and the body swapping and the x, y, and z’s of her story. I like the idea that there’s a core Betsy in there who’s always struggling to keep it together and find a way to salvage what’s left of what she considerers to be her core self.

Jody LeHeup: I think she’s weathered it remarkably well all things considered. She’s a very strong person and isn’t going to let little things like having her mind and body switched around like musical chairs slow her down. She’s who she is now and that’s all that matters.

Kieron Gillen (writer of UNCANNY X-MEN): I admit, as someone who's barely touched Psylocke, this is the part of the character which most interests me as a writer. The nature of identity and how it can be chewed up, re-created and generally made fluid fascinates me, and runs through a load of my writing, from my small press stuff no-one will—or should—have read to most of the cast of Phonogram to Kenji in GENERATION HOPE.

What I find most interesting about Psylocke is that she's come to terms with the fact. Normally, when we look at pop-culture, we've got characters panicked about who the real “you” is, trying to find some core “them.” Psylocke can't get stuck in such naval gazing. It'd drive her mad. Psylocke appears to believe the real you is simply who she is right now, and treats the bunch of thoughts and feelings in her head as fundamentally authentic—which is a sane response to her fairly insane situation.

In passing, it's one of the things that also interests me about Magik, but that's a different column.


How far away is the Psylocke of today from the Betsy Braddock who first joined the X-Men in terms of her values?

Kieron Gillen: To be blunt: English Rose Betsy Braddock wouldn't stab a dude in the head with a Walzashi.

Jody LeHeup: Pretty far. As a member of the X-Men she’s had to confront a great deal, both physically and mentally, and those experiences definitely change you. However I don’t know that her core values have changed so much as her understanding of the world, how it works and how best to maintain and implement those values in a complicated world. I think she’s more realistic about how she tries to affect change.

Nick Lowe: By that time she had already been messed with a lot. I mean, have you read those early Captain Britain-era stories? She was pretty full-formed before she joined the X-Men and the whole body-switch and what she’s been through have just reinforced all that.

Rick Remender: I think the character arc is pretty clear. She’s quite different. She’s become much darker and much rougher around the edges. I think that’s what’s interesting about the character: now that she’s gone and taken this arc, it’s to explore the other side of her that’s still in there and how the person who she was feels about the person she’s become. The character arc has been fairly extreme to go from who she was to who she currently is if you look at it like a point-A to point-Z and how many years it took to get there. I’m spending a lot of time writing about this in [UNCANNY X-FORCE] in an upcoming arc where the person Betsy was has to come to terms with the person she is and has to make a decision on if she’s going to continue or not.


Does Psylocke like being a member of X-Force? Why does she remain with that group? Why does she remain with the X-Men, for that matter?

Jody LeHeup: No member of the team likes being a member of X-Force. She remains with the group—and all the members for that matter—because in their mind, it’s a job that must be done and her unique abilities make her especially good at it. She believes that she is taking the burden of the wet work on herself in order to keep other X-Men from having to do it and at the same time ridding the world of those who present a clear and present danger to the survival of her now endangered species. She remains with the X-Men because there is still plenty of work to do that doesn’t involve killing.

Nick Lowe: She doesn’t like what they have to do, but she knows that somebody has to do it. She sees the importance of what they do and it speaks a lot louder than the moral conundrums that come along with it.

Rick Remender: These are questions that she’s always asking herself and I think they’re important. She definitely sees value in it and she sees value in helping to protect the remaining mutants. For me on some level, if you look at Betsy, if you look at her story going back when she joined the X-Men, she stuck with them through some craziness and they’ve become her family. So the question really is are the X-Men her family and is what she’s doing a necessary evil to protect her family, or is her family with Brian and Meggan? We’ll be answering those questions coming up in [UNCANNY X-FORCE].

Kieron Gillen: No, she doesn't like it. If she liked it, that's something she would be worried about. No-one should like being in X-Force. But she remains with X-Force because she believes its work needs to be done—which, coincidentally, the same reason she remains as the X-Men.


Does Psylocke have great loyalty to particular people on the X-Men?

Nick Lowe: Absolutely. Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Havok—they top my list. 

Rick Remender: Obviously she loves Warren and that’s a very close relationship the two of them have established over the years and I see her as somebody who’s very close with Wolverine, almost like a family member and then with Scott and the rest of them as well. I think Betsy is one of the few characters who really does land in the middle of it all when it comes to feelings. When it comes down to her heart, it goes to Warren and Logan, but maybe her mind goes to Scott protecting those poor bastards on that island.

Jody LeHeup: I think so. There [are] certain people she’s closer to than others although she tries to remain as objective as possible when it comes to decisions that affect the team.

Kieron Gillen: Yes. Her relationship with X-Force is based on those personal ties. The question with X-Force is always “Who can we trust to do this?” and Betsy, Logan and Warren have that tight bond. But for me, that's almost not the question. Her involvement with X-Force isn't based on loyalty. It's based on beliefs. In some way, it makes her position on X-Force all the more striking and brave for her—it's not like she's Wolverine or Fantomax or even Deadpool. They lean that way naturally more than her. She's chosen to bend enough to do the job.

And it's also interesting to see where she chooses not to bend. And to wonder what other places she wouldn't bend, and which ones would surprise those she is abstractly most loyal to.


How does Psylocke’s relationship with Angel color her place among the X-Men?

Kieron Gillen: Really, anyone who's been reading UNCANNY X-FORCE—which should be everyone, yes?—knows the answer to this one. Read UNCANNY X-FORCE!

Jody LeHeup: You’ll have to keep reading for the answer to that.

Nick Lowe: In the way that any relationship does, I suppose. But it doesn’t define her.

Rick Remender: I’m not sure if it’s entirely out in the open. I haven’t addressed it with the other X-Men so I guess I haven’t put a lot of time thinking about it. I don’t think it’s out in the open, but if it were I don’t think it would matter too much. They’ve been on again and off again for a while so it’s something so simple as because it’s been on again and off again thing for so long and so many of those relationships happen in amongst in this little clan, I don’t think anyone would mind or see it as something that needs to be worried about.

Who among the X-Men does Psylocke trust? Who does she feel should lead the team? Would she ever want to?

Jody LeHeup: I think Betsy trusts Logan implicitly. But that’s all. She’s been through too much to not be guarded about who she puts her faith into. I don’t think Betsy’s interested in leading, at least not in any formal capacity. I think she thinks that Logan has grown into a position of great personal strength and would be far better at the job than even he knows.

Nick Lowe: She trusts them as much as a spy can ever trust anyone. She loves a lot of them and I don’t think she’d have any interest in leading, which makes her a good candidate to do so.

Kieron Gillen: Well, she trusts everyone on X-Force in a real way. Even before they signed that in the blood of kid Apocalypse, they knew they were joined together with a secret that could let any one of them put the whole lot in jail. We mustn't underestimate what level of trust that would require.

Who should lead the X-Men? Whoever does what's required to make the world a safer place, for humans and mutants both. Could she be it? Not now, is my gut feeling. I could see her in a Wolverine/Dani-esque team-leader role, but not the overall head.

That said, I think she's one of the people who could pull it off if she was forced into it.

Though I'd say she'd have to stop wearing her ninja outfit if she did.

Rick Remender: I don’t think she would ever want to lead the team. In my mind, she’s not the character that goes looking to take on responsibility. It always ends up in her lap and it’s always an ethical quandary and it’s something that she ends up having to take on. I think she could lead the team and I think she’d be terrific. Power level wise we’re building her up and grooming her to be just as powerful a telepath as Emma with different skills and different focus and a lot of that will be flushed out in the coming year. I think she could run an X-Men squad no worries. As for who she would have to choose, that’s a question that I would rather leave unanswered so people can see how Schism comes together.

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Ben Moody Finally Speaks Out About Leaving Evanescence

My name is Ben Moody, founding and former member of Evanescence. I’m not someone who partakes in online communities, nor do I scour message boards or read reviews of my work and I almost never read comments posted to videos on YouTube. However, I was showing a friend the video for We Are The Fallen’s introductory single, “Bury Me Alive” on YouTube. I couldn’t help but notice that there have been over 4,000 comments posted. Curiosity got the better of me and couldn’t help but find out what in the world about a music video could merit months and thousands of individual comments of discussion. I have never been one to give any credence to the often overly critical and unnecessarily malicious opinions of anonymous masses online. Nor have I been emotionally affected any of the countless times that criticism and malice have been directed at me. I don’t obsess about what people whom I’ve never met have to say about me. And I am NEVER moved to respond, defend, or even acknowledge all of the countless misperceptions and inaccuracies about my life. But, for some reason, I am compelled to break my silence. I have no doubt that many of you will misinterpret this as a prideful attempt at vindication. But the truth is my only hope here is to maybe, possibly restore some grace and peace to something that means more to me then anyone realizes.

I am literally overwhelmed at not only the impression of my new band We Are The Fallen amongst Evanescence fans worldwide and the assumptions of our intent, but in the relentless perseverance of a misunderstanding that has grown into something so dividing and malicious that I simply can’t be silent anymore.

Out of more than 4100 comments, 4000 of them were nothing but the same comments regurgitated over and over again engaging in a ridiculous WATF vs EV / Ben vs Amy debate.

The only motivation I have to set the record straight after all these years of silence is the refusal of such a huge number of Evanescence fans to move on and focus on what is important….even though the only two people involved in the split of Evanescence did so years ago. The appearance of WATF and the appertaining resurgence of such intense feelings has left me feeling as though I need to set the record straight before this unfounded drama gets out of hand. Ironically, it’s the same passion that drives some of you to feel so strongly that confirms in me it is worth saying anything at all. So here it goes…

For once, I am not going to paint the sugar coated pleasant version of events. I’m going to tell you exactly what happened in October of 2003. There is no doubt a great many of you will cling to your opinions and assumptions regardless of what I have to say. That is your right…though it takes a great deal of foolishness to assume your version of an event is correct even when in direct conflict with the account of those involved.

Amy Lee and I began our friendship and creative relationship in our early teens. Our meeting was the sole determining factor that set our lives and what we believed to be our destinies on their course. It was exciting, rewarding, and more motivating than any other relationship in my life. When we made our first recording together, I knew what my life was meant for. And I never looked back. Shortly after we found our missing piece and my lifelong musical soul mate, David Hodges. It was years of the three of us revolving our worlds around each other and our band that gave birth to Evanescence. In our 5th year, we began to finally get the music we all longed to make from our head to tape. And though everyone we knew didn’t understand our relentless drive to make this our lives, the three of us never wavered in our determination to bring something into this world we believed to be bigger than all of us. I maxed out credit cards to buy us enough gear to make our first cd, which would lead to signing with Wind Up. When I couldn’t pay the bills, David and I lost our apartment. We slept wherever we could, including many nights I spent in the bed of a pickup truck, until Amy graduated and we could all move away to follow our dreams. None of it mattered to me. I’d give up anything. Eventually we found ourselves signed, living in L.A., writing “Fallen”. The three of us living together, doing everything together. we were all we had. But a cruel fact of life is that the person you are at 15, doesn’t resemble the person you are at 18, and 21….and today I in no way resemble the person I was when i was in Evanescence. I did everything in my power to put that person in the ground. Sometimes you grow together, and sometimes you grow apart. We were very young people in a very stressful situation.. and we were becoming two very different people. I believe we both contributed to the resentment of the deterioration of our friendship that quickly turned into a downward spiral of animosity, conflicting opinions, and a very volatile environment. By the time we went on tour to support “Fallen”, it sadly was over. We had parted ways with David, nearly severing the relationship with the someone that was a brother to me. In that time, being so young and on this amazing ride, I became someone I didn’t like. And had no power to change. I’d like to believe that looking back, Amy would have handled things differently now as well. Ironically, it was Amy and my absolute equal devotion to Evanescence that drove us to such extreme opposition. We had such opposing desires and personalities that mixed with the pride of youth and inexperience (and an extreme amount of insecurity and loss of direction on my part) led to an all out war. We were completely blind to the fact that we were poisoning the very thing we held most dear. I was an awful person, and Amy reacted in kind. On the night of October 22, 2003 everything came to a head. And through my fit of rage and desperation I put the nail in the coffin of Evanescence. At that time, there was no way we would ever complete another record together. It was highly probable we wouldn’t last the remainder of the tour. Neither one of us willing to back down. Every emotion I felt manifested itself as anger. I was devastated by what we had become. Everything I based my existence on, an unreachable dream come true… was a nightmare. And I was powerless to stop it. We were so passionate about Evanescence and so determined in our opposing desires for the future, that my once best friend and I had become enemies. By the end of that evening, I saw for the first time what we were not only doing to ourselves, but what our war was doing to everyone around us. We fought dirty, and Evanescence paid the price. I couldn’t sleep. If one of us didn’t leave, my one chance to leave something in this world greater than myself would be lost. I had tried before, out of ignorance, pride, and resentment to convince Amy that she should leave. That we’d be better off and Evanescence didn’t need her. I was hurt, and wanted her to hurt like me. Amy, if for some reason you happen to see this… I hope you know I never truly believed that. There was no way I would ever let someone walk on that stage and sing your lyrics. I had become a shell of myself. Even if I was foolish enough to attempt it, it would have never provided me with my truest desire…for Evanescence to continue. It would have become a joke. As I sat on the bus that night in absolute shame and defeat, there was no escaping the truth. EIther I leave, or Evanescence dies. It broke me in a way I could never truly describe. My entire existence, my self worth, my identity was this music, this band. If my life is to mean anything, Evanescence has to mean something.

For some reason there has been a widespread opinion that my departure was a “betrayal” or “abandonment” and against the will of the band. I have no idea where this came from, as on the night of the 22nd, Amy made her wishes clear, sending me a message saying, and I quote, “Get on a plane, and never come back.” Hearing those words, I was overcome with the reality that I had allowed myself to become someone that my once best friend would feel that way about. It is deeply saddening that such a huge number of you viewed my departure with such animosity and distain. Here are a few major truths that escaped almost all of you… I left so that Evanescence would continue. What did i leave? What was the significance? Everything I based my life on. My dreams. My future. The music I loved most in this world. It’s as if no one even considered the fact my life now had no plan or purpose. Walking away meant forfeiting a winning lottery ticket. A dream so big it’s unfathomable it would even happen once in a lifetime. Millions of dollars. Years of security. And the one and only chance to truly realize the reward of of all my work, faith and dedication. My **ing identity. Less than one percent of the very few people throughout history to achieve such a dream could even fathom a sacrifice like this. Getting on that plane meant when I landed, every single thing my life was built upon was gone. And there was no delusion or hope that I would ever reach that pinnacle again. Try and imagine being in that position for a moment. It is remarkably rare that a person is ever faced with a decision like that in a lifetime. And to top it all off, I was just a **ing kid.

Not only did I give Amy exactly what she wanted, and Evanescence exactly what it needed, but I did everything in my power to ensure I didn’t cause a single speed bump on their massive ride to worldwide success. I went quietly and peacefully. Evanescence didn’t miss a single show. There was absolutely no argument over rights and ownership. I owned 50% of the trademark and property value of the now very valuable brand of Evanescence. I gave it to Amy free and clear. I asked for no buyout, no negotiations. Just a clean break. When resentment led to slanderous and sometimes completely false statements about me in the press… I said nothing. When the very fans I had such a deep connection through the music I helped create with decided that it was mandatory to pick a side, leading to an overwhelming backlash of distaste for me… I said nothing. For seven years I made every effort to bring no drama to Evanescence. No one… NO ONE could have made it a smoother, more gracious, or more generous dissolution.

After rebuilding my life and career, through years of hard work, expanding my musical horizons and many many dark times of confusion and depression…I have my life on a new path. I’m very content with my career and personal relationships. The only thing missing from my life was the satisfaction of playing the music I love most live.. with people I like and who like me. In this time Evanescence has progressed a great distance from the original sound..and made it clear that they intended to expand much further. Amy is very artistic and never has had a problem thinking outside of the box and defying expectations. So I called the guys up. I say, “**** it. Why deny ourselves the experience of doing what it is we do best?” After an extensive search we were very fortunate to find what we looking for. Contrary to almost every Evanescence fan’s opinion… what we were looking for was NOT an Amy Lee look alike. Nor was it someone who would wear Amy Lee’s clothes, or try to sing like Amy Lee. I hate to break it to you, but this is about 5 people, who love to make music together. Does “Tear The World Down” have many stylistic similarities to “Fallen”? Sure. You want to hear me do something different? How about the songs I wrote on both Daughtry records. Or Kelly Clarkson. Or Avril Lavigne. Celine Dion. Halestorm. Hana Pestle…hell…I even have COUNTRY releases. My solo record is as far from Evanescence as it gets, which has a lot to do with why about 12 people own it. I made Evanescence music to leave a mark on this world. Everything else I do, I do for me. I LOVE playing in WATF. In several thousand of the comments I read yesterday the song of the day seemed to be “Ripping Amy Lee. Trying to be Evanescence. Just a total copy of Evanescence. Get your own sound. She’s trying to sound like Amy. Wishes he was in Evanescence.” well….I don’t wanna be the guitar player for Evanescence… I WAS the guitar player in Evanescence. If I appear to be reminiscent in style, its because it’s written and performed by the very same damn people. It’s not rocket science…it’s plain and simple. Rocky, John and I playing together just doesn’t come out any other way. Accusing me of ripping off myself is just silly. If you take half a second to really take in to consideration the facts… If I intended to compete with Ev I would have done it oh…. about seven ****ing years ago. And it is this presumption that I’m somehow trying to start a war with Evanescence that demands my rebuttal.

If you truly believe, that after the most selfless sacrifice I’ve ever made in an attempt to atone for the person I had become, YEARS of taking the high road and the endless verbal bashings I still receive TO THIS DAY that i never defended myself against.; that I would then spend another year and a half and a sizable financial investment to launch this band just to reignite a fictional feud between myself and Amy Lee after ALL I DID TO GO IN PEACE….If you TRULY believe that’s even plausible; then you are lost. And you are wrong. Every single bit of success that Evanescence achieves, is a success for me. Every cd they sell (with or without my contributions), every venue they sell out, strengthens the one great thing I did with my life. Ensuring my sacrifice wasn’t in vain. I want nothing more in this world than for Evanescence to have decades of success and connection with the millions of people that connected to our music. It is absolutely absurd that anyone would think otherwise. It has been the greatest disappointment and hurt of my life that the very people that so passionately supported my life’s work, who gave me the strength to walk away, were so quick to make me the villain. And even though Amy Lee, the one you hold so dear, has TOLD YOU ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS that the happiest she’s ever been in the band was after my departure…you make her a victim. She has absolute empirical control of the creative direction of Evanescence for the rest of her life. I literally handed everything over without fighting for a thing. Yet all I’ve heard for seven years is “Ben Moody is an ******* for leaving. Ben Moody is douche. Ben put Amy through hell and betrayed her.” I honestly thought eventually you’d all move on, but WATF has apparently incited an uprising. Though some of you will continue to disagree, and contradict this…the absolute 100% unavoidable FACT of the situation is that you still have Evanescence SOLELY because I was willing to leave. And I refuse to sit silent while while a great number of you insist on making something that should be so wonderful and positive in to this bull****. Evanescence is bigger than that. It’s bigger than Amy Lee. It’s bigger than Ben Moody. It can still be something special. So many of you seem to be fighting a war that doesn’t exist. Amy is happy! I am happy! Why is it that so many of you refuse to acknowledge that? Do I expect gratitude for what I’ve done, or an apology for the resentment I’ve been shown with absolutely no basis? No. Do i deserve it? Absolutely. So I’ll skip a step… You’re welcome that I gave it all away, so that the connection I felt with you all through music might not die. Standing on that stage every night playing these songs and seeing so many people sharing the same experience was the greatest joy I’ve ever known. When I left, the biggest part of me died. That those same people couldn’t see that and abandoned me overnight, is the greatest heartache I’ve ever had to endure. I have no way of repairing what has been done. It is done. Evanescence is in no way threatened or concerned by WATF, and WATF is in no way threatening. Having a band almost a decade later that I can make the music I love with on such a minuscule scale compared to EV just to be happy…is pretty goddam little to ask. Do any of you really think I’m trying to steal thunder from Evanescence or defeat Amy Lee at some stupid pissing contest? It’s asinine to even think it’s possible. You don’t like it? That’s fine. You think listening to WATF or enjoying WATF or simply leaving it be is somehow betraying your loyalty to EV? That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But neither WATF nor EV agree with you. This need to pick a side is only real in your head. I just want to play. This is what the music I make sounds like. And for the first time in a very long time, I’m happy. i just wish you’d spare yourselves so much wasted time and energy tearing everything down. We don’t care. And that’s energy and passion you could put towards something positive. I love Evanescence. If there were anyway in the universe I could go back and do things differently.. I’d pay any price. But I have never been stronger in my resolve and belief that I made the right decision for everyone. You don’t have to agree with or believe me, but for everyone’s sake hopefully at least some of you will take a hint from Amy and myself….and just move on. I wish Amy Lee and Evanescence a lifetime of success and happiness. And I hope you all will continue to find a kindred spirit in both Evanescence, and other Evanescence fans.

And hey… if you decide you’re willing and able to drop this imaginary competition between us two…Who knows? You just might be able to enjoy both. I certainly do. 

 
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Disney/Marvel Insider Trading Accusation

Courtesy of The Nerdy Bird 
 
The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 was a huge move for the industry. Almost 2 years later, it's being brought to light that an individual may have been involved in some illegal insider trading before the big purchase. 
 
Deadline reports the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint today against a man named  Toby G. Scammell  for apparently using confidential information about Disney's planned acquisition to make a large profit for himself. 

The information was said to have been obtained via his girfriend, a Disney employee, unbeknownst to her. " Scammell got the insider information from his girlfriend's BlackBerry and used some cash for his purchase from the account of his older brother, who was in the Army and deployed to Iraq at the time," writes Deadline. "The options raised a red flag at the SEC as Scammell, then 24, had never traded Marvel securities before buying the $5,400 in options. After the sale was announced, Marvel's stock rose 25%, giving Scammell a 3,000% profit when he sold off."


Deadline says Scammell (guess he was predestined for this behavior) made $192,000 after the deal was made public. 

The Hollywood Reporter says Scammell was working at investment fund at the time he made the purchase which cost him $5,400 at the time. "The SEC did not name the brother or girlfriend and said neither was involved in wrongdoing," writes THR, who also had a response from Disney, “This does not involve Disney and the complaint speaks for itself,” said a Spokewoman. 
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The X-Perts: Magneto

X-MEN: SCHISM has kicked off a startling metamorphosis in the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe that will split the Children of the Atom and lead to ReGenesis in the fall along with two new ongoing series, each featuring it’s own distinctive team: UNCANNY X-MEN and WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN.

 
With change in the air, here on Marvel.com we’ll be regularly gathering the creators and editors responsible for guiding the X-Men’s destiny to dissect each of their charges to examine what makes them tick and perhaps lend some insight into where they will find themselves once the Schism ends and the ReGenesis gets underway.

 
This week, we examine Magneto, the X-Men’s archenemy-turned-ally; how he fits—or doesn’t fit—into the team, who he trusts, his own ambitions past and present, and much more.


 
How would you describe the core of who Magneto is and what is most important to him?

 
Mike Carey (writer of X-MEN LEGACY): 
Magneto’s personality was forged by his war experiences: both the helplessness he felt when he and his family were prisoners in the Nazi camps, and the lengths to which he and the people around him had to go in order to survive. The weird mix of ruthlessness and idealism that drives him was born out of the extremes of courage and cruelty that he witnessed in Auschwitz. It’s because of those experiences that he cleaves so strongly to his own kind, and that his reaction when faced with prejudice or race hatred is to hit back 10 times harder.

 
Kieron Gillen (writer of UNCANNY X-MEN): 
What's most important to him? The easy answer is “Mutants.” And it's not an entirely incorrect answer, but the possible exceptions are interesting to ponder. Not that I'll actually say it, in case I ever want to do a story about it.

 
Nick Lowe (X-Men Senior Editor):
 Strangely, I think the core of who Magneto is and what he stands for is a lot like who Spider-Man is. Not the banter or lightness, but the power/responsibility part. I think Magneto is a man who takes responsibility for himself and his people and will use everything he has to serve both.

 
 
What is Magneto’s view of how the mutant race should conduct itself moving forward? How does this contrast or conflict with others?


Nick Lowe: 
As I write this—X-MEN: SCHISM #2 just came out—he definitely has gotten on board with Cyclops. He believes in the defense and support of the mutant species. He has left behind—or just downplayed?—a lot of the superiority of mutants at this point.
 

Kieron Gillen: He still leans towards a lack of caring about what humans think of him personally, which extends to [how they feel about] mutantkind. “Why should we beg for their acceptance?” Even if he's backed away from the worst of his anti-human rhetoric, he just doesn't think you should pretend to be happy about mutants’ position in the world. In the short term, he's very much pro-Utopia and trying to bring back mutantkind. That he's shown special interest in Hope is telling.

 
Mike Carey: 
Magneto has proved time and again that he can think the unthinkable and do the inconceivable. That includes changing his own position on fundamental things: he knows that to stagnate or get complacent is usually to die. His initial preference, as everyone knows, was for separatism—mutants pursuing their own destiny without hindrance from or interaction with humankind. But Professor Xavier was his best friend: he understands Xavier’s philosophy of integration and engagement, and he’s been its champion at times when he was called on to do so. Whether he can ever totally believe in it is a different question.  He’s always preferred to bargain from a position of strength, and he’d probably say, if asked, that mutants should always try to meet humankind on their own terms wherever possible

 
   

Why has Magneto joined the X-Men? What has changed his view on his place in the mutant hierarchy?

 
Mike Carey: 
The bottom line is that he’ll do whatever it takes for mutants to survive.  He’s working within the X-Men’s agenda because that agenda seems to offer the best chance right now and he’s doing his best not to rock the boat, even when his own instincts point him in a different direction.

 
Kieron Gillen: 
Cyclops [has come] close to [uniting] the mutant race. While in sheer numbers there [are] other previous mutant movements which dwarf the couple of hundred on Utopia, in terms of percentage of the mutant souls under his wing, this is unprecedented. This is one hell of a feat. And even if [Magneto] did think he should be in charge, he wouldn't risk destabilizing the situation by trying to take over. He'll follow.

Nick Lowe: Magneto joined the X-Men because he saw Cyclops do what he never could: unite the mutant species. He definitely has taken a more subservient role, but that is because he sees that Scott has things well in hand.
 
Does Magneto truly believe in Cyclops or is there a part of him that still believes only he knows what’s best for his people?

 
Mike Carey: 
Magneto has a huge ego in some things, but he’s ultimately very pragmatic.  He wouldn’t be subordinating himself to Cyclops if he didn’t believe that Cyclops had proven himself the better leader. But by the same token, if Cyclops ever fails or makes a bad call, don’t expect Magneto to remain loyal to him on any kind of personal grounds. Not going to happen.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Cyclops has increasingly brought Magneto into his confidence. You have to wonder how Magneto would act if he was pretty much ignored.
 
 

Kieron Gillen: Mutants are important to him. He's got an enormous ego, but not enough to risk something like this. When the stakes are so high, he's happy to follow and try and offer as much help as he can. This isn't about him and he thinks Cyclops' record speak for itself.

 
Nick Lowe: 
It’s hard to say, but I think that Magneto is behind Cyclops 100%. Does he disagree from time-to-time with Cyclops’ decisions? Sure, but not enough to motivate him to take matters into his own hands.

 
 
Has Magneto reconciled his views with Charles Xavier’s or does conflict remain between them even if it’s not overt?

 
Kieron Gillen: 
They disagree. That's not going to change. But the argument between them isn't the argument that's important right now. They're both big egos, and you can see them snipe with each other—I loved writing the pair butting heads in a quiet way in GENERATION HOPE #5—but it's more theoretical now. Xavier doesn't quite trust Magneto, and Magneto does know in his heart of hearts that he's right to feel so.

 
Nick Lowe: 
Both viewpoints have been a bit beside the point while they were fighting for survival. As the mutant species begins to repopulate that question will very much come better into focus.


 
Mike Carey: Their positions remain incompatible, if only because Professor X works and plans on the basis of what people are capable of at their best; Magneto knows what the worst aspects of human nature look like and he assumes that they’ll show themselves sooner or later in any situation. That’s why in his earlier days he was so totalitarian in his outlook: there was only one factor in any equation that he could totally trust, and that was himself.
 
What experiences in his life have most significantly shaped Magneto?
 

Nick Lowe: Well certainly the events of World War II played a big part. The experiences that he and Magda had after the end of WWII are also hugely important. Meeting Professor Xavier and becoming friends. So many things!

 
Mike Carey: 
The camps. Belonging to a persecuted minority. Knowing the extremes of helplessness and empowerment. Losing his wife. Loving a human woman. Living his entire life—or a significant portion of it—twice over. Agreeing to stand trial for his past actions against humanity. Being entrusted by Professor X with the running of the school. Leading an entire nation. Those things stand out.

 
Kieron Gillen: 
Let's not [dance] around it: the Holocaust. Talking personally, that's one of the things which towers above and warps my view of the whole 20 century. It's a lens which colors everything we can think about humans and what humans can do to one another. And I've no personal connection to the Holocaust, bar basic humanity. How would that shape someone who was there?

 
 
Who among the X-Men does Magneto trust?

 
Mike Carey: 
I think he trusts Cyclops. And Rogue, who’s become a sort of moral litmus paper for him. In a different way, he trusts Professor X. He has strong links with some of the young mutants he taught, despite the intervening years. It’s not a long list, though.


Kieron Gillen: There [are] levels of trust. Magneto, for all his passion, is an intellectual. He knows he's a follower of Cyclops—so to constantly, explicitly fight his own corner every time, he has to trust Cyclops decisions, because he knows intellectually that's how command works. Hell, Cyclops even talked him into posing for some PR photos. He didn't like it, but he realizes that there's a plan.

 
So, sure, he's got an ego. But he's also got a super-ego that keeps that nailed down as much as it can.

 
He'll trust anyone he needs to trust as far as he should trust them. But I don't think absolute trust comes easy to him. And with his life experiences, I can see why.

 
Nick Lowe: 
Honestly, I wonder if Magneto every really trusts anyone. One of the things I loved so much about MAGNETO: TESTAMENT was what happened to Magneto’s father. He fought for Germany in World War I but the men who leaned on him abandoned him quite quickly when Hitler came into power. That is a heck of a lesson for a kid to learn.

 
 
What is Magneto’s role in the X-Men?


Mike Carey: 
He’s the biggest cannon in their arsenal. He’s also a brilliant strategic thinker who’s ironically shut out of most of the strategic planning. And I think he probably thinks of himself as first alternate in the leadership stakes.
 
 

Nick Lowe: Magneto is Cyclops consigliore. He’s Cyclops right hand man, really and he embraces that.

 
Kieron Gillen: 
The word “Consigliore” leaps to mind. And that's a position he's actively developed for himself. I suspect he would see himself more of a consigliore than he actually is, but, as I said, he's developing it.

Clearly, the more that Magneto advises Cyclops, the more worried other people may be. And rightly so.

 
 
Is Cyclops the only leader among the X-Men that Magneto would willingly follow or are there others?

 
Mike Carey: 
There are potentially others, but if Cyclops fell or withdrew, anyone setting themselves up as leader would have to prove to Magneto that they could do the job better than him.

 
Nick Lowe: 
I see that as a situational question. He probably never would have thought he could follow Scott. I could see him following Storm. Not many others, though.

 
Kieron Gillen: 
I think he'd honestly follow almost anyone who was able to keep the mutants together.



More on Marvel.com: http://marvel.com/news/story/16415/the_x-perts_magneto#ixzz1UgmwDFet
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