Comic characters

Fans dress as numerous characters during the first ACE Comic Con Jan. 13 to 15 at Gila River Arena.

Thousands of fans lined up outside Gila River Arena Jan. 13 for the first day of ACE Comic Con , which took over the arena for the weekend to showcase stars, comic books and all things Marvel during the three-day event.

“This couldn’t be geekier for all us comic book fans,” said Janice Morehouse of Scottsdale, dressed in a full Wonder Woman costume. “I have gone to Phoenix Comic Con a few times, but this has been a great weekend.”

Fans strolled into Gila River Arena dressed as everything from Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Captain America and any other comic book character from the Marvel Universe with the enthusiasm of fans attending a sporting event.

“This is just amazing to be here with all these other comic book fans and to get to meet stars and ask questions of their roles or comics,” said Janice Marchond of Glendale who attended with her two children. “My kids love comic books, so to have this here is perfect because it is in our backyard and has been so much fun.”

The only downside to the weekend was that “Captain America” star Chris Evans was forced to cancel his appearance on Jan. 14 after falling ill.

According to a spokesperson, Evans was forced to cancel his appearance after coming down with an illness, even though he had attended the convention the first day.

“I am disappointed that he cancelled,” said Marchond, “but I understand getting sick and having to get well. At least the organizers are offering something to us who purchased the opportunity to take pictures with him.”

Fans who purchased a photo op with just Evans could instead get one with “Spider-Man” star Tom Holland, who was also headlining the three-day event. Fans were also offered an autographed lithograph from Evans as a replacement.

Along with Evans and Holland, stars such as Sebastian Stan – who played the Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie (The Falcon), Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), John Bernthall (The Punisher), and Marvel comic book author Stan Lee among others.