Appearing in "The Vengeance Gambit"
- Harry Dolenz (Only appearance; dies)
- Harvey K. Farber (Only appearance)
- Black Alfred (First appearance)
- Smitty, Black Alfred's assistant (Only appearance)
- Herman, Black Alfred's henchman (Only appearance)
- Mancini, ganglord (Only appearance; dies)
- Joey, Harry's friend and fellow criminal (Only appearance)
- Frank, police officer (Only appearance)
- Black Alfred's unnamed Chinatown assassin
- Big Louie (Corpse), former ganglord
- The Kingpin (Mentioned)
- D.A. Tower (Mentioned)
- Mysterious Woman (Mentioned)
- New York
Synopsis for "The Vengeance Gambit"
Despite the cold winds, Spider-Man goes on patrol over New York City. However, he is not the only one that out on this evening, as the wall-crawler spots a funeral procession in progress. For some reason, he feels the need to snap a photo of the procession, just in case he might be able to sell them to Barney Bushkin at the Daily Globe. The procession stops in front of a building and six men carry a coffin inside where a funeral is taking place. These men are all members of the mob and are carrying the body of recently murdered crime boss Big Louie. The priest overseeing this funeral is a man named Malachi Toomes. He explains that after the retirement of the Kingpin, the mobs of New York are struggling for control of his former empire. Malachi's uncle is trying to take over all the mobs, and the fact that Big Louie had other ideas led to his abrupt death. He tells the gathered mobsters that his uncle requires items to decorate his headquarters and asks if there are any objections regarding obtaining them. When none are made, the crooks are sent off to complete their tasks. That's when Malachi's uncle enters the room and congratulates his nephew for carrying out his bidding.
A few days later, Harry Dolenz is worried about this new crime boss, especially since Big Louie was the strongest of all the mob leaders. Opening the sealed envelope given to him by Malachi, he is upset by what he has been ordered to steal. The object that he was supposed to steal is a statue monkey being put on display in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year Celebration. Harry attempts to steal the statue himself, but he is gunned down in the process, his murder unheard due to the fireworks that were being shot off at the time. Not far away, Spider-Man is snapping photos of the celebrations and has unknowingly recorded this murder on film. After setting the photos to develop, Peter takes a much-needed rest. Meanwhile, Dolenz's body is put on display in Malachi's funeral home. There Malachi discusses the continued dissension in the ranks with his uncle. Malachi's uncle finds that the man responsible for killing the others is becoming a problem and plots to deal with him.
The next morning, Peter Parker delivers his photos to Barney Buskin at the Globe before having to rush across town to teach a lecutre at Empire State Univeristy. However, he arrives late and discovers that most of his class had walked out on him. A few hours later, Peter checks in with Barney who tells Peter to come to the Globe immediately. It's then that Peter discovers that he photographed the murder of Harry Dolenz. Peter is distrubed that a murder could happen so close to him without triggering his spider sense. Elsewhere in the city, another mobster named Black Alfred is working out before getting down to buisness. When his minions become impatient, Alfred explains that he needs to keep in the top of his shape so he can take over the mobs from Malachi's uncle. While in Harlem, some thugs are roughing up one of Alfred's men in order to learn his location. While not far away, Spider-Man is investigating the murder of Harry Dolenz when he overhears a police bulletin about a robbery in progress in Harlem. He quickly webs up the thieves and demands answers about Dolenz's murder.
At that moment, the thugs who are looking for Black Alfred are tricked into going to an elevated subway platform where they are ambushed by Alfred and his men. Under fire, the two mobsters end up falling onto the electrified third rail of the subwway track and are electrocuted to death. While across town, Spider-Man has learned about Malachi Tooms and his plan to control the cities mobs. Seeking more information, the wall-crawler breaks into the office of the District Attorney to see what he can find in the records. Reading the documents on Malachi Tooms, Spider-Man is surprised to discover that Toomes is involved with one of his old foes. While at that moment, Black Alfred and his men steal the object that Toomes wanted to steal, a golden statue. Not long after, Spider-Man comes crashing into Malachi's funeral home.
Crashing inside, Spider-Man fights his way through an army of mobsters to get at Malachi Toomes. However, when he confronts Toomes, he is sprayed in the face with knock out gas that is hidden in the flower on Malachi's lapel. When Spider-Man comes to, he finds himself chained up in a coffin that is being rolled into a crematory oven. He tries to break free, but he is still too weak from the gas. Watching over his impending demise is Malachi's uncle and Spider-Man's longtime foe, the Vulture!
- Malachi meantions the recent reitrement of the Kingpin, that happened in Amazing Spider-Man #197.
- The Chinese New Year Celebrations in this story are identified as taking place during the Year of the Monkey. At the time of this publication, it was the year of the monkey on the Chinese Zodiac. This and the depiction of the jade statue of a monkey should be considered topical reference as per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Having said that, the comic-book was published on July, 1980, which was really the year of the Monkey in the Chinese calendar, having started on February 16th, 1980 per the Western calendar.
- Likewise, should the depiction of the District Attorney's office having paper records should also be considered topical.
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