At the preview night for New York Comic Con, heroes like Captain America and Inspector Gadget rubbed elbows with villains such as The Joker and Skeletor.
But far from the latest battleground in the epic fight of good versus evil, the convention—those masked adventurers say—is a place to revel in a shared excitement for comics and all things inspired by them. Their goals: Get a sneak peek at upcoming releases, meet favorite artists and celebrities and show off costumes that took, in some cases, months of hard work.
Last year, the four-day con attracted more than 116,000 attendees, according to organizers. What's the draw this year? We'll let the fans tell you, in their own words.
—By CNBC's Kelli B. Grant. Follow her on Twitter @kelligrant.