The Return of Popeye

IDW has released a new comicbook with a familiar cover -- the design might remind you of Superman's first appearance, since it is an homage to Action Comics #1. The star, however, is a character that was created a few years before the Man of Steel.  Yes, it's Popeye, the spinach-eating sailorman who first debuted in a comic strip in 1929.

Popeye reached his greatest fame as a cartoon, most notably the Fleischer Studios classics. Animated versions have been made ever since, most recently 2004's Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy. He's now back in the funny pages where it all began.

In 1980, Robin Williams made his first movie, a live action adaptation of Popeye directed by Robert Altman. It's a bizarre flick that tries to stay faithful to the comic and cartoon -- some might say it's a bit too faithful, right down to Popeye's bloated forearms (which definitely looked weird in non-cartoon form). A new film is in the works, this time a CGI animated story written by the guys who gave us the Smurfs remake.

The new comic, written by Roger Langridge and drawn by Bruce Ozella, is a tribute to the original King Features syndicated strips by E.C. Segar. All the favorites are back -- slim love interest Olive Oyl, hamburger-munching Wimpy, brutish thug Bluto, the pirate witch Sea Hag, adopted child Swee'Pea, Alice the Goon, and of course the hero himself, Popeye.

If you're feeling nostalgic about the old sailor, give the new comic a try.