Early this morning, nominations were announced for the 87th Annual Academy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 22 at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. While some fans would have liked to see more recognition for Marvel Studios, the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy earned two nominations today for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, while Captain America: The Winter Soldier also received a Best Visual Effects nomination along with 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Superhero movies don't normally fare well at the Oscars, and it seems that trend is continuing this year. Unless you want to count Birdman, which leads the pack with 9 nominees. But can we really consider it a super hero movie?

Some Oscar prognosticators thought that Guardians of the Galaxy may have had an outside shot at landing a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for James Gunn and Nicole Perlman's script based on the Marvel comic book, but it wasn't meant to be. It's also unfortunate that the Academy only honors original songs and scores, and not a compilation soundtrack like Guardians of the Galaxy's Awesome Mix Vol. 1, comprised of hit songs from the 1960s and 1970s that went on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

Guardians of the Galaxy star Bradley Cooper also picked up a nomination for his performance in American Sniper, but, unfortunately for comic book fans, the Academy has only honored superhero movies in the technical categories this year. Of course, comic book movies don't generally fare well at the Oscars, with the lone exception of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of The Joker, with the superhero drama also winning for Best Sound Editing. It was also nominated in several technical categories such as Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.

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It should be noted that Birdman is about a man who has played a superhero, which kind of counts. The film stars Michael Keaton as a washed up actor who became famous for playing the comic book hero Birdman in a string of Hollywood blockbusters. He attempts to mount his comeback, but is haunted by his infamous alter ego. Birdman managed to garner 9 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Michael Keaton. So not all hope is lost!

Do you think Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past should have gotten more Oscar nominations? Given the massive popularity of superhero movies today, do you think it's time the Academy creates its own category for Best Superhero Movie? It wasn't too long ago, 2001 to be exact, when the Academy created the Best Animated Film category, so perhaps we're not too far off from a Best Superhero Movie category. Chime in with your thoughts below.

B. Alan Orange