Characters : Rhino
Thick grey armor with double horns
Has a devastating "charge" attack, and is capable of running up to 100mph - but has difficulty stopping or making sharp turns
Costume was originally not removable, but is now. Rhino has limited manouverability. He is vulnerable to gas. Earlier costumes have proved susceptible to chemical attack. He isnt that bright, either.
Skin is almost indestructable. Great strength and bulk.
Can press 80 tons
Two tough and sharp rhinocerous horns are part of his costume.
United States of America
Known to local authorities by fake ID
Sinister Syndicate, Deadly Foes of Spider-Man, Egghead's Emissaries of Evil, Great Game contestant
Kingpin, the Leader, Boomerang, Beetle, Speed Demon, Hydro-Man
Unnamed mother (mentioned in Green Goblin #3), Alexia (niece, seen in Amazing Annual #28)
Criminal record in the U.S.
Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich
Born in Eastern Europe, Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich was a common thug of low intelligence that worked for professional spies. While many considered him to be too stupid to be trusted, the two scientists that would change his life considered his impaired intellect to be a sign that he wouldn't betray them. The scientists, Igor and Georgi, applied their new invention to his skin: a molecular adhesive that would bond to his skin and make him invulnerable. The scientists decided to make him their personal assassin but he rebelled against them and went freelance, knowing that countries would pay him well for his services. (Amazing Spider-Man #43)
The Rhino's first mission was to capture Colonel John Jameson, who had recently returned from a mission to space. He was dropped in Mexico, and given a fake passport bearing the name "Alex O'Hirn." As he approached the U.S./Mexico boarder, he smashed though the wall and the helpful border guards shot at him uselessly. In New York, Peter Parker happened to see a news broadcast that reported the Rhino had smashed through every roadblock assembled by the police since arriving in America and he seemed to be heading to the Big Apple. Alexi made the rest of the journey as a stowaway on a railcar, smashing through it in the city when it was searched by the police. Rhino kidnapped John Jameson at his hotel room as his father, J. Jonah Jameson, watched helplessly. Spider-Man caught up to the escaping kidnapper and quickly found the Rhino to be as tough as he had feared. Punching him had no effect, save nearly breaking the webhead's hand. Spidey spent the rest of the fight dodging Rhino's attacks, until he slammed the crook's head into the pavement. (Amazing Spider-Man #41)
Rhino was taken to a nearby courthouse to be studied by local scientists. They tried to sedate him but all of the needles broke when they tried to puncture his skin. Sytsevich soon awoke and smashed out of the building but was stopped when a man sprayed him with an aerosol tranquilizer. (Amazing Spider-Man #42) The Rhino escaped again during Peter's first date with Mary Jane Watson. Looking for excitement, MJ suggested that they go to the East Side to see him take on Spider-Man. Spidey was badly injured during the fight and was saved by the charging Rhino by a patrolman. Rhino escaped and Frederick Foswell wrote a story for the Bugle saying that Spider-Man was saved by a cop.
Later, Spider-Man met with Dr. Curtis Connors and brought him a piece of Rhino's hide that had chipped off during the fight. Connors briefly wondered if the Lizard could beat the Rhino and Spider-Man told him not to even think about it. They eventually created a substance that could melt the hide but had no time to test it, as the Rhino was still looking for John Jameson. Spidey arrived at the hospital that Jameson was being treated at just as the Rhino was trying to take him again. The webhead covered him in webbing, which had been treated with the chemical devised by Doctor Connors. The hide dissolved and Alexi was knocked out. Later, Jonah ranted that he would sue Spider-Man for using his son as bait. (Amazing Spider-Man #43)
After Rhino turned on his backers for a second time, he became a free agent in the world of professional super-powered mercenaries. The Rhino became fairly well known outside Spider-Man. He faced Incredible Hulk early on in his career as well as Kazar and Captain America. The Rhino tried to kidnap Bruce Banner, but was nearly killed in an explosion. The Leader hired the Rhino to disrupt Bruce's wedding, but the Rhino's impatience left him the victim of yet another explosion. Rhino later teamed with the Abomination to take over Hulkbuster Base, but the two collided head-on, and were left incapacitated. He also battled the Defenders and again Spider-Man, aided by Doc Samson. Rhino also fought the Avengers when Spider-Man was trying to join the team. The Thing and Rhino duked it out once and Rhino also faced the Silver Surfer.
Many years passed before he became a Spider-Man enemy. Spider-Man accepted a job to work with Silver Sable to capture the international terrorist called the Jack O'Lantern. Jack had the audacity to call Sable, aware of the fact that she was pursuing him, and told her to meet him at an amusement park. There, she and Spider-Man were confronted by the Sinister Syndicate, a team consisting of the Rhino, Beetle, Hydro-Man, Boomerang and Speed Demon. During the fight, Sytsevich told Spider-Man that he hated being a human rhino and was working for Jack O'Lantern to get money for an illegal operation. The fight moved to a nearby roller coaster, where Spidey hid with the injured Silver Sable. The crooks demolished the huge wooden structure, collapsing it on top of them. They escaped the debris but the Syndicate was waiting for them. (Amazing Spider-Man #280)
The crash of the roller coaster drew the attention of the Sandman, who joined the fight against the Syndicate. (He didn't care about Spider-Man one way or the other, but hated Hydro-Man and decided to screw around with him and his allies.) Rhino initially had trouble with Sandman, as the gravelly criminal wasn't hard enough to hit. He did later scatter Sandman in a harder form and Speed Demon created a vacuum to keep him from reforming. Spider-Man, weakened and losing consciousness, still fought on by using his spider sense to lash out, eventually beating Sytsevich. The Syndicate fled. (Amazing Spider-Man #281)
Aleksei was soon on Justin Hammer's payroll. Hammer paid and provided protection for many super criminals, and in return would ask them to do jobs for him. He had already hired the Scorpion to kidnap General Chester Musgrave in order to extract military secrets from him to sell overseas. As Scorpion was about to escape with the general after defeating Spider-Man, another Bugle photographer (Lance Bannon) said that Jonah Jameson would be thrilled with the pictures as he snapped away. Not wanting to help his hated enemy, Scorpion decided to stay where he was until Jameson arrived to take the general's place. (Amazing Spider-Man #318)
Hammer was very unhappy to hear that Scorpion had deviated from the original agreement and sent Rhino and Backlash to bring him the general. Meanwhile, Scorpion escaped with the general and a helicopter pilot to a abandoned barn in Connecticut. Deciding to sell the general to Wilson Fisk, Scorpion took him back to Manhattan. Little did he know, but Spidey had attached a spider tracer to Scorpion before he had escaped. Now that Gargan was back in New York, the spider tracer led Spidey to him and the general as they drove to the Kingpin's headquarters. Rhino and Backlash then attacked and the truck was demolished. While Backlash dealt with Spider-Man, Rhino went after the Scorpion. Scorpy tried to hit him with tear gas from his tail, which didn't slow Aleksei down. Scorpion fled to a watertower and dared Rhino to get to him from there. Rhino brought the tower crashing down and escaped with Scorpion, after snapping off his tail. (Amazing Spider-Man #319)
Spidey soon faced off against Rhino, Hydro-Man and the Shocker. He beat them, aided by the fact that he was cosmically empowered at the time. (Spectacular Spider-Man #160) Despite this, Rhino spoke out on the webhead's behalf during their next encounter. He was again with the Sinister Syndicate (a woman named Leila Davis had also joined) and they were robbing the Federal Reserve when, naturally, Spider-Man showed up. The group actually beat him fairly easily and Hydro-Man and Beetle were about to end him when Rhino spoke up. All he is looking for is money to have his synthetic hide removed and a murder conviction would make that less likely. The Syndicate then left. (Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1)
With their payday at hand, Rhino is about to leave the team to go for his procedure but was stopped by the Beetle, who convinced him to stay for one more job. The Syndicate agreed to break Boomerang out of prison, as he had been captured in the previous issue. The attack on the prison failed and the Sinister Syndicate retreated but Rhino had been tagged with a spider tracer. Following the tracer, Spidey didn't find the criminals but did find District Attorney Guillermo strapped to a bomb. (Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #2)
Spidey saved the D.A. from the bomb. Meanwhile, Beetle tried to convince the others that an assassination that he planned could bring them big money. Aleksei wasn't interested and left to undergo his operation. Coincidentally, the doctor that was going to perform the surgery was the same man that the Beetle planned to kill. Sytsevich was less than happy that the one man that could give him a normal life was now dead and Leila persuaded him to join her...for revenge against the Beetle. See, her dead husband had been the Ringer and she blamed Beetle for his death. She had been planning to use the Syndicate against him the whole time. (Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #3)
The divided Sinister Syndicate faced off: Beetle, Speed Demon and Hydro-Man vs. Leila, Boomerang and Rhino. Spidey apprehended Leila and Beetle while the rest of the group escaped. Rhino returned to his boss, the Kingpin. It was found that Sytsevich was working for Fisk the whole time under the agreement that the Sinister Syndicate would cause chaos to divert attention from the theft of police data regarding undercover officers in Fisk's criminal empire. Kingpin agreed to have doctors remove Rhino's skin but Sytsevich decided to keep it as he enjoyed the adventure. (Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4)
Rhino was still on Justin Hammer's payroll and was soon working for him again. A shipment of tainted pharmaceuticals had been destroyed by the vigilante called Cardiac and the financial loss had been great. Hammer sent Sytsevich a new battle suit and told him that he needed a small favor from him. Rhino was waiting for Cardiac at Sapirdyne Chemicals and quickly over powered him. Spider-Man arrived and Rhino fled when he saw that a vat of chemicals was about to explode. (Amazing Spider-Man #344)
Soon after, Harry Osborn began to lose his grip on sanity and was reverting back to his life as the Green Goblin. After the Goblin was sent to prison, Rhino received a signal to attack a specific target. He was being payed well by the Green Goblin and wanted to use the money to return to Eastern Europe. He had been hounded constantly since arriving in America and decided that it was time to go home to his family. Soon he spotted his target: Peter Parker, walking alone at night, pondering what to do about Harry. Sytsevich caught him, telling him that he knew his secret and that soon, everyone would know. After tossing Peter through a wooden fence, Rhino was stunned to see Spider-Man arrive. Spidey thrashed him, telling him that no one was going to hurt Peter Parker or his family. Rhino then explained that he was merely passing along a message from the Goblin. He had no idea what the Goblin had been talking about and didn't care. He ended up webbed to a piece of construction equipment. (Spectacular Spider-Man #190)
Rhino also battled the Hulk during a time when he played minor league baseball as "Mecha Rhino." (Incredible Hulk #435)
Since Aleksei had seemingly given up on returning to his homeland, he decided to bring his family to America. He only had limited funds, leaving him only able to bring his elderly mother and his niece, Alexa. He promised them that once he did a few more "odd jobs," he would have the money to bring the whole family. Meanwhile, his mother and Alexa were living in a low rent apartment and it was burglarized one day. Alexa's favorite necklace had been stolen and Aleksei promised her he'd get it back. He put on his Rhino skin and immediately set about "interrogating" some patrons of a local bar popular with criminals. After he roughed up some of the guests, the bartender told Rhino to find Sammy the Looper at a pool hall. He got the locket back from Sammy and a little extra cash from the crooks he associated with. Returning to the apartment, he showed his mother the money and she was furious. She wanted nothing to do with his dirty money, or him. She hadnt raised him to be a thief and threw him out, telling him that he was no son of hers. (Amazing Spider-Man Annual #28)
Rhino again joined with the Sinister Syndicate, who at this time added Doctor Octopus, Swarm, Dr. Vincent Stegron, Hardshell, Vulture, Strikeback and Answer to the mix. (Lethal Foes of Spider-Man #1-#4)
Rhino was soon working for the mob and delivering bribes to a professional football player named Johnny Dare. Dare had been throwing games and had contacted Ben Urich to portray him in a favorable light in the Daily Bugle, as the police would soon be involved in a sting against the gamblers. When the police arrived at the rendezvous, Rhino was very displeased but was even less happy when the Green Goblin (Phil Urich, Ben's nephew) showed up. The bribe money was lost in the following scrap and the Rhino was beaten when the Goblin dropped him from the sky and Aleksei banged his head on the docks. (Green Goblin #2)
Aleksei soon reappeared as a contestant in the Great Game, a contest sponsored by the bored and wealthy pitting super humans against each other for a wager. Rhino was sent to battle the Spider-Man clone named Kaine, who wanted nothing to do with the Game. Kaine was traveling with a woman named Shannon Fitz-Patrick (Muse) who wanted out of the Great Game. Her safety was Kaine's main concern and he was more than happy to let Spider-Man (Ben Reilly) handle the Rhino by himself. Kaine and Muse got away and Spider-Man barely survived being buried in rubble. (Spectacular Spider-Man #231 and Sensational Spider-Man #2)
At a warehouse hideout, Kane wanted to know how the Rhino managed to find him and Muse. She replied that Rhino's patron is a very capable man. Aleksei showed up at that point and said he was getting a big fat bonus to flatten them both before anyone else could do it. Kaine and Muse tried to escape but were cut off by two other contestants: Joystick and Polestar. Joystick dealt with Muse and Rhino told Kaine that he was going to use his bonus to buy his mother a big screen TV. Spider-Man then showed up and Rhino learned that the webhead was worth double points. He was going to get those points...and two big screen TV's. Rhino was beaten when Kaine tore a huge chunk of a building away and repeatedly beat him with it. (Amazing Spider-Man #409)
Years of being encapsulated in his impenetrable hide began to have negative effects on Sytsevich's mind. The skin not only prevented him from being injured, it prevented him from feeling physical sensations. Desperate to feel something, Rhino went on a rampage in the Jamaica section of Queens. Spider-Man arrived, only knowing that a large man was causing large amounts of property damage. He was surprised to see the Rhino, who was inconsolable and screaming "Nothing!" as he smashed into buildings yet failed to feel pain. Spidey only understood the situation when the police fired a rocket at Sytsevich and the explosion seemed to briefly satisfy him. Peter became to formulate a plan but noticed that a school bus full of children had sprung a gas leak and was in danger of catching fire from electrical wires exposed by Rhino's rampage. Spider-Man webbed the bus and pulled it to safety. He then tossed the exposed wires towards a puddle of water that Sytsevich was standing in, shocking him into unconsciousness. (Sensational Spider-Man vol 1, #31)
After his latest trip back to prison, Sytsevich was completely fed up with his life. He was mocked in the press for being webbed to a building, butt hanging out of the demolished wall. He was laughed at in jail by the Gibbon and Rocket Racer. He was even made fun of by a guard and it was the final straw. He broke free of his bonds and killed the guard and escaped, looking for the men that gave him his skin. When he caught up to Igor and Georgi, they could remove the skin without killing him. Despondent, he tried to find work protecting Stella, the daughter of a mobster. He got the job but was immediately ridiculed by the woman, who told him he was too stupid to double cross her father and would fail if he tried. He left and nearly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, when he got a new idea. He returned to Georgi and Igor and told him to perform an intelligence increasing procedure on him. (Spider-Man's Tangled Web #5)
Afraid that he had hurt Stella's feelings, he went back to her and found her with her boyfriend, Romeo. Romeo was irritated that Rhino had corrected his grammar and let word get out about where Spider-Man could find Alexei. Stella followed Rhino to the meeting spot and ran off together after Spider-Man showed up. They fell in love and as Rhino's intelligence continued to increase, he built a city-wide crime network. It all came so easily to him now and life bored him. One of the doctors eventually called him, warning that one of the test chimps that had its IQ increased had committed suicide. He feared that Rhino will get "too clever for his own good." Sytsevich scoffed at the idea but then broke up with Stella because she wasn't smart enough for him. Realizing that he just threw away the only thing he ever wanted, Rhino turned over all of his information regarding his crime syndicate to Spider-Man and headed back to the bridge. He then realized that he could have a surgery to reverse his intelligence and drew up plans to make it happen. He even told the doctors to make him a little extra dumb, just to be safe. (Spider-Man's Tangled Web #6)
Rhino was involved in a brief gang war involving Hammerhead and various foreign gangs. Rhino joined the Polish gang, along with a man in a suit of armor calling himself Uber-Machine. When Spider-Man got involved, he tricked the two into turning against each other. They beat each other for him. (Peter Parker: Spider-Man vol. 2, #50)
Sytsevich clashed with the Juggernaut while in prison in Vancouver, British Colombia. Rhino managed to escape from his cell and was in the process of finding a way out when he smashed into Cain Marko's cell. Marko told a guard to shoot Rhino in the mouth but the gun was knocked away before it could happen. Rhino picked the guard up and threatened to pull his head off unless he told him how to get out. Juggernaut managed to break out of his chains and fight him, eventually shooting him in the mouth with the laser gun. Rhino's insides must be as tough as his outsides, as he survived. (Uncanny X-Men #435)
Rhino apparently was reverted back to his normal super-powered self. He was jailed again after abducting and proposing to a French female singer/songwriter. (Marvel Knights Spider-Man #7) Subsequently, he was jailed in Ryker's Island special section for super-powered criminals, in the cell next to the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). (Marvel Knights Spider-Man #10) Free again recently, Coleen Wing knocked down and apprehended the Rhino crashing Misty Knight's Jaguar XK8 straight into him. (Daughters of the Dragon #1)
After Peter unmasked as part of the Superhuman Registration Act, he turned against Tony Stark and went on the run with Aunt May and Mary Jane. His enemies came after him in droves, including the Chameleon. Smerdyakov's "Exterminators" failed in their task which was the signal to Rhino to go after Parker. He badly beat the webhead, sending him fleeing back to the hotel room where he was hiding with his aunt and wife. (Sensational Spider-Man vol 2, #33) The Black Cat saw on the news that Rhino had put a hurting on Spidey and went to confront him. She found him in Battery Park, drunk as a skunk and dealing with some sailors looking for a fight. Rhino was about to smash them when Felicia made them leave and beat Sytsevich....by talking to him. She told him that she didn't want to be Peter's psycho ex-girlfriend anymore and Sytsevich didn't have to be an easily manipulated thug. He left Felicia to go sleep it off. (Sensational Spider-Man vol 2, #34)
Rhino and the Vulture were working together on a heist when they were captured by Kraven the Hunter (Alyosha Kravinoff). Kraven was building a menagerie of animal themed super criminals (Leap-Frog, Kangaroo (Hibbs), Aragorn, Swarm, Dragon Man, Grizzly, Tiger Shark) to hunt on a derelict ship. Rhino had also been targeted by the Punisher, who set out to kill him and the other captured crooks. Kraven kept the zoo under control with shock collars and mind control toxins, forcing them to fight him for his pleasure. Many of the crooks escaped in the eventual fight between Kraven and the Punisher. (Punisher War Journal vol 2, #13-15)
Sytsevich managed to find a degree of happiness after he escaped from Alyosha and the Punisher. He married a Russian woman named Oksana, who talked him into leaving his criminal lifestyle. He even found a job as a bouncer at a fancy casino, without his costume. It was at his new job that he was challenged to a fight by the new, mechanically enhanced Rhino. This new thug had been sponsored by Sasha Kravinoff, to force a battle between Sytsevich and Spider-Man. Aleksei refused to fight, honoring his promise to Oksana to put his violent past behind him. Spider-Man promised to take care of the new menace, as long as Aleksei stayed out of it. (Amazing Spider-Man #617) The new Rhino again challenged Aleksei to battle for the right to be called the Rhino. Sytsevich lied to him, telling him that they would meet at midnight that night. Aleksei and Oksana tried to leave New York but their van was attacked by the new Rhino and Oksana was killed. Aleksei went to a meat storage locker, found a spare skin and became the Rhino again. Norah Winters and Spider-Man witnessed the fight between the two men and all of the webhead's efforts to diffuse the situation failed miserably. The old Rhino smashed the new one into a wall, causing the building to crumble on top of them. (Amazing Spider-Man #625)
Rhino briefly faced Spider-Man again, as the hero was trying to protect the infant son of Norman Osborn and Lily Hollister from various thugs hired by Doctor Octopus. He was talked out of further attacking Spider-Man and the child by remembering Oksana, who wouldnt want him to endanger a child. He left, wishing Spider-Man luck. Spidey thanked him and Aleksei told him he was referring to the next time they met. (Amazing Spider-Man #644)
That meeting was soon enough, as Rhino joined the latest incarnation of the Sinister Six. This grouping was to be the final meeting, as Octavius was dying of radiation poisoning and was planning a farewell to humanity. Rhino was happy to join the Six and get revenge on Spider-Man. Before that could happen, the Six attacked a group calling themselves the Intelligencia, another group of super criminals. The Intelligencia (M.O.D.O.K., Wizard, Red Ghost, Klaw and Mad Thinker) had a machine that used magnetism to blast certain spots on earth into space. The Six ruined the Intelligencia's plan so that they could be the one's to rule the world, not M.O.D.O.K. and Red Ghost. (Amazing Spider-Man #676)
Sytsevich stayed in the background for most of Ends of the Earth. He was indifferent to the $2 billion award that the other members of the Six were granted after Octavius made his demands of the world. Octavius had promised him something else. It was revealed what this promise was as Spider-Man and Silver Sable made their final assault on Ock's under water lair. Rhino didn't care about anything since his beloved Oksana died and all he wanted was to see the world burn. He grabbed Sable, holding her under the rising water, telling Spider-Man that he would die there and take Sable with him. Spider-Man was forced to leave her with Rhino as he went to confront Octopus. There was no time go go back for Aleksei and Silver, who seemingly were killed in the collapsing base after Octavius was captured. (Amazing Spider-Man #687)
|Oct 1966||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #41|
|Nov 1966||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #42|
|Dec 1966||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #43|
|Aug 1991||App: She-Hulk (Vol. 2) #30|
|Dec 1966||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #43|
Here is the Full Appearance List (84 Apps) for Rhino.
This profile was completed with information used with permission from the Appendix of Marvel Universe website, mantained by Jeff Christiansen (Snood). If you want to find out about that odd-ball character you've only seen once, or even about that character you haven't ever seen, that's the site you're looking for. An impressive amount of obscure characters await you there!
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.