This article examines the intersection of nostalgia, irony, and retro in “new Cold War” story lines that dominate two U.S. cultural productions—the feature film Creed II (2018) and the series Comrade Detective (2017). Both cultural productions anchor themselves in and re-create the Cold War past by addressing multiple audiences in the postsocialist space, Western Europe, and the United States. Creed II and Comrade Detective engage in nostalgia for the 1950s when the U.S. nation became a superpower in the context of late twentieth-century U.S. efforts to maintain that status. Both cultural productions address narratives of American exceptionalism. Creed II develops more regressive forms of nostalgia that update older formulas of U.S. identity for new generations, while maintaining Cold War binary oppositions and the triumphalist narrative of victory over European state socialism. In contrast to Creed II, the Amazon produced series Comrade Detective re-creates a Cold War past in more playful and progressive retro mode, marking an evolution of U.S. new Cold War nostalgia into a more multilayered and transnational phenomenon.

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