The cover tag is “The Wrath of the Rhino,” but the splash page has the real title of this issue: “The Rhino says no!” right over a Daily Bugle headline about Bruce and Betty getting married. Very cool juxtaposition.
Also, note the credits box, where Herb Trimpe is listed as the “innovator” with Sal Buscema credited as “illustrator.” Very interesting. Thomas, apparently, doesn’t share Stan Lee’s need to be seen as the most important creator on a title. Also, Herb Trimpe is one of the longest-running Hulk pencillers in history, and Sal Buscema is probably a close second-although Sal’s run won’t start for several years.
Look how un-Trimpe the art is with Sal working on it. It’s a much more “1980s” look. I Iove how Sal elongates Leader’s head. It looks so much better than it has in the past.
As the story starts, on the next page after the splash, above, we see that the person reading this headline is none other than The Leader, who sees Banner getting front-page coverage as a personal slight to Leader’s own genius.
So, he hires The Rhino to crash the wedding. Leader shoots Banner with a Gamma-based ray and he quickly loses his control over the Hulk, just as quickly as he gained it from Reed Richards’ treatment last issue.
During the melee, General Ross is injured and we see Major Talbot is already moving in on Banner’s girl, vowing to hunt Hulk down and get revenge. What a douche.
Note: This story informs John Byrne’s excellent-but-brief Hulk run, decades later.
Creators: Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe and Sal Buscema
Grade: B. A very good issue of Hulk, and one that is much better than the typical issues.
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.