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Quote1.png I'm Rhino. I knock things down. That's what I do. That's who I am. Quote2.png


Mafia & Mutation

Aleksei becomes the Rhino

Aleksei Sytsevich (Russian: Алексе́й Сицевич) (Pronounced: Ah-lex-ee Sit-seh-vich) was just another thug in the Russian Mafia, grasping at dreams of easy money, and headed for a short brutal life. Seduced by promises of wealth and power, Aleksei underwent a life-threatening series of chemical and radiation treatments throughout several months to transform him into an agent with superhuman strength for a collective of professional spies. In part, this was to support his family.[13]

Aleksei's powerful armor, permanently bonded to his form, was modeled after the hide of a rhinoceros. Two scientists named Igor and Georgi[14] chose this form, both for its visual impact and in recognition of the fact that the rhino was the result of countless generations of evolution towards the ultimate form for armored assault. They selected Aleksei for his muscular physique and low intelligence, which they believed would ensure his loyalty.[13]


Given the code-name Rhino, his first mission was to kidnap astronaut John Jameson, son of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, and sell him to the highest bidder. He received intensive sub-hypnotic training in American English, and false citizenship papers bearing the name Alex O'Hirn. Feeling cocky, he turned on his benefactors, destroying their headquarters, and attempted to abduct Jameson under his own initiative. As the Rhino made his way towards New York City, Spider-Man began to formulate how to defeat this apparently unstoppable foe, and discovered two key factors: 1) Once he began charging, the Rhino couldn't change directions or easily halt his advance, and 2) Aleksei was rather dumb. Spider-Man deduced that if he could avoid a direct hit from the Rhino's horn, his superior tactical skills and agility would always leave him the final victor in any fair fight.{Spider-Man defeated the Rhino, sending the villain to a special state correctional hospital where he was kept under heavy sedation.[2]

Spider-Man dissolving his costume from Amazing Spider-Man #43

After a few weeks, the Rhino broke out of the hospital and escaped, seeking revenge on Spider-Man, who defeated him, this time using a specially-formulated version of his web fluid, devised with the aid of Dr. Curt Connors, that contained encapsulated acid pellets whose containers dissolved upon contact with air. The special webbing rendered the Rhino's costume weak and brittle, which deprived him of needed impact resistance. The Rhino was recaptured, tried, and convicted.[15]

Getting empowered from Incredible Hulk #104

The Rhino served a commuted sentence and was discharged; when he was released, the spies who had transformed him, apparently showing no sign of malice towards his betrayal, approached him with the offer to strengthen him using a gamma-ray process. They had also devised an improved, acid-resistant material rhinoceros suit. Having no other prospects of gainful employment, the Rhino accepted the offer. The new series of radiation treatments were successful and doubled the Rhino's previous strength level.[14]

Hulk and the Leader

The augmented Rhino's first mission was to abduct Dr. Bruce Banner, an authority on biochemical gamma-ray experimentation, (also known as the Hulk). The spies planned to coerce Banner into developing an army of gamma-ray treated superhuman assassins. When the Rhino tried to abduct Banner, Banner transformed into the Hulk and overpowered the Rhino. Again, the Rhino was sent to a state facility under heavy sedation and high security.[14]

The Rhino's battle with the Hulk came to the attention of the Leader, one of the Hulk's foremost enemies, who decided that further gamma-ray treatments would give the Rhino enough power to overcome the Hulk. The Leader freed the Rhino from the state facility, and further increased his strength by gamma-ray bombardments. The Leader then dispatched the Rhino to crash the wedding of Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. Succeeding in interrupting the wedding, the Rhino engaged in battle with the Hulk. When the Leader accidentally shot him with a radiation blast intended for the Hulk, the Rhino turned on the Leader and caused the Leader's escape module to explode.[16]

The Rhino was left comatose, but otherwise unharmed, and taken to a state hospital. The Leader used his mental energies to revive him, and re-outfitted him to battle the Hulk once again - this time with the Leader's mind controlling his every move. When the Leader released the Rhino, Aleksei was aboard a space shuttle battling the Hulk. The fight continued until the shuttle crash landed on the High Evolutionary's artificial planet on the opposite side of the sun called Counter-Earth.[17]

While the ship automatically repaired its damage, the Leader telemetrically signaled for its return; the Hulk fought his way back on, with the Rhino in tow. When the ship crash landed back on Earth, the Rhino was buried in the wreckage for some time until he revived.[18]

Egghead's Emissaries of Evil

Rhino sitting on Deadpool.

The Rhino was then recruited by Egghead, as part of the criminal scientist's Emissaries of Evil. The Rhino was paired off with Solarr and sent to Dr. Strange's sanctum to fetch the Star of Capistan, a jewel of power that Egghead mistakenly thought Strange had. The mission brought the Rhino in conflict with his old nemesis, the Hulk, as well as the Defenders. The Rhino was ultimately defeated by the Red Rajah , a being in possession of Dr. Strange.[19]

Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.

He later battled and was defeated by Doc Samson, and subsequently taken for study to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., an enormous energy research facility in upstate, New York. After months of observations, the Rhino joined in a mass escape attempt along with fellow prisoners Moonstone, Blackout, and Electro; the escape was thwarted by the Avengers.[20]

While being transferred to another facility, the Rhino was freed by the Miracle Man, who wanted the Rhino to help him regain his mystical powers. The Rhino did not wish to be freed, however, preferring to seek medical treatment to remove his costume, which had affixed itself to his skin following he fiery shuttle crash. With the aid of the Thing, the Rhino opposed the Miracle Man, and accompanied the Thing back to P.E.G.A.S.U.S., where they again attempted to transfer him to the medical facility as arranged.[21]

Green Goblin

The Rhino, hoping to earn cash to return to his homeland and convince his family to return back to America with him, was hired by the Green Goblin and ended up severely beaten by a furious Spider-Man, with the Rhino's family disgusted to learn the means Aleksei was using to gather funds.[22]

Sinister Syndicate

When the treatments failed to restore him to normal, the Rhino escaped and joined the Beetle's Sinister Syndicate to earn money to finance further operations. With teammates Speed Demon, Hydro-Man, and the Boomerang, the Syndicate nearly overpowered Spider-Man until his timely rescue by the then-reformed Sandman, working for Silver Sable.[23]

The Syndicate reunited again, and Rhino hoped again to use earnings in the Syndicate to remove his suit. The group soon fell apart due to the machinations of Leila Davis, who sought revenge against the Beetle, whom she held partly responsible for the death of her husband, the Ringer.[24]

Removal of Suit

As the team fell apart, the Rhino, then working for the Kingpin, was double-crossed. Rhino, overhearing the scientists who were instructed not to remove the suit, kidnapped one of the scientist's children, and had his suit finally removed. The Kingpin, not one to be outdone, sent a fake-explosive package to the now more vulnerable Aleksei, letting him know he could always kill him if need be. Rhino, missing the excitement in life, requested Justin Hammer to make him a new removable suit.[25]

Holiday Seasons

Rhino later found himself broke and alone during the holiday season. He stole a Santa Claus costume and made people "give" him money. He agreed to be a mall Santa, but became volatile when the kids did not get along with him. The Hulk was there, and a fight ensued in which the Rhino gored the Hulk. However, with a little girl crying, the Rhino spent the next few hours at the mall as Santa on much better behavior.[26]

The Rhino even joined a minor league baseball team, wearing a suit of "Mecha-Rhino" armor, resulting in two clashes with the Hulk.[7]

The Great Game

In the Great Game, a gambling operation run by a group of wealthy individuals who wager on the outcome of battles between their sponsored super-powered contestants, sponsor James Johnsmeyer sent the Rhino to pressure the deformed Spider-Man clone, Kaine, into becoming a contestant. Joystick and Polestar joined the fight, while the sponsors wagered on who would draw first blood; double points were offered for Spider-Man as a wildcard while he tried to defend Kaine. Uninterested in joining the Game, Kaine seriously battered the Rhino while Spider-Man tackled Polestar and Joystick.[27][9]

New Intellect

Spider-Man's Tangled Web Vol 1 6 Textless.jpg

In another scientific experiment, the Rhino attempted to enhance his limited intelligence. The experiment was too successful, rendering him too smart for his own good. His new intellect ruined a romance, and he became suicidal. However, instead of giving up on life, he reversed the procedure and returned back to his former IQ.[28]

Bestial Rhino

The Rhino battled Hammerhead's gang, but was taken down again by Spider-Man. In Canada, the Rhino became subject to experimentation, and was mutated into a half-man/half-rhino creature temporarily. The Juggernaut, attempting to reform his life, stopped the bestial Rhino, rejecting an opportunity to escape his own sentencing.[29] The Rhino was reverted back to his previous super-powered self, whereupon he abducted and proposed to a French female singer/songwriter.[citation needed]

Ryker's Island

Rhino trashing a car

Subsequently, after Spider-Man apprehended him, he was jailed in a special section of Ryker's Island prison for super-powered criminals at the same time as the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). The Rhino was free from jail, and promptly taken down and apprehended by Colleen Wing after she crashed Misty Knight's Jaguar XK8 straight into him on two separate occasions.[30][31]

Invasion of Wakanda

Rhino and Black Knight under the hands of T'Challa

He was hired by Klaw for his invasion of Wakanda along the Nigandan Army, the Vatican Black Knight, and Batroc. Rampaging on the Wakandan territory, and escorted by the Black Knight, he was finally taken down by the Wakandan Air Force using gas.[32]

His extradition demand from the USA was denied by Wakanda, and presented to the United Nations assembly; Rhino was still in custody of the Wakandan Security Forces.[33]


When the Superhuman Registration Act came into effect, Rhino saw Spider-Man unmask himself on television.[34] The Punisher later began hunting Rhino for accidentally killing a security guard during a bank robbery. Rhino was instead kidnapped by Alexei Kravinoff who had been experimenting with his fathers formula and decided to create a zoo of animal themed villains. The Rhino escaped among the others after being spared by the Punisher and sent the widow of his victim a badly spelt letter posing as a police officer her husband had worked with alongside some money, as well as promising to send her more.[35] Rhino was so affected by this that he helped the Punisher,[3] and also convinced him not to kill Michael Watts, the third Stilt-Man.[36]

The Rhino decided to give up his life of crime entirely. He surrendered to the police, and pled guilty to all charges against him. S.H.I.E.L.D. (painfully) removed his Rhino costume, and he was sentenced to twenty-five years in Ryker's Island. The Russian Mafia and other criminal gangs tried to recruit him, but he denied them all, even going so far as to completely avoid a break-out at one point. For his good behavior and cooperation, he was released early on parole in order to make room for worse guys.[37]

Oksana & New Rhino

His first stop after getting off the bus was a diner, where the waitress, Oksana was somewhat mean/nice to him because she knew he was an ex-con as that's all that ever came in there. He paid for his meal and left. He rented a room at Vasili's, and was met by Doctor Tramma, who wanted to re-invent him as an all-new and improved Rhino. When he noticed Oksana in Vasili's restaurant crying, he walked over to her to talk to her and discovered she had been fired for being mean to the customers. Aleksei declined Doctor Tramma's offer and asked Oksana to have dinner with him. They eventually got married and lived in a small apartment in Yonkers.[37]

Doctor Tramma eventually found someone else, and a new and improved Rhino came after Aleksei, feeling that he had to destroy the old Rhino if he was going to take up the mantle. Spider-Man helped Aleksei keep his new life by defeating the new Rhino; however, the replacement once again returned and murdered Aleksei's wife. Aleksei donned the Rhino suit again and easily defeated and killed the New Rhino.[37][38]

Ends of the Earth

Aleksei joined Doc Ock's new Sinister Six and helped him steal technology from the Baxter Building,[39] as well as the Zero Cannon from the Intelligencia.[40]

Some time later, Doctor Octopus, in his plan to be remembered as the man who saved Earth, offered the chance to stop the Greenhouse Effect, as well as speed it up, using a special device connected with different satellites in orbit.[41] While Spider-Man and his allies continued to disarm Doc Ock's bases, defeating Rhino in the process, they were attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. forces before they could capture him and were forced to flee. After Spider-Man and Silver Sable arrived to Octavius's underwater base, Rhino faced them while the base started to flood; he trapped Sable and left Spider-Man with two choices: continue to fight him in order to save Sable from drowning (while leaving Octavius would activate the lenses), or let him drown himself and Sable but stop Octopus. After leaving Sable to her death at her request, Spidey managed to destroy Octavius's arms and equipment before taking his foe away to a doctor. Aleksei smiled before his apparent death.[42]

Clone Conspiracy

Aleksei resurfaced some time later, having survived his apparent demise and having remained hiding in Tahuexco, Guatemala. When he started recruiting villains of Spider-Man to his enterprise, the new Jackal convinced Aleksei to join his side by offering him the chance to reunite with Oksana, or rather a clone of her.[43] Jackal later had Aleksei, back as the Rhino and sporting a black version of his armor, break into the Andru Correctional Facility to retrieve the Lizard (who had made a similar deal with the man in exchange for his resurrected wife and child) and Electro (who had been depowered by Spider-Man).[44]

When the Jackal launched New U Technologies, the Rhino worked as security guard at his headquarters,[45] while also enjoying his time with Oksana's clone. Unfortunately, Rhino was forced to see his loved one die once again when a turn of events in the Jackal's plans led to an audio frequency which caused New U's clones to break down and die to be broadcast throughout New U's facility.[46] After Oksana decomposed, Rhino grieved motionless in front of the pile of ashes that used to be her. When a quarantine team tried to get him to move, Rhino went on a rampage. Spider-Man tried to stop him, and convinced him to calm down and focus the pain of Oksana's death in honoring her by being the person she would have wanted him to be. Rhino then willingly surrendered, having set out to move forward. Spider-Man promised to check on him later, and Rhino bid farewell to him.[47]

Rescuing his Niece

Rhino teaming up with Spider-Man and Captain America

After all of his warrants were removed (presumably by Mayor Fisk), Aleksei spent some time trying to look out for Oksana's family and went on to look for his niece when she was kidnapped.[12] While on his search he crossed paths with Spider-Man and the two briefly fought over a misunderstanding due to Spider-Man thinking that Rhino was the one responsible for a robbery that was occurring. Rhino then teamed up with Spider-Man after realizing that all the robbers were kidnapped children.[11]

Spider-Man carried Rhino through the city while swinging to and old safe house that was used by many old gangs, after Spider-Man realizes that Tombstone was behind the kidnapped children Rhino stepped in and the two beat up the crime boss until they were briefly blinded, letting him get away.[12] Rhino and Spider-Man eventually encountered Captain America, who helped them with the missing children's case. The three went to an old S.H.I.E.L.D. facility on the Gowanus Canal where they defeated Snatcher, who was behind controlling the kidnapped kids, and Rhino managed to rescue his niece Tanya.[48]

The Great Hunt

Rhino was later hunted down by Taskmaster and Black Ant, during his attempt at escaping he encountered Spider-Man and the two teamed up to fight the villains.[49] Unfortunately, when Black Ant shot down a restaurant, Spider-Man abandoned Rhino in order to save someone, which caused Aleksei to be captured by the Taskmaster and Black Ant, blaming Spider-Man as he was taken by the villains.[50]

Rhino returns to villainy with the Savage Six

He was put along with King Cobra, Scorpion, Stegron the Dinosaur Man, Tarantula and Vulture as part of the Savage Six that Arcade displayed at a meeting with a bunch of millionaire would-be hunters.[51] Aleksei was then imprisoned in Central Park along with others animal-inspired criminals as part of a ploy by Kraven the Hunter.[52]

As the criminals were hunted down by the Hunterbots, Rhino was convinced by Vulture's story about Gibbon heroically sacrificing himself to allow him to find a weak point in robots. Spider-Man, who was also imprisoned in Central Park, tried to convince the prisoners that Toomes was lying but Rhino didn't believed him due to his previous betrayal, joining the Vulture's revolt against their captors.[53] After Kraven shut down the Great Hunt and liberated his prisoners, Rhino decided to remain as part of the Savage Six.[54]


Power Grid[59]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/None:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Superhuman:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Bulletproof:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Superhuman:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Superhuman (75-100 ton):Category:Power Grid/Strength/Superhuman (25-75 ton):Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Normal


Gamma Ray Bombardment: All of Rhino's superhuman attributes are the result of treatments involving gamma radiation. The controlled bombardment fortified his cellular structure and added several hundred pounds of muscle and bone tissue to his body. Over the years, he has repeated the procedure for the purpose of increasing his powers and there has been a dramatic increase in his strength when compared to his initial gamma ray treatment.

Superhuman Strength: The Rhino possesses extreme superhuman strength. The Rhino is able to lift more than 75 tons and up to 100 tons with his suit on.[55] When Rhino attempted to drown Silver Sable and himself in a room of rising water, he was shown being capable of resisting Spider-Man's attempts at loosening his grip.[56] Rhino was capable of destroying the armour of the successor Rhino with ease.[38] Rhino has shown to be able to match up to even the Hulk's strength and stagger him with his blows.[14]

Superhuman Speed: The Rhino can, despite his large size, run and or exercise at top-notch speeds, being capable of catching up with a moving train.[57] Hence he can, while charging or ramming, appear at his destination rather quickly, although he can't move nearly as fast as speedsters.

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 at least up to 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood starts to impair his performance. On one occasion, Aleksei managed to battle the Hulk for several days straight on the outer hull of a spaceship in orbit around the sun.[17]

Superhuman Durability: Even without his suit, the Rhino's body is highly resistant to physical injury. He can withstand high caliber bullets[38], 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.


Though he has had little formal training, the Rhino's sheer strength and resistance to injury render him a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. He uses street fighting techniques that allow him to make full use of those attributes.


Once charging, he cannot change direction or easily halt his advance. The Rhino also possesses below average intelligence.



  • Rhino Armor: The Rhino wears a special suit modularly aligned and composed of a thick polymer mat similar in appearance to the skin of an actual rhino. The suit works in conjunction with his gamma-based powers and increases his strength and durability beyond their original gamma-induced levels. 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.


  • Rick Jones considers the Rhino "manic depressive." However, the Rhino has not been medically diagnosed as such.[26]
  • The Rhino was allegedly a user of the FaceSpace social network, and friend to Nuwa.[58]
  • The Rhino was one of the characters featured in the series of Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.

Marvel Value Stamp #81

  • Due to being unable to remove his suit, Alexei is unable to sleep on a normal bed. His bed is concrete, with a mattress filled with metal filings. He also must sleep in a cellar to keep from accidentally falling through the floor - Rhino notes that this makes him miserable.[28]
  • Rhino enjoys polka.[28]
  • Rhino and Gambit are gambling buddies, although Rogue claims Gambit would be disappointed to see Rhino being a villain again.

See Also

Links and References


  1. Sinister War #2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amazing Spider-Man #41
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #23
  4. Spider-Verse Unlimited Infinity Comics #1
  5. Devil's Reign #4
  6. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #13
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Incredible Hulk #435
  8. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #15
  9. 9.0 9.1 Amazing Spider-Man #409
  10. Secret Defenders #12
  11. 11.0 11.1 Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2
  13. 13.0 13.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Incredible Hulk #104
  15. Amazing Spider-Man #42-43
  16. Incredible Hulk #124
  17. 17.0 17.1 Incredible Hulk #158
  18. Incredible Hulk #158-159
  19. Defenders #42-43
  20. Avengers #236-237
  21. Thing #24
  22. Spectacular Spider-Man #190
  23. Amazing Spider-Man #281
  24. Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1-4
  25. Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #4
  26. 26.0 26.1 Incredible Hulk #378
  27. Sensational Spider-Man #2
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Spider-Man's Tangled Web #5-6
  29. Uncanny X-Men #435
  30. Daughters of the Dragon #1
  31. Daughters of the Dragon #6
  32. Black Panther Vol 4 #3-6
  33. Black Panther Vol 4 #10
  34. Amazing Spider-Man #533
  35. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #13-15
  36. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #26
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Amazing Spider-Man #617
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Amazing Spider-Man #625
  39. Amazing Spider-Man #659-660
  40. Amazing Spider-Man #676
  41. Amazing Spider-Man #682
  42. Amazing Spider-Man #685-687
  43. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #2
  44. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 4 #10
  45. Clone Conspiracy #1
  46. Clone Conspiracy #4
  47. Clone Conspiracy Omega #1
  48. Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3
  49. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #14
  50. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #15
  51. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #16
  52. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #17
  53. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #19
  54. Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #23
  55. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #9
  56. Amazing Spider-Man #687
  57. Incredible Hulk #218
  58. X-Men: Manifest Destiny #1
  59. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol 1 9
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