Any superhero franchise worth its salt knows that the first great reveal is the ultimate trick card of any marketing campaign. Holding back till just the right moment, under constant threat of set photo leaks, with the expectations of millions hanging in the balance. Get it wrong and the consequences can be drastic, but do it right and you create a frenzy.
So as Ben Affleck broods in his smoky Batcave garage lets sit back, jam this Roberta Flack classic, and revisit those moments that sent us away tingling...
Andrew Garfield as Spiderman
Was it too soon? Probably, but for better or worse that's all been forgotten at this stage. At the beginning of 2011, Andrew Garfield- while just 4 centimetres taller than Tobey Maguire- brought a scrawnier sort of heroism back to the web slinging franchise.
Henry Cavil in Snyder's Man of Steel
Zack Snyder was clearly keeping a tonal continuity with last month's Dawn of Justice reveal having given us a similarly smoky-grey first glimpse of Henry Cavil's Man of Steel.
Ron Perlman as Hellboy
In 2003 Guillermo Del Toro followed up a truly masterful stroke of casting by giving fans this incredibly realised portrait of Perlman's de-horned anti-hero.
The Avengers Assembled
Marvel gave us Chris Hemsworth as the prince of Asgard at the end of April 2010.
They hinted at Captain American in 2008 on the incredible Hulk DVD...
...before EW released this image of Evans' Steve Rogers in January 2011...
...and then finally gave us Mark Ruffalo's Hulk in the sprawling piece of concept Art which heads this article:
But before all that there was RDJ, as Tony Stark, laying down the gauntlet
We got shots of him building the Mark I a few days later but this was the very first glimpse we really saw of Marvel's Avengers project.
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine
Ok, so not quite a first reveal, but lets go back to 99' anyway. Back before Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter hit the web; before the MCU and all the billions that came with it; go way back when and we find a handsome unknown actor from Sydney trying out for a part.
The internet as hype machine was only getting started so this first look image craze was reserved instead for print magazines. The audition is no first reveal as such but, given what has come since- not to mention the fact that the actor still owns that role to this very day-there's something astonishing about it. Singer's earnest delivery and Jackman's youth, you could almost call it quaint.
Christian Bale's Caped Crusader
Posted by Warner Bros. in 2004, the first image of Batman from Nolan's now classic trilogy encompassed all the rusty gold tint and brooding heroism which that origin film had to offer.
Heath Ledger's Joker
On April 20th 2007, photobucket member Picktaker1975 posted a distant blurry photo of Heath Ledger in costume on the Dark Knight set. There was not much to go on but the sleuthy image prompted the producers to offer fans something real.
They posted an election poster to ibelieveinharveydent.com before dropping joker cards in a Californian comic book store which sent fans to a separate website titled I Believe in Harvey Dent Too. Entering an email address would send out a set coordinate which, when entered on the site, would reveal one single pixel. Gradually fans chipped away until they were met with this:
The greatest tease of one of the great viral campaigns. The rest, as they say, is history.
Any more which stick out in your memory? Tell us about it in the comments below.