Popeye vs. Incredible Hulk: Mano a Mano

The differences and similarities between the Hulk and Popeye After a long and tedious day, we often turn…

The differences and similarities between the Hulk and Popeye

After a long and tedious day, we often turn down invitations by friends and sometimes even family members to hang out and unwind, but would rather relax on our own, reading a comic book or watching cartoons on TV. It’s quite refreshing to focus our attention to fictional characters existing in fantastical worlds from time to time, away from the monotonous dullness of our daily lives.

Comic books and cartoons shows seem to have always had a certain charm that attracts not only children, but even those aging adults who look for a way to relieve stress. We find ourselves getting attached to a favourite character and following their adventurous lives, and the challenges they face, with more enthusiasm than most of us dare to admit. Two of these very popular and interesting characters that most males find most admirable are Hulk and Popeye.


Popeye, a sailor well-known for his muscles and anchor tattoos, was born into the world of cartoons in 1929. He was conceptualized by Elzie Segar, a cartoonist who, along with Popeye, created another group of characters to appear in a comic strip published daily: Thimble Theatre, which was printed by King Features.

Incredible Hulk, or simply Hulk was brought to life by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the latter also the creator of other famous cartoon icons like Spiderman. Marvel Comics released Hulk’s first issue on 1962.

Who They Are

Popeye’s first appearance in a comic book was not as a main character, but this easily changed when the general audience instantly took a liking to him. He’s prominent features include having only one eye, the anchor tattooed muscles, lisp speaking and a smoking pipe. He is known to pursue a love interest with the skinny character Olive Oyl, often ending up saving her from endless dangers with the aid of eating spinach which gives him temporary superhuman strength.

The Hulk is a destructive monstrosity of an alter-ego implanted into the otherwise gentle scientist Dr. Bruce Banner after a lethal lab accident. Since then, when Bruce encounters pain or is driven into an intense state of anger, he transforms into the green skinned, giant monster with unbelievable strength that does cease to increase as long as his anger intensifies.



Bottom Line

Both icons wield muscular bodies accompanied with superhuman strength. Popeye’s is awakened by spinach and the Hulk’s by extreme emotions or anger.  Although both are famous, Popeye appeared earlier. Both characters were featured in television and movies.


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