The Sea Hag is a fictional character owned by King Features Syndicate. She is a tall, unfeminine witch featured in comics and cartoons as nemesis to Popeye. The Sea Hag was created by Elzie Crisler Segar in 1929 as part of his Thimble Theatre comic strip. It can be argued that the Hag serves as the primary antagonist in the comic and some of the animated series.
The Sea Hag is one of the greatest enemies of Popeye the Sailor. She is the last witch on Earth, and a pirate who sails the seven seas in her ship The Black Barnacle. She also has a deep knowledge of magic artifacts, and has used many of them to great effect over the years. She is able to practice Voodoo magic and is powerful enough to capture the equally magical Eugene the Jeep (Although in a 1961 Popeye the Sailor episode she declares her magic is powerless against him, and is subsequently shown running as Eugene attacks her with magical bolts from his tail) and, on another episode, Santa Claus. She can even alter her appearance to that of her alter ego "Rose of the Sea". Besides having a pet vulture named Bernard as her familiar spirit, she has also been able to command an army of Goons. The most famous of these Goons is Alice the Goon.
Because she is a woman, Popeye cannot physically attack her. His honor says that he would never hit a woman, even someone as evil as the Sea Hag. In some of these cases, it is Olive Oyl herself who steps in and does her physical damage. One notable exception however is the 1960s episode Old Salt Tale where Popeye grabs her whip and uses it to fling her into the sea. However, this is during a story being told by Popeye, and therefore he does not truly do this.
Upon meeting Popeye, the Hag falls in love with him. Discovering that Popeye already has a girlfriend named Olive Oyl, she tries her best to be rid of Olive and win Popeye over to her favor. Popeye makes it clear to her though that under no circumstances would he be interested in a relationship with her. Enraged, on one occasion she gave Popeye's archenemy Bluto a potion to become young and handsome as a means to win over Olive Oyl. Later, after thinking that the Sea Hag had died, Popeye had this to say once he discovered she was still alive: "I yam glad she ain't dead even if she is a exter bad woman. If they wasn't no bad women, maybe we wouldn't appreciate the good ones. Anyway, she yam what she yam!" Despite this, the Sea Hag has tried to kill Popeye on occasion when convinced that Popeye remains uninterested in her.
- In 1960, the Sea Hag made her screen debut in Popeye the Sailor.
- In 1978, the Sea Hag appeared in The All-New Popeye Hour animated series. She was voiced by actress Marilyn Schreffler, who also provided the voice of Olive Oyl.
- In 2004, actress Kathy Bates performed the voice of the Sea Hag/Siren for the 3-D CGI animated feature Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy. The storyline follows Popeye's journey to find his long lost father Poopdeck Pappy in time for the holidays. As he sails the treacherous Seas of Mystery, he encounters the villainous Sea Hag who is smitten by the mighty seaman and vows to stop at nothing until she steals him away.
The Sea Hag's gallery can be viewed here
- Popeye | The Home of Popeye the Sailor Man website
- Don Markstein's Toonopedia Popeye page
- The Sea Hag at the Internet Movie Database