Thursday marks the official opening of San Diego Comic-Con International, a five-day celebration of pop culture's geekiest elements. Started in the '70s as a convention for comic books and sci-fi/fantasy media, the event now includes everything from Pixar movie screenings to seminars on the art of Web comics and feminist cosplay.
And though there is undoubtedly something at Comic-Con for everyone, the biggest attractions aren't set up by DC or Marvel. They come in the form of the devoted coterie who journey to their geek Mecca every year, wearing the garb of fictional characters like Slave Leia, Batman and Vaan from "Final Fantasy." Outside of Disney World, Comic-Con might have the largest costume-to-plainclothes ratio on the planet, and the best part is that no one bats an eye, no matter how bizarrely you are dressed. It's like a grown-up Halloween, except everyone totally gets that you are dressed as Mal from "Firefly" and not Han Solo. In honor of Comic-Con's launch today, we gathered a smattering of our favorite ensembles over the last several years, including the classics alongside the fringiest of the fringe. Do you have a favorite costume you've seen at Comic-Con or cosplay festivals? Send us the links in the comments!