A simple story, Popeye #9 is its usual charming self. Whilst this one seems devoid of the humor of previous adventures, its none the less an interesting read. It also makes use of a traditional Popeye cast, including Bluto, which makes it feel much more traditional.
The official description from IDW:
Schtuff! You can’t get enough! Schtuff! It makes you feel tough! Schtuff! WHAT THE HECK IS IT?? Time for Popeye and the gang to take a trip to Goon Island to take on that ol’ stinker, Bluto – and for Alice the Goon to go native! PLUS: More nuttiness with Sappo and Wotasnozzle!
This issue really is straight forward, but that’s always been part of Popeye‘s charm. Since there are a lot of younger readers, there’s no need to confuse anyone. Popeye #9 is a quick and fun romp, the first few pages set up the adventure and the rest is obvious. Throw in a quick fight, and everything generally gets resolved. Its a tried and tested format, but the unique storyline ensures that there’s an audience for it.
As for the writing, Bluto makes another appearance here, but his presence isn’t really used. His role could be filled by any generic villain, as it seems to have very little to do with the plot. As a result, his impact is very reduced. That said, the reaction from Olive seems counter-productive. Even small children must question why she’s attracted to him halfway through the storyline (after she’s been kidnapped, too).
As for his sidekick in this adventure, there may have been more room. There are a few cheap jokes about being “second rate” instead of “third rate”, but this still provides more usefulness and depth than Bluto’s role. As a hypnotist, there’s certainly more room and potential for plot lines and humor as well, which is touched upon only briefly.
In short, there’s not a lot else to say about this issue. The side-plot involving Wimpy adds a touch more humor to an otherwise dry issue, but its none the less a charming tale from front to back.