Chief Lizz calls Dick Tracy in because she is fearful of a new piece of artwork at the City Museum depicting prominent city leaders in grotesque fashion. Disturbingly, individuals featured in the painting (Lizz is one of them) have begun to disappear, starting with the Museum Art Director. One by one every target is kidnapped, including Lizz who is brazenly abducted right out of the station by a man named Parc. (Other abductees include State University President Jodie Markev, CBN news anchor Rod Ragers, Venture capitalist J.C. Cather, Banker Reed and step cell researcher Dr. Sorda)
Each abduction was concealed in some fashion and Tracy has no lead but the unlisted artwork in the museum. He begins investigating art purchases that would be used to create the painting while we see Lizz and the other captives monologued by a man named Cole Lector who plans to use their positions to try and create a perfect, beautiful society. Tracy’s art investigation lead him to known foe, Dab Stract, who quickly tells Tracy the painting was produced legitimately for a patron and Dab shows Tracy where Mr. Cole Lector lives. With no one answering at the Lector mansion, Tracy enlists the aid of an art collector who has refused to sell to Mr. Lector in the past and convinces him to sell an old Chinese Ceramic Kwanxoi horse to Lector. Tracy hides inside the horse during the sale to sneak into Lector’s home.
Springing from the horse, Tracy’s surprise attack does little and Cole Lector knocks Tracy’s gun away with a hammer before the two separate briefly. Tracy hides himself in a suit of armor while Cole Lector grabs a crossbow and takes Lizz hostage. Lizz struggles and is knocked unconscious, but not before ripping a prosthetic from Lector’s face, revealing his disfigured features beneath. Lector prepares to finish Tracy off with the crossbow when he is shot in the back by an arrow. Dab Stract is revealed to be the shooter who has just saved Tracy’s life. Cole Lector would die from his wound and Dab is praised.
Dick Tracy’s squad receives a new female recruit, Lt. Shirl Locke Holmes. Holmes tells us she was named by her father who was a traffic cop but always wanted to be a detective. However, Shirl is working for crime and feeds information to a criminal boss named Big ‘B’ (real name, Baskerville). Baskerville’s lieutenant Big Al pulls off a bank robbery and Shirl makes sure police electronic surveillance fails, allowing the criminals to escape. Her agent in this regard is a police headquarters janitor named Watson.
After a second successful robbery follows the same M.O., Tracy suspects his new agent and has lip-reading specialist Sergeant Marky read Shirl’s lips as she calls Big ‘B’, planning for a third robbery. Knowing the Goodman bank is the third bank target, Tracy and the SWAT team prepare a trap but are surprised when Baskerville himself takes part in the robbery along with nearly a dozen ferocious hounds.
Tracy notices the bank robbers are all blowing dog whistles, and the hounds only assault those not blowing a whistle so he and his team wrestle several whistles away and there is a stand-off with Baskerville’s men. Shirl is curious how the robbery is going (and is unaware her cover is blown) and walks into the bank. The hounds immediately attack her until Tracy swipes Baskerville’s whistle to keep her safe. This of course makes Big ‘B’ vulnerable and he is torn apart by the hounds. Everyone is arrested and Inspector James Moriarty from Scotland Yard arrives to extradite Shirl back to England, explaining Shirl is actually an escaped psychiatric patient.
Diet Smith introduces Tracy to a new crime fighting tool, an enormous robot named Traze-R that will follow Dick’s commands. Diet asks Detective Tracy to test the robot out on the streets. At the other end of the city, a criminal named Braces has been scorned by the Genesis Corporation, which specializes in highly sensitive satellite communications. To get even, he has purchased a robot of his own from overseas called “Magnum Force” or “Brute” for short.
Braces robot smashes its way into the Genesis building, easily defeating the corporation guards and heads for the data vault. Tracy brings Traze-R to the crime scene and the two robots battle it out Rock-em Sock-em Robot style. Magnum Force defeats Traze-R but Tracy’s robot launches a small rover armed with explosives that sacrifices itself to destroy the robot Brute.
Braces, his second in command Miss Roma and several armed thugs hold the cops up, so they can recover Magnum Force’s wreckage. Unfortunate for Braces, Magnum’s severed arm latches on to his Braces and emits an electrical current, killing the criminal. Miss Roma and the remaining thugs give up without a fight.