Cover Price: $.12
Value: $285 (Near Mint-)
"Rhino On The Rampage!" - 20 Pages
There just has to be a let down in this
issue, after the long overdue meeting between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson
at the end of last issue,
but it's still a quality issue with the continuation of the Rhino storyline that
began with his introduction in
#41. This story is aptly titles "Rhino On The Rampage", as it spotlights a
great battle between these two super powered characters. Also spotlighted in
this issue is the very first in depth conversation between Peter Parker and Mary
The issue opens with the Rhino escaping the hospital where he has been kept since last issue. The policeman's firing of his gun does nothing to harm the Rhino's thick hide, as he eventually runs through a wall and escapes. At the offices of the Daily Bugle, Betty Brant shows Daily Bugle reporter Frederick Foswell, an engagement ring that fellow reporter Ned Leeds gave her. Leeds and Brant finally wed in Amazing Spider-Man #156. Back at the Watson house, we return to the dinner meeting between the newly introduced Peter and Mary Jane. It's obvious that they hit it off right from the start at least physically, and they begin to watch some television together. A news flash interrupts their fun, showing that the Rhino has just broken out of a prison hospital and is at large in the city. At this point, Peter tries to get away so he could change into Spider-Man, but after Mary Jane says that she would like to see the Rhino up close, Peter takes her for a ride on his motorbike to the east side where he is.
As Peter and MJ are on their way, Matthew Murdock (Daredevil) and partner Foggy Nelson talk about Foggy's new client, the Rhino. Foggy wish he'd never been appointed to work for him. Anyway, the Rhino is creating a lot of destruction throughout the city looking for Spider-Man and revenge for the being beat by him in Amazing Spider-Man #41. He daydreams about how he got himself in this situation to begin with: He was to capture John Jameson, who was infected with space spores we learned in Amazing Spider-Man #41, and after the spores gave him super powers, he lost the spores last issue. The Rhino was originally a muscle-man doing dirty jobs for professional spies. His bosses thought he was too unintelligent to betray them, and they performed an experiment on him. The experiment took months of injections and treatment, and finally a permanent costume made from a form of molecular adhesive that would become a part of him like a second skin. In the end, he gained the strength of a Rhinoceros and a costume that is similar in looks to one, horns and all. He was made into the perfect assassin, but unaware to the doctors who performed the experiment on him, his intelligence increased as well. The Rhino thought he was too strong to take orders from anyone and busted free, planning to make money on his own committing acts of sabotage and other criminal acts.
Peter and Mary Jane arrive at the location where the Rhino is, and Peter goes off on his own, telling MJ that he is going to try to sell some pics to the Bugle. Peter changes into Spider-Man and confronts the Rhino once again. The Rhino charges at Spider-Man a couple of time and misses every time until he charges right into a garbage can, but easily bursts free from it. Now very much angered by not being able to lay his horns on Spider-Man, the Rhino now charges straight for the crowd, trying to force Spider-Man to try and stop him. Spider-Man leaps for the Rhino and gets him by the horn, then slams him on the ground. The angered Rhino lets Spider-Man get the best of him again, as he charges at Spider-Man again, but misses and lands right into a parked car. An massive explosion occurs from the car, and Spider-Man is pulled away by a brave policeman. The Rhino, thinking that there was no way that Spider-Man could have survived the explosion, escapes the scene and plans to go after Colonel Jameson again.
Spider-Man changes into Peter Parker, then takes Mary Jane home after making a date for the next night. Peter then stops by the Daily Bugle to sell his just taken action shots of Spider-Man against the Rhino to publisher J. Jonah Jameson. While there, Peter learns that the younger Jameson is at a hospital recovering from last issue. Peter then changes to Spider-Man and makes a visit to Dr. Curt Connors (AKA The Lizard) bringing a sample of the Rhino's hide with him for analysis. Doc Connors thinks that maybe if he changes into the Lizard, he may be able to defeat the Rhino. Well, usually when Connors shows up, the Lizard is not far behind! See next issue for what I mean! Anyway, they find what they have been looking for, and Spider-Man leaves his lab.
Spider-Man then looks out for the Rhino while outside the hospital where John Jameson is recovering. His spider sense begins to tingle, then the Rhino busts through a wall to Jameson's bed. Spider-Man rushes in to aid the guard who is there to protect Jameson, and then Spider-Man shoots a specially designed brand of his webbing all over the Rhino that he and Connors just devised. The webbing begins to burn through the Rhino's thick hide dissolving it off of his body, then Spider-Man knocks him out with one punch to the jaw. The agents come and take the Rhino away, and Spider-Man changes into Peter Parker and rides off on his motorbike. He "bumps" into Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, and Gwen Stacy in a car, where it is announced that Flash has been drafted for the war. Peter then goes home to find out that his Aunt May is not feeling too well. Peter discovers that she hasn't re-filled her prescription, and plans to devote more time to her. Unfortunately, Peter has to break his date with Mary Jane the next night, but she takes it very well.
Excellent origin issue concerning the Rhino. The Rhino goes on to become a very big Hulk villain in his next appearance in The Incredible Hulk #104 where the original scientists that helped create him are back to make him stronger. He continues to be mainly a Hulk villain with appearances in The Incredible Hulk #124, 157-160, 171 & 218. He makes the rounds in the Marvel Universe like very few villains have in his career, but has been somewhat mis-classified as a Spider-Man villain only. In fact, the next time the Rhino faces off against Spider-Man isn't until Marvel Team-Up #102, where he battles both Spider-Man and Doc Samson.
Also see Spider-Man: Blue #2 for additional events surrounding this landmark issue.
Marvel Tales #32
Marvel Tales #183
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 22
Spider-Man Essentials II
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