Marvel Comics has released throughout the week a series of characteristically cryptic teaser images that the publisher says contain clues as to some kind of story, event or other narrative circumstance to emerge after the conclusion of Fear Itself and occur sometime in December. Designed by Marvel Art Director Rich Ginter, the images use only words and color to suggest the form of recognizable heroes like Iron Fist, the Silver Surfer, Red She-Hulk, Doctor Strange and the Hulk. but within those meticulously arranged letters are secret messages. Each image contains distinctly colored letters that when compiled and rearranged form secret messages whose meanings are vague in the extreme:

SHUT THE ENGINES DOWN

THE UNIVERSE WILL BREAK

EVERYONE YOU LOVE DIES

FIGHT TO SAVE EVERYTHING

However, the presence of the word "Defender" in every image (except for the Hulk, whose teaser contains "Offender") would seem to indicate a return of the Defenders to the Marvel Universe, but one can never be too sure about these things. Marvel suggests curious parties attend the Fear Itself panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego to learn more about what these images mean. We will be there!

For now, we invite you to take a guess at what's going on here.