Heroes and Villains Fan Fest London 2018 review

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May saw James Frazier, founder of the popular Walker Stalker convention, bring his Heroes and Villains Fan Fest to the Olympia in London, UK for the second time. This convention celebrates all things superhero and covers films and TV shows including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow as well as The Gifted, Gotham and Riverdale.

This two day convention gives Marvel and DC fans an opportunity to meet their favourite TV and film stars with photo ops and signing booths available for each guest, as well as a packed schedule of panels.

Guests

Some of the big names for Heroes and Villains Fan Fest included the original team from Arrow – HVFF co-founder Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards and David Ramsey, Caity Lotz from DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Superman himself, Tyler Hoechlin!

Other Arrow cast members included John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn), Josh Segarra (Adrian Chase), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), Kirk Acevedo (Ricardo Diaz) and Juliana Harkavy (Dinah Drake). Representing The Flash was Hartley Sawyer (Ralph Dibney) and Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow) and for Legends of Tomorrow we had Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer) and Franz Drameh (Jefferson Jackson).

Supergirl  actors included Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen) and Italia Ricci (Siobhan Smythe) but fans of Gotham were really spoilt as Robin Lord Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin), Cory Michael Smith (Edward Nygma), David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne), Sean Pertwee (Alfred Pennyworth), and Drew Powell (Butch) all attended.

New additions this year included Riverdale cast members Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge) and Marisol Nichols (Hermione Lodge) as well as The Gifted stars Emma Dumont (Polaris) and Blair Redford (Thunderbird), which added a new dimension to the convention.

Panels

Easily the highlights of comic cons for me, the panels at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest are always hilarious and feature plenty of time for fans to ask their questions. This year the team moved the panels to the hall upstairs, next to the photo shoot area, so there was more seating and space available for people to enjoy the panel, but it did get a little noisy with attendees queuing for their photo shoots. 

The panels I managed to catch were; The Green Arrow panel with moderator Aisha Taylor (Archer), Arrow Villains with Josh Segarra, Katie Cassidy, Kirk Acevedo, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow with Brandon Routh, Franz Drameh and Caity Lotz, as well as the cast of Torchwood.

The Green Arrow panel with Stephen Amell and Aisha Taylor was absolutely hilarious with Stephen trying to do the Carlton dance as well as his daughter making a guest appearance! There were plenty of audience questions including which TV crossover he’d like to take part in (Supernatural!), which villain Stephen would like to see back on the show (Prometheus as he love Josh Segerra), which Marvel character would he play (Iron Man) and which actor he’d love to see back on the show (Tommy).

 

Other highlights included The Torchwood cast signing ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ and Caity Lotz breakdancing in the DC’s Legends of Tomorrow panel.

Guest Interactions

I’m usually a bit shy when it comes to actually meeting guests at conventions, but this year I had a couple of Funko Pops signed so ended up meeting and getting a selfie with Brandon Routh, Emma Dumont and David Mazouz. I’m so glad to say they were so welcoming, especially Emma Dumont who seemed to absolutely love meeting the fans, and I even got to ask Brandon Routh whether he had a Beebo (he doesn’t but wants one!).

I’ve got to say I’ve had the best experience meeting guests at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest as it feels like they genuinely want to be there and enjoy interacting with the fans. I love that they offer the opportunity to get a selfie and you seem to be able to spend more time at their desks, talking to them. In another certain convention in the UK you do end up feeling like just a number, but at HVFF they seem to make an extra effort. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Josh Segarra as his line was just too long, but hopefully he’ll be there next year!

Press Interviews

This year I was lucky enough to get press passes to the convention and have two interviews scheduled with the team at HVFF with Juliana Harkavy and a joint one with David Mazouz and Robin Lord Taylor. Understandably Heroes and Villains Fan Fest put fan interactions first, so keep press interviews to a minimum, but unfortunately one of the interviews was rescheduled and the joint interview was cancelled. The PR contact was extremely apologetic and so helpful setting up a quick interview with Drew Powell and eventually David Mazouz from Gotham, but it was a little disappointing missing out on chatting with Robin Lord Taylor. I do think the roundtable interviews at MCM Comic Con work well, so hopefully the team will look into doing this in the future.

Thanks to FOX we were also able to join other press in a roundtable with The Gifted stars Emma Dumont and Blair Redford, check out our interview with them here.

Verdict

I absolutely loved Heroes and Villains Fan Fest last year, and this year was no different! I genuinely think the relaxed atmosphere and opportunities to meet and talk with your favourite TV stars are the best from any UK convention. It was great to see the actors genuinely enjoying their time at the con and wanting to be there – the panels also continue to be great fun!

Guest wise, it would be great to see a little more Marvel stars and guests from different shows next year, as there were a lot of repeat stars from last year. Riverdale and The Gifted actors added an extra dimension to the show, so it would be great to see them build on that. But overall, Heroes and Villains Fan Fest continues to be one of my favourite conventions and a highlight in my calendar – bring on next year!

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Nicola Austin

Lover of all things Marvel, DC, Game of Thrones, Disney, Pokemon and Studio Ghibli. Favourite superhero is Ms Marvel closely followed by Spider-Man.

Nicola Austin has 1783 posts and counting. See all posts by Nicola Austin

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