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100-degree heat can't stop the Valley from dressing up and geeking out at Phoenix Fan Fusion

Despite triple-digit heat this weekend, costumed characters descended on downtown Phoenix for the annual Fan Fusion gathering. Fans of Stars Wars, comic books and anime were part of the eclectic crowd.

Previously known as Phoenix Comicon, Fan Fusion serves as the pop culture epicenter to meet artists, actors and more.

With temperatures hovering near the 100-degree mark, covered walkways, water stations and industrial-sized fans were set up outside the Convention Center. Despite the heat, many visitors arrived in heavy costumes.

That included Brandon Keene, who came from Tucson. He was dressed as the titular character from the Star Wars TV series “The Mandalorian” — helmet and all.

“We'll have to be drinking a lot of water and electrolytes to replace all the sweat and stuff we’re losing. So we’re sweaty, but we’re here,” he said.

In a Scoops Ahoy ice cream uniform from a fictional 1980s mall, Jared Fortini was dressed as Steve from the Netflix show “Stranger Things.”

“I’m excited that it’s a non-judgment, it's a judgment-free zone where you can just express yourself. I’m excited for the Villain’s Ball tonight. That’ll be really exciting. That’s something that we’ve been looking forward to all week,” he said.

Headliners for this year’s convention included a pair of Hollywood superheroes — Grant Gustin from “The Flash” TV series and Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This was the second Phoenix Fan Fusion held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which put the event on pause for two years.

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.