Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #5-6 (2001): Flowers for Rhino

In a brilliant riff off the Hugo-winning sci fi story, “Flowers for Algernon,” Tangled Web offers it’s third home run in a row.  This time, it’s about the mentally challenged (i.e., stupid) Rhino.  It’s the second story in a row where this anthology focuses on a “victim” of Spider-Man.  Last story, Severance Package, was about a guy facing execution by Kingpin after Spidey messed up his arms deal.  This time, Spider-Man’s banter and insults drive Rhino to the depths of insecurity.

Sick of being humiliated, Rhino undergoes a scientific process to enhance his intelligence.  He then uses his newfound smarts to file a restraining order against Spider-Man, start up his own crime family, and rewrites a Shakespearian play. At one point, he breaks Mad Thinker and Mind Worm out of prison to start a super-smart gang.

But in the end, he finds is unhappy knowing and seeing so many problems in the world and learns that ignorance is indeed truly bliss.  He uses his super-brain to reverse the process, and goes back to using his head for violence not thought.


Leave a Comment