Mamo # 4: A Magic Cliffhanger of a Battle [Spoilery Comic Book Review]

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Mom # 4 teaches us that cliffhangers are a terrible, terrible thing to have in a story. Especially when this cliffhanger takes place in the middle of an epic battle between witches.

Never trust a curawong. Mostly a talking one. Main cover artist: Sas Milledge.

Mom # 4 is the 4th issue in this fantastic comic book series. Sas Milledge (The Lost Carnival: A Graphic Novel by Dick Grayson) remains the writer and comic book artist, which makes him one of the few people who can both write a good story and draw a really nice comic. Sas Milledge also designed the main cover, while Trung Lê Nguyễn (The magic fish) designed the only variant of the cover art. Ah, and finally, BOOM! Studios remains the publisher of the comic book series.

Cover of Mamo variant # 4.
This curawong looks much softer than normal. Variant cover artist: Trung Lê Nguyễn.

Mom # 4 went on sale on October 13, 2021. You can purchase printed copies of your local comic book store for that soft feeling of paper. Or if the digital version is right for you, you can download it directly from BOOM! Studios.

Warning: spoilers for Mom # 4 below. If you have the slightest interest in reading this magical tale of modern witchcraft for yourself, stop by here and come back after the curawong are done laughing at you.

Mom # 4: Summary of the plot

Mamo # 4 preview page 2.
Talking curawongs are the most delicate.

Mom # 4 picks up where we left off, where Orla realizes the whole treasure hunt for her grandmother’s bones is a trap and says these 3 famous words from Return of the Jedi. Unlike Admiral Ackbar, Orla understands this before she gets caught up in it. Orla immediately accuses the Chief Currawong of trying to trick her. Surprisingly, the currawong chef readily admits it. Apparently, Orla’s attempts not to let herself be chained to the town of Haresden put them all at risk. Without a witch to protect the city, the city is sure to fall. So, this lie by omission from Chief Currawong.

Needless to say, Orla isn’t happy with this turn of events. Orla is so upset that she abandons Jo, saying some pretty harsh words to her before telling her to go home. Orla then walks to the last bone in an olive grove. There, frightening things happen, including the reappearance of Mamo herself as a ghost. Orla finally has a heart-to-heart conversation with her late grandmother, including an implied romantic interest in Jo on Orla’s part. Unfortunately, things are not going well for Orla. It turns out ghosts are hard to reason with. Fortunately, it turns out that Orla is not alone.

You see, while Orla was away, Jo was having her own heart-to-heart conversation with her friend: Mr. Head Currawong. He makes Jo understand that no matter what Orla says, she needs Jo as much as Jo needs her. Especially since Jo holds one of Mamo’s bones in a necklace around her neck. Jo rushes to the olive grove and arrives just as Orla’s ghostly grandmother tries to drown her in black grime. So how is Jo going to get Orla out of this mess? Well that’s what we’ll find out in Granny # 5, because that’s it for this problem.

Mom # 4: Good

Mamo # 4 preview page 4.
I don’t know if cunning curawongs are worse than abusive grandmothers who refuse to stay dead.

The story of Mom # 4 continues the streak of excellence of the comic book series. I would describe this story as the child in love with Kiki’s delivery service and The bride of the ancient mage. If you like coming of age stories involving girls learning to grow up with their magic, with a bit of dark fantasy and fae mischief, then you’ll love this comic.

The characters of Mom # 4 are also another big part of the story. Especially the main characters Orla and Jo. Especially since the implicit youri the dynamic between them in previous issues has now been practically confirmed to be canon. Like a youri fan, it makes me scream with joy.

The work of art too, adds that nice little touch to the history of Mom # 4. Sas Milledge is one of those rare people who can both write a great story and produce great art for her. There is an almost watercolor quality to her backgrounds and character designs. As a fan of the Chronicles of Valkyria games, which has a similar artistic style, I like it very much.

Mom # 4: The bad

Mamo # 4 preview page 6.
Funny how Orla’s attitude here would suit a hero’s journey story perfectly.

While the story of Mom # 4 is awesome, there’s just one little thing that keeps me from giving it a perfect rating: the cliffhanger at the end. My god, you don’t place a cliffhanger just at the climax of a battle. It almost made me bang my face against the computer screen. Seriously, it reminds me of something Between the Lions. You know, Mr. Cliff Hanger himself? Yeah, that’s meme-worthy for a reason.

Hanging there since 2010.

Conclusion

Mom # 4 continues Orla and Jo’s magical story from the 3 previous issues as they try to kill Orla’s deceased grandmother. This particular issue, however, ends with a cliffhanger right in the middle of an epic battle. Mr. Cliff Hanger is not amused. Guess Orla and her grandma have to put their fight on hold until the next issue of this fantastic BOOM comic book series! The workshop arrives.

Source: BOOM! Studios


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