By this point in time, comic book fans have become extremely familiar with a good ol' classic fakeout.
Time and time again, comics have a habit of making some truly game-changing, jaw-dropping, mind-blowing revelation, only to then simply reveal all of this to have been some sort of ruse. Whether that's because the actions themselves seen are part of some underhand plan in the first place, or maybe there's some alternate timeline or even time-travelling BS at pay, there have been far too many times when great comic book moments have been walked back on.
Some of these moments may have been shocking deaths, others may have been stark, sharp changes in a character's fundamentals, and some of these moments may have altered a major event from the past. Unfortunately, though, all were merely part of a rug-pull plan designed to lull readers into a falsehood built on lies.
Not all fakeouts are necessarily bad, of course, but when they are bad, they're usually utterly horrendous and leave a remarkably bad taste in the mouth.
Taking a look across the history of the funny books, then, here are ten of the absolute worst fakeouts that we've all had to endure over the years.
10. Captain America, Agent Of Hydra
The final pages of 2016's Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 saw the Sentinel of Liberty shockingly push the heroic Jack Flag out of a helicopter to his death, before Rogers then proclaimed "Hail Hydra!"
As soon as this issue released, the shot of Steve showing his loyalty to the villainous Hydra organisation went viral. Following the ups and downs of a comic book run that dates all the way back to 1941, Cap was revealed to have been working for Hydra as a sleeper spy agent all along.
To compare this to professional wrestling, this was the equivalent of turning 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin heel at WrestleMania X7 by joining forces with the nefarious Vince McMahon. For a movie comparison, it would've been akin to having James Bond secretly working for SPECTRE all along.
Not just was Cap's Hydra affiliation completely out of left-field, it was a move that left comic book readers frustratingly baffled. Sure, heroes have flirted with the dark side over the decades, but not Captain America. And not with Hydra. And not in a way that undermined the storied history of the First Avenger.
By the time all was said and done, it would be revealed that this was actually an alternate Steve Rogers created by the Cosmic Cube's sentient figure of Kobik.
While this was an awful fakeout, the silver lining was Rogers hadn't been an underhand a**hole for the entirety of his career.