This time round I remembered Marvel had 'revamped' all of Spidey's main villains in the story arc The Gauntlet and thought I'd give that a whirl. Attracted by Joe Kelly's writing, I picked up the two issues regarding the rouge I never really put much thought into, yet now having read The Amazing Spider-Man 617 and 625 I can't think of anyone but. These Rhino issues are pure genius.
Backed by a shadow organisation, the new Rhino wants one thing before he carries out their schemes, and that is to ascend into his title by defeating the original Rhino in combat. But there's a catch - Aleksei Sytsevich isn't who he once was. He has found Oksana, a good natured woman who has seen through his rocky exterior and convinced him of the man that lie inside the beast.
Witnessing Aleksei try to reason his way out of the confrontation, Spidey's intervention forces the new upstart to leave. As the newcomers hostile actions mount, Spider-Man convinces Aleksei to leave the Rhino suit buried and enter a relocation scheme which will grant the lovebirds a new shot at life.
But the new Rhino's financiers aren't without their contacts and what follows is a shocking twist of events that breaks the hearts of every character in the book, and those who read it's pages. More than that, it breaks the only heart Aleksei ever knew, and leaves him with the only thing that remains...
Joe Kelly also manages to rebuild that Spidey classic of having his real world fall down around his ears as he saves the world with an optimistic wit, by having Parker search for work in part one and reluctantly join an unemployment benefit line in part two.