What’s the Deal with Marvel’s “Fear” Teasers?

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Marvel has released a handful of teasers this week for some sort of event that’s happening in April. “Do you fear… tomorrow?” is the caption on the first image, which shows Spider-Man in front of a tableau of scary newspaper headlines and a Homeland Security travel-alert color chart on red alert. (Never mind that the Homeland Security Department recently suggested discontinuing the color-coding system.)

“Do you fear… what you’ve become?” runs the caption for today’s image, which shows the X-Men’s Cyclops in an outfit that recalls his on-and-off archenemy (and occasional ally) Magneto. There’s also a very brief “Fear” video trailer, in which we see the word “fear” translated into several dozen languages against a starry backdrop, intercut with split-second images of various superheroes.

(More on Techland: The Comic Book Club: “Adele Blanc-Sec” and “Amazing Spider-Man”)

What’s this all about? We don’t know for sure yet, but here are the odds for a few possibilities:

3:1 — It has something to do with the “Man Without Fear” epithet formerly held by Daredevil, whose title is being taken over by Black Panther as of this month’s Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #513.

10:1 — It has something to do with Mister Fear, a character who’s gone through at least four incarnations, mostly fighting Daredevil and Spider-Man.

(More on Techland: Black Panther Loses Fear, Steps In to Clean Up Hell’s Kitchen)

50:1 — It has something to do with Man-Thing, the mute swamp monster who took over the headline slot in Marvel’s Fear series–previously a reprint anthology–in October 1972, and starred in it for a couple of years. His tag line: “Whoever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing!” (Lately, he’s been appearing in Thunderbolts.)

250:1 — It has something to do with the 1992 graphic novel Spider-Man: Fear Itself (written by Gerry Conway and Stan Lee, and drawn by the veteran Amazing Spider-Man team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito), in which Spider-Man and Silver Sable get mixed up with some super-scientific plot devices that induce terrible fright. If that seems like a particularly catchy title, note that it was recycled for a 2009 one-shot involving Spider-Man and Man-Thing.

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