Archive for Popeye

Friday Night Fights: Twister Sock!

Okay, people, it’s Friday night, the work week is over, and it’s time to enjoy two days of rest and relaxation. And how do we traditionally begin our much-too-rare periods of rest and relaxation? With… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from July 2012’s Popeye #3 by Roger Langridge and Tom Neely. Popeye’s in the ring with the terrifyingly ominous and powerful fighter called the Phantom Crusher. But is Popeye’s opponent hiding some terrible secret?!







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The Sweet Science

Popeye #3

So there’s this guy called George W. Geezil — not a guy from the Popeye cartoons, but an old character from the “Thimble Theater” strips — and he’s had a mad-on about Wimpy for as long as anyone can remember. Wimpy always mooches his hamburgers and just generally irritates the tar out of him. “You are flies in mine zupe!” he’s always yelling. And Geezil hatches on a scheme to get rid of Wimpy once and for all — he’s got himself a masked monster of a prizefighter called the Phantom Crusher, and he wants to put on a big boxing match between Wimpy and the Phantom Crusher! Popeye doesn’t like an unfair fight, so he decides he’ll act as Wimpy’s trainer in the weeks before the fight. Can he get Wimpy to eat his spinach and exercise? Not if we know Wimpy. So does Wimpy stand any chance against the Crusher? Not if we know Wimpy. But what happens when Popeye discovers that the Crusher and Geezil are resorting to cheating?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Vastly silly fun from beginning to end. Excellent action, even if it is fairly silly action. Great dialogue, even if it’s pretty silly dialogue. This is something to get if you enjoy a nice dose of silliness in your comics. And if you’re dork enough not to enjoy silly comics, more pity on you.

Worlds’ Finest #3

Huntress and Power Girl are still fighting the highly radioactive Hakkou in Tokyo, and he’s definitely got them on the ropes, until Huntress manages to douse him in radioactive coolant, causing him to flee before he absorbs too much radioactivity. From here, we get a flashback to the heroes’ earlier days on our Earth, as they try to research their alternate-universe counterparts and as Kara makes her plans to discover more about Michael Holt’s dimensional research. Back in the present day, Power Girl saves a jet from crashing, then the heroes discover that Hakkou has absorbed so much radiation, he’s turned into a giant monster! Can they stop him before he destroys Tokyo?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, good action — I gotta admit, I’m getting a lot more enjoyment out of the middle section, drawn by Kevin Maguire, about Helena and Kara’s more civilian-level adventures exploring the new world they’ve found themselves in. Not that George Perez’s work is anything to sneeze at — but he does get stuck drawing that awful Power Girl costume…

The Amazing Spider-Man #689

The Lizard has been turned back into Curt Connors — but inside, he’s still the Lizard, enraged at being transformed into a weak, amputated human, furiously trying to figure out a way to get himself changed back and then kill everyone he can. His devious mind realizes he can use Michael Morbius’ weaknesses against them all — he knows the Living Vampire hasn’t drunk any blood in a while, so he keeps mentioning blood to make him think about how hungry he is, and once Connors is left alone in Morbius’ lab, he pumps a bunch of blood into the air vents. Morbius snaps and puts the bite on one of the scientists at Horizon Labs. While Spidey pursues Morbius across the city, Connors lures Max Modell into his lab for some unorthodox experiments.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good action and dialogue. Some good twists and turns in the story, too. You can tell Dan Slott is having a lot of fun writing Spidey — let’s hope Marvel doesn’t take him off the comic when they do their soft reboot this fall…

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Hey Sailor

Popeye #1

Long, long years ago, I went through a period where I was really, really into Popeye — and not the familiar Popeye cartoons, but the very old “Thimble Theatre” comic strip by E.C. Segar, the one that included characters that rarely made it into the animated cartoons, like Castor Oyl, Ham Gravy, the Sea Hag, Alice the Goon, and others. So a Popeye comic by IDW that features a ton of old characters, written by Roger Langridge? Yeah, I’m all over that.

First things first: That cover? That cover is pure win.

The story focuses on Castor Oyl, Olive’s brother, hitting on a scheme to find a mate for Eugene the Jeep, a small highly magical creature, so they can sell baby Jeeps to solve the family’s money troubles. Of course, they hire Popeye to take them to the semi-mythical Land of the Jeeps, and Wimpy tags along to keep from having to pay his debts to Rough House, the owner of the diner. They are pursued, of course, by Bluto, who tries to stop them by various dastardly schemes. And when they finally make it to the Land of the Jeeps, what they find is not what they expected.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is so blasted much like reading old Thimble Theatre comics. It doesn’t hurt that artist Bruce Ozella does a great job of replicating the look of Segar’s cartoons, but Langridge in particular seems to be channeling the style of those old comics.

Popeye #2

And the second issue has Popeye butting heads with Olive’s new beau, the famous actor Willy Wormwood. Popeye can’t match Wormwood for sophistication, style, or brains. Wormwood is obviously a villain — how can Popeye and Wimpy get Olive to see the truth? Plus a backup feature about Professor O.G. Wotasnozzle, brilliant scientist and inventor, as he pursues his twin quests of inventing a pill to make your feet two sizes larger and getting a little peace and quiet.

Verdict: Thumbs up. All the stuff I said before still applies. If you haven’t been getting these yet, give them a try. They’re good fun.

Avengers Academy #31

The X-Kids and the Avengers Academy kids finally figure out that Sebastian Shaw isn’t trying to kill anyone — he just wants to escape and to help the X-Kids escape. And the Academy students are really mostly okay with that — they don’t see the value in forcing the mutant students to stay as prisoners. So while Tigra and Hercules are generally in agreement, the campus is wired with cameras, and they can’t just let them walk away, so there has to be a fake fight for the cameras.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I really don’t get the necessity for a fake fight at all. It was pretty obvious everyone was pulling their punches, and everyone got up afterwards and waved bye-bye. So anyone watching certainly wasn’t fooled. I liked the camaraderie between the students and Hercules’ hammy over-acting, but the complete silliness of the fake fight ruined it all for me.

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