once upon a time

SDCC 2017 Recap

SDCC, the biggest comic con of the year, is over and we’re here to talk about our favorite moments, trailers, and announcements. We’ll be covering major franchises like Marvel and Infinity War, DC Comics and Justice League, plus Netflix’s Stranger Things, and even more.

What was your favorite SDCC moment?

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer

Derreck Mayer

Derreck Mayer

Flying Killer Robots


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Costume Couture: Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time has seen so many characters from the Disney Princess and fairy tale universe. We’ve seen live action versions of Cinderella, Belle, Captain Hook, and even our Frozen friends. This week, we talk about our favorite and least favorite costumes and styles from Once Upon a Time. We look at the princesses, villains, and sidekicks, hitting on as many characters as possible in a single episode.

Then, it’s our latest Cosplayer of the Week, Yellowbrick Road Cosplay! She’s known for a wide range of characters and specifically performs a lot of crossplay.

So, sit down, relax, and join us for some princesses, villains, and cosplay!

Find Yellowbrick Road Cosplay


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Rae of Super Sirens Cosplay
Ian of Haus of Turner Cosplay

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Costume Couture: Once Upon a Time

Fall 2015 TV Show Blurbs

With Fall TV shows starting up, our team takes a look at a few we are most excited about. These shows consist of returning hits from networks like The CW and FOX, new shows coming to premium channels like STARZ, and even one series returning on a different service all together, Hulu. We’ve got superheroes returning and changing, old friends returning from long absences, a guy you love to hate that just might give you feels this season, and Mr. The Frog’s gang. So sit back and read up on what’s returning, what’s news, and what we are most excited for in the Fall 2015 TV season.




Last season wasn’t the best.  I stuck with the show because both previous seasons had proven to me that you can give fans exactly what they want without sacrificing all humor or changing every bit of the source material in the adaptation.  However, Arrow almost lost me.  The entire subplot of Oliver and Felicity was just downright awful.  “Are we going to be together?” “I love you, but I could never hurt you.”  Oh, just shut up and fire some arrows already.  Romance is important. I like a good romance story arc, but give it a rest.  Sorry, Felicity, Oliver’s life does not outweigh the rest of the city’s. Please stop trying to convince your ex-boyfriend of that; it’s uncomfortable for all of us.  The stories with Diggle and Layla were beautiful.  Their wedding and baby girl, Sarah, added a depth to their characters that wasn’t needed, but helped the audience connect even more.  We saw characters that had been previously one dimensional (Laurel, Thea, Roy) really come into their own and lead the show into a new realization: Arrow doesn’t need Oliver to be amazing.  The creative team at The CW has given enough lasting elements to Starling City that makes me want to come back.

The teasers for season 4 have been incredibly impressive.  As in the previous mentioned Arrow article, they’re not being shy about adding in new faces.  We’ll be seeing new big bads and little bads, new heroes, new sidekicks.  We’re also getting a taste of what NBC lost.  Matt Ryan has been seen reprising his Constantine role which was canceled earlier this spring after being shoved in an unsuccessful time slot.  Thanks to the campaigns of both fans and Stephen Amell, the incarnation of the character will not be lost forever.

Ultimately, the season has the most potential than any before.  Aside from the great character foundation that Arrow has built, it also has sister shows The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow to draw from.  Keeping all three shows cyclical and connected is to sure to bring all of them success over the years.

Written by: Rae Stewart

Ash vs Evil Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead

I think this show is the one I am most excited about due to the return of Bruce Campbell to my favorite of his roles, Ash. Our chainsaw-armed “hero” is set to return after a 30 years. The series is set to take place three decades after Army of Darkness, the sequel to Evil Dead II. Based on the premise and interviews, we can safely assume it does not follow the Director’s Cut ending where Ash oversleeps for hundreds of years and wakes up in the future. Instead, Ash sleeps the correct amount and wakes up in his own time to work again at S-Mart. The show is to air on the premium channel, STARZ and is being led by Bruce Campbell with Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Drag Me to Hell) as Executive Producer. The series is set for 10 half-hour episodes, giving up nearly 5 hours of content, which is definitely more exciting than a single two hour film. The series kicked things into high gear with the addition of female action badass, Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). The new Evil Dead universe series, Ash vs Evil Dead airs its first episode on Halloween. So stay groovy and break out your old boomsticks. Oh and don’t forget to shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

Written by: Derreck Mayer

The Flash

The Flash

The multiverse is here. For those DC fans out there, you know what this can mean. For those who don’t, let me bring you up to speed. The DC Universe included something called the multiverse. Until The Flash, this concept existed mainly in comic books and a few cartoons but never in the live action adaptions either on the big or small screens. The multiverse is the concept that there are multiple universes with multiple Earths that each vary, sometimes slightly, sometimes in very large ways. Earth 2, for example, includes the Val Zod Superman and Alan Scott Green Lantern while “our” universe is Clark and Hal or Jon or Guy…. or Simon… or Kyle (yes there are a lot of Lanterns)… anyway, the idea is that many Earths exist, providing nearly endless possibilities.

Last season on The Flash, we caught a glimpse of this in two major ways. First, Mark Hamill reprising his role as The Trickster. This was a role he played in the original Flash TV series back in the day along side John Wesley Shipp who played Flash. Now, Shipp plays Barry Allen’s father. Was Mark Hamill’s casting a simple ode to fans or was there a possible connection to the 1990 series? Well, we now have rumors that one of the other universes might star Shipp back in his rubber suit as Flash! I’m beyond excited about this opportunity. The second way the multiverse showed itself to us was a little more obvious and is basically confirmed, Jay Garrick Flash. Who? Well, the name Flash has been used by several people over the years. Barry is just the most popular due to recent comic books and the fantastic cartoon Justice League. Did you catch that weird metal helmet with the lightning bolts at the end of season 1? That’s Jay’s helmet, from another universe. Did you catch the weird wormhole Barry ran through? All of those strange things we saw, statues at the Flash museum, Caitlin Snow as possibly (Killer) Frost, and so much more.

Additionally, Warner Bros does not wish to directly connect their movie and TV universes. So how can we have two Flashes? Easy, the multiverse. I am very excited about this possibility and the options that The CW now have to play with. We can see incredible characters and crossover stories us comic book fans could only dream of.

The Flash is so much more though. It’s bright, funny, exciting, thrilling, and just an enjoyable show that is part of The CW’s DC Universe alongside Arrow, Vixen (which is available on CW Seed online), and Legends of Tomorrow (coming soon to The CW).

If you haven’t seen season 1, you should definitely try to catch up with the fastest man alive. Season 2 premieres October 6th on The CW.

Written by: Derreck Mayer



Gotham, having premiered last week, gave us a very different direction for its second season as opposed to its first. Several things have changed that have made this show, in several ways, unlike its predecessor. The cast has been switched around with some characters bumped up from reoccurring to main and some main characters removed entirely. Several characters are also following arcs entirely different from the first season. While much of this I approve of since I don’t particularly mind when shows try new things, the one thing I take issue with is this season’s supposed focus on villains. The second season, subtitled “Rise of the Villains,” teased that several familiar villains, presumably taken from Batman’s rogue’s gallery, will appear to plague Gordon’s quest to purify Gotham. However, given that several villains have already been introduced, including Penguin, Catwoman, Scarecrow, along with others, it seems unnecessary to sudden start adding in a ton of other villains. It really depends on how much depth they are willingly to put into each episode’s story as well as the season long arc since, if done correctly, this could make for some very interesting character driven drama but it could also simply be a ploy as getting ratings by teasing Batman villain fan service without going into any real depth. So while I am excited for this upcoming season, I am skeptical of how it will be done. Here’s hoping.

Written by: 

The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth

Did you see season 1? No? Then stop reading and go watch it. This show is different, to be sure. I mean, how often do you get a comedy that you actually want to watch where you hate, and I mean hate, the man “protagonist”. I put that in quotations because I am not sure we can call Phil Miller a good guy. Anyway, the show is fresh and funny. It puts a humorous and, at times, realistic spin on the post-apocalyptic world. Will Forte pulls of a character you love to hate and hate that you might just love. Meanwhile, Kristen Schaal is hilarious, quirky, and smart. The additional cast supports well, though I’m not a huge fan of January Jones’ character Melissa Shart. Not her fault, I just don’t find the character interesting.

Season 1 ends with Phil and Carol off on their own, leaving their new little community behind, Carol definitely regretting the decision almost immediately. What will happen to them? Well, I’m sure they will stumble across more people and Phil will continue to get in his own way with his dishonest and selfish behavior. Hopefully, Carol can finally get through to him.

The only way to find out if Phil gets what’s coming to him is by tuning in on FOX. Episode 1 is out now!

Written by: Derreck Mayer

The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project

I am so pumped this show was rescued.  While it had been canceled by Fox (what isn’t?), Hulu swooped in to see it continue.  The show’s ratings had drooped and, as a need to push for viewers’ interest, they introduced a pregnancy story line used to hook people from season 3 to 4.  It wasn’t the best thing they could have done, but I understand why they needed to do it.  What’s so special is that while she is pregnant, Mindy is not stuck with that being her only place on the show.  She’s also opening her own practice, which as a professional, would be fodder for an entire season of episodes if the main character was male (how often do they use the pregnant story line for a male-lead sitcom?) The fact that the show is wanting to show multiple facets of a character, both as a mother and a professional, could be groundbreaking.  For some reason it’s considered a super power when a woman is both a parent and working professional.  If this upcoming season manages to balance both major aspects of the character’s life without losing Mindy’s wit and charm in the process, then I’m in for life.  I will watch The Mindy Project until it is no more and probably some more after that.

Written by: Rae Stewart

The Muppets

The Muppets

It’s time to start the music, light the lights, and put the kids to bed because these Muppets are for you, adults. The Muppets are back on the air in their new adult-themed series. The show centers around the Muppets producing a late night talk show starring Miss Piggy and produced by Kermit. The rest of our friends, and most of them at least make a small appearance in the first episode, support the show as cast and crew. The style of the series is similar to The Office or other interview style shows.

The jokes are adult. The themes are adult. The Muppets are adult. The Muppets is a show for adults, specifically, those who grew up with and loved The Muppets. We get to finally watch these characters deal with real adult problems like relationships, jobs, and social issues.

Many are disappointed at the adult nature of the jokes and themes but I am excited about the possibilities. I can’t wait to see how the series evolves, how the characters grow, and what ends up happening between Miss Piggy, Kermit, and his new love interest.

So, go get things started by catching up on the first episode of The Muppets on ABC before tonight’s episode airs.

Written by: Derreck Mayer

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Get ready all you Oncers! Sunday, September 27th marked the season 5 premiere of Once Upon A Time. This season has been teased to be the darkest the show has gone to date. That’s explainable seeing as how the savior Emma Swan has now been consumed by darkness and has become the new “Dark One” replacing Rumplestilstskin in the process. Now dubbed the Dark Swan by the creators of the show and fans around the world Snow White, Prince Charming, Belle, Henry, Regina (The Evil Queen), Robin Hood, and Hook must all band together to try and break Emma free from this darkness and return her to the light. With a quest for Camelot and to find the powerful sorcerer Merlin on the agenda, along with returning fan favorite characters such as Zelena, Mulan, and Ruby (Red Riding Hood) with also adding in Princess Merida from Disney Pixar’s Brave in the mix of it all. You can bet a whole new batch of characters, stories, and locations will be explored for this season. So don’t forget to tune in Sundays on ABC Family to see all your favorite fairytale characters and more fight the forces of good and evil.

Written by: Ian T.

Well, that’s our list for our Fall 2015 TV show blurbs. What are you most excited for this season? Comment below!

Fall 2015 TV Show Blurbs

The End of Fables – A Eulogy, Part 1

Fables has ended.  The 13 year run of the Vertigo imprint, the multiple Eisner award winning comic is over.  And I’m heartbroken.


When I first picked up Fables, my life was a little lost.  I had recently been dumped, which in turn left me homeless, jobless, car-less…you get the picture; it wasn’t a fun time.  Now, I won’t  lie by saying the books alone turned everything around for me.  No one thing can do that for anyone.  However, I will not discount the significance it had on me.  At that time, I had stopped writing, stopped singing, stopped doing just about anything that provided me with a shred of happiness. So I walked into an incredibly small comic book store in Springfield, MO and the clerk recommended Fables.  Fairy tales have always spoken to me.  I’ve constantly been inspired by the romance, the magic, the underlying darkness. It was an obvious match.  I picked up the first trade and read it in an hour. And I’ve been reading it ever since.

I was reading the comic when I uprooted my life and traveled the country.  I was reading the comic when my nieces were born.  I was reading the comic when I got married.  I read the comic during my divorce.  I connected with the characters the way you connect with family. It’s been an incredibly large part of my pop culture life and I am truly grateful for its existence.  The profound imprint that it has left upon me will never be forgotten.

Do you think I’m being a little too emotional over a comic book? That’s fair. That’s just, like, your opinion, man.  But what started as a comic book erupted into a revolutionary run in comics.  I remember in 2003 that the comics I wanted to collect were few and far between.  I picked up Neil Gaiman’s 1602 and started The Walking Dead like everyone else, but, honestly, that was about it.  Comics was this huge boys club that thought they were being inclusive when really they were making tacky sex jokes and killing off characters without any poignancy. If it wasn’t for Gail Simone, the 2000’s would have been a dark time indeed.  Then Fables came along. It featured a well-rounded ensemble cast of familiar faces with what can only be (poorly) described as twists.  It also featured a woman as its main character and that is incredibly important to a female reader.

I connected immediately with Snow White.  Why? Because I am Snow White.  That is me.  You may never meet me, but if you’ve read Fables, then you’ve met me.  All of her strengths and flaws I see in myself.  She’s a woman hardened by her past but a leader in her community.  She’s trusted, loyal, over protective, scared of letting go and loving others, accomplished… She’s the one in that town that gets shit done.  I wasn’t the only one that connected to her.  Despite valiant efforts to focus on other characters, Fables creator Bill Willingham and his second in command, Mark Buckingham, kept going back to Snow White, and subsequently, Bigby and Rose Red.  She didn’t by any means carry the comic, but she lead it, just like she lead Fabletown.  She was the foundation for hundreds of fairy tale characters to grow.  But more on them later.

This comic was so highly regarded and successful that it spawned two more ongoing series (Jack of Fables and Fairest), three limited spin-offs (Cinderella, which also had a sequel, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, and Wolves of the Heartland), one novel (Peter and Max), one art book dedicated to the beautiful covers produced over the years, and one video game (Telltale Games’ A Wolf Among Us).  At one point, both NBC and ABC held the rights to a television adaptation, and instead of producing the superior Fables, we were given the crude Grimm and the contrived Once Upon a Time, both easily inspired by Fables.  While it may seem that my dedication to this comic book is both extreme and obsessive, I clearly wasn’t the only one.  Without further ado, here is my ode to Fables. Caution: there be spoilers ahead.


The Beginning

Fables starts us off with a small mystery story that gets us familiar with the main players.  It’s opening revolves around Rose Red’s murder, wrapping her sister, Snow White, and the town’s sheriff, Bigby Wolf, into the fold.  The whole story line takes place in the first six issues, what is possibly the shortest story revolving around those characters.

We were also introduced, very subtly, to the characters that would play larger roles in the series: Jack, Flycatcher, Boy Blue, Prince Charming, Beauty, Beast, King Cole. The Manhattan settlement of Fabletown was established as a safe haven for Fables fleeing the Homelands, various magical worlds in which these characters originated. We also got some brief hints at why they came over, but nothing too detailed yet.

To be honest, the story was rough, as most origin stories are.  If I had based my opinion solely on those first six issues, I never would have continued.  It’s brash and clumsy writing, over flowing with curse words and nudity (I’m no prude, but, like everything, moderation is the key to writing).  We have to get the who and what and when and where because otherwise no one will continue.  The problem is, that stuff is boring and reads more like a text book than a comic.  However, I kept going because if there’s one thing Bill Willingham knows how to do it’s create subtext.  Every face in the background was intriguing.  Every side comment from side character from side panel was going to come into play and I knew that.  I wanted to watch where it was going.  From then on, it all just got better.

The Main Characters

Fables Snow White and BigbySnow White – Her origin was peppered over numerous stories, the audience getting a small piece every collection or so.  We saw her early life unfold, the one from the fairy tale which we know and love, beginning with her life as a twin, to her marriage with Prince Charming, and her fight against her former oppressors.  Each part was filled with twists to the familiar story that gave the character more depth than any other incarnation of her has been given to date.  It made watching her grow as Deputy Mayor of Fabletown, leader of the Fables against The Adversary, becoming a wife and a mother, to moving on outside of Fabletown even better because we knew she had to fight for it.

Bigby Wolf – He was constantly misunderstood.  Haunted by his past as one of the most notorious villains in all of Fables’ history, Bigby had to fight for a place in Fabletown.  After signing the Fabletown pact (an agreement of a truce that every Fable had to sign once admitted to the New York neighborhood), he was placed as the town’s sheriff, mainly because of his ability to be both big and bad if needed.   He worked for the trust he gained, and he worked for the love of Snow White.  The overall growth of his character was probably the most satisfying of any out of the whole book.  His roles as devoted son, town hero, fearsome villain, immortal god, father, husband, savage, spy, mercenary, etc., gave each of his fans reason to love him over and over.  I hold a special place in my heart for Bigby since he is my boyfriend incarnate (which he would recognize as high praise if he would read the comic).

Fables Rose RedRose Red – She was never my favorite, which was always part of her charm.  She isn’t supposed to be anyone’s favorite, but as a reader, you root for Red because she’s trying so hard.  She’s impetuous and foolhardy and never fully aware of the whole story.  But her level of passion always got me excited.  I wanted her to succeed. I hoped that each new relationship she threw herself into was going to be fulfilling.  I hoped she would have seen her privilege and grow from it. I hoped she would see herself as an ambitious and determined woman instead of the family screw up.  And the moment she did, all of this relief swept over me as a reader and loved her even more.

Flycatcher – You don’t think too much about him. He’s the janitor of The Woodlands apartments you see off to the side. It’s not until later you see just how much more to him there really is. He was once a king, inflicted with an inconvenient curse to turn into a frog whenever his anxiety levels rise. When The Adversary’s army attacked his home, leaving him without family, he fled his homeland and blocked the tragedy from his memory. When The Adversary turned his sites toward Fabletown, Flycatcher is the first to sign up to fight for his new home. He created the first kingdom in the Homelands post The Adversary, rightfully named Haven. No matter what Fly faced, he was always better than the problem. He remained moral and fair, never wavering.

Fables JackJack Horner – Jack is the antithesis Flycatcher. He’s out for himself, full of get laid, get rich schemes. But you know, somehow that he’s inherently good. Maybe it’s because The Adversary was his enemy too. Maybe because you can see that he truly cares about Gary, the Pathetic Fallacy (his sidekick). Maybe it’s because he gets his comeuppance more than once. For whatever reason we sit through his story lines (and spin off), we can at least all agree that he’s entertaining as hell. Fun fact: main artist Mark Buckingham hated drawing Jack and was thrilled to pass him off to a new artist when he got his own series.

The Adversary – For 75 issues, this character was the biggest bad of them all. He put to shame any other villain who had appeared or would appear in the comic. His goblin and orc decimated homeland after homeland until eventually he came for Fabletown. Once the reveal hit of who was behind the massive attacks on the Fables, the story grew that much more. The fearless wooden army made sense. The true horrors of his crimes were more intense. The cabal of villains he had in his pocket were more frightening. And when he was finally defeated, the victory was sweeter. The best part was the character wasn’t forgotten. Willingham kept him in the mix of things from then on, letting his story evolve like everyone else’s. Most importantly, the story didn’t die afterward, either. To have one villain for so long made me as a reader nervous for what they would do next, but it turned out, I had no reason to be. Fun fact: the Adversary was originally planned to be Peter Pan, however, the character is not free to use so that idea was scrapped when Willingham could not secure the rights.

Look for Part 2 coming soon where we see the highs, lows, and those moments in between from Fables!

Continue to Part 2.

The End of Fables – A Eulogy, Part 1