Mamo #4 teaches us that cliffhangers are a terrible, terrible thing to have in a story. Especially when said cliffhanger happens right in the middle of an epic battle between witches.
Mamo #4 is the 4th issue of this fantasy comic book series. Sas Milledge (The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel) remains the writer and artist for the comic, making her one of those rare few who can both write a good story and draw a very good-looking comic book. Sas Milledge also drew the main cover art, while Trung Lê Nguyễn (The Magic Fish) drew the sole variant cover art. Oh, and finally, BOOM! Studios remains the publisher for the comic book series.
Mamo #4 went on sale on October 13, 2021. You can purchase print copies of your local comic book shop for that sweet paper feel. Or if you’re fine with the digital version, you can download it directly from BOOM! Studios.
Warning: spoilers for Mamo #4 below. If you have any interest in reading this magical tale of modern witchcraft for yourself, stop here, and come back once the currawongs have finished laughing at you.
Mamo #4: Plot Summary
Mamo #4 picks up where we last left off, where Orla realizes that the whole treasure hunt for her grandmother’s bones is a trap and says those 3 famous words from Return of the Jedi. Unlike Admiral Ackbar though, Orla figures it out before she’s caught in it. Orla immediately accuses the head currawong of trying to entrap her. Surprisingly, the head currawong readily admits to it. Apparently, Orla’s attempts to not let herself be chained to the town of Haresden is endangering them all. Without a witch to protect the town, the town is sure to fall. Thus, this lie by omission from the head currawong.
Needless to say, Orla is not pleased at this turn of events. Orla is so not pleased that she actually abandons Jo, saying some pretty harsh words to her before telling her to go home. Orla then heads off to the last bone in an olive grove. There, some creepy things happen, including the reappearance of Mamo herself in ghost form. Orla finally gets a heart to heart talk with her deceased grandmother, including an implied romantic interest in Jo on Orla’s part. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go well for Orla. As it turns out, ghosts are hard to reason with. Fortunately, as it turns out, Orla isn’t alone.
See, while Orla was away, Jo was having her own heart to heart talk with her friend: Mr. Head Currawong. He makes Jo realize that, no matter what Orla says, she needs Jo just as much as Jo needs her. Especially since Jo is holding one of Mamo’s bones in a necklace around her neck. Jo races off to the olive grove, and arrives just as Orla’s ghostly grandmother is trying to drown her in black gunk. So how will Jo get Orla out of this mess? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in Mamo #5, because that’s it for this issue.
Mamo #4: The Good
The story of Mamo #4 continues the comic book series’ streak of excellence. I would describe said story as the love child of Kiki’s Delivery Service and The Ancient Magus’ Bride. If you like coming of age stories involving girls learning to grow with their magic, with a bit of dark fantasy and fae mischief thrown in, then you’ll love this comic book.
The characters of Mamo #4 are also another great part of the story. Especially the main characters Orla and Jo. Especially since the implied yuri dynamic between them in the previous issues have now been all but confirmed to be canon. As a yuri fan, this makes me squeal with joy.
The artwork too, adds that nice little touch to the story of Mamo #4. Sas Milledge is one of those rare people who can both write a great story, and produce some lovely art for it as well. There’s an almost watercolor-like quality to her backgrounds and character designs. As a fan of the Valkyria Chronicles games, which features a similar art style, this greatly appeals to me.
Mamo #4: The Bad
While the story of Mamo #4 is great, there’s just one tiny thing that keeps me from giving it a perfect score: the cliffhanger at the end. My god, you do not place a cliffhanger right at the climax of a battle. That nearly had me bashing my face into the computer screen. Seriously, this reminds me of that one thing from Between the Lions. You know, Mr. Cliff Hanger himself? Yeah, it’s meme-worthy for a reason.
Mamo #4 continues the magical tale of Orla and Jo from the 3 previous issues as they try and make Orla’s dead grandmother actually dead. This particular issue, however, ends with a cliffhanger right in the middle of an epic battle. Mr. Cliff Hanger is not amused. I guess Orla and her grandmother have to put their battle on hold until the next issue of this fantasy comic book series from BOOM! Studios arrives.
Source: BOOM! Studios