ByMarcus Williams, writer at
Marcus Williams

Rhino made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #41 (Oct. 1966)

After being empowered, Aleksei Sytsevich is directed by the agents who gave him his powers to kidnap Colonel John Jameson for his knowledge of military secrets. The Rhino, however, betrays the scientists who empowered him and goes on a rampage, eventually being defeated by the superhero Spider-Man. He is imprisoned and kept there with sedation, but breaks out soon after and continues to try to kidnap Jameson. Spider-Man uses a web developed by Curt Connors that melts off his hide and then knocks him unconscious.

Eventually approached by the same scientists with another more powerful suit, the Rhino agrees to find and kidnap Bruce Banner for his knowledge of gamma radiation. The villain encounters the Hulk, but he is critically injured and nearly killed by severe wounds from an exploding truck before a significant battle can occur. Hulk manages to survive Rhino's attempt to take his foe down with him, using his last bit of strength for an attack from behind, and the villain loses consciousness in Hulk's grip, defiantly claiming that he would have defeated Hulk in a fair fight.

The character is revived and healed by the Leader months later. Augmenting Rhino's strength using gamma rays, the Leader directs the villain to prevent the wedding of Banner to Betty Ross. Banner becomes the Hulk and battles Rhino, who escapes and pursues the Leader once realizing that he has been used. Rhino is caught in an explosion while attacking Leader's ship and is left in a coma. Rhino makes a brief reappearance as an illusion when Leader tries to unsuccessfully torture Hulk with images of past foes. Leader, paralyzed after a previous encounter with Hulk, finds and takes mental control of the still comatose body and attacks Hulk. The battle eventually leads to an alien world, where Leader abandons control of Rhino and flees. Bruce and an unconscious but now recovered Rhino travel back to Earth via a rocket.

The Rhino reappears with the Abomination, and the pair activate a gamma bomb at the Hulkbuster base in an attempt to destroy Hulk. Jim Wilson deactivates the bomb, and Hulk tricks the villains during combat, forcing them to collide and knock each other unconscious. Rhino reappears as a member of the supervillain team the Emissaries of Evil (consisting of leader Egghead; the Cobalt Man; Solarr and the Rhino), who search for a rare jewel. Opposed by superhero team the Defenders, Rhino and Solarr initially hold their own until defeated by Doctor Strange. Whilst in hiding, Rhino is found by scientist Doc Samson, being outwitted and defeated.

The Rhino reappears as a memory in the mind of the Hulk; battles Doc Samson and Spider-Man; and again as an illusion by the entity Glorian. The Rhino teams with the villains (including Moonstone; Blackout and Electro) in an unsuccessful attempt to escape the research complex Project: Pegasus. Rhino also battles Fantastic Four member the Thing during an attempt to remove his body suit; makes a brief appearance with many other Marvel supervillains when summoned to battle the cosmic entity the Beyonder.

The Rhino joins criminal group the Sinister Syndicate to battle Spider-Man and features in a sequence imagined by Peter Parker concerning his imminent wedding and battles the hero Iron Man in the city of Los Angeles. Rhino and accomplice Blacklash, in the employ of criminal mastermind Justin Hammer, also hunt and capture the fellow villain Scorpion who has absconded with advanced weaponry.

The Rhino teams with other villains in two unsuccessful attempts to kill Spider-Man, and stars in a storyline called Flowers for Rhino. Based on the Daniel Keyes novel Flowers for Algernon, the comic story mirrors the original when Rhino receives an intelligence boost via surgery and becomes a genius, eventually undergoing surgery again to reverse the process when life becomes dull.

Rhino will make his cinematic debut in [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) in 2014 and will be portrayed by Paul Giamatti.


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