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Nostalgia’s Finale: Feel The Rhythm, Don’t Be Scared

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 4.

Alert: Potential spoilers for Nostalgia #4 in this review.

Well, here we are at Nostalgia #5 – the grand finale of this miniseries and ComiXology special event. Right off the bat, Nostalgia pays off in multiple ways in-story for the charact and metatextually for our real world and where we might be heading as a country, society and world. (How do I know that? Shout out to some fateful, and eerie, timing – the launch of the Threads social network by Meta baron Zuck and 100 million users as of this writing. How did you manifest that, Hoffman?)

(Seriously, how beautiful and evocative is this cover?!)

This issue launches us right into the action directly after the last issue. Nathan, aka Nautilus, after hacking Craig’s, aka Nostalgia’s, car and protection hoverbot Elena has headed back to Craig’s high-security skyscraper home, studio and transmitter (the Orb and the Opys) in a bid for Nautilus to transmit a message from would-be data and identity freedom fighters, Synod. The key being the world thinks it’s the mega-popular and reclusive Nostalgia returning for a performance.

Craig dives into action here and he does his best to bring together the band of friends and contacts we’ve come to know throughout the series to stop Nautilus from completing the broadcast. And it’s good he has, because he needs them. As with any mystery and final issue, we’re headed toward several showdowns: between son and father; technology and emotion; and past and future.

In particular, Lexi’s return is both magnanimous and adroit. Especially under a looming countdown and race for Synod’s message and Nautilus’s show to transmit. Lexi is the friend you want with you in every situation – she’s immediately and equally methodical and with an impressive ability to improvise as she and we learn more about Craig and Nathan and their relationship in-real time.

(Lexi being THE ONE, y’all.)

Without spoiling the twists and reveals and resolutions in the issue, I will say how much I appreciate Hoffman’s writing and plotting of the story over the course of the issues. Whether it’s a comic, television or film series, I’m an “active” watcher. Part of the fun for me is always trying to sort out what is going to happen based on the information and characterization and actions I’m being presented. In this, Nostalgia always kept me thinking, “well, what do I think this means and how is it going to affect the characters and where do I think this is going?” between issues. If you’re of a similar mode, Nostalgia doesn’t waste anything that the characters show and tell you. It all adds up and the details along the way matter. (I’m happy I waited to read an issue per week, so I could spend some time pondering the characters and messages and turns of plot.)

There’s also a real rhythm and pulse here throughout the issues that reminds me of music (a natural result considering Hoffman’s other career.) And it’s symbiotically reinforced and resonates more so with Žeželj’s are and Loughridge’s colors. A fantastic feat for a two dimensional and silent artform. We “hear” the conversations and onomatopoeias in comics, but it’s rare you get a flow of word positioning and art that reminds you of the pulse of music, movement and the strobing lights of the club floor in between the gutters. And that experience is all the more interesting when it’s so tied to the plot and our experiences with technology. Bravo, everyone. (I, for one, would love a Nostalgia playlist.)

(Feel the rhythm, don’t be scared.)

The ending of Nostalgia answers a theme that popped into my head reading the first issue and I shared in my review:

“In our current culture and some people’s obsession with a past that’s somehow pristine, unimpeachable and better than today, it’s a great time to read and delve into Nostalgia.”

In truth, your past builds your future and your future helps you recontextualize your past and a healthy dose of Nostalgia helps pull it all together.

Nostalgia #5 is available digitally on Tue, July 11. It’s the final issue in 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 11, 2023
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