January 17, 1929 was the beginning for this, the first action hero, Popeye the Sailor Man.
Like many popular characters, Popeye was originally a minor one, dropped after his first appearance. Protests by fans generated a redux, this time with a girlfriend named Olive Oyl and adopted child, “Sweet Pea,” whom he found on his doorstep.
His trademark song accompanied him back into the limelight, as well as his assured pronouncement, “I Yam What I Yam.”
Nemeses included Sea Hag and Bluto, who constantly vied for the affections of Olive.
With large forearms, a gravelly voice, and a squint, Popeye looked the tough guy. His strength and speed came as a result of can shots of spinach, conveniently stashed in his clothing, readily available when the pressure was on.
This popular icon of strength faded from center stage until the 1970s when Robin Williams starred as Popeye in an incredible full length motion picture.
The character itself has been seen in over 700 cartoons over his 80 plus year lifetime.