Writer: Peter David
Penciller: Bill Jaaska
Inker: Jeff Albrecht
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Cover Date: February 1991
With the holiday season approaching at a fast rate, this seems like the perfect time to take a look at Incredible Hulk # 378 which is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite Hulk stories to date because of the strong humor and the Christmas setting within this issue.
To recap, this issue is basically an untold tale told by Rick Jones to a group of kids in a hospital ward where Doc Samson (With the help of The Ringmaster) is trying to merge Bruce Banner together with the personalities of the green and grey Hulks and while that plot is being played out, this issue gives us one of the most entertaining Hulk/Rhino smackdowns to date; The issue opens up with The Rhino, depressed and lonely as any villain could be. But since money cheers him up, he takes up a job by dressing as Santa Claus (He mugged a local guy collecting for charity); Shortly after, a mall manager approaches him about being Santa for the mall after the other guy dropped out and the charm just oozes out when Rhino gets comfortable in his role as St. Nick but soon, his manic depressive side comes out and it doesn’t take long for Bruce Banner to transform into The Hulk, who could only transform when the sun went down, and might I forget that it was during this time that Bruce is traveling with Rick Jones and Clay Quartermain, a former S.H.I.E.L.D agent.
And once these two behemoths meet up, all I have to say is……Hilarity Ensues!! The mixture of humor added in with the battle sequences are just Incredible (No pun intended); From a local mall employee offering the two of them a sample of cookies, which was flat out hilarious when Rhino finds out there are macadamia nuts in them to The Hulk’s various wisecracking (This version of The Hulk could give Spider-Man a run for his money in that department) to even donning the Santa hat and beard to punch out Rhino; Everything about this issue will have you in stitches, but the real tearjerker comes in the form of a little girl named Ginny who catches the tail-end of the fight, forcing both Hulk and Rhino to quickly tell her that the former was being naughty now he’s being nice.
When certain titles deliver a special Christmas story to us, you would expect the typical plot elements that would tug at your heart all while reinforcing your love for the holidays but with this issue of Hulk, not only do we get a Christmas story that’s memorable but also, hilarious, and it’s another example of how wonderful Peter David’s run on this title and how he’s such a magnificent writer that he can give us a Hulk story full of action and humor, making this a Christmas story worth checking out.
Well, that’s it for me. I’ll be back with another review so thanks for sticking around and I will see you all next time.