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Jul 1

Mid-Year Freedom Memory

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

AS41I was seven years old the summer I read my first comic book.

It was a hot, sunny day as I sat on the concrete porch of my parents’ house. For the first time I opened a used and somewhat worn copy of a comic book. It was Amazing Spider-Man issue 41.

Not knowing the story, the cover picturing a giant man in a rhinoceros costume charging out of the cover fascinated me.


Aleksei-somebody (Sytsevich) was a Russian criminal who underwent treatments to transform him into a man with superhuman strength bonded to a huge, intimidating, rhino costume.

When we are introduced to the Rhino he’s charging across the Mexican border with bullets ricocheting off his Rhino hide. He’s traveling to New York City on foot. (Really? Yeah!?)

Peter Parker is, the costumed superhero, the Amazing Spider-Man.

When Peter realizes that the Rhino reached New York City, dressed as Spider-Man, Peter goes to find the Rhino.

When Spider-Man confronts Rhino he learns Rhino’s been hired to kidnap Peter’s boss’s son.

Spider-Man begins to fight Rhino but realizes he’s outgunned. Spider-Man can’t defeat Rhino if he faces him head-on. Cleverly Spider-Man “trips and flips Rhino onto his head knocking him unconscious for the police to arrest him.” 1


We learn that Aleksei chose his criminal lifestyle in order to provide for his family. He also seemed thrilled to be big and powerful and seemingly invincible. Unfortunately for the Rhino his brawn was far superior to his brain.

On the other hand, Peter was a brilliant high school honors student. Peter worked part-time as a photographer to help support he and his aunt (who’d been his guardian since the death of his parents). Unlike the Rhino, who used his power to hurt and exploit people for personal gain, Peter demonstrated through words and actions what he’d learned from his recently deceased Uncle Ben, “with great power there must also come great responsibility.”

This week I’m thinking about freedom. I believe that “with great freedom there must also come great responsibility;” that’s #mysilentscream.

1 – Marvel Comics Database

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