Aleksei began as just another muscle head dumb thug in the Russian Mafia. Seduced by promises of wealth and power, Aleksei underwent a life-threatening series of chemical and radiation treatments throughout several months to transform him into an agent with superhuman strength for a collective of professional spies. In part, this was to support his family.
Aleksei's powerful armor, permanently bonded to his form, was modeled after the hide of a rhinoceros. Two scientists named Igor and Georgi chose this form, both for its visual impact and in recognition of the fact that the rhino was the result of countless generations of evolution towards the ultimate form for armored assault. They selected Aleksei for his muscular physique and low intelligence, which they believed would ensure his loyalty. Given the code-name Rhino, his first mission was to kidnap astronaut John Jameson and random him. He received intensive sub-hypnotic training in American English, and false citizenship papers bearing the name Alex O'Hirn. Feeling cocky, he turned on his benefactors, destroying their headquarters, and attempted to abduct Jameson under his own initiative. As the Rhino made his way towards New York City, Spider-Man began to formulate how to defeat this apparently unstoppable foe, and discovered two key factors: 1) Once he began charging, the Rhino couldn't change directions or easily halt his advance, and 2) Aleksei was rather dumb. Spider-Man defeated the Rhino, sending the villain to a special state correctional hospital where he was kept under heavy sedation. After a few weeks, the Rhino broke out of the hospital and escaped, seeking revenge on Spider-Man, and adding another rouge to the wall crawlers gallery.
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Source | MarvelWiki; #MyBrain