Appearing in "A House Is Not a Home"
- Landlord and his hired thugs (Only appearance)
Synopsis for "A House Is Not a Home"
Spider-Man is web-slinging through the city when he suddenly hears the sounds of police sirens. Not far away, an elderly man is threatening a group of hoodlums with a meat cleaver, accusing them of driving him from his home. When the police arrive, they try to get the old man to stand down, but he still tries to attack. The officers arrest the old man, and when he tries to lash out with his meat cleaver again, Spider-Man disarms him with a web-line. With the old man disarmed, the cops decide not to arrest him. After taking pictures of the scene for the Daily Bugle, Spider-Man comes down to the street when the thugs begin to protest. When he tells the gang to scram, he learns that they also live in the building as well. The officers explain that the gang moved in not that long ago and have been hassling all the other tenants, and that old man is the only one who stands up to them. When the wall-crawler asks why they don't do anything more to help the elderly man, the officers explain that it is a busy city. When they point out that Spider-Man isn't taking time out of his day to do the same thing. Seeing their point, Spider-Man web-slings back home.
Slipping through his skylight, Peter changes out of his costume when a note slides under his door. Poking his head outside, he finds his neighbor Glory Grant and asks her if she was the one who dropped off the note. She explains that she is rallying people in the neighborhood to stop the gentrification that is sweeping the area and driving people out of their homes. Peter wishes he could make the time, but explains that he is busy. Glory insists on the importance of this meeting, but Peter insists that he is too busy to attend the meeting. At the Daily Bugle, Peter tries to sell his photos of the condition of the project he was in the other night. Joe doesn't buy the photos given that they already ran a feature on that neighborhood. When Peter asks why the press isn't doing anything about the situation, Joe Robertson's response mirrors that of the police officers the night before. Joe tells Peter that he needs to find a unique angle for the story to be run again. This is overheard by reporter Blaine Browne who tells them that the tenants of the neighborhood are trying to organize and run out the gangs that are turning their area into a slum.
That evening, Peter meets up with Blaine in the neighborhood to research their story. They go into a slum building where they attempt to speak with the man trying to organize the other tenants. However, he doesn't want to talk and slams the door on their face. That's when the gang who Peter encountered yesterday try to rough him up. Thankfully, Peter's spider-sense helps him dodge the surprise attack. However, the leader of the gang warns them that nobody will talk to them and tells them to leave, or else. However, as soon as the thugs leave, the elderly man from the night before opens his apartment door and invites Peter and Blaine inside to talk. The old man introduces himself as Dominic Castellano and explains that he has lived in the building for decades. It shows, as Blaine instantly notices that it is in better shape than the other apartments in the building. Dominic tells them that it isn't poverty that is killing this building but greed. He tells them that the landlord who owns the building had decided to convert the building into a luxury condo. However, none of the tenants had the money to buy in. In order to drive people out, the landlord hired a gang to torment the tenants and allowed the building to go into a state of disrepair. With no utilities or services, and the combination of the gangs and drug addicts imported, the tenants now live in fear. Dominic, shedding a tear, tells his guests that this fear is what killed his wife.
After their interview with Dominic, Blaine has the story she needs and wonders what else can be done. Peter tells her that it will take tenants in the area and other landlords to fight for the rights of everyone who makes the neighborhood home. He then runs into Glory Grant who asks Peter if he will be joining the tenants meeting. To her delight, Peter agrees to be in attendance. Later that night, Peter returns to Castellano's apartment building as Spider-Man to keep an eye on the gang that hangs out there. Suddenly, he hears a scream coming from Chelsea Park and comes to the aid of a woman being mugged. On his way back, Spider-Man hears sirens and fear that he is going to see a repeat of the night before. However, it is worse than he expected, as he sees the lifeless body of Dominic Castellano bleeding out on the ground. The gang members claim that Dominic jumped from the roof, but the other tenants insist that he was pushed. Unfortunately, the police can't do anything without proof that demonstrates that he was pushed. Although Spider-Man failed to keep Dominic safe, he decides to do something for the tenants of the building. After the police have left, the gang decide to set fire to the building in order to drive out the last of the remaining tenants. However, they are unaware that Spider-Man is stalking them.
Although he takes out most of the gang members, their leader begins to panic. Seeing Spider-Man in the darkness, the gang leader tosses his molitov cocktail, setting the building on fire. Spider-Man begins herding the tenants out until the super intendent takes over. Spider-Man goes back in for the gang leader, who has become trapped in the burning building. Spider-Man chases him around the raging inferno until the gang member is begging to be left alone. Convinced that he has experienced the same fear as the tenants he tormented, Spider-Man tells the thug to turn himself in or he will be back. The gang member escapes the burning building and surrenders to the authorities. In the aftermath of the nights events, Spider-Man realizes that more needs to be done. Later that evening, Peter attends the tenants meeting. Peter listens to a speech that explains that although the current fire led to the shady landlord getting arrested, the representative says there are still too many greedy landlords trying to drive out tenants. When Glory Grant comes by with a petition, Peter unquestioningly signs it.
- This story is a fill-in story that takes place many years prior to the continuity during the year of publication. While the Marvel Chronology Project states that this story happens right after Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #6, this has been identified as an error on their message board. This link indicates where this fits in continuity.