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Amazing Spider-Man #41: Review

Oct 1966
Stan Lee, John Romita

Story Name:

The Horns of the Rhino!

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Amazing Spider-Man #41 Review by (March 20, 2024)

Review: There’s a surprising amount to talk about concerning this issue, with tons of developments, almost acting as the beginning of a new chapter for Spidey! First off, we have the debut of another classic villain with the Rhino, noticeably smaller than he would be later but still very dangerous! Spidey’s fight with the Rhino is wonderfully drawn by John Romita, with great dynamic shots and a stylish resolution to their fight! We have John Jameson, whom Rhino is after, due to getting infected with some mysterious space spores, which will be followed up on next issue! This is John’s first appearance since the very first issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which is also recounted in this issue. There’s a nice juxtaposition in that John likes Spider-Man, in complete contrast to his father. Peter also buys his motorcycle this issue, which will be around for a number of years.

On the supporting cast front, Anna Watson offers Aunt May to move in with her, which will open up new avenues of storytelling. Peter also runs into Betty after a long time of not seeing each other and the encounter is extremely awkward, with Peter realizing that whatever they had is well and truly gone. It’s just as well, as Peter and Gwen are starting to realize how attracted they are to each other, as the whole college group and Peter are getting off on a much better foot now. Not only that, there’s yet another potential love interest right around the corner, as next issue Peter finally meets Mary Jane Watson! The poor guy is dreading the encounter, believing she’ll be boring and unattractive but oh how wrong can he be! On a personal note, I have a big soft spot for this issue. When I was a kid, I got a Rhino action figure that came with a reprint of this issue, making this the first single issue of a Spider-Man comic that I owned! Overall, it’s a snazzy, action-packed issue with tons of developments for the future, while promising the introduction of a lifetime next issue! 

Comments: First appearance of the Rhino and first battle with Spider-Man. First appearance of John Jameson since ASM #1. Mike Esposito is credited as Mickey Demeo for inking.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Amazing Spider-Man #41 Synopsis by Anthony Silvestro

Starting off on a slower note, we find Aunt May chatting with her friend Anna Watson, when Anna suggests that since Peter is in college now, that May sell the house and move in with her! Aunt May is reluctant however, still fretful about Peter, being his own family. Meanwhile, Peter Parker has his eyes set on buying a motorcycle and calls J. Jonah Jameson to vouch for his loan. Jameson agrees, knowing that Peter will have to sell him even more photos if he’s in debt. John Jameson, Jonah’s astronaut son, is visiting and asks what his father has against Spider-Man. John then recounts the sequence from all the way back in ASM #1 when Spider-Man saved him by attaching a new guidance system to the space craft he was in. This just gets Jonah more riled up, claiming that Spider-Man robbed John of his glory and that people need to be reminded of the menace Spider-Man truly is. John tries switching gears and tells Jonah the real reasoning he’s visiting, namely that on his most recent trip to space, that he may have gotten infected with some mysterious space spores, and that he’s being constantly guarded against foreign powers that may want to study him because of it!

Speaking of one such power, our scene changes to a southern border of the U.S. where a large, lumbering man called the Rhino is making his way across. The border patrol find their bullets ineffective as the Rhino charges right through the blockade as he continues on to his target! Back with Peter, he’s daydreaming about his new motorcycle when he suddenly runs into Betty Brant! They greet each other and grab a coffee together but both find the entire situation awkward, with nothing to talk about. Peter can’t believe that after all of their history together that things are so strained and weird between them now; that anything they had before is truly gone. Ned Leeds then appears as well and Peter takes the opportunity to excuse himself, in order to end the awkward scene for everyone. Just then, Peter sees news footage of the Rhino making his way to New York, as Peter realizes that he’ll probably have to tussle with him if he does make there.

Peter then spots the two Jamesons and goes over to thank Jonah for his loan voucher, noting the federal agents that are watching John. Peter makes his way home where Aunt May is wrapped up in her thoughts about Anna Watson’s proposal. Peter then gets to studying with a million different thoughts racing through his mind. Not long after, the Rhino makes it to New York, which Peter is alerted to by a news bulletin, as he goes out to stop him as Spider-Man. Rhino arrives at the hotel John Jameson is staying at, smashing through the door and grabbing him. Spidey quickly catches up to them and leaps on the Rhino, but gets swatted off, surprised by how fast he is. Spidey avoids the Rhino’s attacks and finds his own punches ineffective, only managing to lightly stun him.

Spidey tries to keep Rhino’s attention on him while the police riot squad make their way there. Spidey taunts Rhino and tries webbing him up, noting that Rhino’s attacks are getting slower, proving that he’s getting tired. After dodging more attacks, with the Rhino tired and off balance, Spidey flips his legs around the Rhino’s neck, slamming his face into the ground, and ending the battle with style! With John Jameson okay, Spidey leaves him and the unconscious Rhino for the police, while John tries to prove to his father that Spider-Man saved him. Spidey, meanwhile, realizes that he forgot to get any photos of the encounter! The next day, Peter is finally taking his new motorcycle for a spin as he runs into Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, and Flash Thompson. Gwen and Peter talk about Peter’s new bike as both of them realize how attracted they are to each other. Peter rides home where he shows off his motorcycle to Aunt May and Anna Watson. Anna soon leaves and Aunt May reminds Peter that they’re going over to Anna’s place soon so that Peter can meet Anna’s niece, Mary Jane! Peter isn’t looking forward to the encounter but decides that he should get it over with, and he’ll be glad he did!

John Romita
Mike Esposito
John Romita (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

J. Jonah Jameson
J. Jonah Jameson

(JJ Jameson)
May Parker
May Parker

(Aunt May)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Anna Watson, Betty Brant, John Jameson, Ned Leeds.

> Amazing Spider-Man: Book info and issue index

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