Epic explosions imminent in summer flick lineup

1. Thor (May 6)

Featuring shots of the Norse gods in action and the dazzling scenery of Asgard, the Thor trailer is definitely one to remember.

The newest trailer for this Avengers tie-in does a better job of introducing the plot than the previous trailer, which mostly showed Thor, the Norse god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth) squaring off in flashy battles against his fellow Norse deities.

The most recent trailer does take a hit from an annoyingly chirpy Kat Dennings, who inanely responds to one of Thor's superhuman actions with the comment, "This is goin' on Facebook." It seems like a patronizing attempt to make the more Shakespearean, high-concept directing style of Kenneth Branagh accessible to the Bieber-fever generation.

Nevertheless, the trailer sets the film up as a possible highlight of the summer movie lineup.

2. X-Men: First Class (June 3)

One of the most intriguing and controversial superhero projects in the works is X-Men: First Class, a not-entirely-canon take on the origins of the X-Men.

The trailer focuses on the growing conflict between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), who later become Professor X and Magneto.

The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 serves as the striking backdrop for the dazzling visuals; one particular shot shows Magneto lifting a submarine out of warship-surrounded waters.

There are even some hints at a teen romance, including a surprising almost-kiss between fan-favorites Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). A stronger hint at a more character-driven approach than the pure action of older X-Men films is more than welcome.

3. Captain America; The First Avenger (July 22)

The short trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger, featured during the Super Bowl, showed a scrawny Chris Evans emerging from military experimentation as an ultra-buff World War II superhero.

The promo attempts to paint Captain America as the underdog – probably a smart move considering his patriotic Boy Scout persona could be irritating to the Dark Knight generation.

The deliberate texturing on the Captain's suit is befitting of a video game character, and is especially out of place next to the camouflaged soldiers.

Still, it's an early teaser, and the period setting of the film looks promising.

4. Green Lantern (June 17)

Green Lantern features Ryan Reynolds as a Van Wilder-esque pilot gifted with an alien ring and a plate of great responsibility.

Reynolds does little with his role, adhering blandly to his familiar charismatic tool shtick. The ill-fitting placement of his head atop a computer-generated green bodysuit does not help his case.

The dialogue in the trailer is awkward and stilted; Blake Lively's over-enunciated, "Hal, you're late," for example, sounds like a high school attempt to recite Shakespeare.

The trailer presents shimmering alien planets and high-flying outer space antics, but few of the graphics seem polished. Despite an abnormally high budget, the quality of the film is reduced to that of a Syfy channel movie.