Popeye #3 is a hard issue to review. It does everything right, so it all comes down to the one question; do you like Popeye?
I ask this, because Popeye #3 stays strong to the original roots of the character. The art style, in particular, is a prime example of this. Designed to imitate the style of the original comics, Popeye #3 adds better colour, yet still gives the impression of an older title. The simple designs may seem aged to some, whilst some will appreciate the decision to imitate the original choices.
The official description from IDW:
When Swee’Pea runs away from home and gets hooked up with a gang of kids from The Wrong Side of the Tracks, Popeye has to go after him… taking on all comers along the way! Can Popeye find Swee’Pea before he gets a tattoo? PLUS: back-up shenanigans with those stick-figure funsters, Pete and Patsy!
The same goes for the plot and contents. At its heart, this is all about the original cast. Popeye #3 particularly focuses on Wimpy. Its great to see a short story that doesn’t focus on the main character, although Popeye himself is still around on most pages.
Despite the simple story, there is a fair amount of humour in the dialogue. Its certainly well written and would entertain anyone of any age. Its simple humour. Additionally, I have to give credit to the team for being able to write down Popeye’s trademark muttering and accent so effectively.
My only down-points are that the characters still aren’t developed. Wimpy, for example, is still a large man that is obsessed with Hamburgers. Olive Oyl is still in love with Popeye, and Bluto still wants to fight Popeye. As for Popeye, he still does what he does best; talk funny, eat spinach and save the day. Its classic stuff, but sometimes it never hurts to add a bit more depth. The original audience has, after all, matured somewhat.
To conclude, this all leads back to my original point. Where as younger audiences may enjoy Popeye #3, older audiences will vary depending on their preferences and familiarity of the character. Since the title does so much to relate back to the traditional comic, there isn’t much in the way of modern progress.
In short, this will very depending on what each reader is looking for out of a comic. However, if you’ve ever enjoyed Popeye in any of its forms, there’s plenty of charm to be found within Popeye #3.
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