Not to be confused with Popeye Color Special.
The Popeye Specials are a pair of one-shot comic books published by Ocean Comics in 1987 and 1988, offering an account of Popeye's youth and early adventures. The books feature more realistic art, reminiscent of superhero comic books rather than newspaper funnies, yet at the same time somewhat cartoony in style. Among the various revelations, the comics posit that Popeye's real name is truly "Ugly Kidd", and argue that Bluto and Brutus are in fact twin brothers.
Only two such Specials were ever published.
Popeye Special #1: Borned to the Sea: The first book showcases Popeye's birth, the departure of his parents to remote parts of the world, his lying about his age in order to join the U. S. Navy (wherein he meets fellow sailors Wimpy and Brutus, developing a rivalry with the latter) and, while stationed in Japan, the start of his prizefighting career and his earning the Dragging Lady's enmity.
Popeye Special #2: Double Trouble Down Under: The second Special sees the sailors journeying to Australia, where they come across Brutus's twin brother Bluto, who is portrayed as being more malevolent than simply antagonistic like his brother.