Will Magnus was Kirk Langstrom's best friend. They both graduated Gotham University alongside their mutal friend and Magnus' girlfriend Tina. Magnus and Tina had their problems as he knew Tina was also in love with Langstrom. For his class project, Magnus used nanites to build a ship in a bottle. He used iron, lead, and a little mercury to make them. After Dr. Lex Luthor gave a speech to Magnus, Langstrom and six others informally known as "Luthor's boys," Magnus equated the moment to getting pep talk from Albert Einstein. He reminded Langstrom about the party in a few hours and he should go rather than make Tina mad. A few hours later, Magnus and Tina found Langstrom asleep in a lab. Tina convinced Langstrom to come to the party. Magnus tried to hurry them up as he heard Crazy Ivy brought some of her "homegrown." After they returned to their apartment, Magnus made Langstrom sleep on the couch but Tina refused to stay the night. Langstrom noticed Magnus brought his project home. Langstrom was amazed at how far the nanites got with the ship.
Magnus guessed the nanites were probably in the trillions and revealed they would all become part of the ship when it was finished. Langstrom realized something and asked Magnus if he could use the nanites with organics. Langstrom wanted to use them to perfect his Bat Venom and cure his cancer. Langstrom downplayed how bad he had gotten and collapsed. While he recovered in a hospital, Magnus figured out his password was "Batman" and looked at his research. Magnus understood his nanotechnology could complement the medical solution and act as an agent to patch it all in. He agreed to help Magnus. Five days later, one lab mouse survived the trials - who Magnus named Jerry. Magnus wanted to run another test but Langstrom didn't think he had time left. He wanted to inject himself with the Bat Venom. He hesitated. Magnus took the needle and injected Langstrom. After Tina tucked Langstrom in, Magnus brought up their issues but they stopped when a noise erupted from the bedroom. Magnus rammed the door in and they found the furniture in shambles and Langstrom gone.
Will Magnus and Tina eventually got married. He knew it was an obligation. Tina kept urging him to find a cure for Langstrom every day and night. She never let up. A year into their marriage, one day, Magnus finally snapped and hit her by accident. However, Tina's head struck a table and she died. He kept Tina's death a secret and made a "twin" to take her place. Made from a platinum isotope that could mimic human flesh, the robot took Tina's place and no one was the wiser. Magnus had a revelation. If he, the best and brightest of men, were capable of such a monstrous act, then there was no hope for the rest of humanity. The horrors would continue. Recalling graduation day and Luthor's speech about changing the world, Magnus came up with an idea to link all minds as one. There would be no more personal anguish, no more hatred, and no more guilt. He needed a means of distribution and a powerful energy source. While working on various projects for the government, Magnus learned they perfected a way to duplicate Wonder Woman's Mother Box.
Magnus realized if he constructed a Nanite Bomb, he could set if off, and project over seven billion microscopic Boom Tubes around the world. Each tube would plant a nanite in someone's head. In that instant, everyone would be connected as one. However, he still lacked an energy source strong enough to power it. He learned about the Kryptonian space ship Superman came to Earth in as an infant. The ship was returned to Superman and kept in the center of the Justice League's Tower of Justice in Metropolis. Magnus was one of the scientists who worked on Project Fair Play, a secret government program dedicated to perfecting means to neutralize the Justice Leauge if needed. He decided to manipulate the shaky alliance between the government and the League to his advantage. Three of the robots he built would mimic each of the Leaguers and murder all the scientists associated with Fair Play. The League would have no way to counteract Fair Play and be distracted with fighting the government to figure out he was the mastermind. He would place himself into the Tower, connect the bomb to the ship and set it off.
After Ray Palmer went missing, following an ambush by Magnus' Wonderdroid, Magnus contacted Langstrom, now Batman, for help. Palmer's wife, Jean, was calling day and night to confide in "Tina." Magnus admitted he didn't make progress with the latest tests of an antigen to cure Langstrom of his vampirism. He promised to keep looking for a cure but got to the real reason he called. Magnus asked Batman if the Justice League could look into Palmer's disappearance. Batman noted upstate wasn't his jurisdiction. Magnus was livid and asked when the Justice League had to concern themselves with jurisdiction. He reminded Batman it was Ray Palmer. Batman promised to check into it. Two nights later, Batman went to Magnus' home to ask him about Project Fair Play. He realized Magnus was arguing with Dr. Karen Beecher, who was another scientist who worked on Fair Play.
Beecher believed the Justice League were the murderers targeting scientists but Magnus disagreed. He argued Batman only killed criminals. Beecher countered not even Magnus was safe and they were all next. After she stormed out, Magnus looked out into the yard and realized Batman was waiting. Magnus was surprised when Batman mentioned Fair Play but denied knowing anything. Magnus and "Tina" attended Beecher's meeting at her mansion. The remaining scientists debated about what to do next. Magnus reiterated they didn't know for sure the Justice League were the real culprits. Suddenly, the real culprits, arrived via Boom Tube and murdered everyone. The Wonderdroid 'killed' "Tina" and the Superdroid incinerated Magnus within an inch of his life. The League took Magnus back to the Tower of Justice, playing right into his plans, to hopefully recover and testify in their defense. Once the Superdroid took out the last scientist, Dr. Luthor, President Waller sanctioned Fair Play to take down the League as he predicted.
Superman refused to turn Magnus over. While Steve Trevor and his forces fought Superman and Wonder Woman, "Tina," the three droids, and Tin infiltrated the Tower with Magnus' Nanite Bomb. Once Batman was restrained, Platinum went to Magnus and injected him with organic nanites. Magnus regained consciousness and was instantly revived. After a change of clothes, Magnus revealed his true plans to Batman. Magnus failed to kill Dr. Luthor. Luthor monitored the Tower and gleaned Magnus' plans. He boomed to the battle outside and quickly explained what was really going on. Trevor's forces, Superman, and Wonder Woman launched an offensive at the Tower's protective force field in vain. The seismic activity generated helped Batman get some leverage and free himself from Tin, Magnus' fourth creation. Tin's head landed at Magnus' feet. He sent the three killer droids to take care of Batman but the shield was dropped in time. Superman and Wonder Woman arrived. Batman leaped to the center of the Tower and knocked Platinum aside.
Batman gut punched Magnus but Platinum proceeded to kill him. Wonder Woman intervened and fought it on an upper level. Batman declared it was over but Magnus revealed the nanites also enhanced his physical attributes. Magnus broke Batman's wrist and kicked him. To make matters worse, the nanites healed Magnus with every hit he took. He tossed Batman over the edge. As he looked around for Batman, Magnus declared this wouldn't be happening if Tina didn't love him who only loved his bats and test tubes. Batman replied he was wrong and only loved two people in his life, Magnus and Tina, but they were both gone. While he was stunned, Batman grabbed one of Magnus' legs and pulled him down over the edge. Batman kicked Magnus hard in mid-air then pummeled his face repeatedly. As Magnus bled, Batman stopped. Magnus implored him to take a bite. Batman mused he tasted like crap and tossed him. Batman frantically tried to stop the Nanite Bomb's countdown.
Wonder Woman arrived and destroyed the console with her sword. However, the core of Superman's space ship became terminally destable. Superman returned to the Tower after destroying Magnus' three droids and pulled the ship into space where it safely detonated. Magnus managed to drag himself back to Batman and Wonder Woman. Seeing the error of his ways, Magnus noted how funny things changed so quickly you couldn't even recognize yourself anymore. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a spherical device. Magnus asked Batman to forgive him then activated the device. The nanites in him were deactivated and Magnus was reduced to a pile of dust. A week later, the clean up of the destruction caused by Magnus' robots continued and even Lois Lane readjusted her opinion of the Justice League.