Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich (Rhino)

rhinofilmIn the new poster for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 we get a glimpse at the movie’s second antagonist, Rhino, who will be portrayed by Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti. It’s still unclear what kind of a role Rhino will have in the film, since Electro is confirmed to be the main and almost only villain in the story. He’ll surely appear in his human alias, Aleksei Sytsevich, in an action scene involving a truck pursuit with Spider-Man, but everything else is shrouded in mystery. At least, it is now confirmed that he’ll suit up and become the horned, beloved hulking villain, even if his appearance resembles more the Ultimate version of him, with a robotic Rhino rather than a super suit that gives him superhuman powers. Anyway, let’s see together who Rhino is in the comics.

As many other Russian immigrants in the United States, Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich dreamt of wealth and of a better life than the one he lived in his homecountry. A thug for the Russian Mafia, he arrived in New York City in order to collect money to support his poor family, but, without specific talents or qualifications, he ended up doing just the same thing he did back in Russia. Being extremely strong and muscular, Alex started working for some criminal organizations as a simple thug, until he was contacted by two scientists, known just as Igor and Georgi. The two men wanted to a super agent for the Eastern Bloc, and chose Sytsevich because of his muscular structure and his extremely low intellect, something, this last, that would have assured his loyalty to them, in their plans. Alex underwent several treatments with rhinocomics1chemicals and radiations that lasted months, which granted him an incredible strength and durability, and was given a powerful armor, permanently fused to his skin, resembling a rhinoceros (the shape was chosen by the scientists, who wanted to underline how their agent was the perfect result of years of evolution). Through hypnosis, since he wasn’t able to do it any other way, Alex learnt English, and received a false identity, Alex O’Hirn. Trained in the use of his new powers and his new suit, Alex became Rhino, a powerful and unstoppable super agent for the Russian spies, an unbendable force at the service of the Soviet cause. At least, this is what they thought.

Rhino’s first mission was to kidnap John Jameson, the hero astronaut who had just come back from a mission, in order to sell him and his military secrets to the highest bidder. Igor’s and Georgi’s calculations proved to be wrong from the very start, as Alex, now cocky because of his nearly unlimited strength, turned on them, destroying their lab and nearly killing them in the process. He decided he would have kidnapped Jameson on his own, claiming the money for himself (and his family). Rhino made his debut in New York, and met for the first time his future nemesis: Spider-Man. The hero was at first defeated, since his foe was unstoppable and far stronger than he was. Spidey, however, soon realized Rhino’s two main weaknesses: once he started charging, he had quite a difficulty in changing direction, and, above all, he was irreparably, utterly stupid. Rhino was defeated, and, when he escaped from the correctional hospital he was locked in, he was rhinocomics2beaten a second time, but this time Spider-Man used a special fluid created by Dr. Curt Connors that melted the criminal’s suit, making him almost powerless. In prison, Igor and Grigori approached him again, and, “forgiving” him for his previous betrayal, they offered him an update: a new Rhino uniform, this time acid-proof, and a new series of experiments, this time gamma-ray based. With no alternative, Alex accepted, and had his strength more than doubled. His first task, once out of jail, was to kidnap the scientist Bruce Banner and to force him develop weapons for the Russians…unfortunately Banner transformed into the Hulk and overpowered Rhino, sending him to jail once again. Rhino would have escaped again, and again, allying with the Leader, with Doctor Octopus and other criminal masterminds, always acting as the braw for their brains.

Despite the appearances, Alex Sytsevich is a good man, who made a lot of bad choices. His scarce intelligence brings him to accept bad offers under the illusion of profit and a better future for his family, something that he always falls for. Essentially a greedy and dull man, he just wants money to ensure his beloved ones (and himself, of course) the “american dream”, at any cost. As Rhino, he has augmented his already impressive strength, stamina and durability several times with gamma-ray devices, becoming extremely strong and durable, able to fight toe-to-toe with the Hulk or Thor. Despite his size, he also possesses superhuman speed, that allows him to charge his enemies with devastating power. His suit increases his powers, and his nearly-indrestructible horn makes him a remarkable menace. Unstoppable and terrifically strong, the Rhino is beatable just because of his unredeemable idiocy.



  1. […] his new team: while he visits a secret section of Oscorp, we clearly see some very known equipment: Rhino‘s armor, Doctor Octopus‘s tentacles, and the Vulture‘s wings, so it’s […]

  2. […] in robotics. He’ll probably have some role in the birth of Electro and, especially, of Rhino, indirectly causing more than one headache to our hero. In the comics, he’s got quite a […]

  3. […] Parker when she was poisoned with radiations, and he developed a special acid to destroy Rhino‘s armor, thus allowing Spidey to defeat him. This period of peace wasn’t meant to last […]

  4. […] 2, but almost all her scenes got cut off the movie: we can spot her in the final sequence with Rhino, she’s the waitress trying to hold the kid inside the restaurant. She will appear again […]

  5. […] for Thanos in his team, the Defenders: along with his teammates (Super Skrull, Titanium Man, Rhino and Geatar), Nitro obtained the Oracle of Ancient Knowledge for Thanos, then he was sent back to […]

  6. […] series (yup, he knew he was a comic); eventually, however, he annoyed Rhinose (Earth-665’s Rhino) so much that the villain punched him out of the comic’s page itself, launching him in an […]

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