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World of Warcraft Subscriber and Movie Update

As the release date for the next World of Warcraft expansion approaches, Blizzard reports further shedding of subscribers from 10.2 million in May to 9.1 million as of August 2.

Meanwhile, a World of Warcraft movie is still in the pipeline from Legendary Entertainment.

I have been following the development of the World of Warcraft  Mists of Pandaria expansion via MMO Champion for some months.  Some critics feel that adding Kung-Fu Pandas as a playable race somehow makes the game less serious.  Considering that one of the playable characters is already a giant bipedal race of cows and another is a race of goats from outer space, it’s hard for me to get worked up about how Pandas somehow take away from the realism of the game.

At any rate, Blizzard is clearly putting a lot of effort into this one and we shall see if they win back any of their wayward subscriber base.

Next X-Men Film: Days of Future Past

via [Ain't it Cool News]

For comic geeks the next X-Men movie could be something akin to a religious experience.

The 1981 X-Men story arc of issues #141 – #142 laid groundwork in motion which will echoed through the X-Men title for years.  It is pretty remarkable that two short issues of a comic are packed with so much significance, but there you go.

The collected Days of Future Past story line [amazon_link id="0785164537" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]is available as a trade paperback[/amazon_link] from Amazon if you missed the original issues.  The “Days of Future Past” storyline is the epilogue to the classic X-Men: Dark Phoenix saga which is, coincidentally, [amazon_link id="0785164219" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]also available as a trade paperback[/amazon_link] from Amazon.

Chewbacca’s head brings home the bacon

via [The Sun]

Chewbacca’s original head – the mask worn by actor Peter Mayhew in the original Star Wars trilogy – sold at auction for £110,000 ($170,907 U.S. dollars).

To me that sounds like a pretty good haul for a piece of movie memorabilia.  But, just for context, lets compare to some other sales…

So there you go… Chewbacca’s head is roughly at value with a disco dance floor, more valuable than a picture of Joe Piscopo and has a long way to go to catch up with Marilyn.

Marvel’s “All Winners Squad” to be staffed by … losers?

via [Neatorama]

Howard the Duck, Squirrel Girl, Frog Man.  Their names inspire puzzlement and indifference in the forces of villainy.  But this  heroic team of rejects will not be deterred from their mission of bringing the Justice(tm).

Marvel comics will be making an animated web series called the All Winners Squad using their odd-ball characters.  Should be a lot of fun to see where this goes.

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition launches on 18th September 2012

via [Euro Gamer]

The Baldur’s Gate series of RPG game titles which began to be released in 1998 were simply the pinnacle of video Role-Playing games.  Their story was sweeping and legendary in scope, their cast of characters were colorful and their challenges very real.

Fans will get a second shot at the title thanks to a restoration of the game which makes it compatible with modern computers.  Check it out at Beamdog.

New Green Arrow TV series to be dark and gritty

via [Comic Vine]

According to producers of the new Green Arrow show “ARROW” the character will be modeled less on the Super-Hero genre and more on the Crime Thriller genre.

Personally I am excited about this show and I hope they do a good job with it in the Bourne and Mission Impossible mold with maybe some CSI thrown in.  However, if they are going that route I do hope they make his arrows obey the laws of physics.

The “Dark Knight Returns” as a two part animated movie

Frank Miller’s iconic take on the Batman depicted in the 1986 comic series [amazon_link id="B001TMX97E" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]The Dark Night Returns[/amazon_link] will be released as a two part animated film.  MTV Geek has the trailer.

via [Comic Vine]

The impact of “The Dark Knight Returns” on the Batman character cannot be overstated.  Reading it was a psychic backlash to the campy Batman image generated from the 1968 television series most were familiar with at that time (including myself).  It pretty much cemented the modern view of the Batman character.