Christmas Countdown: Incredible Hulk #378
Writer Peter David and artist Bill Jaaska create a humorous Christmas tale in “Incredible Hulk” #378.
This is just as David’s run on the Hulk was really hitting its stride, and though the last issue, #377, set a new status quo for the Hulk, this issue is in some ways a filler, as Rick Jones tells some hospitalized kids a story about how teasing can lead to trouble.
He then tells the story of the Rhino, forever trapped in his Rhino suit, is alone for the holidays, and not feeling optimistic about his super-villain prospects. He steals a Santa suit, puts it on on top of his Rhino costume, and is making a few dollars with a fake charity bucket when he’s roped into appearing as a department store Santa. He’s not a particularly convincing one, and a kid figures out he’s actually the Rhino. Rhino, sick of listening to kids ask for presents, tosses one across the room.
Fortunately (sort of), it’s nearing sunset, and that’s when Bruce Banner would change into the grey version of the Hulk. The Hulk arrives in time to catch the kid, and Rhino-as-Santa and the Hulk get into a slugfest.
Peter David finishes up the story in a charming manner, however, that has a little bit of holiday spirit and co-operation. Overall, it’s a funny issue with a holiday flair. “Rhino Plastered!” has a cover date of Feb. 1991, meaning it was on sale in the Christmas season of 1990.
- Matt Price
Comics read in 2011: 1978. Still to go: 33.
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