Tobey Maguire Spidey fans today, probably.
Image: Sony Pictures

Not all number fours are created equal. Not even all of them are fantastic. But a certain digit sent Marvel fans into a tizzy this weekend, only for it to be all for naught. Or maybe that should be four naught?

Yesterday, Marvel Comics’ official Twitter account dropped a cryptic teaser image of a spider crawling over an artfully webbed number four. No other details were mentioned, but fans drew the obvious conclusion that it was Spider-Man related. Because...duh.

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Anyway, from there things got wild. People thought it could be a Spider-Man/Fantastic Four crossover series. Others, deliberately ignoring that the tease came from Marvel Comics and not Marvel Studios, salivated at the idea of some sort of Fantastic Four presence in the MCU. And then there was the wildest prevailing rumor: Marvel was secretly planning to adapt Sam Raimi’s unfilmed ideas for his fourth and final Spider-Man movie into a comic book.

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Wait, what?

The evidence, weirdly enough, started making a modicum of sense, in a sort of “Charlie Day in front of conspiracy whiteboard” way when you started working back from the assumption that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4: The Movie: The Comic Book was A Thing That Was Happening. #SpiderMan4 started trending, and famed Marvel cover artist Alex Ross used it to tweet—and promptly deleted—a piece of his work depicting Spider-Man swinging MJ through New York that actually featured in the opening credits of Spider-Man 2. Eager for more fevered scraps of a clue, fans also noted that a tweet from Marvel Comics EIC C.B. Cebulski about the publishers’ dream for the next big million-selling issue of a comic went out on the 17th anniversary of Spider-Man’s release on May 2, 2002:

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Because, you know, we always celebrate the 17th anniversary of something as the biggest one. Anyway, all of that got laid low today, when Marvel returned to its teasing self and posted a new image, this time of a number 3. The four was part of a weirdly-timed countdown, and nothing more:

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Noted purveyor of truth Cebulski chimed in again to twist the knife even further, quoting the new tease to specifically comment that whatever the comics news is, it’s not a Spidey/Fantastic Four crossover or an adaptation of Raimi’s comic:

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There’s usually at least one or two major event storylines in the Spider-Man comics every year, and considering we already had Spider-Geddon come to its end earlier this year, there’s a possibility we’ll be learning of another event this week. Whatever it is, we’ll find out in three days. Sorry, Raimi-loving webheads!

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