The Best of the Best at Heroes and Villains FanFest: San Jose

Heroes and Villains

Fan conventions are cropping up everywhere these days. From the small to the large, from Walker Stalker to San Diego Comic-Con, there’s no shortage of conventions specially tailored for the ultimate fan. What makes a true fan experience, though, is a convention that has both the conventional star elements of a big event and the natural interaction between star and fan. The first Heroes and Villains FanFest was not only the ultimate fan experience, but it produced a gold mine of information on upcoming episodes of Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

The two-day convention had everything! It had the typical autograph and photo booths, vendors galore, and the most exciting element of all, the panels. Of course, cosplay was well done, with many fans representing their favorite alter egos, from the Green Arrow, to the Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time, to a pint-sized Felicity Smoak. What makes Heroes and Villains unique is the specific interactive elements tailored specifically for the namesake fans. Activities such as the Zipline, Heroes Alley, and Trampoline were favorites not only for the fans, but for the featured television stars. There was not one attendee who didn’t hear about the adorable story of a young Mavi Amell pointing at the Zipline and saying “Dada”; or see, whether in person or in the shared video tweets, Arrow star John Barrowman draw a large crowd jumping up-and-down on the trampoline during Stephen Amell’s panel.

During the day you had your pick of all of these activities, and if you worked the schedule right, could still make time to attend every single panel. Below are some highlights:

Fans were very passionate at the “Fire and Ice” Panel, mostly about The Flash star Robbie Amell not really being dead. And while series star Danielle Panabaker is eager to transform into her comic book alter ego Killer Frost, she warns that it will probably be awhile before her dream becomes a reality. This is probably for the best given that when asked who of the on-screen married couple would win in a fight, Panabaker pointed out that Killer Frost has “a cruel, cruel heart…she would stop at nothing.” Not to worry, you can see Robbie Amell very much alive in the upcoming X-Files reboot.

Stunt coordinator, and most recent director of the Arrow episode “Brotherhood,” James Bamford put on quite a show during his panel with Caity Lotz and David Ramsey. The stunt master, known affectionately as “Bam-Bam,” explained the technical aspects of a fight scene complete with a demonstration by Lotz, Ramsey, series stuntmen, and even a few audience members. The intricacy of the demonstration was amazing to see, which makes it all the more exciting that he has been tapped to direct another upcoming episode of Arrow.

Arrow‘s Lance family was in attendance, previewing their hopes for each of their characters, such as Caity Lotz’s hope for some flashbacks of her character on the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, all while giving off their real-life family feel. The other half of the ultimate on-screen bromance, David Ramsey, confirmed his official codename is Spartan, and that his mask, which many critical fans likened to that of comic book villain Magneto, will be getting an upgrade. Per his character’s connection to The Flash‘s STAR Labs, the mask “will be going through a ‘Ciscanation’ of sorts.” Bonus Spoiler: John Diggle and wife Lyla will be heading to Central City soon for a mission “to track a member of the Suicide Squad that just happens to be a 14-foot shark.” As for the dark lord of evil John Barrowman? Well, apart of a very funny silly string fight between him, Neal McDonough and a four year old, let’s just say I can’t repeat the majority of what he says in a PC conversation!

The star of the weekend really was Arrow‘s Stephen Amell, not because he is the main title star, but because it was his creative vision which brought Heroes and Villains to fruition. His panel spoilers included an upcoming Olicity scene involving a limo and a Christmas carol, more DC show character crossovers (“I recently got to do a scene with Brandon Routh, not on my show”), excitement for Colton Haynes’ return to Arrow, and confirmation that he does not yet know who is in the grave. He is also co-producing a project with cousin Robbie, which they hope to premiere at the second Heroes and Villains FanFest this January. Without Stephen Amell’s encouragement, hundreds of fans would have missed out on the epic Villains Dance-off, the on- and off-stage shenanigans, and the genuine interactive experience of what this whole superhero universe is all about. Not to mention, the man knows how to throw one heck of an after-party! (Search Neal McDonough and his harmonica if you don’t believe me. P.S. FaceTiming actress Italia Ricci was so fun. P.S.S. Bam-Bam you owe my friend her wine glass.)

Tune in tonight for the epic Arrow/Flash crossover, and be sure to check out for details on upcoming conventions.

[Photo via Heroes and Villains Facebook]

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