Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Popeye#7

It's strange to me that while comic books set in the Marvel & DC continuities receive much comment on the internet, where the other publishers are concerned, you're usually lucky to find reviews for first issues, last issues and perhaps a change in creative team. Thus, why not look in on IDW's Popeye again? The most recent issue is #7, featuring "The Beast of Desolation Gulch or, the Case of the Desert Yeti."

In this tale, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl & J. Wellington Wimpy visit an ostrich ranch which is bedeviled by a mysterious hairy monster who lives in the desert. The foreman of the ranch is none other than Ham Gravy, Olive's former fiancee. Since they last met, Ham has picked up his own set of super muscles (courtesy of "Charles Adenoid"), making him a match for Popeye.

As is typical with Langridge, Wimpy is integral to the plot. I'd earlier noticed how Wimpy is similar to Langridge's Snarked protagonist J. Wilberforce Walrus, but while both men are clever con artists, it's worth observing many of Langridge's other protagonists are less-than-clever victims (notably Fred the Clown and Muppet Show's Fozzie Bear).

After collaborating with various artists over the first six issues, this issue features Langridge assuming the writing/art duties (which probably wasn't feasible while he was writing/drawing Snarked during the earlier issues). Langridge is suited to the world of Popeye, but there's something about the way he draws Popeye himself which I don't like; I think it's the lines on Popeye's open mouth, as seen above.

The second feature of the book is "the Cow of Tomorrow," a Professor Watasnozzle story also by Langridge. This character has made frequent appearances in back-up stories during Langridge's Popeye run thus far; Watasnozzle was another creation of Popeye maker E.C. Segar, but not one I was familiar with until this series. Each story follows a similar pattern: eccentric inventor Watasnozzle makes a device to simplify some mundane task, but Sappo & Myrtle, the couple whose home he boards at, find some way to abuse the device; usually something explodes at the climax. In this case, Watasnozzle has invented an electric cow which can do anything a cow can, including fashion its own dairy & meat products (albeit, awful products). I do find these stories repetitive, but each has had enough amusing moments to remain diverting.

I never believed I'd see the day where I was looking forward to Popeye every month, let alone twice a month since the launch of Classic Popeye! Good show, IDW!

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