The 2018 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Award for Best TV Ship

The year is drawing to a close, meaning that it's time for everyone to look back on the stories and media that brought them joy over the past 12 months. For those of us at ComicBook.com, that means celebrating the year's best in comics, television, movies, anime, and gaming, as part of our third annual Golden Issue Awards.

As many studies and lists will surely tell you, there was a lot of television hitting the airwaves in 2018. For those in the nerdy space, there were a lot of reasons to fall in love with or stick with a particular show -- awesome action sequences, surprising plot twists, and emotional bonds between two characters come to mind.

Like it or not, "ships" played a big role in the world of comic book and genre television this year, and there are arguably a lot of pairings that deserved to be recognized. But among the staff at ComicBook.com, one stood out from the rest.

And the winner of Best TV Ship is...

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Legends of Tomorrow's AvaLance!

While Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz) has been on the Waverider almost since the show's inception, her bond with Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan) has arguably shaken things up for the better. While the pair had started out as adversaries of sorts when Legends' third season began, 2018 brought a lot of developments for the duo between giant Beebos and John Noble cameos.

After several episodes of flirting, "The Curse of the Earth Totem" saw Sara and Ava going on a date in Star City, which went about as well as you'd expect a date on Legends to go. By that episode's end (and minutes before fighting off a horde of pirates), the pair realized that they wouldn't be "a normal couple," but that was more than OK.

Sure, 2018 has seen Sara being briefly possessed by a time demon, and Ava realizing that she's a clone from the future, but it has also seen the bond between them grow in wonderful ways. The pair have gone from friends to girlfriends to domestic partners together in a way that has felt genuine and not like a narrative leap or pure fan service. There's a refreshing amount of honesty that Sara and Ava have with each other, becoming open about their secrets and insecurities in a way that would normally be a cause for drama in other shows.

With that openness, Sara and Ava have brought some genuinely delightful moments into Legends' run in 2018, particularly in the show's fourth season. Whether the pair are being domestic and playful, or are working together to stop the latest magical fugitive, their dynamic has felt largely grounded in reality, while still being pretty darn fun to watch.

(And even though it's hard to picture anyone but Lotz and Macallan bringing the couple to life, Emily Murden and Vanessa Przada deserve a shout-out for perfectly bringing tween versions of the characters in "Wet Hot American Bummer".)

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In a way, Sara and Ava's relationship helps hammer home the sort of thesis statement of Legends of Tomorrow -- that even outcasts and weirdos can find (and are worthy of) so much acceptance and love.

List of Nominees:

  • Avalance (Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe) - Legends of Tomorrow
  • Carzekiel (Carol Peletier and Ezekiel) - The Walking Dead
  • Cloak and Dagger (Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen) - Cloak & Dagger
  • Garnet (Ruby and Sapphire) - Steven Universe
  • Westallen (Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen) - The Flash