03 February 2007

The Many Foes of Spider-Man - Rhino

Its the mean, tank-like, pajama clad RHINO

The Rhino was initially Aleksei Sytsevich, a poor immigrant from Russia who was desperate to pay for the rest of his family to come to America. 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.

Rhino's first job was to capture Colonel John Jameson for his military secrets. Spider-Man defeated the Rhino, leading to the supervillain's arrest. After escaping from prison, Rhino has taken on many other jobs over the years, and although he still hates Spider-Man and would love to crush him, he is professional enough not to let personal feelings distract him from a paying job.

Physically, he is one of Spider-Man's strongest foes with his favored attack being ramming into a target with a sustained charge. He is also not very bright, and thus not too difficult for the wall-crawler to beat.

The Rhino has often tangled with The Incredible Hulk as well. He was significantly outmatched by the Hulk in terms of brute force, but the level of superhuman strength he does have, coupled with his invulnerability, has always made him a good adversary.

Recently, as portrayed in the story Flowers for Rhino, he 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.

Villain Profiles:

the Beetle
Black Cat
the Chameleon
Doctor Octopus
the Green Goblin
J. Jonah Jameson
Jack O' Lantern
the Kingpin
Kraven the Hunter
the Lizard

Spider-Man 3 debuts in 90 days!

1 comment:

tomsaville said...

Honestly, I never knew the origins of the Rhino...AWESOME!!!