Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

Heart of Steel Part I is an episode the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It is the first part of a two-parter episode and is notable for introducing the classic character of Barbara Gordon as well as a new villain created for the series: H.A.R.D.A.C.

"Heart of Steel, Part I" was the 38th produced episode and the 39th episode aired.


The notorious scientist Karl Rossum has developed a massive artificial intelligence unit called H.A.R.D.A.C., which has been programmed for the good of mankind. Unfortunately, HARDAC has interpreted this to mean that mankind must be superseded. Starting with Rossum's assistant, Randa Duane, HARDAC begins replacing human beings with robot duplicates. Batman becomes aware of HARDAC's activities after several objects have been stolen from Wayne Enterprises, but the Dark Knight might be too late to save the day since HARDAC can easily replace Batman's closest allies and discover his secret.



Batman chases on air

A strange, but very attractive woman leaves a briefcase at the Wayne Enterprises's entrance lobby and the security guards place it in the missing objects area. Later, the briefcase sprouts metallic legs and a mechanical eye and makes its way into the research and development lab. Bruce Wayne is just leaving the building when the security alarm is triggered by the briefcase's intrusion. The security guards tell Bruce to stay put in the entrance lobby but he uses a secret wall to get inside of the building. The briefcase steals some chips from a security vault and makes its way out before knocking the security guards. Batman appears and attempts to stop the object, but the briefcase goes straight to the building's rooftop, and then a mini-rocket launches itself from inside the briefcase to a place far from the building. Batman uses his Batglider and follows the rocket to a beach, where it lands near the woman who left the briefcase in the building. She picks the stolen chips from inside it and drives away in a fully automatic car. When the woman realizes that Batman is following her, she uses some guns in the rear of the car to get rid of Batman. The bat-glider is damaged and Batman falls helplessly to the ocean.

The sea waves push Batman to the shore and when he recovers, he heads back to the Batcave. Alfred is waiting for him and as soon as he arrives, Lucius Fox calls Bruce to notify him of the theft. Alfred asks Batman what is it that was stolen and Batman tells him that those chips are the first step to actual thinking machines that have intuition, a will of their own, and can think faster than humans.

HS I 22 - Babs

Introducing Barbara Gordon

The following day, Police Commisioner Gordon goes to Wayne Enterprises to get involved with the case. Gordon, Lucius, and Bruce discuss the possible perpetrators and they all agree that only one man in Gotham would know of that technology: Karl Rossum. At that moment, the meeting is interrupted by Barbara Gordon, the Commissioner's Daughter, as she enters Bruce's office looking for her father. Bruce greets her and briefly after, the meeting is dismissed.

Bruce decides to pay a visit to Karl Rossum and when he arrives at Rossum's offices, Bruce is shocked to see how well Rossum is doing with all his automatic and robotics systems in his enterprise. Rossum greets Bruce and later he shows Bruce his latest invention: the big machine working with artificial intelligence called H.A.R.D.A.C., which stands for Holographic Analytical Reciprocating Digital Computer. Out of the machine comes an operator, a gorgeous woman named Randa Duane and Rossum introduces her as his assistant. Bruce is charmed with Randa but when he touches her hand he notices that it is cold as ice. She apologizes and tells him that she has been in the cold room. Bruce inquires a bit more on the H.A.R.D.A.C. project but Rossum wouldn't tell anything. Bruce convinces Randa to go with him on a date at Wayne Manor. When Randa is left alone in H.A.R.D.A.C.'s room, the computer speaks to her and tells her that it had developed a new duplicate that would get rid of unwanted attention and it is revealed that Randa is in fact the mysterious woman that left the briefcase at Wayne Enterprises.

At Gordon's place, Barbara and her father are spending the evening at the fireplace when someone knocks at the door. Commissioner Gordon goes to see who is it and as he opens the door, he realizes that it is Randa and a robotic clone of himself. They knock Gordon unconscious and the robot switch places with the real Gordon. Barbara is suspicious as her father wouldn't speak to her and just replies that everything is fine.

HS I 61 - Alfred attacked

Randa attacks Alfred

The next day, Bruce is waiting for his date at Wayne Enterprises when Randa comes into his office, more beautiful than Bruce remembered. Lucius is stunned at the sight of her and Bruce takes her to Wayne Manor. However, before leaving, Randa "accidentally" leaves her make-up kit on Bruce's desk. Once in Wayne Manor, Bruce and Randa are having a good time while at Bruce's office the make-up kit turns into a robot and starts downloading files from Bruce's personal computer. Lucius calls Bruce at Wayne Manor and tells him to meet him at WE. Bruce tells Randa to stay as he would be back soon. At that moment, H.A.R.D.A.C. contacts Randa and tells her that the make-up robot had taken the files but that they are false. Randa then starts looking for Bruce's backup computer at Wayne Manor and knocks out Alfred with a taser.

Meanwhile, at WE, Bruce tells Lucius about the fake files but Lucius is still amazed at how the burglars keep breaking security breaches. Bruce realizes something and calls the manor but nobody answers the phone. He goes back to check out what was happening. Meanwhile, Randa has found the secret entrance to the Batcave and she notifies H.A.R.D.A.C. of her discovery. She hacks into the Batcomputer and leaves the place. When Bruce arrives, he finds Alfred unconscious and Randa is nowhere to be found. When he enters the Batcave, he tries to operate the bat computer but it is completely out of control and the Batcave starts to act against Batman when some mechanical arms grab him and lift him high above the ground.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman / Bruce Wayne
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Alfred Pennyworth
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Brock Peters Lucius Fox
Melissa Gilbert Barbara Gordon
William Sanderson Karl Rossum
Jeff Bennett H.A.R.D.A.C.
Leslie Easterbrook Randa Duane