Malevolent March: Day 17 - Single Issue Spotlight

For the month of March, I'm going to try something new for the blog, so every day I am going to spotlight a different villain from comic books, movies, TV, etc. It's mostly going to be my all-time favorite villains, with some crazy random ones thrown in there for good measure, so check back every day to see the newest villain in Malevolent March!

Today is going to be a special day, as you're getting two features for the price of one! Today was new comic book day, and far and away the best issue that came out this week centered around one of Spider-man's classic villains, The Rhino. Hit the jump for the issue review and the rundown of the Rhino!

The Rhino

Amazing Spider-Man #625

Background: Aleksei Sytsevich was a thug for hire working for an Eastern Bloc country. He volunteered to participate in an experiment that bonded a superstrong polymer to his skin and augment strength and speed, the character being given the alias the Rhino. He was a constant thorn in Spider-Man's side, willing to fight him and rob for money whenever the work was available. The Rhino has long been considered one of Spider-Man's dumbest (mentally) villains, but Aleksei has reformed and has his costume removed by spy organization S.H.I.E.L.D. and eventually marries. Sytsevich returns to aid Spider-Man against a new, more brutal Rhino created by Doctor Trauma on behalf of the Russian Mafia.

Moments from the previous Rhino Story:

Rhino meeting his new wife:

The New Rhino shows up to challenge Rhino for his name:

Aleksei wants to go fight the New Rhino, but Spidey stops him:

Amazing Spider-Man #625:

This issue was amazing. Those images were from Am. Spider-Man #617, and those are just the tip of the iceberg for how good that issue was. Well, this one was better. Way better. It's a truly heartbreaking and memorable read and my hat goes off to Joe Kelly, arguably one of the most underappreciated writers in comic books. Especially when you consider the breadth of his work, like his incredible run of Deadpool in the '90s that made that character what he is today. I don't even know where to begin with this issue, and I almost don't want to spoil it for anybody. If you're a fan of the Rhino at all, you owe it to yourself to get this issue, read it and treasure it because I know all to well how rare it is to see one of your all-time favorite characters be given such a beautiful and memorable issue. I know it seems like I'm gushing, but the simple fact is that this issue reminded me of why I love comic books so much. It reminded me why I spend my money and my time following these stories. It showed me that every character, no matter how important can really touch you if given the chance. Buy this comic. Do it for yourself. You deserve it.

"He never stood a chance, did he?"
"Which one?"
"Either. Both. Any of us..."

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