Would you like to know where the original Popeye’s source of strength came from? It’s far from what you would expect, and it’s definitely not as healthy as the remedy that we all know and love.
Did you know that originally Popeye may have got his strength from a magical Whiffle Hen and not spinach. Not only that, but he was also shot fifteen times and nearly died in his very first adventure.
Popeye is the well known spinach eating character who attains super-human strength from, what I personally consider to be a foul tasting vegetable. A classic animation of him eating spinach is him squeezing the tin and spinach popping out and falling into his mouth. Soon he gets super strong and can defeat nearly anyone. But spinach wasn’t always Popeye’s secret magical weapon. He had something else that was far less portable. It was a chicken! In the original comic strip that features Popeye he gained his strength not from spinach, but from a chicken owned by Castor Oyl.
To be precise, the comic never stated directly that Popeye got his strength from a chicken. What the original comic said was that the chicken, called Bernice, was a good luck chicken. Castor Oyl and Popeye went to a casino and won big after rubbing the head of the chicken. It was on the return trip from the casino that Popeye nearly died and showed his strength and fighting prowess.
On the return trip from the casino, after winning millions, Popeye was shot fifteen times. After being shot numerous times he rubbed the head of the chicken for good luck before fighting his attacker. While he may not have gained strength from the chicken, the comic certainly implied that something magical had happened. After all, he survived being turned into Swizz cheese before beating the crap out of his attacker.
If this comic taught me anything, it’s not to eat spinach. It’s to have a pet chicken that will get me out of any trouble that I might find myself in.