In World War II, Batman is helping Sgt. Rock and Easy Company land in France and take Paris. As they land on the beach, they're pinned down by German fire. Unable to advance, Rock calls in G.I. Robot, a soldier-automaton with super-strength and invulnerability. It easily destroys the bunker and the soldiers advance. However, one member of Easy Company sets off a land mine. Batman throws himself at the man, knocking him clear, and G.I. Robot sacrifice himself by absorbing the blast with his own body. After a moment to honor their fallen "comrade," Batman and the soldiers move on to Paris.
Batman and Green Arrow are patrolling the spaceways, battling aliens concealing their ships in a meteor shower. When Green Arrow notes that he's helping Batman taking up the slack, Batman receives an alert from Gotham and assures his fellow hero that he has everything under control.
In Gotham, Black Mask and the False Face society are robbing a bank when Batman's proxies arrive: the Bat-Bots. Black Mask and his men are forced to flee before the Bat-Bots' overwhelming force, bringing down a tunnel roof to cover their escape.
Batman returns to Earth and goes to the Batcave, where Ace the Bathound is waiting for him. As he gets a report from the Bat-Bots and orders them to continue their search for Black Mask, a crude Bat-Bot prototype eagerly comes over. It's Proto, an oversized Bat-Bot that Batman built before realizing that smaller was better. Proto wonders why Batman still keeps him around if he's useless, and the Caped Crusader admits that he only keeps him intact because he keeps Ace company. Word of another robbery comes in and Batman prepares to leave. When Proto asks to come, Batman tells him that he has to stay behind.
At the bank, Batman easily takes down the False Face Society. However, Black Mask's tech expert, Taboo, has a surprise. He has created a way to override Batman's control programs, and turns the Bat-Bots against their creator. Batman leaps into the Batmobile and transforms it into battle mode, but the Bat-Bots blast it down and Black Mask uses his energy cannon to smash it into flaming wreckage.
At the Batcave, Proto and Ace hear the emergency signal and Ace opens the roof panel so that Proto can fly to its creator's help, taking Ace with him. They free Batman from the wreckage, and he says that they need to come up with a plan of attack...together. Proto hugs Batman, almost crushing him.
Black Mask takes the controller from Taboo and sends the Bat-Bots to steal miniature nuclear explosives from an armory. He then tells his henchmen that he plans to blow up parts of Gotham and force the citizens to surrender the city. When his men complain that the Bat-Bots are doing everything, Black Mask has the Bat-Bots capture his own men, but keeps Taboo around since he still needs his technical know-how.
After learning about the theft of the explosives, Batman tracks the Bat-Bots' heat signature to the warehouse that Black Mask is using as his headquarters. He realizes what the villain is up to. Meanwhile, Ace chases after a kitten and Proto goes after the two animals, inadvertently causing more damage since it doesn't know its own strength. Batman reconsiders using the prototype, given how dangerous the bombs could be to the civilians. The kitten gets itself stuck on a fire escape and Proto leaps into the air, gently catching it and returning it to the ground. When Batman realizes that Proto knows not to harm kittens because they're weak and defenseless, he tells his creation to treat all of the citizens of Gotham the same way
Black Mask equips the Bat-Bots with the nuclear explosives, and Taboo programs five of them with target coordinates. The Bat-Bots leave and Black Mask prepares to broadcast his demands. However, Batman, Ace, and Proto arrive. Proto quickly intimidates Taboo into showing it where the Bat-Bots are heading, while Batman takes down Black Mask. Once they identify the five locations, the heroes split up. Proto destroys two of them, while Batman and Ace dispose of two more, taking out the second one at City Hall. Proto arrives with the remains of the fifth one, but they realize that the sixth one is a rogue programmed to seek out a random target. With time running out, Proto realizes that they can have Ace track the sixth Bat-Bot.
The last Bat-Bot lands in the center of a busy intersection with three minutes left until detonation. Ace leads Batman and Proto to the intersection, and Proto realizes there are dozens of innocent citizens. Batman attacks Black Mask, but is too late to stop the villain from advancing the countdown. With only seconds remaining, Proto grabs the last Bat-Bot and flies high into the air. Its size and armoring allow it to survive the blast, and it flies back down while Batman knocks out Black mask.
As the villain is taken away, Batman tells Proto that it has the heart of a hero, and all it needs is somewhere that its size and awkwardness won't be a disadvantage. Later, Batman and Ace watch from the Batshuttle as Proto fights more of the invading aliens in outer space. Satisfied that Earth is in good hands, Batman flies away.
Roman Sionis first appeared in Batman #386 (August 1985) and was created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake. Roman is the son of negligent parents, and eventually turns to crime after ruining the family's cosmetic business. He dons an ebony skull mask and creates the False Face Society, and goes on a criminal rampage. Black Mask eventually attempts to destroy the ruins of his family manor, and his mask is burned onto his face. Driven thoroughly insane, Black Mask made numerous attempts to control Gotham City's underworld until his death at the hands of Catwoman. Since then, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham has taken on the role but was soon unmasked. Black Mask has no superhuman abilities but is a skilled tactician, gunman, and hand-to-hand fighter.
The first G.I. Robot initially appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #101 (February-March 1962) and was created by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito. Various models with differing appearances have appeared since then. Typically, they are sent on missions that a normal human soldier isn't expected to survive, or as heavy-weapons support for a squad. Most G.I. Robots are built with armor-plating and superhuman strength, and have autonomous programming as well as an expert knowledge of firearms and hand-to-hand combat. Various models have included mounted weaponry in the left arm and short-range boot rockets. This is G.I. Robot's first animated appearance.
Sgt. Rock and Easy Company
Sgt. Rock is another of DC's line of war heroes created by Robert Kanigher in Our Army a War #83 (June 1959) and initially drawn by Joe Kubert. An everyman soldier, Rock led the men of Easy Company, each one of which he gave a particular nickname to capture their essence (and many who died over the years). Rock was originally intended to be only a soldier who was killed by the last bullet fired in WW2, but like most comic-book characters the parent company felt the need to bring him into the present, upgrade him, etc. Recently DC made him "General Rock," established he was still alive in the modern day (maybe...), and had him and his fellow soldier Bulldozer appear working for President Lex Luthor and leading a modern-day incarnation of the Suicide Squad. However, there have been suggestions that this was an impostor.