Throughout this week, Marvel Comics has revealed mysterious silhouette images of iconic characters filled with descriptive words, proclaiming “It’s either in you, or it’s not” with a date of December 2011. Each image contained a piece of a hidden message that gradually came together under the watchful eyes of the CBR forum’s incredibly cryptology skills. Now, with the fifth and likely final piece of the puzzle revealed, the messages are complete, but without the addition of more secret words.
Beginning with the teaser image of Iron Fist on Monday, forum member david_boring discovered that the colored letters could be grouped by color and unscrambled to form four different words. As teaser images of Doctor Strange, Red She-Hulk and Silver Surfer surfaced on the following days, messages began to take shape by putting the same colored words in chronological order of image released. Today’s addition of Hulk reveals that the messages were already complete.
- Red message: “Everyone you love dies.”
- Orange message: “Shut the engines down.”
- Yellow message: “The universe will break.”
- Maroon message: “Fight to save everything.”
As speculation continues to burgeon on the forums, the running theory — likely due to the word DEFENDER appearing in each of the silhouettes (though The Hulk seems to feature the word “OFFENDER”) — is that these images herald a return of the Defenders to the Marvel U. While the messages themselves reveal little about the prevalent theory, answers will undoubtedly come to light at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Stay tuned for CBR’s live coverage of Marvel’s Sunday “Fear Itself” panel with writers Greg Pak, Cullen Bunn, Nick Spencer and editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.