As one major conference drew to a close in Cleveland, so another – with even more outlandish, over-the-top characters – opened in California. Evil villains plotting to take over the world mingled with superheroes and trolls at San Diego's annual Comic-Con, taking place from 21-24 July 2016.

The four-day event has become an increasingly important tool for Hollywood to generate interest in upcoming films, with discussions and previews hosted by studios and television networks for the 150,000-plus audience comprising comic book, film and TV fans, many of whom have spent months working on their costumes – with attendees dressing as characters from Dr Who, Star Trek, Star Wars and various Marvel and DC Comics favourites, including characters from the forthcoming Suicide Squad film.

In this gallery, IBTimes UK looks at some of the costumed characters attending this year's event.