This paper examines the ways that comics can subvert twenty-first-century nostalgia for an imagined halcyon 1950s by refusing to treat history as idyllic, unchanging, or distant, focusing specifically on Joëlle Jones's Lady Killer (2015–17). Lady Killer engages with long fifties nostalgia in two ways: on a formal level, through artwork reminiscent of illustrated advertisements of the period, and on a narrative level, through evocations of the romance comics that were hugely popular even as they are forgotten by Golden Age constructions. Lady Killer revels in fifties nostalgia, but to the point of absurdity, including so many elements of the nostalgic imaginary that it overwhelms readers with its period. In the process, it reveals the cracks in that imaginary, reminding readers of just how problematic the era actually was. Lady Killer challenges the ideological uses of nostalgia through its refusal to engage in the reification of history.

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