Described by writer Mike Conroy as "famously one of Spider-Man's dimmest villains", the character debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #41–43 (Oct. –Dec. 1966) as a thug for hire working for an Eastern Bloc country. He volunteers to participate in an experiment that bonds a super strong polymer to his skin and also augments his strength and speed. Rhino returned in Hulk, vol. 2, #104 (June 1968), and although he dies at the end of the story, the character proved popular enough to be revived, becoming a perennial opponent for both Spider-Man and the Hulk. The character achieved significant exposure in the 1980s and 1990s, appearing in both a solo capacity and as a villain for hire in over a dozen titles. Significant appearances included starring in the limited series Deadly Foes of Spider-Man #1–4 (May–Aug. 1991); the "Flowers for Rhino" storyline in Spider-Man's Tangled Web # 5–6 (Oct. –Nov. 2001), which is told from the character's perspective; and Punisher War Journal vol. 2, #13–15 (Jan. –Mar. 2008), in which Rhino begins to rethink his lifestyle.