Comics : Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) #6
This review was first published on: 2004.
Spider-man Unlimited (Vol.3) is a 2-in-1 story combo that has new talent featured in its pages. The two stories are usually different enough so that you'll like at least one of them. At least I think that's Marvel's goal...
Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 3) #6 (Story 1)
Jan 2005 : SM Title
This sad issue starts off with the Rhino holding Spidey up by the chin, and Spider-Man thinking how some villains are fun to fight, but not the Rhino. the Rhino makes his "heart skip a beat". After getting mashed into a pillar, thrown though a window onto the street, getting batted by a street lamp into some random fat guy's living room, Spider-Man loses to the Rhino. Luckily for Spidey, the Rhino made an escape while Spider-Man was incapacitated.
Faced with the humiliation of reporters following him and having to take the subway home clad in Spider-Man gear due to a gimpy arm, he makes it home only to shower, lose a tooth, and pass out on the floor. Mary Jane manages to get him into the hospital, where his doctor deduces that he's a superhero and tells him to take it easy for the next few weeks.
The defeat seems to eat him up. In his classroom, he sees his kids wearing (very cute) Rhino hoods. He imagines how he could have beaten up the Rhino if he'd just...ducked or puched instead of webbed. Even when the Rhino is caught by Captain America and Iron Man, the Rhino still taunts Peter by yelling, "As long as Spider-Man didn't take me down!" Even MJ is wearing a Rhino hood.
All in all, Peter's resolve is stronger after this defeat. He decides that if ever he falls again, he's going to get back up and "try even harder the next go 'round."
During the first story, while in the shower, Peter makes a reference to feeling like a boxer after losing a big fight, using the water to wash away the stink of defeat. In my opinion, this would have been better suited for a Daredevil story, since his father was a boxer and since Murdock boxes. Also I don't remember Spider-Man ever really being afraid of a chucklehead like the Rhino. Venom, I can understand. Carnage? Yes. Green Goblin (Norman)? Definitely. But Rhino?
Even though Spider-Man does have super strengh, he's (arguably) been a brains- over-brawn kind of character. For him to be scared of a mass of dumb muscle like the Rhino is a disgrace. However, I did enjoy seeing the doctor that Peter went to to diagnose himself. It added a little bit of realism to Peter's story. Peter seldom goes to the hospital. He lets his own natural healing do the work for him so naturally his bones would heal improperly sometimes. It just made good sense.
By itself, "The Agony of Defeat" got two webs. If not for the fact the Rhino scares Peter, I'd have given it more. His sulking and healing process was just really good character development. Even heroes fall sometimes. The art was right on. I especially liked seeing Rhino's reflection in Spidey's eyepiece.