Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever

Written by Jay Lynch
Art by Dean Haspiel
40 pages, color
Published by Toon Books

If there’s one thing that kids are good at, it’s fighting with siblings. No matter how much or little they may like each other, I’m willing to wager that at some point they’ve ended up bickering with each other—it’s probably some sort of genetic imperative. Jay Lynch and Dean Haspiel certainly had that very much in mind when they created Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever for the Toon Books line; what better conflict can you have with superheroes when it’s a duo that are also brother and sister?

Mona and Joey’s favorite superhero is the mighty Mojo, with super-stretch arms and has ultra-powerful magnetic boots. When Mojo decides it’s time for him to retire, he offers his biggest fans the suit… but the two fighting over who gets to be Mojo end up tearing the suit in half. Now (thanks to their mother’s sewing machine) they each have one of Mojo’s two powers; Mona can stretch her arms impossibly long, while Joey can use the magnetic boots’s abilities. But can Mona and Joey stop fighting long enough to stop the evil Saw-Jaw from ruining the city’s parade?

Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever follows a familiar pattern; kids get powers, kids fight with each other, kids learn to work together to stop the bad guy. What makes Mo and Jo‘s story fun, though, is how well Lynch writes his bickering twosome. Their sibling rivalry is in good form here, each using their new ability to prove why they’re the superior of the two. So sure, it’s a predictable book in terms of the broad strokes of the plot, but it’s that bickering that made it fun for me.

Haspiel’s classic square-jawed art is a good match for Lynch’s script. It’s a clean, easy-to-read art style, and moves briskly across the page. I especially like how Haspiel draws Mona’s stretching arms; there’s a scene early on where she has them looping around herself as well as Joey and the groups of rings is almost mesmerizing. He does a nice job with the non-super moments as well; the scene of the two of them asleep with prized comic and action figure in each one’s arms is especially cute.

Mo and Jo: Fighting Together Forever is a straight-forward and to-the-point book for younger readers. While they’ll see the ending coming, it’s the journey in getting there that will no doubt entertain them (as well as adults) a great deal. It’s cute and fun, and I think it succeeds in its purpose quite admirably.

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