ByRob Taylor, writer at
Rob Taylor

With the release of , and the general consensus that it is pretty damn special, it's only a matter of time before people will start talking up its chances of being the movie that finally breaks the "superhero curse" and claws its way to a major nomination.

So far, superhero movies have failed to win major awards or nominations, with the exception of 2008's The Dark Knight, which saw a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar given to Heath Ledger's Joker.

While several superhero films have been honored with Oscar nominations and wins in the sound editing, costuming, makeup, art direction and visual effects categories, these movies have notably been absent from receiving nominations in major categories despite strong performances from their casts.

Fox bucked the trend with nominations for Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds at the , but was snubbed by the Academy Awards.

ComicGate Or Fair Competition?

X2 [Credit: Fox]
X2 [Credit: Fox]

Now more than ever there is a clamor for comic book movies to be recognized and many studios are producing films worthy of such honors in several categories.

The , Fox and have all loaded their superhero film casts with more Oscar-nominated performers and previous winners than ever. Cate Blanchette, Marisa Tomei, Brie Larson and Tilda Swinton are all now part of the while the has brought in heavy-hitters like Jeremy Irons, Nicole Kidman, Jared Leto and Ben Affleck.

Fox has a long tradition of producing superhero films with a number of Oscar winners and nominees Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin and Halle Berry have been around since the beginning of the were later joined by Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

However, despite powerful performances from many highly-respected actors, their work in superhero films largely goes unrecognized for major awards, which begs the question: Are they being ignored intentionally?

'Logan' [Credit: Fox]
'Logan' [Credit: Fox]

The performances in Logan are some of the strongest and emotionally moving we've seen in a superhero film to date. Jackman should finally get his Oscar for this role and Patrick Stewart absolutely deserves to be a contender in the Supporting Actor category for his powerful performance as a broken Charles Xavier.

Should We Care?

Let's face it - we are in the best period to be a comic book fan, ever. Not only is the original art form finally recognized as an important medium by the general public, but we are getting to see many of the stories and characters brought to life in ways we never dreamed possible. We've seen Spider-Man share a screen with Captain America, we've seen Ant-Man turn into Giant-Man before our eyes. We've also seem Batman fighting Superman and now finally Hugh Jackman as a truly violent and compelling Old Man Logan.

Winning an Oscar for their work would certainly be a wonderful achievement for the actors or directors involved in making these films, but it wouldn't change one thing for most of their target audience: real superhero fans.

For Your Consideration

There's an argument to be made that part of what makes superhero films so much fun is that they aren't weighed down with expectations that go hand-in-hand with films designed to be Oscars bait. The superhero genre is at it's best when it tells great stories, pulls its inspiration straight from the comics we love, and respects the fan base.

Losing any of those elements in favor of a shot at an award is the last thing a superhero films should do. If a comic book movie can't be taken seriously by the Academy for what it is at its core, then the genre doesn't need the recognition of the Academy.

So if winning an Academy Award in a major category means comic book movies have to sacrifice their soul, let's hope they're never nominated for Best Picture. Because we like our heroes just the way they are.


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