Batman has beaten Superman and the X-Men by claiming 10 nominations for the inaugural Scream Awards. BATMAN BEGINS picked up nods for The Ultimate Scream, Best Fantasy Movie and Most Heroic Performance when the nominations for the October (06) honours were announced yesterday (21JUL06). The awards - a joint venture between Comic-Con comic book convention bosses and cable network executives at America's Spike TV - have been set up to honour horror, sci-fi and fantasy comic books, TV shows and films. New Superman movie SUPERMAN RETURNS picked up nine nominations and X-Men sequel X-MEN: THE LAST STAND claimed seven. In the most-anticipated category, The Ultimate Scream, Batman Begins will battle Superman Returns, hit TV show Lost and horror movies The Hills Have Eyes and THE DEVIL'S REJECTS. In the Best Fantasy Movie vote-off, the Batman and Superman films will compete with King Kong, Harry Potter + THE GOBLET OF FIRE, Pirates Of The Caribbean: DEAD MAN'S CHEST and Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. Among the actors and actresses up for prizes are Christian Bale (Batman Begins), Johnny Depp (Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) and Viggo Mortensen (A History of Violence) in the Most Heroic Performance category, and Asia Argento (Land of the Dead) and Kate Beckinsale (Underworld: Evolution), who will battle for the Scream Queen Prize. The awards, voted on by a panel including movie maker Wes Craven and comic book guru R ERIC LIEB, will be handed out at Hollywood's Pantages Theater on 7 October (06).