Unlike all of the other cross-species, which were created after Curt Connors terrorized the city as the Lizard, Rhino was the result of a pet project of Connors' direct superior, Rajit Ratha. As Connors and Peter Parker worked to develop the serum that would ultimately turn Connors into the Lizard, Ratha applied what he had learned through Connors' research to black-market dealings. Without the knowledge or consent of his superiors at Oscorp, Ratha forcefully enlisted the help of Michael Morbius, threatening to end the reclusive biochemist's career if he refused to help. Morbius reluctantly complied, applying the rhinoceros DNA with which Ratha supplied him to a cross-species serum similar in nature to Connors' own for the Lizard.
Ratha's next step was to test the serum, and his underworld clients were all too happy to provide his oblivious human test subject: a low-level thug named Aleksei Sytsevich. If it worked, the mafia would have a new weapon on its hands; if not... no great loss.
After an excruciatingly painful transformation, Sytsevich was now a hybrid of man and rhinoceros, ready to tear apart anything in his path - Ratha's clients would be pleased. Unfortuanetly for the corrupted businessman, however, his own life was taken by the Lizard before the transaction could be completed. Morbius would soon claim that he created Rhino entirely of his own volition, with help from Connors' notes. Also, knowing that animalizing a human crossed an ethical line even at Oscorp, Morbius furthered the lie to suggest that Rhino was in fact originally a rhinoceros that was infused with human DNA. Only Sytsevich knows otherwise.
After the breakout of all the cross-species at Oscorp, the Rhino was found in a parking lot, surrounded by cars and trucks: things he loved to smash. Spider-Man found his way to the lot and fought him which resluted in the wall-crawling superhero slamming him through the pavement. Days later, Spidey would hear of reports of incidents and disturbances in the sewers. No doubt it's another cross-species, Spider-Man thought, and he was right. The Rhino was back, and the two battled it out once more before Spider-Man threw him into an electrical pit, and Sytsevich hasn't been seen since.
- The Rhino that appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series has the same appearance as the Rhino from the video game continuity.