We're not giving the one-eyed sailor a fair shake. Popeye is one of the earliest comics superstars, as popular in the 1930's as Superman! He was originally a supporting character in the "Thimble Theatre" daily that featured the antics of the Oyl family (Olive had siblings named Castor and such), but his wry sense of humor and hellacious brawls quickly made him the star of the strip.
Here's Popeye's first appearance in comics from 1929! (please log in to view the image)
Popeye was published by many different entities over the years, including Charlton Comics, the original home of such characters as The Question, Blue Beetle, and Captain Atom.
I'll start the feats ball rolling and then back off and let others have some fun (that and I have actual work to do).
Popeye's strength is well known, but his speed and reflexes are both superhuman as well. On more than one occasion, he has pushed a piano, wardrobe, or other large object from the window of a high-rise apartment; and managed to run down several flights of stairs to the street below in time to catch said piano (etc) before it impacts upon the sidewalk... WITHOUT FIRST EATING SPINACH!
I made a few threads today because I felt Popeye is unjustly overlooked as an iconic hero, when in truth, he was one of the first heroes in print, and over the decades has amassed a resume nearly unparalleled in comicdom. Many people took this as a joke because they couldn't look past the surface mystique that embodies the name Popeye, but he's just as deeply faceted a character as Superman or Spiderman is.
Here are a few of Popeye's feats:
-Popeye once ate an entire field of spinach to repel a Martian Invasion. He punched through a Martian disentegration beam, grabbed a flying saucer, threw it like a frisbee, and made it ricochet off the entire Martian invasion fleet like a pin ball. After all the Martian ships crashed, the ensuing explosion spelled the word "TILT" across the skyline.
-Popeye has ran down Bluto, on foot, while Bluto was speeding away in a racecar in an attempt to kidnap Olive Oyl.
-Popeye has ran down, and ran past (on numerous occasions), a speeding locomotive to save Olive Oyl, who was tied to the tracks, from being ran over. On one occasion, rather than untying her, he punched the speeding train and turned it into a pipe organ.
-Popeye singlehandedly laid track for a speeding train and punched through mountains to make tunnels for the train so that it could get to it's destination near the coal mines.
-Popeye has leaped into the air and punched out fighter jets in mid flight.
-Popeye can fly like a fighter jet by spinning his pipe like a propelor and sticking out his arms like wings. When provoked, Popeye can use his pipe as a jet engine propelling himself through the air at mach speeds, even launching himself into space. Popeye can also survive re-entry and falls from sub-orbital heights.
-Popeye has punched fast enough to deflect hundreds of rounds of machine gun fire at close range with his bare fists.
-Popeye has chewed up steel beams and spit the metal out as bullets, nails, and rivets.
-Popeye on numerous occasions has punched people and accompanying objects into cages, cabins, tents, tepees, stuffed animals, toys, etc. On one occasion Popeye was attacked by a Giant Octopuss while he was diving for pearls. Popeye punched the octopuss and turned it into a Merry-Go-Round.
- During WWII, Popeye punched out a fleet of German battleships into individual cages to imprison over 100 Nazi soldiers. Popeye also punched through the gunfire of 10 Nazi fighter jets, in mid air, and punched the planes to splinters that formed a fence and imprisoned the pilots as they landed with their parachutes. He also got a medal of honor from Eisenhower.
-During WW II Popeye once turned out all the lights in his hometown for a bomb raid in a matter of seconds.
-Popeye once punched an enraged Giant King Kong-esque Gorilla into 3 separate monkeys, each covering their ears, eyes, and mouth (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil) respectively.
-Popeye punched out a giant Moby Dick-esque sperm whale and held it in one hand like a baby as it was dazed.
-Popeye once punched a mountain into a hill because it was blocking his view.
-Popeye once lifted up and bodyslammed the 40 story building Olive Oyl's apartment was in so that her floor was at street level and he could move her piano in.
-Popeye once walked a tight rope while carrying a refrigerator, a wardrobe, a bathtub, a baby in a baby carriage, Olive Oil, and Wimpy (eating a burger).
-Popeye once punched through super hypnosis vision from a Persian Magician, then punched the guy and his flying carpet turning them into a bazaar with rugs for sale.
-While in Old Russia, Popeye punched through hypnosis vision and spells cast by Rasputin, then Popeye proceded to punch Rasputin through the Kremlin which formed a jail around Rasputin.
-Popeye once punched through magic spell bolts cast at him by a Genie Bluto had used to grant him three wishes. Popeye then punched out Bluto and punched the Genie back into the lamp before tossing the lamp into the horizon.
-Popeye survived having a battle ship dropped on him by Bluto.
-Popeye survived being shot point blank in the face with a cannonball by Pirate Blackbeard.
-Popeye survived being ran over and point blank cannon fire from a Sherman tank, and then proceded to punch the tank into an oven and water heater.
-In Egypt Popeye once punched a Mummy into bedsheets hanging from a clothesline (there was no clothseline before the punch).
-Popeye has punched aligators, dinosaurs, and mad bulls into full sets of leather luggage.
-Popeye has punched a lion into a leopard skin fur coat. (and no, that's not a typo, he punched a lion into leopard skin).
-Popeye punched out a fire breathing dragon.
-Popeye as a lumberjack chopped down a whole state full of redwood trees with his bare fists.
-Popeye once jumped up and punched the man in the moon in the eye after Olive Oyl snubbed him for Bluto and the moon was laughing at his misfortune.
Gender: Male Location: somewhere within time & space
Awesome, hilarious, so so cool,
Popeye is no joke! Superman eat your heart out, lol.
I have a question though do you know how he punches Mummies into bedsheets and the other countless things he warps with punches?
Is it through magical means, is he secretly cosmic, or that simply his power, what's the deal?
"Popeye survived being ran over and point blank cannon fire from a Sherman tank, and then proceded to punch the tank into an oven and water heater."
Well, considering most of his feats took place in an era when they didn't care to give logical explanations for feats, there is no clear cut scientific explanation. Popeye was created before cosmic level characters were even a thought.
However, it could be theorized that somehow the force of his blows cause some kind of matter/energy disruption on impact (as silly as that may seem).
In the same way Superboy has "tactile telekinesis", Popeye has "tactile matter manipulation". Anything he lays a punch on can be transmuted into any obscure object he can conceive.
For instance, one time in Spain Popeye played matador and was getting trampled by "El Toro" the fiercest bull in all of Spain. After getting knocked across the auditorium by El Toro, Popeye ate some spinach and then punched El Toro turning him into a stack of steaks, a side of beef, and a length of sausages (And I'm being dead serious, this is not a joke, it actually happened).
That's the only comic science explanation I can give to it. It seems that somehow Popeye's digestion of spinach grants these abilities, or rather the spinach itself, as on one occasion a mouse in Olive Oyl's house ate spinach and laid a serious beating on Popeye.
Rather than looking for a pseudo-scientific basis for Popeye's feats, I would consider Popeye to be more in keeping with the semi-magical beings you'll find hanging out in the pages of DC/Vertigo's "Fables" series.
Other early 20th century characters such as the inhabitants of Oz and Narnia (though not called such by name for legal reasons) have appeared in Fables, so Popeye would be right at home, perhaps alongside other culture heroes like Paul Bunion and Pecos Bill.
His famously strong showings against the Sea Hag, Sinbad the Sailor, and Abu-Hazen and his 40 Thieves would seem to bear this out.
Gender: Male Location: somewhere within time & space
Not silly at all,
I think you explained it as well as possible considering your improvising his bio, and it makes sense to me. And yea that cartoon spinach is special, even Olive Oyl has kicked butt after eating it.
By the are all these feats from cartoons or another source.