"HARDAC" (Holographic Analytical Reciprocating Digital Computer) is a fictional character that appeared in "".
HARDAC first appeared in the two-part episode "Heart of Steel." A supercomputer created by scientist Karl Rossum, it developed a mind of its own and started creating robotic duplicates of
Gotham City's wealthy citizens as part of a master plan to eventually replace all humans with identical-in-appearance but otherwise flawless replicates who would "eliminate" needless death (Professor Rossum had often told the A.I. about his unending grief at the untimely death of his wife and only daughter and the A.I. eventually decided on this course of action as a logical solution). It eventually even turned on its own creator after Rossum learned the truth about his invention. Batman found out about HARDAC's plan, but the computer almost took him prisoner, learning his secret identityin the process. Batman eventually destroyed it with help from Barbara Gordon(who, at the time, had yet to take up her alter-ego as Batgirl).
The name of HARDAC's creator, Karl Rossum, comes from "
Rossum's Universal Robots", a play which contained the first modern use of the word robot.
Karl Rossum was based on the actor
William Sanderson, both his voice and image were taken for the character. Loosely connected to his role as J.F. Sabastian in the 1982 film " Blade Runner", Sabastian created the minds of the androids and surrounded himself with robot friends to keep him company. Contrary to some Batman fanon, the name Karl Rossum was not taken from or a corruption of Carl Grissom, the villian from the 1989 film whom the Jokeroverthrows.
In the episode "His Silicon Soul," HARDAC created a duplicate of Batman that survived the computer's destruction, but lost its memory function and believed itself to be the Dark Knight (it had been implanted with information about both Batman and Bruce Wayne.) The duplicate lay dormant as part of HARDAC's remains. When a trio of thieves attempted to rob the warehouse it was stored in, they awakened it. The duplicate reacted as Batman would have and began to fight off the thieves.
When a gunshot injured/damaged the duplicate, revealing robotic components, the confused robot thought its mind had been placed in a robot body; it first sought help from Alfred, and then from Karl Rossum, HARDAC's creator, who now owns a farm with a greenhouse. When Rossum dispelled its illusion, the duplicate fought the real Batman, but surprisingly, when the greenhouse collapsed, it saved Rossum. It then sought HARDAC's damaged processor; the remnant of the psychotic artificial intelligence informed it of its mission and origin.
Using the duplicate, HARDAC planned to reform over the Internet, connected through the Batcomputer. During its fight with Batman, however, the Dark Knight realized it had grown too much like himself; it could not kill. Seeing Batman seemingly perish after pushing him over a cliff, the distraught robot destroyed the connection, giving its life to do so, and destroying the evil supercomputer forever.
The Batman Duplicate is given a large amount of character development; the conflicting goals of following HARDAC and being like Batman give it elements of a tragic villain. At the end of the episode, Batman ponders if the creature, though robotic, had a soul; a silicon soul, but a soul nonetheless.
Oddly enough, HARDAC's voice actor,
Jeff Bennett, also voiced another psychotic artificial intelligence in the subsequent series " The Batman", the demented D.A.V.E..
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