Summer 2012 movie preview: Arch Campbell's picks for this summer's film hits

The third edition of Men in Black is due out this summer. (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

Marvel has a long tradition of creating giant hit movies out of comics from its empire, including "Iron Man," "Thor" and "Captain America." This summer's movie season kicks off with a film that brings together the characters from these films (along with several others) in "The Avengers," which opens Friday, May 4.
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"The Amazing Spider-Man" arrives in theaters for July 4 weekend. The superhero battles a complicated foe, the Lizard, in the fourth film in this franchise. Andrew Garfield stars with Emma Stone as his love interest.

Christian Bale reappears as Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises," what could be the year's biggest movie. Batman, still nursing the wounds from his last adventure, fights temptation from Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and faces the terrible villain Bane, played by Tom Hardy.

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Johnny Depp helps revamp '70s soap opera "Dark Shadows" in a film version of the series, which opens May 11. Tim Burton directed this fantasy comedy film, which also features Michelle Pfeiffer and Jonny Lee Miller.

"Battleship," based on the legendary board game, pits the U.S. Navy against space aliens and opens May 18.

Speaking of aliens, Will Smith returns in "Men in Black III" over Memorial Day weekend. He goes back to 1969 to stop a bad guy from killing his partner.