- The ability to feel. I will rip it from you.
- — Grid
Synopsis for "Forever Heroes"
Grumpily, Dr. Will Magnus reminds Victor Stone that he did not design the Metal Men to replace the Justice League. While they are perfectly able to sustain significant damage, if their delicate Responsometers are damaged, they will die. He will not be able to rebuild them. Victor assures him that under his orders, the Metal Men can help to save the world. Grinning, Will responds that the Metal Men don't take orders.
Once the Metal Men are awake, Vic explains what happened to the Justice League and begs them to help. He knows that as autonomous computer systems, they are cut off from Grid's influence. Without question, the entire team is in favour - after all, helping people is what they were built for. After briefing them on the Crime Syndicate and Grid's attack, Cyborg leads Magnus and the Metal Men to Happy Harbor. There, he intends them to make a stand against Grid - and to get his attention, Victor suggests that the best method would be to reveal that he is very much alive.
Things are already going awry at the Justice League Satellite, with Lex Luthor's group of rebels having freed the Syndicate's dangerous prisoner. Grid is unmoved, having quickly noticed that Cyborg has infiltrated his networks. Grid cares little for how Victor survived, but he accepts his challenge to come and fight him.
Upon his arrival outside, Grid faces down with Cyborg, but he is entirely blind to the presence of the Metal Men, who attack quickly. However, their communication with Dr. Magnus gives Grid a channel to track their locations with, and so the element of surprise is lost to them. While Iron pummels Grid, Mercury sneaks up on him, and encloses him within his liquid metal form. Unfortunately, this was a mistake, as an electric blast from Grid frees him, and he rips the Responsometer from Mercury's body. Amused at having discovered a robot that can both feel and die, Grid grips the device in his fist, threatening to crush it. However, he has other plans. He has brought the Secret Society with him.
With the Metal Men distracted by fighting them, Grid faces Cyborg again, surprising him by dragging his consciousness into the digital universe. When the Cyborg was created, so too was he created in the sentient digital universe. That creation was spurred by a single thought from Victor when he was first exposed to life as a cyborg: "I do not belong here." That thought haunts him to this day. Victor responds that he has since come to terms with his duality - that he belongs in the digital space just as much as the real world. Grid responds that Victor's humanity makes him ill equipped for either. In the outside world, Victor sees himself as a robot - but in this world, he sees himself as human. If they were to fight on this plane, he has no protection against Grid.
Grid taunts Victor for failing to choose the power available to him because he feared becoming like him. Sternly, Victor shoves him back, warning that he didn't choose sides. He is the bridge between human and technology; a cyborg. Grid, on the other hand, is just a computer virus with delusions of grandeur. He admits that he had been reluctant to embrace the digital side of himself - but now that he has, he controls it, and he has trapped the Grid inside it. Grid will never be able to act in the real world again.
With Mercury's Responsometer safe, and the Grid cut off from all networks, electronics and networks are beginning to come back online. At that moment, they are surprised to encounter Steve Trevor and Killer Frost. Steve claims that he has come with the key to freeing the Justice Leagues: the Lasso of Truth. Before he can fully explain his plan, though, he is attacked by more of the Secret Society. The battle is not over for the Metal Men, and Victor takes it upon himself to save the Justice Leagues.
Appearing in "Forever Heroes"
- Crime Syndicate
- Secret Society
- Fearsome Five
- Steve Trevor
- Killer Frost
- Lex Luthor (On a TV or computer screen)
- Black Adam (On a TV or computer screen)
- Catwoman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Batman (On a TV or computer screen)
- Captain Cold (On a TV or computer screen)
- Black Manta (On a TV or computer screen)
- Subject B-Zero (On a TV or computer screen)
- Mazahs (On a TV or computer screen)
- Deathstroke (On a TV or computer screen)
- Flash (Flashback only)
- Frankenstein (Flashback only)
- This issue is reprinted in Justice League: Forever Heroes.
- Metal Men Recommended Reading
- Justice League Recommended Reading
- Justice League of America (Volume 1)
- Justice League of America (Volume 2)
- Justice League of America (Volume 3)
- Justice League of America (Volume 4)
- Justice League of America (Volume 5)
- JLA (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 1)
- Justice League (Volume 2)
- Justice League (Volume 3)
- Justice League (Volume 4)
- Justice League International (Volume 1)
- Justice League International (Volume 2)
- Justice League International (Volume 3)
- Justice League Europe (Volume 1)
- Justice League America (Volume 1)
- Justice League Task Force (Volume 1)
- Justice League Quarterly (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 1)
- Justice League Dark (Volume 2)
- Extreme Justice (Volume 1)
- Justice League Elite (Volume 1)