The Rhino was born as Aleksei Sytsevich, a poor immigrant from Russia who was desperate to pay for the rest of his family and came to the United States in hope of finding work to provide for them. With little education and no real skills, the only paying jobs he could get were using his impressive strength and musculature as an enforcer for various criminal organizations. One day he was contacted by some Eastern Bloc agents, who offered him a vast sum of money for participating in an incredible experiment. Sytsevich agreed, and was subjected to intensive chemical and radioactive treatment, which bonded a super-strong polymer to his skin and greatly augmented his strength and speed. He was given the code name "Rhino," and was sent to work as a super-assassin.
The Rhino was created by Stan Lee and John Romita and first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #41 in 1966.
Mayor Story Arcs
Fights with Spider-Man
Rhino's first job was to capture Colonel John Jameson for his military secrets. Although Rhino put on a great fight and was succesfull at first, he soon came into contact with Spider-Man, whom defeated the Rhino, leading to the super villain's arrest. While Rhino was arrested, the authorities learned that the suit that Aleksei was wearing, was in bonded to him and could not be removed. This made him an extremely difficult prisoner to keep locked away. Not much later, The Rhino escaped from prison and established himself as a true super-villain. Rhino had taken on many other jobs over the years and remained steady in the criminal life. This made him come into conflict with Spider-man and many other superheroes over the years. He also joined up with some incarnations of the Sinister Six, in witch Rhino's strength played a vital role. Almost every time however, he was defeated and jailed for a longer period of time. He however always managed to escape again, getting more frustrated with Spider-Man and the other heroes and how his life had been affected by the costume. Although Rhino came to hate Spider-Man, he became professional enough not to let personal feelings distract him from a paying job. Rhino was a dimwitted villain, who however did have a good heart, even the vigilante known as the Punisher acknowledged this at one time.
Rhino has had two encounters with the mercenary known as Deadpool. Their first encounter, Deadpool managed to shrink Rhino using Pym Particles. Their team-up finished with a huge explosion that seemingly killed Rhino. He however survived the explosion and later seeks out Deadpool once more for revenge. He is then seen humiliating Deadpool by shrinking him via Pym Particles, gluing his head to a key-chain (the same thing Deadpool had done to him during a previous encounter), then made him ride a urinal cake. The Rhino was satisfied by what he had done and the two parted ways... only to have Deadpool turn around and defeat the villain while still small.
Flowers for Rhino
As portrayed in the story Flowers for Rhino, Rhino decided to seek help to improve his mind the same way his body had been improved: through science. He sought out a scientist who had an experimental treatment to increase his intelligence. To his surprise the treatment actually worked and he was able to defeat Spider-Man, who had always outsmarted him in the past. Next, he took over the majority of the criminal operations in the city and started a law suit against Spider-Man that prevented the hero coming within 500 yards of him. However, his intelligence continued to increase exponentially and, with no intellectual competition, he began to find life boring; he even rewrote "Hamlet" because he found the writing style sloppy, and in his depression pointed out to Spider-Man that he was able to deduce Spider-Man was Peter Parker through a simple equation that could give him the identities of any costumed hero. When he began to approach omniscience he worried that such high intelligence would drive him insane so, although he briefly contemplated suicide, he elected to have the process reversed, actually making himself a little MORE stupid than he used to be... "Just to be on the safe side". Whether this meant that he no longer remembers Spider-Man's identity was unknown, but is now a moot point due to Spider-Man unmasking during the Civil War crossover.
More recently, Rhino has been attacked by the Punisher and was left in less than good condition. He, later, showed up for the wake of the dead super villain Stilt-Man, tussling with Armadillo, causing a brawl to break out that was stopped by Spider-Man. The wake was later bombed by the Punisher, who also posed as the bartender and poisoned the villains. Most of the attendees, the Rhino included, survived, and were treated for third-degree burns, in addition to having their stomachs pumped.
Recently, Rhino has been robbing banks with two accomplices, which caught the attention of the Punisher. In their hideout, the Punisher kills the accomplice and fired a rocket launcher to Rhino, but Spider-Man saved him. They are both incapacitated with a tranquillizer dart fired by Alyosha Kravinoff and then put them into zoo of animal-themed super humans along with Vulture and Tiger Shark. The Punisher then defeated Kraven and after recalling the time that he killed some innocent people, he let Rhino go. After wards, Rhino gave a donation to the widow of his accomplice who were killed by the Punisher because he felt sorry about it.
A New Life, but also a New Rhino
Trying his best to leave the life of crime, The Rhino decided it was time to reform and give up his costume. He eventually decided to get married and found work as a security guard at a casino. However, Mr. Negative's agent Doctor Tramma creates a new Rhino with a mechanical armor. The new Rhino wanted to prove himself and be the only remaining rhino, so he attempted to attack Aleksei. Spider-man intervened and was able to convince Aleksei not to take back his identity as Rhino and let him handle this mess. Aleksei's successor eventually decided to let him live as he considered Aleksei an old broken man. But the successor's stubbornness got the best of him, so Aleksei convinced the new rhino that he would accept the challenge and fight him so he and his wife Oksana could escape.
However, the new Rhino decided to attack Aleksei again, leading to the death of his wife Oksana. Aleksei donned his Rhino suit and attacked his successor. After defeating him the would be successor begged for his life but Aleksei killed him in retribution for his wife.
Ends of the Earth
Rhino has joined up with Doctor Octopus and the Sinister Six in his final plans for the world. He trains along with Sandman at their secret underwater base when they discuss their reasons and rewards for joining up. The Sinister Six first plan an attack on the Intelligencia as Rhino takes on Awesome Andy. Though he is able to adapt to his strength Rhino is able to overcome him by pure rage. Doc Ock has the Sinister Six steal various items, sending Rhino and Sandman to a Hulkbuster Omega Base in New Mexico for a Alpha / Gamma disruptor. Chameleon winds up leading the Avengers to a rendevous point for the Sinister Six along the Mediterranean Coast, in Spain. Rhino and the Sinister Six take on the Avengers. Armed with the fang of Jormungand, Rhino impales Thor through his chest as the Sinister Six defeat the remaining Avengers.
Rhino attacks Spider-Man, Silver Sable and Black Widow, who are destroying Dr. Ock's facility in North Korea. As Silver Sable destroys the facility Spider-Man uses a device made for Rhino to affect his skin. Rhino is down but makes it back to the Sinister Six as Doc Ock scorches the Earth from space. Rhino later confronts spider-man and silver sable at Dock ocks last base, Rhino grabs Silver Sable and pushes her against the floor while the room is flooding, Sable tells Spider-Man that he has no more time and he must leave. Spidey leaves with great regret while both Silver Sable and Rhino (with a big grin) "die" in the water.
Rhino has always had a dimwitted and bit of a cheerful personality, he was usually depicted as the kind of villain who was good at his core but ended up on the wrong side of the law due to the bad choices he made life. However, there was a time Rhino made the right decision, unfortunately it was that decisions that would change him forever. When Rhino's wife died he became much more brutal and crazy, his primary goal is to inflict suffering on as much people as he can.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: The Rhino is the strongest of Spider-Man's rogues gallery. He was originally listed at 20 tons level but even at this stage, was capable of going toe-to-toe with the Hulk for a brief time. He has received several enhancements to his strength over the years via further gamma radiation treatment and was generally considered to be as strong as the Thing or She-Hulk before his most recent amp, although his lack of fighting skill and low intelligence mean that he's nowhere near as formidable as them. His strength has allowed him to dominate Thunderstrike in battle, he has punched Nova into orbit and it took all of Iron Man's strength to hold Rhino for a very short time until he passed out from smoke inhalation. He has also battled the Hulk numerous times, although his performance against the Green Goliath has deteriorated over the years; at his best, though, when Leader was in control of the Rhino's body, he fought the Hulk for hours. Although is is important to note that Rhino has gotten an amp recently, we know not to what extent but we can safely say that he is far stronger than he use to be. Even Spider-Man who was prepped for the entire sinister six group failed to even budge Rhino despite the fact Spider-Man can hurt Rhino with his punches.
- Superhuman Speed: The Rhino can, despite his large size, run up to 90mph, although once he is running at top speed, it is difficult for him to change direction.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Rhino's enhanced musculature is much more efficient than that of a normal human and generates considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity. At his peak, he can exert himself physically for up to 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood starts to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Even without his suit, the Rhino's body is highly resistant to physical injury. He can withstand high caliber bullets, exposure to temperature extremes, falls from great heights and even light anti-tank weaponry without sustaining injury. The Rhino's costume grants him a high degree of resistance to physical injury. It is highly impervious to damage, able to resist explosions equivalent to 1 ton of TNT, the impact of small anti-tank weaponry, and temperature extremes between -50˚ and 1,000˚ F without cracking or melting. It is acid resistant and removable. The suit boosts his strength, features a bulletproof polymer mat rhino-like hide and two horns capable of penetrating 2-inch plate steel
- The character possesses a thick polymer mat suit similar to a rhinoceros hide, covering his entire body except for his face. The suit is highly impervious to damage and temperature extremes, and is also equipped with a horn. Mutagenic chemical and radiation treatments, including gamma ray bombardment, provides the character with superhuman strength, heightened levels of speed and stamina, and a high degree of durability. The second Rhino wears a high-tech armor and wields a battle-axe with its blades in the shape of a rhinoceros' horns.
Earth-1610 : Ultimate Universe
Ultimate Rhino (R.H.I.N.O.), has increased power from the suit that the old Rhino stole from the U.S. Military.
Using the R.H.I.N.O. suit’s incredible strength, the Rhino robbed a Manhattan bank, charging the vault head-first, destroying it. He then rampaged through a busy street to make his escape, destroying anything in his path, including police cars, with ease. While Spider-Man raced to the scene, Iron Man arrived, stopped the Rhino’s assault and captured him.
Sometime later, the Rhino rampaged through the Brooklyn Naval Yard, battling the police and Spider-Man, who seemed to be more of an annoyance than a threat, constantly evading the Rhino’s clumsy blows. After knocking Spider-Man clear into an office building, the Rhino was confronted by the U.S. Army, who were hoping to retrieve his experimental armor.
Spider-Man used the distraction to sneak up on the Rhino and rip his armor open, sabotaging its internal circuitry and knocking him out. The Rhino was taken into military custody.
Earth-2149 : Marvel Zombies
Rhino is one of the super-beings that attempted to devour Galactus. After the other zombies have finished eating Galactus, the zombie Hulk said that he tore off Rhino's head and ate it. He commented that it "tasted terrible".
Earth-58163 : House of M
When Spider-Man has become a popular mutant in the mutant community, Rhino was hired to be his bodyguard, although Peter thinks he really isn't needed. It was him that unmasked the Green Goblin, revealing to the public a delusional Peter.
Shortly after May Parker turned a few months old, she came down with her first cold. Peter, Mary Jane and Anna Watson waited a few hours in the ER waiting to be seen. There they ran into Aleksei Sytsevich, better known as the Rhino. Talking to Aleksei, Peter learned that the Rhino was a poor immigrant from Russia who was desperate to pay for the rest of his family to come to the United States. Following his uncle being taken away from the local police. With little education and no real skills, the only paying jobs he could get were using his impressive strength and musculature as an enforcer for various criminal organizations. One day he was contacted by some Eastern Bloc agents, who offered him a vast sum of money for participating in an incredible experiment. Sytsevich agreed, and was subjected to intensive chemical and radioactive treatment, which bonded a super-strong polymer to his skin and greatly augmented his strength and speed. He was given the code name "Rhino," and was sent to work as a super-assassin. After several jobs over the years, he finally saved enough money to get his aunt into the US following the fall of the Soviet Union. However, his aunt had become sick and the Rhino had given up his criminal career to take care of her. Peter talked with Aleksei and revealed about why Spider-man did the things he did and about his own Aunt May that had recently died. After the talk, they were able to get the Rhino's aunt some care and Anna Watson later found Sytsevich an actually job. He has stayed gainfully employed since.
Earth-295: Age of Apocalypse
Rhino was one of Death's soldiers on the Moon at Apocalypse's recovery base the Ship. In this reality, Death captured super humans and brought them to the Ship and used the Terrigen Mist to turn them into warped powerful monsters for him to control. Rhino was one of the super humans that were captured. He joined Death and other of his henchmen and fought Magneto and the X-Men on the moon. He ends up fighting Rogue but is defeated easily by one punch. Most likely was killed in the explosion of the Ship caused by Sunfire.
In this reality, Rhino is a member of the Avengers and is the husband of She-Hulk who traveled back in time to stop Charnel. He was later killed in action shortly after Charnel broke his wife's neck.
In Other Media
Rhino appears in the 1960's animated series in 3 episodes. In his first episode he steals an explosive device which Spider-Man is blamed for and is found to be hiding in the rhinoceros enclosure in the zoo. In his second appearance where he attempts to create a gold statue of himself, but is stopped by Spider-Man's instant steel webbing. His third episode is a budget saving mismatch of the first two episodes. Rhino was voiced by Ed McNamera.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Rhino first appears in the episode "The Alien Costume" where he is hired by Kingpin and Alistair Smythe to steal a compound called Promethium X from John Jameson's space shuttle. Rhino would next appear stealing lithium ion rods from a power plant and this time battled Spider-Man. Spider-Man though was wearing the alien symbiote this time and was more aggressive. Spider-Man almost killed Rhino under a metal door though relented when Rhino begged for his life. Rhino was loyal after his capture and would not give up the name of his employer Rhino would later be added to the Insidious Six team once he was broken out of prison.
Rhino appears as a thug for hire named Alex O'Hirn. He worked a lot with Flint Marko and the duo were constantly captured by Spider-Man. O'Hirn was chosen by Tombstone and Hammerhead to be used in one of Norman Osborn and Doctor Octopus' experiment. He had a titanium resin attached to his skin that gave him enhanced strength and durability. O'Hirn was tasked to defeat Spider-Man and almost did since Spider-Man could not hurt him in any way. When Rhino stopped his charge in order to drink water though Spider-Man figured that Rhino was over heating thanks to the costume blocking his pores from sweating. Spider-Man lured Rhino underground and started busting steam pipes which caused Rhino to overheat and pass out. Rhino is imprisoned though he is alter broken out by Tombstone and Electro alongside Doctor Octopus and the Enforcers. This team is dubbed the " Sinister Six" by the Daily Bugle. Rhino is knocked out during their fight with Spider-Man by a combined hit from Shocker and Electro and is imprisoned once again. Rhino would later rejoin the Sinister Six only to be defeated by Spider-Man who mad him jump on thin ice over a lake, sinking him to the bottom of the ocean. Spider-Man did throw him an air tank so O'Hirn would not drown. Tinkerer extracts him before the police arrive and Rhino goes to destroy a chip containing information on recreating the Rhino armor by Doctor Octopus. He is defeated once again and imprisoned in the Vault.
Unlike his previous incarnations, Rhino is a school boy named Alex, who has an internship at S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. Alex origins correlate somewhat match with the second Molten Man, as he was bullied relentlessly (by Flash Thompson). Peter offer help to him but is spurned due to the fact that Peter has friends (The amazing friends, MJ, Harry etc), has since become friends with Flash, who doesn't Bully him, and is still smarter than him. It is later revealed that Alex is stealing gene altering vials, which turn him into a giant Humanoid Rhino like character who's Strength exceeds both Peter's and Luke Cage. With his impressive physical attributes, Rhino to steal Shield vials to maintain his transformation, even managing to defeat Luke Cage and break his so called unbreakable skin. He then attacks Flash, first destroying his car, then attacking him directly. Peter engages in a long fight with Rhino, which starts at his High School, and continues to Flash's dingy car garage/scrapyard. Spider-Man is finally able to gain the upper-hand with the arrival of Luke Cage and a Oil Spill, which causes Rhino to lose traction for long enough for Rhino to knocked out with a combined punch from Luke Cage and Peter. Alex is then taken into Custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., while Flash promises to mend his ways.
Rhino returns several more times, and eventually joins the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. During the series finale, Alex is finally cured of his condition and returns to normal.
Paul Giamatti portrays the Rhino in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. This version is closer to the Ultimate incarnation of the character, with the Rhino depicted as a suit of high-tech armor controlled by a smaller human pilot. Despite this, the character is still a Russian gangster like his original Earth-616 counterpart.
In the beginning of the film, the character is introduced as Aleksei Sytsevich, a Russian gangster who is in the process of hijacking a shipment of Plutonium from OsCorp. He is defeated by Spider-Man and sent to prison, but returns in the final scene of the film, where he is given a robotic suit of armor by Harry Osborn.
Spider-Man and Captain America in Doctor Doom's Revenge - Rhino appears as one of the many villains under Dr. Doom's command in the game.
Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge - Rhino appears alongside Carnage as a boss battle for Spider-Man in his second stage.
The Incredible Hulk - Rhino appears in this SNES and Sega Genesis title as the second stage boss and here is serving the Leader who is trying to take over the world.
Spider-Man - In this PS, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast title, Rhino appears as a boss battle and fights both Spider-Man and Black Cat. In game Rhino is attacking a power plant. During the battle Black Cat is injured allowing her to be captured by fake paramedics.
Spider-Man 2 - Rhino appears in both the console version and the PC version of the movie tie in video game, but his role changes depending on which version you play. In the console version Rhino is the first boss that Spider-Man confronts in the streets of New York City. In the PC version Rhino is first seen breaking out of prison where Spider-Man then chases him down and has Rhino blow himself up at a gas station. Doctor Octopus then takes the unconcious Rhino away while Spider-Man douses the fires. Later when Doctor Octopus attacks OsCorp Spider-Man faces Rhino twice. Once in a generator room where Spider-Man has Rhino electroucte himself into submission and then in a room filtering liquid nitrogen where Spider-Man has Rhino freeze himself for the cops. Rhino is voiced by John DiMaggio.
Ultimate Spider-Man - Rhino's "Ultimate" incarnation appears as a boss. He is voiced by Bob Glouberman. Spider-Man fights him in a car lot and damages his suit enough to defeat the villain who is revealed to be a small man in a powered armor. The armor was designed by Trask Industries who Rhino worked for and built the armor for them. He designed the suit to be computer controlled though concluded he could control it better than any computer. Throughout the fight Rhino mostly speaks Latin.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance - Rhino appears working for the Masters of Evil alongside Shocker in Murderworld. Later Rhino appears guarding a defeated Heimdall alongside Shocker again. Rhino as special dialogue with Venom and Thing. Rhino is also the boss on Thing's simulator disk. Rhino is voiced by Steve Blum.
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe - Rhino appears as one of the playable characters in the game. He is originally hypnotized by Mysterio into working for him and sent alongside Scorpion to Tangaroa Island to guard a meteor shard. After Spider-Man defeats him and frees him from mind control he becomes a playable character. Rhino is again voiced by John DiMaggio
Spider-Man 3 - In the movie tie in video game, Dr. Stilwell hires the Rhino to take out Scorpion. After Rhino defeats him he runs off before finishing the job. After both Spider-Man and Scorpion reach Dr. Stilwells hideout he has Rhino attack them both, but Spider-Man defeats him by slamming cement from the ceiling into Rhino knocking him unconscious.
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows - Rhino appears inside Rykers Island as an inmate who actually aids Spider-Man who is their to free Tinkerer to aid with the symbiote invasion. With Rhino's help Spider-Man takes down the Island's security system. If the player takes the good path Spider-Man tricks Rhino into heading back into the prison so he can be recaptured. If he takes the evil path then Spider-Man lets Rhino go with the need to use him later. In the PS2 and PSP version of the game Rhino serves as Spencer Smythe's body guard in his underground laboratory.
- In the video game epilogue to The Amazing Spider-Man movie, he is voiced by Fred Tatasciore, who was famous for voicing many Marvel characters. He also wears his classic costume. Here, like all bosses in the game, he is a Cross-Species (a hybrid of animal and human DNA). After escaping from OsCorp Tower and infecting the staff, including Alistair Smythe and Gwen Stacy, he causes havok in New York City. You will fight him on top of a parking-lot, where you will defeat him by making him run through police trucks. After the fight, Rhino is dropped straight down to the sewers. You will be fighting him again in an optional quest that takes place in a water treatment facility. On a tip from Whitney Chang, it is said that the facility is contaminated. Once you choose to play this stage, a foreman will guide you along the way. Once the power is restored, Rhino will ambush you. You will defeat him by making him run through your webbing that conducts electricity and afterwards drop him down straight into a generator, possibly knocked out.
- Toy Biz released some Rhino figures for the 90's Spider-Man animated series.
- Toy Biz also released a number of Rhino figures throughout the 90's.
- Toy Biz also released an Ultimate Rhino figure as part of the Spider-Man Classics line, as was a classic Rhino.
- Toy Biz released a Rhino figure as part of the Marvel Legends "Fearsome Foes of Spider-Man" box set.
- Diamond Collectibles released a Rhino figure for the Marvel Select line.
- Hot Toys unveiled a massive Rhino figure depicting his appearance in the movie, but never released it.
- Hasbro released a Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure wave featuring the Rhino. The Rhino could be completed upon purchasing all of the other
- Rhino appears in the "Rhino and Sandman Super Villain Team-Up" Lego kit.