It's great to see Popeye back in comic book form. It's crazy to think how long it's been since he's appeared in comics.
I haven't watched episodes of Popeye in a long time. Growing up, I probably watched pretty much all the episodes on a syndicated channel and really loved the old black and white episodes. The idea of bringing back Popeye in new adventures was a scary thought, even though the idea is a great one. The (obvious) key is ensuring the stories retain the quality and feel fans of the show would expect. The good news is, that feeling is there.
The first thing you'll notice is the art by Bruce Ozella. The art is spot on for what I'd want to see in a Popeye comic. The story by Roger Langridge channels the classic feel of Popeye. There's no way you can't help but get excited over a story focusing on Eugene the Jeep. We also get appearances by Olive Oyl, her brother Castor, Wimpy, Bluto and even the Sea Hag.
It's a great story but three fourths of the way, it feels like it loses something. I was thrilled that the story was a feature length tale and this comic wasn't filled with a bunch of short tales. I was completely sucked into the story but then was almost confused at how quickly it was all resolved.
Olive Oyl was pretty interesting here. I must have forgotten how...harsh she could come across (I gotta dig out that DVD I have with the old 'classic' episodes). I recall her fawning over Popeye often but you could say she came across as a bit rude and cold to him here.
Where's the spinach? Popeye's a tough guy but he never ate any. Sure you won't have the Popeye theme music playing while he opens the can and devours the contents but I kept waiting for it to happen.
Popeye's back. I was a little scared at how it would turn out but this issue shows that the characters are in good hands. I might have had high expectations and because of that I felt the story lost a little steam towards the end. Despite that, Langridge is the perfect writer for this series. Immediately you get the sense that he fully gets who the characters are supposed to be. Often when classic characters are brought back, they can come across as pale imitations of who they're supposed to be. I have no doubt that this series will continue to bring a smile to my face with Landgridge on board. Of course because this is based on an animated series, the visuals play an equally important role. Ozella nails it with his depiction of all the characters. Looking at the pages makes you think you're looking a freshly reprinted story that your grandfather might have read in his youth. As a fan of the show in my childhood, I may have been a little harder when looking over the entire issue but the series is off to a great start and I am ecstatic to be able to buy and read a new Popeye series. My thanks go out to all involved in making this series happen.