Credits: Kurt Busiek (writer), Pat Broderick (penciler), Sam De La Rosa (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Tom Smith (colorist)
Spider-Man and X-Factor stop Mirrorshade from killing Flash Thompson, but fellow Shadowforce member Airborne takes him away. They rejoin the rest of Shadowforce in Washington, taking over their former headquarters and demanding that their criminal sentences be commuted. X-Factor battles Shadowforce while Spider-Man looks for the power core that gives them superpowers. Unbeknownst to Spider-Man, Shadowforce are now powered with battery packs and have wired the core to explode. Spider-Man talks their leader, Hardtime, into surrendering. Hardtime saves everyone from the explosion, and Spider-Man gives a disc with incriminating evidence against the government to a reporter. General Sharpe, the man in charge of the project, is soon dishonorably discharged and faces criminal charges.
So, in the final chapter, the generic heroes beat the generic villains and the generic evil Army General goes to jail (why are military higher-ups always bad guys in comics?). Spending an entire issue of Spider-Man Unlimited on this would’ve been a stretch, but dedicating an entire miniseries to such a dull story is unforgivable. Out of all of the various team-ups between the X-franchise and Spider-Man Marvel could’ve done, this is the one they chose? X-Factor, in their blandest incarnation yet, teaming up with Spider-Man to stop these losers? They could’ve done a sequel to Spider-Man vs. Wolverine. They could’ve teamed up old-school hero Spider-Man with gun-happy Cable. Spider-Man could have met Deadpool for the first time. Spider-Man could have assisted the Beast on one of his experiments and ran into trouble. Mr. Sinister could have investigated whether or not Spider-Man is a mutant. Spider-Man could have just joined the X-Men for a few “quiet” issues where they discussed their problems. Anything would have been more interesting than this. This is the type of comic I read as a kid, shrugged my shoulders, and promptly forgot about its existence while I played Super Mario Kart.