With the start of a new year coinciding with the beginning of Marvel NOW, it’s easy to see why 2013 will be such an important time for the venerable comic book publisher. So far, the company's newly-relaunched titles have all been critical and commercial hits, for the most part, and reinvigorated fans are curious to see where these books will go throughout the rest of the year.

And Marvel, never shy to tease its loyal fanbase, has just released a series of mysterious new images that point to the future direction of books like The Superior Spider-Man, The Indestructible Hulk, and The Thunderbolts.

First we have the Superior Spider-Man teaser, that features the word “Fired” with Spider-Man up front and the Avengers in the background. For those unaware, this new version of Spider-Man is none other than Dr. Octopus’ mind in Peter Parker’s body. So this is perhaps a hint that either the Avengers—who Spider-Man is currently a member of—find out what’s going on and fire him right away, or maybe Octavius does something specific to cause his dismissal. Check out the image, by artist Humberto Ramos, below:
Next there is a teaser for The Indestructible Hulk (via iFanboy) that simply reveals that legendary artist Walt Simonson will be joining the book in April 2013. Simonson is most famous for his epic run on The Mighty Thor throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, so it’s only appropriate that the teaser would have something to do with the God of Thunder.

Next there is a teaser for writer Daniel Way’s Thunderbolts series that reveals artist Phil Noto will be joining the book. It also hints at a potentially volatile relationship between Elektra and the Punisher in the future.

RELATED: The 10 Best Comic Books Of 2012

[via Marvel, iFanboy]