It’s almost time for the greatest forces of good and evil from television and movies to come together in San Jose, with Heroes & Villains FanFest quickly approaching. This is the convention’s third year at the San Jose Convention Center, and if past events are any indication, it’s one worth going to.
As always, the cast of DC’s television shows are headlining, with multiple “Arrow” actors in attendance, including Stephen Amell, John Barrowman, Manu Bennet, and Emily Bett Rickards, as well as a good portion of the rest of the cast. The other DC shows, such as “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” and “Legends of Tomorrow” will also have several actors in attendance, such as Brandon Routh, Robbie Amell, and Caity Lotz.
Of course, Marvel has equal representation, with Jon Bernthal, fresh off the Netflix premier of “The Punisher,” appearing alongside “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actors Ming-Na Wen and Brett Dalton. Emma Dumont, now known for her role as Polaris in “The Gifted,” will be representing the mutant side of Marvel, while “Guardians of the Galaxy” actors Sean Gunn, Steve Agee, and Chris Sullivan will be joining Zachary Levi, who played Fandral in “Thor: Dark World.”
As a moderately large comic convention, there are plenty more guests than that, including another Oliver Queen actor, Justin Hartley, who portrayed the emerald archer in “Smallville.” Comic and celebrity artists will also be in attendance, including Neal Adams from DC Comics, and several featured artists such as Rob Prior, Jason Palmer, and Brian C. Roll.
In previous years, the lines to meet each guest has been lengthy, but well-managed. Attendees can buy VIP badges to meet their guests of choice more quickly, or sign up for photo sessions in advance.
What makes Heroes & Villains FanFest a more engaging, entertaining experience is their use of open space, along with the many booths and vendors. Past years have featured a large bounce-house zipline for guests to slide down, and the panel stage is not hidden away behind a long line, but out and facing the entire convention, so even those waiting in line to meet one guest can still listen to another talk during the panel.