Herbie Popnecker

Herbie Popnecker
Examples of Recurring Themes

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The Fat Fury

Herbie Popnecker Examples:
Herbie's Amazing Powers


There are no limits to what powers Herbie has, as long as it fits the need. It might not be the most elegant power, but that helps make it funny.

Index terms: Richard E. Hughes, Ogden Whitney

1. Travels Back in Time

Herbie, with a special time-travel lollipop, rides the family grandfather clock back in time, often finding that history is not as historians have claimed. Herbie is just as famous and attractive to women in the past as in the present.
Created: 2004-10-19   Updated: 2012-05-15
Stories: 15   Examples: 27

2. Lollipops

Herbie is always eating lollipops, even when sleeping. There are special lollipops for time-travel and bopping, and we learn that Herbie loses many of his powers without lollipops. Herbie is always on the look-out for hard-to-get cinnamon.
Created: 2004-11-10   Updated: 2012-06-18
Stories: 31   Examples: 66

3. Famous

Herbie is known to people and animals everywhere, throughout history, and he often uses that to his advantage. Presidents and royalty seek his help. He's always exchanging favors.
Created: 2004-10-07   Updated: 2012-05-16
Stories: 47   Examples: 85

4. Virtuous

Herbie has many virtues. He has a strong sense of honor, a respect for authority, and he is empathetic, loyal, patriotic, generous, modest, and even chivalrous. And from his efforts to cope with his dad's ideas, it's clear that he's loyal to his parents, for which he is rewarded by being called a little fat nothing.
Created: 2008-12-14   Updated: 2012-05-16
Stories: 31   Examples: 39

5. Thinking

Herbie, and others, are often wondering what to do in difficult situations. Herbie likes to think, arms behind his back, while walking on land, on or under the sea, or even in space. He knows he's GONNA do something because he's GOTTA do something.
Created: 2012-04-29   Updated: 2012-04-29
Stories: 26   Examples: 36

6. Talks with Animals

Herbie helps and is helped by animals everywhere, throughout time, even in space! It helps that he can speak their language and knows them by name. They are constantly asking for his autograph.
Created: 2004-10-07   Updated: 2012-04-20
Stories: 39   Examples: 59

7. Hypnotic Eyes

Often, Herbie's hypnotic eyes are all he needs to overpower an adversary. One look and a surrender and confession follows. They may say "anything but that face", but it's the eyes.
Created: 2004-10-06   Updated: 2013-01-06
Stories: 20   Examples: 27

8. Flying

Herbie fies by walking on air or in space in almost every story, and in those where he does not walk on air, he flies into the past in a grandfather clock or as a costume superhero as the Fat Fury.
Created: 2005-03-13   Updated: 2012-04-10
Stories: 49   Examples: 94

9. Falling

It's not an unusual power to be able to fall, unless you factor in Herbie's weight, but Herbie (and others) jump or fall into action butt first, often on a villain, resulting in squished adversaries.
Created: 2011-12-28   Updated: 2012-05-15
Stories: 12   Examples: 15

10. Travels in Space

Herbie walks and talks in space pretty much the same way he walks in air. He and others do not seem to need air, and can talk despite the vacuum. What else would you expect?
Created: 2004-11-12   Updated: 2012-04-10
Stories: 10   Examples: 13

11. Travels Underground

Herbie can "fly" through the Earth, invariably ending up in Hades. He never flies all the way through to the other side, ending up in China. Flying through the Earth, we sometimes see geological layers like ones sometimes depicted in time-travel.
Created: 2004-11-06   Updated: 2012-04-11
Stories: 4   Examples: 5

12. Travels in Water

Whether on land, in air, in space, underwater, or on water, Herbie walks the same way. How does he breath? Does he breath? What about the pressure? Where is the light coming from? He seems deep in thought, with his hands behind his back.
Created: 2004-11-06   Updated: 2012-04-10
Stories: 8   Examples: 9

13. Travels Mysteriously

In addition to flying by walking, in space, underground, underwater, or just time travel, Herbie has other ways of getting around. He can run, ride a bike, push a train, ride a rocket, or a flaming comet, or a horse, or a flaming horse.
Created: 2005-03-14   Updated: 2012-04-24
Stories: 14   Examples: 18

14. Punching

Herbie did not punch anyone until he got his own comic. Before that, he used lollipops to bop. Sometimes, Herbie is squished by a double-fisted punch. But he can give it as good as he takes, especially in rapid flurries of powerful punches.
Created: 2004-11-13   Updated: 2012-04-11
Stories: 16   Examples: 27

15. Can't be Hurt

We don't know why, but Herbie can't be hurt (unless it's funny). Bullets bounce off him, punches have no effect, he can't be executed, and he's not affected by fire. In many cases, Herbie is unaware he has been attacked, and even when he is aware, you could not tell by his expression.
Created: 2004-10-21   Updated: 2013-01-01
Stories: 21   Examples: 32

16. Breaking In, Out, and Through

Like in many cartoons, the shape of the hole in the wall matches what's gone through. Unlike most cartoons, Herbie often goes through walls butt first, sometimes falling.
Created: 2004-11-06   Updated: 2012-05-29
Stories: 15   Examples: 21

17. Swinging Adversaries

Swinging is a great gag power, so humiliating to the swung, even though it must require considerable strength. The correct technique is by the feet for humans and by the tail or trunk for animals. Under no circumstances should a costume superhero (licensed or not) be swung by his plunger... undignified. After release, who knows where someone will land -- maybe a mountain-top.
Created: 2005-02-09   Updated: 2012-06-18
Stories: 14   Examples: 16

18. Strong

Despite having all he needs, Herbie seldom displays his superhuman strength.
Created: 2005-09-22   Updated: 2012-04-10
Stories: 9   Examples: 12


Early on, it looked like invisibility would be a regular power, but it soon disappeared.
Created: 2004-11-07   Updated: 2012-04-10
Stories: 5   Examples: 6

20. Magical Powers

Herbie uses magic in early stories, but then, not until the final few stories, when Herbie needs to learn magic because he has lost his lollipop-based powers.
Created: 2004-11-14   Updated: 2012-04-26
Stories: 12   Examples: 20

21. Lightning Bolts

Herbie could harness the power of lightning, often directing it to someone's butt. CR-RAK!
Created: 2005-03-09   Updated: 2012-04-10
Stories: 6   Examples: 6

22. Communicates Mysteriously

In addition to his odd speech patterns, his ability to talk to animals, or just his ability to stare down an opponent, Herbie had others ways to communicate.
Created: 2005-03-14   Updated: 2012-05-10
Stories: 8   Examples: 8

23. Biting

Herbie sometimes bites his adversaries, and sometimes they bite him. It's not the only example of dental humor in Herbie comics, but buck-toothed characters do no biting, even though Herbie bites one.
Created: 2004-10-07   Updated: 2012-12-31
Stories: 14   Examples: 19

24. Assorted Powers

Herbie's powers are unlimited, in part because the types of magical lollipops is unlimited, and some of Herbie's attacks don't even require lollipops, for which he has handy items. With Herbie, anything is possible.
Created: 2012-03-24   Updated: 2012-04-18
Stories: 16   Examples: 20