Writer: Scott Hoffman
Artist: Danijel Žeželj
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Steve Wands
Designer: Rian Hughes
Editors: Greg Lockard & Will Dennis
If you’re just joining on our trip through Nostalgia, you can read the review for issue 1 here.
Alert: Spoilers for Nostalgia #1 in this review.
Nostalgia #2 picks up shortly after the events of the first issue and the big reveal that Craig Mancini, aka the artist Nostalgia, has a grown son named Nathan, aka the activist Nautilus.
(Nostalgia and Nautilus… is there some kind of symmetry here or am I overthinking it?)
This revelation doesn’t seem to shake or shock Craig to his core though – another intriguing aspect of this character’s emotional remoteness – that will continue to be challenged throughout this issue.
Lexi, roadie extraordinaire, arrives to provide Craig with some current information on Nathan, but scant information on or about his past. Craig is a member of a “streamest” group named Synod that’s trying to fight the control the technopolies have in this world through free broadcasts.
(Streamest versus extremist – I love the clever word play here.)
Craig requests that Lexi dig deeper while revealing what Nathan has told him – he was given to and raised by a relative of Craig’s and Craig was never told – while sharing that Craig’s own mother is gone and father was never there.
(It’s interesting that Nathan has nearly as data-scrubbed a life as Craig – something surprising to me given the set-up of the technopolies and data harvesters that reign in this world. Is this a symmetry between the two that will come back into play? Or is it simply an anomaly based on the extreme classism of this world – that Nathan, and via him, we, simply don’t matter that much?)
After her departure, Craig reminisces about Lexi and their relationship and we find out she’s far more than the average roadie in Craig’s life and career. She has been with him through some pivotal moments and experiences with him in his life – intellectual, emotional and at least in one instance, sexual. Without Lexi, Nostalgia simply wouldn’t exist. Craig dreamed up the concept of Nostalgia, but Lexi created the Orb and the Opys, a kind of connector and transmitter that hacks into a shared human emotional field. So, I find their current relationship and power dynamic very intriguing.
(I mean… What if Neil Tennant employed Chris Lowe and made him run errands?)
Craig’s visit to Nathan at Synod reveals the respect Synod members have not only for Nathan, but also Nostalgia. Their memories of Nostalgia’s shows and the purpose of his music and performances pervade every bit of the visit and culminates in Craig being asked to help Synod – which he banters around with them and ultimately rejects. This causes Craig to reflect on his life and why he started Nostalgia in the first place versus the melancholic feelings and jaded attitude he currently nurses.
Here Žeželj uses the medium fantastically as Craig’s thoughts and emotions descend as he falls through panels until he can compose himself and get some distance from those emotions.
Passion of youth and wisdom of age. Dreamer and the pragmatist. Poet and politician… Right or wrong, hard-edged dichotomies and binaries abound in the story, and I think we’re going to see them break.
Two more surprises regarding Nathan are revealed that will certainly challenge the control Craig has built into his life and set the course for a relationship with his son and his art.
And I’m here for all of it.
Any good story always leaves me with some burning questions and hot takes, so here goes… (Drop your comments below after you read the issue or join the Gay League group on Facebook to discuss.)
What happened between Lexi and Craig? What makes them seemingly distant now?
How does the Orb and the Opys affect the user? Is there a price to using a technology that pushes your emotions to others? What is the effect of connecting emotionally to so many individuals?
What interest do the technopolies have in this powerful technology?
Nostalgia #2 is available digitally on Tue, June 20. The next three issues are released one per week for the next three weeks as part of this five-week Comixology event.
Scott Lyon (he/him/his) has been an out and proud superhero and comics fan from the very first time he saw Lynda Carter spin into Wonder Woman in the 1970s. A mild mannered media consumer by day and a pop culture crimefighter by night, Scott has a particular interest in the intersections of LGBTQIA2S+, BIPOC and women’s identities in storytelling and the pop culture and speculative fiction media we create and consume. You can find him at @wonderscott on Instagram.