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Marvel and DC might rule the comics kingdom but we mustn't forget there are other unsung comic book, comic strip and graphic novel heroes past and present that need some love. From Tintin to Blake and Mortimer and from The Phantom to Archie Bunker, these heroes and their adventures make for some excellent reading. It's about time now I bring you up to speed with two very classic icons of the comic world and pit them against each other to see which zany cartoonish brawler is the strongest.

Asterix, the Gaul - the mighty warrior of Gaul who defends his village from Romans with the aid of his pal Obelix and a special magic potion

vs

Popeye, the Sailor Man - the derring-do sailor who is strong to the 'finich' because he eats his spinach

WHO... IS... DEADLIEST?

Let's Meet the Warriors

Asterix

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By Toutatis! ~ Asterix's most common exclamation

Asterix is the titular hero of the French graphic novel series of the same name. He is depicted as a diminutive but fearless Gaulish warrior living in the time of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, around about 50BC (being born in 85BC, making him 35 by the time of the stories). The canon establishes his home village to be located in northwest Roman Armorica (now today known as French Brittany) that the Romans have failed to capture and occupy because of the efforts of Asterix and his best friend Obelix - instead the Romans have set up four nearby encampments to keep an eye on the village.

Over the course of almost 40 graphic novels (starting from Asterix, the Gaul released in 1959), Asterix has been on a wide range of adventures seeing him traverse nearly all Roman-occupied territory and even stepping foot on Rome itself - all the while battling Caesar-era Roman legions, Goths, Egyptians, Normans, other Gauls, Belgians, and even Mesapotamians, Vikings and North American Indians. He even, in canon, fought against aliens.

Asterix is one of the smartest and most sensible members of the village, and so he is usually chosen for any dangerous, important or exotic mission. Unlike most of the other villagers, he does not start or join brawls for the fun of it, although he does enjoy a good fight when there's cause. He rarely resorts to weapons, preferring to rely on his wits, and when necessary, his (magic potion enhanced) fists – though he carries his shortsword with him at all times, he is shown to be an occasional swordsman at best. What he does for a living is never truly known, though he is often shown going on missions, quests, or hunting wild boar.

Popeye

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Well I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam, I'm Popeye the Sailor Man! ~ Popeye being proud of himself.

Popeye is the titular character of the American comic book and cartoon series of the same name (as well as a 1980 live-action film starring Robin Williams as Popeye) and is generally depicted as a rough-and-tumble sailor always looking for adventure on the high seas. Originally, he appeared as a minor character in the Thimble Theatre newspaper comic strips series in 1929 to the main cast of Olive Oyl and her family but due to the character's popularity following his debut, he became the primary character for the strips in the 1930s.

Although the character's backstory, characterisation and origin vary depending upon the medium and sometimes there is a lack of continuity between Popeye's adventures in each medium, the following elements are the constants throughout the sailor's long history:

  • Olive Oyl is his love interest
  • He is often antagonised by the brutish looking sailor Bluto (aka Brutus) as the brute tries to win the affections of Olive
  • He has family consisting of Poopdeck Pappy (his father), Patchy (his great-grandfather), Pipeye and Peepeye (his brothers), Granny, Swee'pea (foster child), Popeye Jr. (his son), and Pupeye, Pipeye, Poopeye and Peepeye (his nephews)
  • Spinach is his last-resort option when fighting, so he keeps at least one can on him for good measure
  • He is often depicted as a 40-ish year old man

Popeye is a rough and tough sailor with a heart of gold who always does what he can for others and always doing what he thinks is best. He always stands up for the "weakerist": (including animals) against violent abusers. Being a sailor, he has a love for adventure and the sea, and will not pass up the chance to find new mysteries, lost treasures and grand adventures. While he is usually a treasure hunter of sorts, he is not greedy and always does his best to share with others and encourage others to do the same. Popeye's favorite food is spinach and always tries to encourage others to eat this healthy green as it is a great source of "strenkth and vitaliky". He loves his sweetheart Olive Oyl dearly despite their rough start and will go to any lengths to keep her safe and make her happy, showing that he is a very chivalrous and romantic man, despite his rough, tough and gruff nature.

Now... Onto their Equipment and Special Abilities

Asterix

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The magic potion is the potion brewed by Getafix, that gives the Gaulish warriors superhuman strength. It is brewed from various herbs, found around the village and the forests surrounding it. Getafix is the only one who knows how to make the potion. The secret can only be passed down through the druids, by word of mouth.

The Romans, constantly bested by the inhabitants of the the tiny Gaulish village, are desperate to find out the secrets of the potion. They have never, however, actually found out how to make the magic potion. Some of the ingredients used include mistletoe, fish, garlic, salt, hot water, twigs, sticks and leaves, four-leaf clovers of the tamarind tree, rock oil, cucumbers, green grapes, beetroot juice, lobsters and strawberries (as flavourings) and a secret ingredient known only to Getafix.

When Asterix drinks the potion, he gains the following superhuman abilities:

  • Superhuman strength - this is one of the potion's more noticeable effects; when ingested, the potion grants Asterix enough strength to effortlessly pummel heavily armoured Roman soldiers to the point of sending them flying with one punch, carry and throw heavy objects (like menhirs, trees, stones, etc.) and people without much effort, and slam into objects (such as metal doors, etc.) and people without causing massive injury (and even break out of chain restraints without much effort)
  • Superhuman Speed and Agility - Drinking the potion makes Asterix's limbs spin like a windmill, allowing him to run faster than Roman Olympic track runners and run fast enough to ram straight through heavily armoured Roman soldier formations without tiring too easily; in one instance, he was able to swim a long distance and not get tired out by it (only accidentally knocking himself out due to poor form)
  • Superhuman Stamina
  • Limited High-Level Durability - a druid once said that the potion grants the user superhuman strength but it doesn't make them totally invulnerable (there's a separate potion for that); nevertheless as mentioned above, the potion allows Asterix to pummel through anyone without taking too much damage in return. It is, however, merely blunt force trauma that the potion renders Asterix impervious too, he can still feel punches and kicks but the damage inflicted against him is not severe.
  • Healing Properties - sometimes, drinking this potion when you're injured or fatigued restores your health and vitality but only if the potion's effects have already worn off after the first consumption OR before the first drink.

Weaknesses/Drawbacks

  • Time Limit - the potion's effects do not last long but the timeframe between consumption and the wearing off of the potion is a bit vague. Sometimes the potion's effects might last for hours at worst, days at best (the comics don't depict this very well in all honesty).
  • Consumption Restriction - Getafix the druid (and all other druids like him) warn that after ingesting the potion, one cannot drink the potion again for stacking purposes; instead if you drink the potion while still under the effects (doesn't matter how much of it you have drunk the first time), you may turn into granite.
  • Limited Invulnerability - Although the potion makes Asterix super-strong and super-fast, it doesn't make him totally invulnerable. While he can tank blunt damage, he is still vulnerable to piercing damage, physiological needs, environmental damage and fall damage; plus as mentioned before, if he's not careful, he can accidentally knock himself out.
  • Can only be made by Getafix - Speaks for itself really. I mean by the time of this battle, Getafix will have conjured a cauldron of the potion but once its spilt, that's it.
  • Someone Else Can Drink the Potion - as seen here if a potion user fights another potion user, they could potentially KO each other. Although the example shown doesn't feature Asterix, there are occasions when Asterix and Obelix (the latter having accidentally been dropped into the potion a la Achilles at a very young age) scuffle and both end up getting KOed (e.g. here and here)

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It is stated and depicted in media that Asterix is equipped with a 'shortsword' - but because of the stylised nature of the Asterix comics, it is difficult to discern whether or not his sword is really a sword or a dagger owing to its size in comparison to Asterix himself and the other characters. A careful look at the sword cannot determine its specific size/blade length or weight but presumably it is a double-edged sword made of iron/steel (the Gaulish village has a resident blacksmith, after all) with a hilt attached to it (therefore ruling it out as a large knife) and it is just some length shorter than his leg (as you can tell by the scabbard).

Another frame of reference or two to determine the sword's length are the swords carried by the Roman legionaries and the other swords carried by the villagers (especially the chief Vitalstatistix). Looking through the numerous times we see Roman, Gallic and other barbarian swords, it can be implied that Asterix's sword is indeed shorter and smaller than the other swords we see.

Asterix usually carries his shortsword with him on every adventure but he rarely uses it unless the occasion needs it as he had done so once in the story Asterix & Caesar's Gift (as seen in the feats section) and it is implied he uses it in Asterix and the Golden Sickle (seen here). Presumably when he fights with the sword, he will slash but he's more of a bash person. Apparently if it is implied that he uses the sword to deal blunt force, the sword is shown to be intact.

Strength Feats

Regardless of whether he drinks the potion or not, it can be seen that Asterix can:

Speed and Agility Feats

Regardless of whether he drinks the potion or not, it can be seen that Asterix can:

Combat Skills Feats

Regardless of whether he drinks the potion or not, it can be seen that Asterix can:

NOTE: You may have noticed the lack of durability feats in this tab BUT it can be safe to presume that Asterix's brawls against the heavily armoured Roman legions sees Asterix do all this and not take much damage from his constant ramming onto them. Intelligence Feats

Asterix is a quick and resourceful thinker, using his wits and intelligence to:

Popeye

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Spinach is a leafy green vegetable with a high vitamin content, making it a healthy and nutritious food for human consumption - its iron content in reality is only fraction of what Fleischer (the cartoonist responsible for the craze in the first place) thought it was. In fact it was only in the Fleischer cartoons and beyond that Popeye's affinity for spinach took shape, it was never there during the Seger-era comic strips.

For Popeye, he mainly eats the spinach as a last resort deal in case he ever feels like he or his lover Olive Oyl is in real danger. In what possibly could be a case of Toon Force logic, the can of spinach is stored within his shirt or pants. Sometimes when he doesn't have the can, he will find the nearest supply from either a store or a farmyard and consume the spinach from there.

When Popeye eats the spinach, he gains the following superhuman abilities:

  • Superhuman strength - this is perhaps the most notable superpower Popeye obtains when he consumes the spinach; after consumption, Popeye gains enough punching power to render his opponents unconscious or send them flying very far away. Popeye sometimes uses his strength to wield heavy objects and people without effort too; and when he uses an object like a weapon, it proves very effective.
  • Superhuman Speed and Agility - Consuming the spinach allows Popeye to move his limbs at tremendous speed allowing him to punch and kick his opponents very quickly before they can react. Even when he doesn't need to pummel his opponents, he can move quick enough while his opponents are in the air or escape tricky situations within seconds.
  • Superhuman Stamina' - presumably, Popeye can do all these superhuman feats listed above without slowing down or getting tired
  • High-Level Durability - In most instances where we see Popeye consume the spinach, no-one directly attacks him or even gets the chance to do so; on the odd occasion where a villain does try their luck, they fail because he becomes partially invulnerable with steel-like skin that can allow Popeye to tank strong punches without slowing down or withstand being hit with an iron rod (the rod bending to match his face)
  • Healing Properties - although most media sees Popeye getting beat up and knocked out himself, we don't see him sustain much injuries but working on the presumption that he DOES get injured, ingesting spinach restores Popeye's vitality and possibly heals him as well.
  • Limited Body Transformation - some of the time when Popeye consumes the spinach, he's stuck and wedged inside an object or vehicle but consuming the spinach allows him to break free by enlarging his body for a brief moment; and sometimes when he consumes the spinach, his already bulky biceps grow bigger allowing for the use of bigger punches.
  • Limited Superhuman Intelligence - on occasion, the spinach will bolster Popeye's intelligence and skill in certain areas.

Weaknesses/Drawbacks

  • Time Limit - This technically happens within the universe of Popeye but it is a bit difficult to pin down exactly when and how the effects of the spinach wear off because most media depicting Popeye eating the spinach cut straight to the aftermath which presumably is hours later. Therefore, it can be safe to assume that the spinach empowerment lasts for as long as the fight does. Furthermore Popeye doesn't appear to be suffering from any ill-effects upon the wearing off so let's also presume that the powers just 'turn off' when the time limit is up.
  • Scarcity of Spinach - as stated before, at least one spinach can is kept with Popeye for him to use on emergency situations. If he doesn't have it on him, chances are he will find a nearby plot of land or store with spinach in it. This is considered to be a drawback in this battle for purposes that will be made clearer later on.
  • Someone Else Can Take The Spinach - as shown here, here and here if someone else ingests the spinach and takes him head on, Popeye could become KO'ed himself

Pipe-04.jpg

Another signature piece of kit on Popeye's appearance is his corncob smoking pipe. This kind of pipe is... well... a type of pipe made using a corncob that has been cut down and hollowed out. Most of the time he uses the pipe, he is whistling through it or (obviously) smoking through it.

However, whenever he is in combat or in a sticky situation, the pipe has been used as an extra implement - sometimes he will use it like a blowtorch; sometimes he will suck spinach through it so he can consume it; and sometimes he will use it like a rocket or a helicopter.

BIG NOTE HERE: Most of Popeye's feats here and even the use of the corncob pipe as an implement listed above is all done with the effect of Toon Force (yes that dreaded term the admins of old didn't want to see used on this wiki). So in a similar vein to Asterix, I will be pulling in relevant scans from the Reddit respect thread that best demonstrate Popeye's abilities that DON'T steer into reality-bending Toon Force territory (since Asterix himself doesn't truly bend reality in his world). And if some of these feats show some Toon Force trickery, then it's best for you to ignore it

Strength Feats

Popeye is so strong that he can:

Speed and Agility Feats

Popeye has such speed and agility that he can:

Durability Feats

Popeye, when imbued with spinach, can:

Intelligence Feats

Popeye surprising can prove himself to be a talented and skilled man with a good degree of near-superhuman intelligence. His efforts include:

X-Factors

Experience

These warriors have been fighting their foes for a very very long time (their stories being printed to this day) and due to the nature of their medium, they have not aged a day nor slowed down their performance. Since his first comic appearance in 1961 in Asterix the Gaul, the fearless warrior has battled countless Roman legionaries both diminutive and brutish with all wearing full lorica segmentata armour and holding scutums. Not only that but Asterix and his pal Obelix have also been on many adventures across the Roman Empire's territory (which spanned from the British Isles and Iberia to Egypt) and beyond - even going so far west as the Americas, as far east as the Middle East and India (not counting the planned excursion into China in 2022's Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom unless that gets turned into a comic soon after) and even to the fictional place of Atlantis. Heck Asterix has even had a tussle with aliens (as depicted in Asterix & The Falling Sky)

For the record, the version of Popeye being used here for this match is the Popeye seen in the Fleischer/Paramount Studios productions from 1933 to 1957 (where most if not all the Reddit scans come from) - his appearances in the prior Seger comics and later media being treated as separate continuities in spite of the supposed lack of cohesiveness in Popeye's general "canon" to begin with. Popeye's adventures have been somewhat limited in terms of scope, mostly occurring in the United States though some adventures have seen Popeye tussle with Sinbad the Sailor on his private island, Ali Baba in the Middle East, and tropical locations presumably around the Pacific Ocean. Heck he too has had a tussle with aliens in Popeye, the Ace of Space but this time going to the alien home world of Mars. However, his most enduring foe among all the others he has faced is his rival Bluto who happens to be very brutish and strong himself, even stronger than Popeye if it is to be believed.

Skills and Intelligence

As mentioned above, both these warriors are very well known for their cunning and their intellect as well as their strength and fighting spirit. Asterix is said to be the smartest of all the Gauls in his village and whenever he goes out on an adventure with Obelix (and sometimes Getafix the druid), he's the one who leads the way and formulates the calculated decisions and plans. He is a very investigative individual and very tactical too when it comes to exploiting weaknesses in the Romans' own carefully laid-out plans for him and the village. Notable occasions of Asterix's cunning and intelligence include his dealing with a false soothsayer, figuring out how the Romans are cheating during the Olympics, planning a counterattack against Amazonians, and saving Getafix the druid when he is captured by the Romans. There are often occasions when Asterix can be fooled easily but it does require a lot of preparation and study of both Asterix's behaviour and relationships with the people in his village (which was what happened on one occasion when a very talented actress successfully convinced Asterix and Obelix that she was a prominent friend of theirs though it did take a while to get their trust). Furthermore, there are no explicit mentions of Asterix training his swordsmanship or fighting but he does engage in the odd village brawl from time to time AND it is shown that Asterix is so used to fighting that it becomes second-nature to him.

Popeye is always made out to be a sailor and a brawler so we do not know if he was ever educated or anything like that. Nevertheless, he (as seen in the feats) is shown to be a jack-of-all-trades with skills in the fine arts and the art of brawling. There was an occasion where he does go to a gymnasium of sorts to help Olive become a proficient boxer but there is no implication he does any boxing of his own in his spare time. It is possible that Popeye's skill in fighting comes from his constant fighting with Bluto. Despite not being depicted as being learned or educated, Popeye is shown to be very smart as a detective when tracking down his nemesis and where they have gone; using disguises himself to catch people like Bluto off-guard and has sometimes MacGyvered objects for his benefit as a tool or improvised weapon. He even knows how to properly grow his own spinach (although dealing with garden pests like gophers is an entirely different matter). It's also implied that because of his occupation as a sailor, he has training from the US Navy or a similar organisation for sailors (hence the implication that he knows of carpentry).

Physicality and Personality

Asterix, as you can tell from the comics, is a very little though average-looking man (always clad in a black shirt, brown pants, leather shoes and a decorative winged helmet) especially in comparison to his more brutish colleague Obelix though a specific measurement is not specified in the comics - all that is defined about him in the comics is his age of 35 years old. His small size doesn't lend itself to intimidation but its because of that factor that larger opponents underestimate him (also not taking into account that he will drink the potion at times before or during the confrontation) which causes them to falter. Apart from this however, there is no explicit mention or depiction of Asterix's diminutive size being either a hindrance or an asset. Asterix's personality is pretty much what makes up for his lack of size and musculature compared to his colleagues. As the smartest Gallic warrior in the village, he pretty much uses his intelligence and wits to try and get out of a sticky situation, relying only on the potion when he deems it fit. He is also pretty much a brave and fearless individual (which is why he gets chosen a lot of the time for the missions venturing outside the village) and will exhaust any and all avenues of investigation and diplomacy to solve a problem - even if it means cutting himself off from the village at times (twice in fact: once to recover stolen money, the other to expose a paranoia-inducing Roman spindoctor).

Popeye is explicitly stated in his media to be 40 years of age and in all media is depicted to have a slender body but large forearms (with sailor tattoos on them), a large cleft chin, a mostly bald head and one droopy eye (though he never wears glasses or a monocle), and always wearing his classic attire of a black dress shirt, blue jeans, loafers, sailor cap and corncob pipe. His scrawny appearance makes him stand out against the brutes that he fights against (namely Bluto) but he is able to hold his own in a fight... until he gets pummelled so hard he needs to pull out the spinach. When he consumes the spinach, his body will morph a bit to help him get out of whatever he is stuck on and sometimes will enlarge one of his arms for the bigger punch. Most media depicting Popeye has him as a selfless, brave and compassionate - always willing to stick up to the little guy/girl, mostly Olive Oyl. He will never back down from a challenge and will not stop until his foe gets their just desserts. He is an avid explorer too due to his sailor lifestyle but is willing to give his riches away (sometimes if the riches were originally stolen, he'll give them back). He is also not a big fan of the supernatural, though he is not a skeptic because he does come across and fights with ghosts and monsters from time to time though he has to muster up the courage to do so.

Scenario + Voting Conditions

  • Scenario: Popeye and Olive Oyl are sailing on their boat, having finished another bout with Bluto. Passing through a fog, the duo find themselves not only losing Bluto but also travelling back in time to Roman-era Gaul, near Asterix's village in Armorica. Upon landfall, Popeye meets with all the Gauls there who are currently having a feast as they usually do. It is during the feast that Popeye and Asterix diplomatically challenge each other to a one-on-one sparring round.
  • Because of the nature of the media these two characters belong to, the fight will be to the KO or the first one to tap out.
  • Special conditions for Asterix: Asterix is not allowed to refill his gourd of magic potion once it runs out (because Getafix says so); no-one else in Asterix's village is allowed to assist in the fight (not even Obelix or his dog Dogmatix); it will also be assumed that the Romans will be unaware of this development
  • Special conditions for Popeye: Because this fight takes place in Asterix's universe, Popeye is unable to perform any reality-warping toon-force-style abilities here except for (when he consumes his spinach) making his arms bigger for those enhanced punches or stretching his body to break himself out if he is stuck; also, this fight takes place in the northwest of France in the past which means he will be unable to find any nearby spinach to consume once he uses up his own personal can.
  • Voting ends when I say voting ends (which might be a long while away).

Simulation

Intro

Out in the Atlantic Ocean

Popeye and Olive were happy at last. Happy that Bluto has finally been defeated and was never seen or heard from for a while. They fought a lot on the rusty and ruined dinghy that Bluto had used to crash Popeye's beloved ship but despite the damage, Popeye sent Bluto flying.

"I'm strong to the finish, coz I eats me spinach, I'm Popeye the sailor man" Popeye serenaded his sweetheart as the boat sailed through the calm collected Atlantic waters. Popeye tooted his pipe as he cradled his lover in one arm and steered his ship with the other.

"Oh Popeye..." Olive swooned in her paramour's arms. Together they continued to hold each other while eyeing the sea looking for the shoreline. Unfortunately for our mighty sailor, he couldn't see what was happening.

He muttered to himself about how grey the sky had become and how choppy the waters are. Olive too noticed this sudden change and pulled out a map, flipping it every which way to find out where on the ocean they were. All they know was tha they left Bluto to drift off into the sea too.

"Hey Olive" Popeye shouted as he steered his wheel "See where we are?"

Olive kept on squinting at the map and looking around for any pointers to help her navigate. Alas, she saw nothing.

"Oh no, Popeye. We're lost" she exclaimed in a frantic worry.

"Oh no, we ain't lost" Popeye tried to cheer up his gal. But he looked around and also saw there was nothing to guide him especially considering...

"What's that?" Olive exclaimed. Popeye looked and saw that the skyline was getting blurry.

"Looks like a fog..." Popeye muttered and then he looked through the telescope, scanning for any shadows or anything like that. Despite his best efforts to look through the fog, Popeye found out that he couldn't. And when he turned around, the boat was caught up in the fog too - Olive was nothing more than a shadow in the fog but she was wandering around looking lost as well and muttering too.

Olive was seeing Popeye's shadow through the thick fog as well but lucky for her the sea was relatively calm allowing her to traipse through the blanket of grey before... *BUMP!*

Both Popeye and Olive bumped into each other and fell to the deck but thankfully they could now see better.

"Popeye!"

"Olive!"

The duo embraced and although they looked at each other lovingly, they also looked around at the fog. Olive then piped up saying "What are we going to do about this fog?"

"Fog?" Popeye said before getting an idea. "I reckon I can clear the air up..." he proclaims before taking in one huge gulp of air with his pipe sucking in all the greyness.

He was holding his chest up high. Real high. And his face was kind of puffy but the sailor knew what he was doing. In a jiffy, Popeye ran to the stern and pointed his pipe out like an exhaust. He puffed out all the air and for several seconds, he became an outboard motor and his boat became a speedboat.

The ride was choppy and Olive was holding on for dear life to the mast but in the end, she was fine and Popeye caught his breath the moment he returned to normal.

Olive soon rubbed her eyes at what she was seeing in front of her. "Popeye, I see land!" she cheered. Popeye rushed to her side and saw what she said she saw - land. It looked like a nice little shoreline by some dense forest. Nearby the forest were some cliffs too. Thankfully for Popeye the boat was still on direct course for the embankment in front of him.

Although Popeye was happy to see land, he was also a bit skeptical because as far as he knew, this type of embankment was a rarity for him - landing on earth rather than beach or drydock. So instinctively, Popeye told Olive he will be sailing along the coastline looking for a beach or port. So with a hard turn to starboard, Popeye and his boat trundled along looking for something to do or somewhere to be. All that looking while he is tooting his pipe and humming his tune.

"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man..." TOOT TOOT!

In Asterix's Village, Armorica

Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix strolled into the village having completed another run into the woods for large rocks and wild boars. The duo were happily humming to themselves as their Gaulish friends continued their own routines. The blacksmith keeps on hammering away at the swords, the chief tending to himself and his wife, the bard tuning his harp... and Getafix stirring away at his cauldron making the potion. The duo went their separate ways for a short while - Asterix dropping off the wild boar at the cook's hut; Dogmatix and Obelix going to their own cottage to get ready carving the stone into a fashionable menhir.

Asterix soon made his way over to Obelix's hut to see his pal carve the menhir. At the same time, the druid Getafix showed up carrying that signature bottle of magic potion to give to Asterix. He also had a clay jug in his hand that was empty - which signalled to Asterix that its time to hunt for ingredients again.

Still, despite having come back with boars for the feast, he was ready to go outside again for more adventures. Maybe the Romans will end up ambushing him again like they always do. However, Asterix did notice something... unusual about Getafix's trip

"Have we run out of potion ingredients AGAIN, Getafix?" Asterix asked the druid "This is the 3rd time today you had to go out to get them. You're lucky the first two times saw us clashing with the Romans..."

Getafix soon piped up and explained to his Gaulish friend "I'm afraid we might need to make more potion today than ever. I had a terrible dream last night"

Asterix paused and looked at Obelix curiously as the latter stopped at this unusual development. "Go on..." Asterix said, a hint of skepticism on his face.

"I dreamt last night that there would be a great warrior from a far off land who will visit this village today, and he brings with him strength like none had ever seen before" Getafix proclaimed. Asterix and Obelix scoffed at this suggestion that there exists a warrior outside their village who would be stronger than them. The Romans tried their best and look at what happened. Still, he had to be sure.

"Was this great warrior Roman by any chance?" Obelix asked before his younger pal could say anything. Getafix surprisingly shook his head. "Not Roman. He would come by sea with a beautiful goddess on board"

As he was expounding this tale, Chief Vitalstatistix and his shield-bearers walked past and overheard the tale.

"A great warrior that isn't Roman?!" he shouted "And he's coming by sea?"

The shield-bearers, despite the pain brought onto their shoulders, also paused in awe at the news.

Soon word spread around the town and everyone paused. Even Obelix, who was always pricking his ears up everytime the Romans come into conversation, expressed concern - in his usual bravado style of machismo.

"Pfft. I don't think he'll be worth our time Asterix. He's probably some puny wannabe that the Romans rejected from their Colisseum" he said as he continued to cut into the stone.

With this comment, the usual melee between the villagers began.

"I bet I can take him on! I'll show him the might of my-" the blacksmith proclaimed while holding up his hammered down sword before a fish smacked him in the face.

The fishmonger retorted "Your mighty hammer is no match for my brawn!" and just like business as usual, the blacksmith came out of his hut to give the fishmonger a piece of his mind. They argued before trading blows.

It wasn't even one minute before the cook joined in the fun, and the old man, and the foragers, and the shieldbearers... and every last single man in the village. And like usual, Obelix dropped his menhir carving to partake in the business.

Asterix sighed in pity as he sat by the sidelines. "Ah, well... We shall just have to wait this one out then, Getafix. If what you say is true, then this warrior will come in by the afternoon or evening"

Getafix simply nodded. He then departed to continue his potion brewing while Asterix walked past the brawl to see what the Romans were up to today. Maybe they could give him a sense of adventure while the village anticipated the arrival.

Later that afternoon, after a lot of Roman bashing

Asterix and Obelix were making their way through a clearing in the forest having finished their usual rumbles with the Roman garrison. As they chatted away about their melee, they stopped dead in their tracks hearing something a bit... unusual coming from the forest.

Hushing his companion, Asterix stood by a tree to get a better listen and all he could faintly hear was "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man... *toot toot*..."

"Did you hear that Obelix?" he asked.

Obelix pricked his ears up and heard the same thing but he was a bit more dismissive "Sounds like nonsense to me Asterix. You sure we got all the Romans back there?"

Asterix still voiced his concern "Doesn't sound like any Roman I've heard. Maybe we should investigate?"

With silent agreement, the duo followed the sound of the voice through the trees. Soon it became two voices and they sounded rather odd to the Gauls.

"Right-o Olive, let's have a look around in this place"

"But what about the boat?"

"Relax, Olive. It's been tied up on the bank and the sea is calm"

"Oh Popeye, I'm getting a bad feeling about this"

"Relax and follow me. We'll sort this all out soon"

Asterix and Obelix looked perturbed. "Those don't sound anything like Romans. Not even their names."

"They don't sound like Gauls either. Or Huns. Or Egyptians."

They continued onward through the forest until they saw the coastline. And the boat that was talked about earlier by the voices.

To the Gauls, it was a very weird boat. No sails but it was bigger than their standard row boat - almost the size of the usual pirate ship. Before Asterix could come in to take a closer look, he had to hold Obelix back when he heard the occupant return.

From the bushes, Asterix saw Popeye return to the boat having 'forgotten' something. Asterix was surprised at Popeye's attire... and general appearance. He looked like an old man but had large forearms, chiselled jaw and a squinty eye. Obelix was surprised at the contradictions that appeared before him in this man.

"Maybe this was the great warrior that Getafix was talking about" Asterix whispered to his colleague as he kept his eyes on Popeye.

Popeye himself grabbed a picnic basket from his boat - he figured he was going to stay a while in this strange new land, so he had to make the best of it.

"He doesn't look like a warrior to me" Obelix whispered in a huff. And by listing out the ways he wasn't one - lack of armour, lack of a weapon, came all on his own - he was prepared to go out and confront the stranger. Asterix grabbed his colleague and held him back with all his might. "Now wait a minute! He's not Roman. We only bash and play around with the Romans, remember?"

The duo backed away from their hiding spot in the bushes as Popeye continued to hum his tune and traipse through the forest. Anyhow, they started to hear some roast boar sizzling and Cacofonix 'tuning' his harp - the village feast was almost ready. Asterix has also correctly deduced that the sights and sounds of the village will bring the mystery stranger there too. So that would be the best place to meet them.

Asterix and Obelix headed inside the village to see the large table being set up and the roast boar being served on its platter. Obelix licked his lips in delight and rushed straight for the meal. Asterix too took his seat on the table and started chatting away to some of his fellow Gallic warriors about what he saw of the mysterious stranger.

"He... looked like an odd fellow. Scrawny even" he would comment. He would tell them of his strange boat, his possible female companion and his strange attire including a marking on his forearm he has never seen before.

In amongst the hub-bub, Popeye was making his way towards the village having heard the guffaw. He looked around with Olive and saw that he can just waltz right in. He may have noticed the two guard towers housing Roman watchmen but by sheer chance, they happened to be asleep on the floor.

"Oh Popeye, look" Olive exclaimed as she saw the fire rise up from atop one of the huts and heard the noise of munching and chattering.

"Looks like someone's holding a party" Popeye took off his cap and scratched his head. Putting his hat back on, he looked at his picnic basket but decided against leaving it behind. Striding forward to the entrance, he affirmed to Olive that maybe someone in the village could help tell him where he was.

Not long after stepping inside the village ground, Popeye and Olive held their noses to avoid the god-awful smell of stale fish. But soon after they left the fishmonger's stall they spotted the band of Gauls having their feast - chowing down on roasted pork very ravenously as well downing several vegetables.

"Yummy..." Olive muttered to herself as she licked her lips in delight. Popeye was just as eager, but he knew to ask questions first.

Having Olive step aside, Popeye came up to the crowd and piped himself up to the crowd. "Excuse me? Can any of you big guys help a fella out?"

The party stopped. Everyone ground to a halt. Even Obelix froze mid-chew on his big boar. Popeye felt a bit embarassed but luckily, both Vitalstatistix (and his shield bearers) and Getafix got up from their seats. Getafix motioned to the chief that Popeye is the great warrior he dreamt of.

The chief spoke up first, clearing his throat. "What seems to be the problem, young man?"

"Well," Popeye stood upright and gestured as best as he could "Me and my gal Olive were sailing our boat until we hit a fog and got lost"

"And you somehow wound up here how?" the Chief asked some more. Popeye simply said that as a sailor he always knew to follow the coastline until he found a safe spot to dock his boat. It still is out there and holding tight until he could find a way back home.

Getafix then spoke up "Young man, I think you have wandered into the right place. After all... you look like a spry young warrior. Younger than me of course."

Taking this as a compliment, Popeye gushed and asked again if he could join the feast. He and Olive were starving after the long sailing expedition.

The crowd of Gauls cheered and welcomed their new friends to the table. Asterix, however, cheered in a more subdued manner because he was still skeptical that this stranger was the warrior that was dreamt of by Getafix. Obelix too noted this doubt but he kept on eating.

"Oh thank you so much for the food. It looks delicious" Olive said as she sat with the ladies of the village, especially next to the Chief's wife Impedimenta. The ladies actually were a bit jealous of Olive's skinny appearance but treated it as if it was a sign of malnourishment so they served her platters of meat, fruit and vegetables.

Popeye was seated with the boys and he too took into the meals provided. He was jolly in regaling the men the tales of his seafaring adventures and his endless bouts with the brute known as Bluto. The Gauls did not understand a word of what he was saying but they were doing their best at being polite. The Gauls likewise told Popeye about their 'friends', the Romans.

Asterix stepped aside to talk to Getafix. It was becoming more clear to Asterix that indeed the druid was right about this Popeye fellow. But he wanted to know how to get the druid to confirm this information. Getafix said the task befalls mainly to Asterix and Obelix.

Going back to his companion who was finishing his 6th boar, Asterix said "OK Obelix I'm gonna need you to test the waters out for me. I know you're the strongest between you and me but..." and with that he whispered his plan.

Popeye sensed something odd happening in amongst all the kerfuffle with the blokes. He looked at Olive who was chatting away with the ladies and taking her sweet time chewing on the vegetables. Popeye looked back at the big slabs of meat in front of him and couldn't help but think of Wimpy and his gluttony. Taking the boar into his hands, the sailor chomped off a small slab of it and gulped it down. It was delicious.

Before Popeye could scoff down another mouthful, he felt a tap on the shoulder. He turned around to see a short blonde-haired winged-helmet-wearing man and his more robust and rotunded shirtless companion.

Asterix introduced himself to Popeye "I see you're enjoying our party. Reckon you can finish the boar by yourself?"

Giggling, Popeye said he might be able to... "But it seems like quite a lot" He then looked at Obelix's figure and asked "Maybe he can finish it for me if I tap out. He seems to be eating these a lot too"

"That's because it's my favourite food. Asterix and I go out hunting for these wonderful boars every day" Obelix said as he held his hand out for a handshake.

"The name's Popeye. Nice to meet you" Popeye's firm sailor grip was felt by Obelix; and likewise Popeye could feel the thick, muscly and dirty palms of Obelix. Obelix's shaking soon got a bit... out of hand lifting the sailor off the ground and planting him back down onto it quite quickly. But after Obelix let go, Popeye was not shaken dizzy. He just reeled a bit back and said that Obelix had quite a firm grip.

"Say... that old wizard of yours told me I was a warrior. What did he mean by that?" he asked Asterix. Asterix pondered for a while.

"Well..." Asterix stumbled about finding the right words to say to Popeye without sounding inhospitable in front of the village (since that was not part of his plan anyway) "Getafix is talking about how you look like someone who fights everyday. Almost like its a living for you"

Popeye blushed. He pointed over to Olive "Well... if you gotta fight to get your girl, then fighting is what you get. Every day Bluto tries to start something with Olive and I gotta come to her rescue. It's worth it though"

As if on cue, another village piped up having overheard the conversation. "Fighting for love, eh? That's how I met my girl. I was fighting against the Roman army alongside Asterix near the village yonder and... we locked eyes and that was it"

The rest of the townsfolk and Popeye laughed. The man sounded embarassed but before he could say anything about it, the blacksmith (of all people) said "Pfft. That's not how you impress the girls. Why I met my wife when we were fending off the Romans here. She got a few knocks in herself, ya know?"

"Liar!" another man shouted. The shouting soon turned into a full blown argument. Olive began to worry but her lady companions assured her that this was a regular occurrence in the village so people get used to it.

The second (or third... or fourth...) brawl of the male villagers began and, out of respect, the melee stayed well away from the table.

Obelix and Asterix looked on as they stood next to Popeye waiting to see what he will do. To their surprise, he doesn't take the bait, nor take the hint that this kind of brawl would be something he would be interested in. Obelix then shrugged and joined in the melee while Asterix sat by Popeye who was eyeing the fight.

"Yeah this happens a lot in our village. Don't worry, no-one gets seriously hurt" Asterix said.

"How so? Every time I get into a brawl, my foes end up in bandages and knocked out on the floor" Popeye said back.

Asterix pointed to the wizard brewing away in his cauldron. "Getafix there fixes us up with a magic potion that makes us strong and heals us very quickly. Plus we've been doing this for a long time so we know not to go for the lethal shots"

Popeye's eyes pricked up upon hearing the words 'magic potion' for he doesn't think such a thing is possible. "A what now?" he said.

"A magic potion. Made with his secret ingredients" Asterix gestured to his own arms which were a bit lean but showed some signs of musculature, not unlike Popeye's triceps. He then addressed the elephant in the room. "Don't you enjoy brawls, Mr Popeye?"

Popeye slugged down some Gallic alcohol "Only when the brawlers try to go for me or my gal Olive over there."

Asterix looked over at Olive chatting away with the other ladies of the village. He was a bit stumped in all honesty. He was an honourable man who wouldn't resort to insults or manipulation unless it was against the Romans; and he certainly had no interest in women. However, he did note that Obelix does tend to run his mouth so...

"You know Mr Popeye, my friend Obelix over there says he can beat you in a fight. He doesn't think you're the great warrior that Getafix over there prophesised" Asterix astutely said to the sailor with a bit of a grin on his face.

Popeye downed the last of his drink and simply exclaimed "That a challenge then, Obelix?"

The brawl stopped and the crowd stared at Popeye who was huffed up but in a positive mood. "Obelix thinks I'm not a good fighter, eh?"

Obelix squeezed out of his spot in the brawl and said "Yeah that's right. You look like a tiny man."

Popeye squared Obelix down with his scanning eyes. He certainly looked like Bluto alright.

"Alright then..." Popeye rolled up his shirt sleeve and sized himself up for an uppercut. Standing there hoping that it won't faze him, Obelix simply crossed his arms and looked down on Popeye like he is upper class. But then the uppercut landed and although he didn't go flying, the punch certainly landed hard. With an 'Oof!' and a shake of the head, Obelix soon sized himself for the fight. Now it looks like Popeye and Obelix are about to brawl. The rest of the villagers gathered to see the fight take place.

Obelix took his own swing at the sailor and got him on the chin. Popeye himself took the blow well enough. Popeye soon countered with a kick to Obelix's belly. The kick connected and Obelix felt it but because he was a big man, it more felt like a tickle. So Obelix bonked Popeye on the head and the sailor dropped to the ground. Not for long though because was back up on his feet.

Asterix watched the fight from afar and scanned the sailor's moveset. 'Tough fighter' he thought to himself as he saw the duo trade blows with each punch really hitting hard.

Obelix was looking a bit worn down but so was Popeye. The duo wanted to keep on going though so they lined themselves up for the charge. Simultaneously, they ran towards each other but as they are about to collide with their heads... *thwick* a sword landed betweeen them. It was Asterix's.

Asterix, Vitalstatistix and Getafix made the crowd open up a bit to let them through. The chief spoke up first "So... I see Popeye the sailor here has demonstrated to us his skills as a tough fighter. I am impressed."

Asterix then showed the villagers his flask and without looking, handed it over to Getafix to be filled with the magic potion.

"I challenge the sailor to a duel to see if he really is the great warrior from the sea" Asterix huffed out his chest. Obelix cheered for his friend as he cuddled Dogmatix in his arms and slinked back into the crowd. Olive rushed to Popeye's side and hugged him for luck.

"Oh Popeye, you can do it!" she said as she gave him a peck on the cheek.

"Don't worry about me Olive" he whispered back to her before turning his attention to Asterix retrieving his sword. "Well, I suppose I oughta accept the challenge then. Bring it on"

Battle

The duo then moved around in a circle, hands by their sides, staring into the opponent's eyes. The crowd of Gauls cheered on.

Asterix made the first move - by readying himself up for a rushdown. Popeye revved up his strong arm hoping to counter the rush. Then, the Gaul hit him when he least expect it. Asterix's rush might not have sent him flying, but it did send him spinning like a top.

The sailor was able to catch himself though and stood upright looking around for the cheeky small man. He scanned his surroundings and waved his arms about hoping to hit him. Just by pure luck, he managed to swat Asterix's cheek very hard as the latter tried to do a sucker punch after hiding at his back.

"Alright, have at you!" Asterix said as he made his own brawling motions with his hands. Popeye caught on and danced his way over to the Gaul with the duo swinging their arms to the beat of the feet. As soon as they got close enough to do their circling dance again, the punches really started flying.

Asterix tried a right hook but Popeye dodges it and hits back with a cross to the nose. Popeye then had his moment of a swing and a miss to Asterix's dome. He tried again with the helmet but this time, Asterix directly blocked it and countered with a uppercut... and the sailor still held his own. There were more boxing moves on display from the duo as the crowd decided to do a little chanting of their own in time to the beat generated by the foot play.

Eventually, Popeye did land a punch to the dome and although Asterix fell to his side, Popeye reeled back in pain due to hitting something metallic. Asterix got back on his feet and used the distraction to his advantage. He rushed at Popeye again hoping to spin him out again. Unfortunately for him, the distraction didn't last long enough and so Popeye had enough time to try to wind up another punch.

This time, the punch sent Asterix straight up into the air, crashing down near one of the huts outside the ring of spectators. Asterix steadied himself as Popeye rushed forward. "Ready to keep going?" the sailor boasted as he strode up to the Gallic warrior. To the latter's surprise, Popeye held his hand out as if to help him get back on his feet. 'A trap' Asterix thought. So with that in mind, he kicks Popeye in his legs and helps himself back on his feet. The sailor reeled back having been kicked in the shins, but he dares not to yield.

The two then have another bout of sparring and trading boxing punches - jabs to the face, attempted jabs at the torso, uppercuts and some dirty play by Asterix using his head and Popeye trying to use the rest of his body.

Despite all the hard work that he was putting out, Asterix found himself less able to hold his own against the sailor. In fact, one strong hook from Popeye sent Asterix crashing into a tree. Likewise, Popeye was feeling a bit winded when Asterixes punches also sent him flying into the air and crashing into structures. Mind you, he felt good about making Asterix fell a tree but this was soon countered by Asterix sending him smashing into the palisade and bending it out of shape.

The crowd cheered on for their favourite warrior and Olive was screaming out her lover's name. Getafix did his best to hold Obelix back from the brawl as did Vitalstatistix and Dogmatix. Getafix even considered letting Obelix drink the potion again deliberately so he could be turned to stone and thus be kept out of the running; but that thought was quickly dashed given previous instances.

Asterix soon decided that he was gonna break out his secret weapon - the magic potion. After a couple of more blows to Popeye's torso sending him stumbling backwards towards the fishmonger's hut, Asterix took out his gourd and popped the cap. As Popeye stomped his way over, Asterix downed the potion and immediately Popeye took a step back in amazement. Asterix leaped into the air, yelled "Yahoo!" and his body just began to shake with a strangely visible aura of gold and purple surrounding him.

For Asterix, he also felt his joints and muscles start to work overtime. He felt... more relaxed and in control. He felt a lot more revitalised than ever. And when he saw his opponent stare at him in awe, Asterix gave a smug face and immediately wound his legs up for another charge. And charge he did. Almost supersonic even. And this charge sent Popeye flying really high into the sky.

And for a brief moment, when he looked around him trying to process the new information, he witnessed one of the Romans in one of the watchtower get up in a drunken stupor... only for the Roman to be knocked to his senses when he saw the strange man leap from out of the village.

Before Popeye could make a landing, Asterix wound up his arm and delivered a real hard hook which sent Popeye flying towards the village centre. Asterix then decided to test Popeye on something; to the sailor, he drew out his sword. "Got anything to counter this?" he asked slyly. Popeye simply took out his corncob pipe and held the pipe end in his fist such that the mouth piece stuck out of his fist like a claw.

Asterix resisted the urge to laugh and just jumped straight in with a swipe down. Popeye cleverly countered with his own swipe up with the pipe. Much to the Gaul's surprise, the pipe didn't break. Still, the sword duel began.

The Gauls were surprised by all this - they didn't expect the fight to last this long into the evening and night but it did. The fire by the boar died down and the sounds of the night began to fill the air in among the cheering and talking. Olive looked on in awe as Popeye and Asterix clashed swords. She began biting her nails in anticipation before remembering something. With a quick "Oh, I forgot to get something back at the table", she dashed off towards the empty dining area. Scanning around, she found the picnic basket.

Back at the duel between sword and pipe, the tango between the wielders was thrilling to watch - many of the spectators commented on the strength of the pipe and Popeye's ability to wield it so well. Asterix, though he was surprised too, kept an air of superiority about him (but only because of how the potion sustained his vitality). A slash to the torso was countered by Popeye leaning back or shimmying his tummy about. Same with head swipes - Popeye always found a way to dodge them even if it meant hiding inside his own shirt.

Asterix basically realised that he met his match when it came to sword play so in a surprise move, he swung the sword with one hand behind him but then with the other hand threw an almighty punch in Popeye's face. This sent him flying again into the village at such speed that he eventually crashed... into one of Obelix's menhirs. His frame didn't break the stone though but rather, he stuck out of it like a toothpick. He was free to move his arms but when he crashed into the menhir, it tipped on its side and basically was too heavy for him to lift.

Naturally, Obelix was pissed. "Oi Asterix!"

"Sorry Obelix, I didn't know that was going to happen..."

Popeye struggled to free himself as the crowd gathered around him. They didn't necessarily laugh at him but they just looked on in awe at the predicament. Their attention switched back and forth between the two bickering friends (with Dogmatix caught in between) and Popeye.

Sensing her beau is in trouble, Olive pushed his way through the crowd to see Popeye struggling. While she went "Oh no!", the rest of the crowd cheered "Victory for Asterix!" and started to tussle with poor Olive caught in between two burly men. The motion caused her moaning and crying out to be drowned out; and the constant movement meant she too was trapped - getting squeezed even.

The squeezing however meant that the picnic basket flew out of her hands and landed right near Popeye's face. Having landed on its side, the basket lid was open revealing to him his own magic potion - one can of spinach. Putting the pipe back into his mouth, Popeye sucked as hard as he can until the tin stuck itself to the pipe. Then using his bare hands to squeeze the tin open, Popeye eventually got the tin open and with a mighty huff, downed the entire load of spinach. With one big gulp, the sailor soon found himself reinvigorated.

The villagers again froze, now in terror, having seen Popeye eat the strange green leafy food and then pretty much feeling the same things as Asterix had done so before. But now in an apparently supernatural act, Popeye's skin began to engorge itself from head to toe. With this, the engorgement of Popeye's hips basically broke him free from the menhir with a mighty crack. This crack was noticed by Asterix and Obelix with awe. Even Getafix and Vitalstatistix are amazed by what they see.

Showing off his bulging muscles to the crowd (and a swooning Olive), he commented "You might have the potion, but it doesn't beat a can of spinach" and with a laugh, he decides to give Asterix a taste of his own medicine. With a speed blitz of his own. Although Asterix heard the blitz coming, he wasn't prepared for how strong it was. In fact, the blitz hit him so fast that he was not only flung through the palisade but also the watchtower behind it - knocking the base legs off and nearly making it tilt towards the village.

Asterix came to his senses and saw the sailor charge at him again with his bulging forearms really going at it. Holding his fists up, he started to swing at Popeye again. Each punch now was dodged with ease by the sailor. But with his body still hopped up on the magic potion, he was able to dodge Popeye's punches back. So now all the duo could do was swing and hit air.

'So I hear he ate this thing called spinach, eh? Well let us see how long the effects can last...' Asterix thought to himself as he decided to see if he can run circles around Popeye. In a flash, Asterix bolted away for the gate. "Oh, want to race me, eh? I'll show him..." Popeye muttered as the crowd cheered on with the race. Olive again tussling with the big boys to try and make her voice heard.

The two guys ran circles around the palisade at blinding speeds. Trails of dust kicked up in the air as the boys ran their legs like windmills. Most of the time, they were neck and neck. They tried to trade blows but again, their superhuman boosters allowed them to dodge. Sometimes their punches hit the wall and cracked it. Soon, Popeye began to play dirty too. In the middle of the run, he performed a 180 turned without slowing down. Before Asterix can follow his lead, Popeye zoomed past him with a smack on the head. Asterix soon stopped dead in his tracks hoping to do what Popeye did to him not too long ago. He eyed the wall hoping to see that black and blue streak whiz past the corner.

But he never came. Popeye was right behind the little man. And after tapping him on the shoulder, Popeye socked Asterix in the nose and sent him flying down the path. Landing hard on the ground, Asterix felt dizzy and conceded that "Well... this Popeye surely is a great warrior..." In amongst the slurred speech however, he was able to make out in front of him the familiar shape of an approaching Roman legion.

Asterix came to his senses and did a double take. 'Romans? This late at night? They must have heard the duel' With a quick sprint towards the village gate he yelled out "The Romans are coming!"

The villagers all sprang to life and got themselves ready for the fight. Vitalstatistix rallied his men and called for Getafix to bring out the cauldron. In amongst all the confusion, Olive ran to Popeye to check on him and see if he was OK.

"Of course I am Olive. Why wouldn't I be? Come here you" and the two made out for a bit before finally, the diminutive Gaul approached them, the wings on his helmet a bit drooped down to reflect his droopy mustache.

"Well... Popeye" Asterix said "I concede to it then that Getafix was right about you. You really are a strong warrior"

"Aw shucks" Popeye replied before shaking hands with Asterix "It was a good challenge anyway. You and your folks are real hospitable"

But something troubled him. He remembered hearing from him that the Romans were approaching "Why is everyone looking like they're ready to fight these Romans?"

Before Asterix could answer, the Roman legion arrived and announced their presence. The lead centurion Caius Bonifas stepped forward looking as haughty as ever and asked for Asterix.

"What do you want from us now? We haven't got all evening" Asterix said in his usual sarcastic tone.

Sounding posh, Caius said "I hear that there is a new person in your village who is said to be a great warrior. Where is he?"

Popeye soon stepped up to the Roman and immediately Caius was shaking in his boots at the tall strangely dressed man.

"You are the great warrior who sparked the duel earlier?" Caius said trying to maintain his composure.

"Why yes I y'am" Popeye gave a hearty chuckle and slapped the Roman on his helmet in a friendly way. "What's been happening with you pal? Why do you like these people so much?"

"The word of the Romans travels fast young man" Caius said as he re-adjusted his helmet and steadied his quivering legionnaires. "Caesar has heard of this tale and has asked us to find him and bring him to Caesar's Palace"

"Sounds really swell this Caesar guy..." Popeye said in a friendly manner. Asterix interrupted "Yes, I'm sure Caesar would love to meet the great Popeye the sailor man. The great warrior from the sea I might add"

Taking Popeye aside, Asterix whispered to Popeye a nutshell version of the history between the village and the Romans. Popeye was not impressed but... Asterix had an idea on how to send to Caesar the message that he needed to hear.

Turning to Caius, Popeye said "Why sure I'll come with you to Caesar's palace right now" and although the centurion looked pleased to hear those words, Popeye had other ideas. "Maybe you should go on ahead" Popeye declared before swinging his leg back and kicking Caius so hard that he basically flew over the Roman camp and out of sight.

The remaining Roman legionnaires were scared silent and their fear only added to their inability to run away.

"So what do you say Asterix? Let's go teach these Romans some manners on how to meet new people?" Popeye asked as he looked back at the swooning flirty Olive.

Obelix joined Asterix by his side and smiled his usual smile when fighting Romans. Asterix looked at his companion and then at Popeye giving him the same grin.

"Of course Popeye" Asterix said with a nod.

Unsheathing his sword, Vitalstatistix pointed it at the Roman turtle formation and yelled "CHARGE!"

Asterix, Popeye and the Gauls charged at the Romans and proceeded to give them the good old smash and dash routine they have been so used to. But with the addition of Popeye to the mix, the Romans were sent flying in the same direction as Caius. Over the camp, never to be seen again.

The women of the camp and Olive soon joined their male companions on the field. Olive especially took time to hug her beau and as she hugged him and Asterix looked on, Popeye sang for everyone (except Cacofonix who was still tied up in a tree): "I'm strong to the finish, coz I eats me spinach, I'm Popeye the sailor man" TOOT TOOT!

And from that day onward, the Romans suddenly found themselves facing an even bigger threat than Asterix to contend with. The new ally of Armorica and the Gauls: Popeye, the Sailor Man.

Winner: Popeye, the Sailor Man

Expert's Opinion

Although Asterix was a very smart and experienced warrior, voters have agreed that Popeye outclasses him in the one area that matters: pure raw strength. Even without the toon-force powers that Popeye normally exhibits in his main universe, Popeye has proven that he can fight better in H2H combat and is able to tank the damage dealt by both Asterix's punches (both regular and potion-induced) and speed-blitzes. Surprisingly for this match-up, the voters agreed that when you really think about it, the power-ups don't matter as much as you think they do.

If you think this battle is unfair in any way, shape or form, please feel free to ask me for permission to rematch this.

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