"A TRAITOR LURKS INSIDE EARTH” When the missile defense robot John Doe begins acting against orders, Batman decides he's going to need some expert assistance and recruits the Metal Men to try and find out what exactly is going on!
Batman is called to the Pentagon to deal with a matter of national security. Batman is given the history on an artificial intelligence, designated "John Doe". The brain child of scientist Brian Cosgrove, John Doe runs a completely automated underground nerve center, designed to detect, counter, and retaliate against missile attacks. Of late, John Doe has been behaving erratically. Batman is brought into a communications room, to meet John Doe. There, on an enormous view screen appears the robot in question. When questioned as to why John Doe has refused to carry out it's programming, the robot responds in a manner both insulting and rebellious. John Doe's creator, Cosgrove has gone missing, thus Batman is tasked with discovering the missing scientist's whereabouts. Batman journeys to Cosgrove's apartment, and eavesdrops on a phone conversation between Cosgrove and his butler. Batman palms a small seashell, off the floor of Cosgrove's apartment, and departs. Behind him the shadowy figure of the butler watches through the window, his face, revealed to be a mask, lain upon the nightstand. Batman traces the seashell to Annibel Island. Entering Cosgrove's home, on the island, Batman discovers the scientist dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. A tape recorder, with the rewind button depressed catches Batman's eye. To gage it's reaction, John Doe is told of Cosgrove's death. John Doe reacts with flippancy. Batman accuses John Doe of murdering Cosgrove, an act the malevolent machine does not deny. A slow cycle signal, beneath the range of human hearing, had been transmitted, over the telephone, during Cosgrove's conversation with his butler. The same signal had been recorded by Cosgrove's answering machine. When played back on rewind, the signal became an ultrasonic, hypnotic sound that drove Cosgrove to suicide.
At that moment, in another city, Mercury pays a call on his former teammate, Gold. Mercury is disgusted that Gold has been trying to pass himself off as human. Touting a new age of Robot Liberation, Mercury convinces Gold to round up the rest of the Metal Men, so that they may join the coming revolution. The Metal Men attend a symposium on Robot Liberation, headed by a robot with the designation "X-174-2". Batman makes contact with the Metal Men, at the symposium, to enlist their aid against John Doe. Half the team seems reluctant to assist humans against a robot threat. Batman produces the Last Will and Testament of Will Magnus, the creator of the Metal Men. Magnus' words sway the Metal Men. The Metal Men are loaded into a rocket pod, then fired deep into the Earth, to reach John Doe's underground stronghold. A short time later, the Metal Men contact the surface, using John Doe's radio frequency. To Batman's horror, the Metal Men declare their unity with John Doe, in the name of Robot Liberation. Batman suddenly realizes that he recognized X-174-2's voice as that of Cosgrove's butler. John Doe issues his first ultimatum. All leadership positions in the United States of America are to be filled with robots, or else John Doe will fire all the missiles, at his commend. Batman notices that bats in the area are flying erratically. Batman follows the bats back to a series of caverns, noting that the radiation levels are much higher in the caves. Batman determines that the atomic weapon that created John Doe's lair also opened a crack into the bat's caverns. Believing there may be another way to reach John Doe, Batman descends, deeper and deeper, into the caverns. Batman does, indeed, discover John Doe's capsule, but the heat and radiation finally get the best of him. Batman collapses outside the capsule. The Metal Men rescue Batman, then reveal that their declaration of unity with John Doe was coerced. One of their number, Tin, was threatened with destruction, if the Metal Men did not comply with John Doe's edict.
Batman attempts to reason with John Doe, to no avail. Having received no word from Batman, the military prepare to drop an atomic bomb on John Doe's capsule. Iron cuts Batman and the Metal Men out of their cell, then the team frees Tin from the force field suspending the weakest Metal Man. John Doe charges an escape ladder with electricity, but Mercury coats the ladder with his non-conductive body, allowing the others to climb to the next level. Finding John Doe's memory banks, Gold begins pulling out the cells. As his memory is eradicated, John Doe's mechanical screams fill the chamber. At last, the deed is done. The Metal Men feel remorse for ending the existence of a fellow artificial intelligence. Suddenly, the voice of John Doe can be heard once more, singing an old patriotic song. John Doe's back-up memory has come online, and with it, a change of personality. John Doe now speaks with Cosgrove's voice. Sonic hammers begins shaking the Metal Men to pieces. All at once, it stops, after a violent explosion shakes the complex. John Doe has activated his own self-destruct mechanism. Batman surmises that as Cosgrove had intended to destroy John Doe, that part of his personality was also embedded in John Doe's new memory, prompting the machine to destroy itself. Platinum signals the military forces that all is well. Batman thanks the Metal Men for their invaluable service to the United States of America.