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Created by E. C. Segar, Popeye is a cultural icon that found his roots in the King Features comic strip Thimble Theater. Popeye debuted in January of 1929 and became the most popular character in the series, eventually making his way to his own comic strip, comic books, radio programs, animated television and cinema short films (some of which created by the famous Fleischer studios), and even a live-action musical featuring Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall, and Paul L. Smith.
The series' main thrust was that Popeye, a sailor, was enamored with a svelte woman by the name of Olive Oyl. Often Popeye's main enemy, Bluto, would come between them. Bluto's strength was such that Popeye would be beaten to a pulp by the violent and aggressive Bluto until Popeye ate spinach, usually from a tin can. This spinach then gave him super abilities, which he used to trounce Bluto and win the day. There were variations on this theme, but usually spinach was somehow involved.
The limitations of his relationship to the power of spinach is never explored, as the episodes or comic strips usually ended before the power diminished.
It is assumed that Popeye, being a cartoon, did not experience from any of the real, healthy benefits of spinach, nor the negative aspects, which include calcium binding oxylates, which can cause kidney stones and kidney disease, and the high iron content, which in high doses can lead to premature oxidation of body materials which increase the risk for cancer.
Popeye seems to be missing one of his eyes, as he is constantly squinting. He may be a smoker, as exhibited by his corncob pipe, although this may have been an affectation. Popeye always wears his sailor suit, although he presumably changes into nightclothes when he gets sleepy.
In video games, Popeye's fluid animation or drawing style was not served very well, at least in its first iterations for the arcade and home machines.