The ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards celebrate the best of pop culture entertainment of the year, as voted by ComicBook.com staff and this year, that includes a new category, Best Animated TV Show, honoring the best animated television offerings in 2021. The increase in prestige animation has not only changed the entertainment landscape, but pushed us to recognize these series with a separate category to celebrate their unique achievements and contributions. The first year’s nominees represent a varied group that’s reflective of just how rich the offerings are: Netflix’s Arcane, Amazon Prime‘s Invincible, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, Paramount+’s Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Disney+’s Star Wars: Visions. It’s also field that’s evenly divided between the dramatic and comedic, so it’s only fitting that the winner provides viewers with plenty of both. And the winner of the 2021 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Award for Best Animated TV Show is…
From Amazon, Invincible is the acclaimed adaptation of the comic book of the same name from Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment. The series, from Kirkman and artists Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley, ran from 2003 until 2018 at Image Comics and gained a reputation for being a smart, character-driven, and no-holds-barred superhero comic. That fan-favorite sensibility carried over to the TV show in a big way.
Beginning with a huge plot twist and a solid two minutes of shocking violence in the series premiere, Invincible established itself immediately as a perfect companion to Amazon’s wildly popular live-action series The Boys. Starring Steven Yeun, JK Simmons, and Sandra Oh, Invincible centers on Mark Grayson, the son of superhero Omni-Man, who discovers a sobering truth about his father and it’s a revelation that changes everything when, over the course of the first season, he comes to the harrowing realization that his father is the tip of the spear for an alien invasion force rather than the hero he’s always believed him to be.
While all of that is going on, Mark has to try to figure out how to build up the next generation of superheroes, after most of the earth’s mightiest protectors are “mysteriously” killed, a situation made all the more challenging when the truth behind those deaths is revealed.
Yeun and Simmons deliver some truly great, emotionally charged performances throughout the season, culminating with an absolutely devastating — both emotionally, and in terms of good, old-fashioned superhero property damage — finale. And, thankfully, after such an eventful first season, fans weren’t left hanging about what comes next: Amazon saw what a good thing they had, and renewed the show for a both a second and third season almost immediately.
Invincible is the rare superhero story that’s both a bit of a deconstruction of superhero tropes, and also a pretty accessible entry point who aren’t obsessed with cape comics. With a star-studded cast and some truly great source material, nobody expected Invincible to be bad…but it’s hard to imagine many people imagined how great it was going to be.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Invincible for their Golden Issues win.
The nominees for Best Animated TV Series are:
Invincible (Amazon Prime) — WINNER
Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)
Star Trek: Lower Decks (Paramount+)
Star Wars: Visions (Disney+)