In an ambitious attempt to promote the new animated superhero comedy "Megamind," DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures invited Los Angeles-based superhero fans to assemble and break the world record for the "largest gathering of superheroes." The story of an inept super-villain who, after finally defeating his nemesis, becomes the only hope for a city under siege by a new threat, "Megamind" stars the voice of Will Ferrell, who was on hand in downtown LA along with director Tom McGrath and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg to ask questions like, "Where are all the Megamind fans at?" even though the film is not based on a previously existing character and doesn't open until November 5 (in 3D!).

Loads of cosplay pictures after the jump.Guinness World Records Adjudicator Stuart Claxton was on hand to confirm the 1500+ crowd did indeed set a world record in downtown L.A. on Saturday, although you would think that San Diego's Comic-Con International -- which caps attendance at 150,000 -- eclipses 1,500 costumed superhero fans on an annual basis. Compounding the incredulousness, many of the costumes at the "Megamind" event were of a decidedly questionable veracity. To qualify for the world record, attendees were required to dress as "an easily recognizable superhero that has appeared in a published book, comic, television program or film," as stipulated by the Guinness guidelines. You can see a gallery of the legitimate costumes below, but what you will also see in the backgrounds are a curiously large number of "Batman costumes" that amount to little more than t-shirts, cheap capes and plastic face masks that were so pervasive, I suspect they were made available on-site.

While there were some excellent costumes here and there, the disappointing turnout of more serious cosplayers is likely a consequence of the "Megamind" phenomenon -- which is to say, a phenomenon that doesn't exist (at least, not yet). Certainly, it's a cool idea to gather costumed superhero fans together for pretty much any reason, much less to break a world record in support of a new superhero film, but the force to do so must be stronger than just another superhero parody (which director McGrath described, of course, as a novel twist on the genre) in a post-"Incredibles" world.

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