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Marvel Fixed 1 Spider-Man Plot Hole with an Incredibly Dark Solution – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Marvel Fixed 1 Spider-Man Plot Hole with an Incredibly Dark Solution



The Rhino is one of the most notorious villains in Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery. However, his characterisation has been inconsistent throughout the comics. Sometimes, he’s portrayed as one of the smartest people in the room, while other times he’s depicted as one of the dumbest. In some cases, he falls somewhere in between.

Marvel has attempted to make sense of this inconsistency in Savage Avengers #20 by Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher, Java Tartaglia, Travis Lanham, Martin Biro, Alanna Smith, and Tom Brevoort. In this story, Rhino teams up with anti-hero Conan to carry out a big heist in the hope of saving his favourite bar from going under. During their collaboration, Rhino reveals that his psychologist thinks he has concussion syndrome. This condition refers to symptoms of a serious brain injury that last longer than expected, such as memory loss, concentration problems, drowsiness, mood swings, and personality changes.

Given how often Rhino slams his head into things, his condition should not come as a surprise. Rhino’s characterisation in Marvel Comics has been complicated, with different writers portraying him differently. For instance, in Flowers for Rhino, he makes decisions that can be best described as idiotic and often gets beaten by being tricked into running into something. In contrast, in The Gauntlet arc or the Ends of the Earth story, he is not only incredibly intelligent but also a sophisticated philosopher. In Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2, Rhino is neither a genius nor a fool but instead falls somewhere in between.

Savage Avengers is the closest Marvel has ever come to making sense of the Rhino’s inconsistencies. The story reveals that Rhino is not a foolish oaf but a relatively intelligent person who struggles with serious brain injuries sporadically. This revelation is tragic for the Rhino, given his fate. He is best known for running headfirst into things, just like a real rhino. However, he also regularly gets hit in the head by people like the Hulk.

In conclusion, the Rhino’s characterisation in Marvel Comics has been inconsistent throughout the years. However, Savage Avengers sheds light on the possible reason for this inconsistency – Rhino’s concussion syndrome. This condition explains why Rhino sometimes behaves foolishly, while at other times, he is highly intelligent. Despite his villainous nature, Rhino’s fate is tragic, given his struggles with serious brain injuries.

As one of the most famous villains in Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery, the Rhino continues to be inconsistently characterized in the comics, but there is now a canon explanation as to why. Depending on the story, Rhino stands tall among either the smartest people in the room or the dumbest in the room, and sometimes he’s just somewhere in between.


Marvel tries to make sense of it the inconsistency in Savage Avengers #20 by Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher, Java Tartaglia, Travis Lanham, Martin Biro, Alanna Smith, and Tom Brevoort. In the story, the anti-hero Conan decides to work with Rhino to collaborate on a big heist in hopes of getting the money he needs to save his favorite bar from going under. It is during this team-up and an ensuing run-in with Spider-Man that Rhino reveals his psychologist thinks he has concussion syndrome. Also known as a persistent post-concussive syndrome, the condition refers to what happens to someone when symptoms of a serious brain injury last longer than expected, long after the initial injury. Such symptoms include memory loss, concentration problems, drowsiness, mood swings, and personality changes. For as often as Rhino, slams his head into things, this should come as no surprise.

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Rhino Has Had a Lot of Concussions

Spider-Man villain Rhino has a concussion

To say that the depiction of Rhino in Marvel Comics is complicated would be an understatement. It’s rare to find two consecutive comics that depict the lumbering giant in the same way. Works like Flowers for Rhino showcase him making decisions that can be best summarized as idiotic, often being beaten by being tricked into running into something. Then there are instances like The Gauntlet arc or the Ends of the Earth story, where Rhino is not only incredibly intelligent but also a sophisticated philosopher. There are also instances like in Miles Morales: Spider-Man #2 (and, really, most of Rhino’s interactions with Miles) where Rhino is neither genius nor foolish. Instead, he’s in more of an average middle ground.

spider-man and rhino in marvel comics

Most readers can assume the change boils down to different writers viewing Rhino differently than others and depicting him as such. However, Savage Avengers is the closest that Marvel has ever come to trying to make sense of these inconsistencies. Thankfully, it’s done in a way that makes perfect sense. After all, this is a villain who is best known for running headfirst into things just like a real rhino. Rhino also finds himself getting hit in the head by people like the Hulk on a regular basis.

As it turns out, Rhino isn’t some foolish oaf after all. Instead, he’s a relatively smart person who sporadically finds himself struggling through serious brain injuries. This Spider-Man villain’s fate should not come as a surprise at all, but at the same time, it does read as awfully tragic for the Rhino.

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