It’s the time of year we’re all free to embrace our inner hero: Supanova is here. As Australia’s biggest pop culture festival, Supanova celebrates comics, sci-fi, toys, games, cinema and TV culture. This year’s event is shaping up to be one for the books - comic or otherwise. 

Held across the country on the Gold Coast, in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and finishing up in Brisbane, this year’s festival will showcase some of the biggest names in pop. There’s a massive line up of guests and events – here are our five recommendations for this year’s Supanova.

1. Dress for Success

Supanova is the kind of place you can come as you are – or as you imagine you could be. Dressing up as your favourite comic, anime or movie character is totally encouraged, and what better way to spark your imagination and show off your character than with a real life game of Cosplay Chess.

To play, participants take their places on a giant chessboard. The pieces are directed by a player who instructs the characters on which move to make. When one piece takes another, they’re obliged to battle it out, with the vanquished ‘dying’ in the most spectacular fashion. Check mate!

2. Throw Down

Why fight when you can wrestle? The most theatrical of all sports is holding a tournament at this year’s Supernova, with live pro-wrestling bouts from the Australian Wrestling Federation. Australasian Champion Dean Draven will take on fellow warriors TNT, Jake Navara, Gabriel Wolfe and Chris Trance. It’s up to you to decide whose side you’re on – but there’s no doubt that in the most hard-hitting, sweaty way possible, the winner will take all. Game on.

3. Get a Wakeup Call

It’s a long weekend at Supanova, so you’ll need something to lift your flagging spirits. The MOTHER REVIVE booth will be offering energy drinks to help you get through the day, in a slick set inspired by their latest television commercial. While you're there, take a photo of your best Conquer the Day attitude and upload it wherever you like with the hashtag #conquertheday. The best photo, chosen at the end of Supanova, will win a $1,000 PS4 and MOTHER REVIVE prize pack. Now that's a wake up call!

4. Take a Sneak Peek

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes? Australia’s favourite anime distributor, Madman, will be showcasing anime series, Sword Art Online, with a detailed look at how the show was made.

Featuring original artwork pieces from the show including character designs, storyboards, and key animation frames, the exhibition gives fans a peek at the creative process and how the hit anime series was created.

5. Behold the Master

Stan ‘The Man’ Lee is nothing short of living legend. Former president and chairman of Marvel Comics, Stan is the creator of literally hundreds of the world’s most beloved superheroes. For the first time in 28 years, Stan will be heading to Australia for this year’s Supanova. Unfortunately, Stan’s only appearing in Sydney, June 13-15, so serious fanboys and fangirls will need to get out to the Showground for what’s likely to be his last visit Downunder.

For timetables and guides to all the action check out Supanova.