Amazing Spider-Man 617 & 625

The One True Rhino!

For issue 617 :

According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe volume 1, Rhino is 6'5" tall and 710 pounds. He can lift 20 tons and can charge at opponents with that horn at 30 miles per hour - enough to penetrate several inches of steel. He's also tough enough to withstand anti-tank weaponry. He's like a junior Juggernaut for heaven's sake, how can you not love him? When the first volume of the  Official Handbook of the the Marvel Universe was written in the mid-eighties the Rhino's real name is listed as 'Unrevealed'.

Well, it's been revealed since then : the Rhino is Aleksei Sytsevich. His identity is publicly known because during the time of the Superhuman Registration Act the Rhino turned himself in. Shield surgically removed his armor-like skin and Sytsevich turned his back on his villainous ways, found the love of his life and is now working as a bouncer in a casino. It's all very touchingly represented in this issue.

Enter the new Rhino.

This Rhino I don't like at all. I don't like his spacey, too-elaborate look and I don't like his one-dimensional brutality and his stupid notion that he has to defeat the old Rhino in order to 'ascend' to being the new Rhino. If writer Joe Kelly wanted me to hate this guy bad enough to want Spidey to beat him up, or better still, have the old Rhino beat him up, he's done a good job. If this was the Silver Age of Comics that's exactly what would have happened - old Rhino vs. New Rhino or old Rhino plus Spider-Man (seeing that it's his comic) vs. the New Rhino. What happens is much more interesting than that : the old Rhino stops the new Rhino, not with his strength, but with his conviction. Sytsevich has started a new crime-free life and he will not be derailed from that. He calls it 'putting one foot in front of the other'. Here he is talking about it to his fellow inmates.


The concept of 'one foot in front of the other' is also explained beautifully by Oksana, the Rhino's beloved.

It is the possible threat to Oksana posed by the new Rhino that makes the Rhino decide to 'go back into costume' but Spider-Man stops him with an incredible speech.


Lest we forget about the art, Max Fiumara does a good job. Here's my favorite panel.


If I have one word for this issue that word is 'satisfying'. I can't imagine a better ending for the Rhino.

For issue 625 :


It's been a while since issue 617 and guess what? Joe Kelly and company decide to revisit this story here in ASM 625.

Hahahahahahahahaha! I can't stop laughing from how good the story is! I can't help but unleash some major spoilers at this point, so be warned! You might want to read 625 first.

Back in my review of 617 I mentioned that I would love to see a fight between the new Rhino and the original Rhino - a favorite of mine. In a way, I was glad it didn't happen  because the new Rhino is 9 feet tall and armored in steel - I feared Aleksei wouldn't be able to handle that kind of power.

Boy, was I wrong!

Here is the mano e mano people! In issue 625, the big, big, big fight! And the original Rhino wins! The new Rhino isn't down, he isn't out. He's dead. D-E-A-D, dead. That's what happens when you mess with the best!

The events surrounding this fight makes for a very heavy, emotional issue. The fight is right out of WWE!

Do yourself a favor and get 617 and 625. Highly recommended!

Posted by  Pete Albano - February 12, 2011 | Updated : June 21, 2011

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Amazing Spider-Man comic books

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Other Amazing SPIDER-MAN Stories

546 : Peter Parker vs. J. Jonah Jameson

547-548 : Mr. Negative

549-521 : Menace

555-557 : Mayan God

559-561 : Paper Doll

562-563 : The Enforcers

565-567 : Kraven's Daughter

568-573 : New Ways To Die

589 : The Return of the Spot

617 : Whatever Happened To The Rhino?

625 : Rhino vs. Rhino!

652-654 : The Scorpion

655-656 : Black spider armor

657 : Spider-Man and the Human Torch

658 : The FF

659 : A pirate adventure

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