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Nostalgia #4: “My Life In Song”

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 3.

Alert: Potential spoilers for Nostalgia #3 in this review.

Nostalgia #4 starts off with music and technology review from the past and the first time Craig, as Nostalgia, performs using the Orb and the Opys for a worldwide audience. We get two perspectives and visuals of this and how it came about. A release party at Studio Z, the studio/club Craig has built at the top of his higher-than-high-rise skyscraper home, and Craig’s memories of that performance. Music industry and technology elites participate in the former while Craig describes how “T-rings” (physical receivers worn on the temples) are the apparatus to receive his performance.

Žeželj’s dream-like sequences and panels are wonderful at depicting how Craig’s performance not only affected him, but also evokes that certain type of “magic” that happens when you’re out having a great time in the club. The driving beats, the flashing lights, the moving bodies and a vibe and liminal feeling, however long or brief, that everyone on the dancefloor is rhythmically connected and a part of a whole. (At least that’s how I remember it at the most fun, positive and ethereal moments of dropping it and bopping it with friends during a night out.) I think of this experience and then consider the sci-fi experience and connection Hoffman is eliciting in this story. The wildness of taking music and dancing to another, different, level of shared emotion conjunction – one coming from inside out in an entirely different way.

In the present, Craig also reminisces about this achievement and you could get the impression that this was such a high and so revolutionary of an experience and technology that it overwhelmed Craig and possibly burned him out. Coupled with some of his friends and acquaintances that we’ve already met that helped him physically build the tech and transmit his experiences via the Orb, Opys and T-rings worldwide, Craig is still wrestling with whether or not he, and his luminary contemporaries, have done enough (besides make money) compared to where they started.

Albeit currently estranged from Nautilus (his “surprise” son Nathan a few issues ago) after he destroyed of one Craig’s peer’s space station (the transmitter of Nostalgia’s worldwide performances), Craig still concerned about him and what Nathan’s freedom fighter group, Synod, is going to do and the lengths they’ll go to.

A quick trip to Synod to check on Nathan and check Synod for their actions, ends up being a fateful distraction for Craig. Not only must he come to terms with son’s abilities, technical and performance-wise, but he also must do the same for himself as his path leads him back to the Orb technology in a surprising way.

To reveal too much more, would share too much of the plot in this penultimate issue of the story. It’s an issue where the stakes are raised and many of the questions the series has alluded to will be answered. Given Žeželj’s art so far and a reveal shared toward the end of this issue, I’m intrigued how he’ll depict what I think I know is coming between Nautilus and Nostalgia.

Past versus present. Connection versus detachment. Perception versus reality. It’s all coming to a head and a showdown for Nostalgia.

As always this issue left me with some 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.)

Nathan seems preternaturally gifted, in a couple of ways. Are these the gifts of genes and chromosomes passed down or something else?

Weaponizing one’s experience isn’t necessarily something new, but it can be wildly horrific with the Ops, Opys and T-rings.

Will Lexi and Elena come to the rescue? (I’m hoping so!)

Nostalgia #4 is available digitally on Tue, July 4. The last issue will be released next week 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.

July 4, 2023
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