For a split-second, Dragon Ball fans were trying to figure out how and just how much of their minds had just been blown onto the wall behind them. Above you can see characters from the kids' cartoon The Backyardigans, and under them were the supposed "leaked" characters from an upcoming episode of the new anime series Dragon Ball Super. They match up perfectly. Did the creator of Dragon Ball seriously just rip off the character designs of a kids' cartoon?
Of course not. In truth, the original image was just a fun exercise by the talented artist DaiKuwabara, who posted his work on DeviantArt. You can even see his signature in the bottom right, which was cropped out in the viral image.
Some jokester took this existing illustration and used some crude doctoring techniques (including some muddy JPEG artifacting) to create an image that almost looks convincing at first glance. It helps that Beerus, the purple cat guy with the big ears, is already an actual Dragon Ball character on the show. Not to mention that DaiKuwabara absolutely nailed DB creator Akira Toriyama's style. At this point, any anger at the brazenness of this hoax has since turned to sadness that these characters aren't actually real.
When The Hollywood Reporter published an exclusive about a new Xena reboot coming to NBC, the internet stopped being terrible for one minute in favor of a round of genuine high-fives. This seems like the exact right time to see Xena again, and even though it wasn't confirmed by the network, THR is usually not in the business of posting meritless trash. Usually.
But then Xena herself came in and shut it all down.
That's as ironclad a deflection as it gets. Princess Lawless later admitted that she'd love to be a part of a reboot, but that there are no current plans, at least with her involvement. And let's be honest, if Lucy isn't in on a Xena reboot, it's not Xena.
Ever since Sony struck a deal to include Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's been a non-stop barrage of fakery, tomfoolery, and especially shenanigans surrounding the new wall-crawler, and what he'll look like when he shows up in Captain America: Civil War. Some of the stunts have been so impressive that it's hard to be mad, but the sheer volume at this point is starting to become aggravating.
A lot of the crap stems from this article from Latino Review, a site that seems to swing back and forth from "somewhat reliable" to "soft serve horseshit" on a regular basis. At first, they claimed that the above image was an "artist's rendering" of the new costume, but when it was pointed out that the image is from 2012, they updated the post to clarify that "this photo was found by a source with access to the Spider-Man costume as a way of legally reporting on how it looked." Sure thing, guys.
In any case, the rumor mill's churn could not be halted, and frothy dung like this floated to the top:
Originally posted on Reddit, this godforsaken tribal tattoo Spidey design was thankfully debunked by the same community from which it spawned. If you're wondering what kind of dickbag would spend so much time and effort to fool the community, check out this hilariously bitter PM the debunker recieved after the hoaxer was outed:
A lot of the new fakes seem to be using the LatinoReview "makeshift costume" rumor as a springboard. It makes sense for the character, since the new Peter Parker is just a kid, and previous movies have shown Spidey start his caping career in a crappy homemade suit.
Still, it doesn't justify lazy crap like this.
Is that kid the actor who's playing the new Spider-Man? Do you even know what he looks like other than "generic young white male"? Probably not, and that's what the fake is counting on. They're also counting on you not looking at movies in the Latino section of HBO Go.
There's been a lot made of this mysterious Twitter account that may or may not belong to the Russo Bros, the directors of Captain America: Civil War. The account has consistently posted some obscure and baffling imagery, one of which includes goggles a lot like the ones that appear in this "leaked" image:
Again, this fits in with the rumors of a homemade costume, and with the purported spider-goggles. Hell, is that Iron Man buzzing by in the background?
Well, it's Iron Man, alright. Straight out of the first Iron Man movie.
There are really only two ways to know if you've actually seen a real image of the new Spider-Man: Either Marvel starts issuing takedown notices on websites hosting the offending image, or we actually see it on film in some official capacity.