Halloween came early this year to the Javits Center, where New York Comic-Con brought out the good, the bad and the ugly.
It's a crowd that looks like America, as it exists in a universe of superheroes! "A lot of diverse figures, especially female diverse figures," said fan Sharae Allen.
Fans have their share of universes to embrace. There are more than enough heroes and villains to go around.
"Today I'm dressed as 'Silver Banshee' from the DC Universe," said Pam Cora, a librarian from the Bronx!
Manhattan lawyer Lauren May was playing hooky Thursday.
"I work at a law firm in the city and they absolutely know I am here and they love to tell all of my clients that this is what I do," she said.
We caught up with some of the other fans attending Comic-Con:
Fans of the Marvel movies found free merchandise. But don't be thinking it lasts forever, says Brooklyn's Courtney Davis.
"Come early. Come early so you can get your stuff off the top. Tomorrow you might not get something that's here today," said Davis.
The free stuff is no doubt part of Comic-Con's appeal, but many come here for the camaraderie.
"If you look around, everyone is dressed up. Everyone is not afraid to show what they really like. The passion. The people it brings. It's just beautiful," said fan Omar Adbulkareem.
Omar's makeup is by no means the most elaborate here. Last year 167,000 people came for the event that ends Sunday.
That was 30 percent more than expected, and judging by the crowds, that mark will be equaled or beaten this year.
At the Javits Center it's possible to go from one universe to another just by walking the length of the hall. In the middle of it all is Mike Sarrao from Bay Ridge.
"The magic of Comic-Con is the art, the storytelling, the creativity: everything that people love about our pop culture. It's celebrated here at New York Comic-Con," said Mike, a guidance counselor at Brooklyn College moonlighting here as a writer of his own series, "S.I.D.", which stands for "Special Intergalactic Detective".
"My day job I'm really making a difference with students in their lives and helping them build their futures and their careers, and then I go home and write comic books as a form of escapism," said Mike.
His booth sits in the shadow of the big guys. "It's very intimidating especially when you have Marvel here and a sea of other talent, but you can't be intimidated. You're here just like everyone else to create content and do what you love," he said.
Johni Licht from the Jersey Shore came here as a fan first before turning pro.
"You're a comic book editor. What do you get out of being here?," we asked.
"It's really exciting to meet people who have read our books and talk to them about what they think," said Johni.
She's seen a lot of changes here in the past decade: A lot more people and more diversity, kindred spirits drawn together by a common bond.
According to Pam Cora: "Young, old, men, women, children, people with disabilities. Everyone can come here and find something for them."
Silver Banshee is supposed to be a villain, but folks here are so friendly, it's hard to think of anyone as really scary.