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Characters: The Reckoners Trilogy
Character sheet for The Reckoners Trilogy.


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Reckoners

    David 

David Charleston

The main character of the story, an 18-year-old orphan at Steelheart's hands.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: David has taken his dedication to studying the Epics very seriously. As such he is extremely effective in analyzing the situations around him.
  • Badass Normal: Like the other Reckoners.
  • Dissimile: Has a tendency to come up with very... creative analogies.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Knees", courtesy of Megan.
  • Indy Ploy: He is very good at adapting to new situations and coming up with creative solutions to problems (much to Megan's chagrin).
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Whenever he tries to explain his latest analogy. 'Brick made of porridge' for example.
  • It's Personal: In addition to his obvious feelings towards Steelheart, a number of Epics target him specifically due to his tendency of discovering their weaknesses. Even after Nightwielder's weakness is made (relatively) public, he zeroes in on David for being the one to figure it out.
  • Nerd Action Hero: He's an excellent shot with a rifle and isn't against killing, but his main boon to the Reckoners is his massive collection of notes and knowledge on various Epics and how to learn about them. Cody outright tells him he needs to get out more.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Less so within the story itself, but growing up he always struggled to hide how intelligent he was, in order to prevent himself from being taken to work for Steelheart.
  • Red Baron: After the events of Steelheart, he becomes known as Steelslayer.
  • Science Hero: As much as research on epics can be considered science. It's not his bad analogies or marksmanship that's the biggest advantage to the Reckoners, it's his knowledge of Epics.

    Megan 

Megan Tarash

One of the Reckoners, a beautiful young woman who helps gather information for the team.
  • Action Girl: She's one of the team's frontline fighters.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: To David.
  • Love Interest: To David.
  • Tsundere: Which confuses David to no end. It eventually turns out that the reason for her seemingly random personality switches is because she doesn't think Steelheart should actually be assassinated. And she's an Epic, so every time she uses her powers she becomes sociopathic.

    Prof 

Prof (AKA Professor Jonathan Phaedrus)

The leader of this cell of the Reckoners, and (as we eventually learn) the founder of the entire Reckoner organization.
  • The Atoner: One possible interpretation of his activity in the Reckoners.
  • Ascended Demon: He's an Epic who makes certain not to use his powers on himself so he remains in control of himself. As shown when he does, this is extremely difficult for him to control, but he does anyway.
  • Badass: When we finally see him fight, it's rather impressive. And terrifying, since he's barely keeping himself from going to be like the other Epics, and the mere prospect of using his powers unrestrained leads him to terrified anger.
  • Deflector Shields: One of his Epic abilities, which he disguises as the Reckoner jackets.
  • Determinator: When he fights, he fights to win. This is especially prominent when he fights Steelheart so effectively and persistently that he even gets Baddie Flattery from him.
  • Fights Like a Normal: Out of necessity, since With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. He shares his powers with the team in small amounts, but if he uses them himself, he runs the risk of being Driven to Madness.
  • Healing Hands/Healing Factor: One of his Epic abilities, which he disguises as the harmsway.
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: As an Epic hunting Epics.
  • Magic from Technology: He invented the tensors, harmsway, and jackets. More like magic from magic, as he just gives others the abilities by sharing his own Epic powers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Almost certainly had one in the past related to being an Epic. And, judging by his hatred of his own powers, he seems to exist in a near-constant state of this.
  • Mysterious Past: Two variations. In-universe, he's considered an Inexplicably Awesome scientist that worked on Epics. In reality, not much of his past is clear. He was apparently an elementary school science teacher, though this was somehow on accident, and an Epic destroyed the school while it was in session. It's also implied that after he received his powers (It's still not clear how) he had a period of arrogant amorality, but we don't know much about that.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: When he speaks about his technologies or uses tensors, he is much more harsh and curt with people, as opposed to his normal nice, if determined, manner. This is because he, as an Epic, hates what he is.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: He's a little too insistent that there's no pattern in the Kryptonite Factor that Epics have. Of course, being an Epic himself, he may have his own reasons.
  • The Professor: The source of his nickname.
  • Token Heroic Orc: He's the only known Epic who works directly for the benefit of mankind in the first book, without being forced to do evil.
  • Touch of Death: Disintegrates nonorganic matter on touch, which he disguises as the tensors.
  • Walking Spoiler: On account of him being an Epic.

    Cody 

Cody

The Reckoners' odd-job man, a southerner who utterly tries (and fails) to be a True Scotsman.

    Tia 

Tia

The Reckoners' resident scholar, Mission Control, and medic.
  • The Medic: To the team. She doesn't do any fighting, she's just the researcher and medic.
  • Mission Control: For the Reckoners.
  • Secret Keeper: Is the only one with as much knowledge on the Reckoners as Prof, for plausible deniability purposes on the rest of the team. Furthermore, she is the only Reckoner on the team who knows that Prof is really an Epic.
  • The Smart Girl: She does the research for the team.

    Abraham 

Abraham

The Reckoners' heavy-weapons man and mechanic.

Epics

    Epics in general 

Superhumans who began manifesting powers following the appearance of the Calamity in the sky, every single Epic is completely sociopathic, with zero empathy for other human beings. The US Government passed the Capitulation Act shortly after they appeared, decreeing that they could do whatever they wished, and that normal humans should not even try to stop them.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: No matter what your previous personality, use of Epic powers instantly turns you into an evil sociopath.
  • Combo Platter Powers: The powersets that High Epics get are... interesting, rarely bearing any thematic parallels to each other. Steelheart's invulnerable body and ability to transform non-living matter to steel are thematically parallel, but what about his wind control and energy beams? Or Conflux's electricity powers and his transference ability? Or Prof's disintegration abilities, Healing Factor, and transference power?
  • Kryptonite Factor: All Epics have a single, seemingly random, weakness that can negate their powers. However they may also have more mundane weaknesses or limitations that can be exploited just as well. For example, an invisibility Epic may be unable to remain invisible whenever they hear a trombone but perhaps they can also be found by someone using a thermal scanner. It's hinted that there's some kind of pattern to this.
  • Meaningful Rename: Seemingly all Epics take on a new 'superhero/villain' name, one which is usually descriptive or evocative of their powers. Interestingly, the three known Epics that possess some degree of humanity all tend to use their human name, not their Epic one.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: All Epics are villainous, but it is unknown whether only evil people gain powers, or if the amount of power they wield just makes being selfish too easy an option. The truth is that using their powers literally, and instantly, changes the way they think. If they are able to resist using their power for a length of time, then their minds will return to normal.

    Steelheart 

Steelheart

The main villain of the book. Steelheart is a powerful epic who has claimed the position of Emperor of Newcago.
  • Antagonist Title: Of the first book.
  • Big Bad: Of the first book.
  • The Cape: Deliberately subverted. His introduction makes it seem like he's a typical example, right down to the lack of a mask and the cape itself, but he almost immediately shows himself to be the exact opposite.
  • The Dreaded: Makes a deliberate point of terrifying his citizens and potential enemies.
  • Flying Brick: Invulnerability, Flight, Super Strength, and Energy Blasts
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Is a fan of killing people with their own guns. This backfires on him, quite literally, when firing David's gun sets off a detonator within it, ending up killing himself instead due to not being afraid of himself.
  • I'm Not Afraid of You: He can only be harmed by someone who isn't afraid of him. Unfortunately, thanks to his campaign of terror and propaganda, there is now only one person alive who fits that description.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The main thrust of the plot is figuring out what it is. He's only vulnerable to people who aren't afraid of him.
  • Repressive But Efficient: The only reason he's sometimes considered the lesser of the Fractured States' evils. However, this is in a world where 'leaving a complete wasteland where Portland, Oregon used to be' is an adequate comparison for responsible Epics, so make of that what you will. By today's standards, Newcago would be a hellhole.
  • Scars Are Forever: He has one scar, the one David's father gave him on accident.

    Nightwielder 

Nightwielder

One of Steelheart's inner circle. It is his power that keeps Newcago in perpetual darkness.
  • Casting a Shadow: Using his powers he has kept the sun from Newcago for ten years and is able to control a dark mist which he uses as a weapon.
  • Dark Is Evil: Given his allegiance to Steelheart.
  • Flight: See Required Secondary Powers.
  • Intangible Man: Whenever he is seen in public he always has this power engaged, rendering him impervious to harm.
  • Required Secondary Powers: In order that he not fall into the center of the planet whenever he turns himself intangible, he also has the secondary power of flight. David mentions that this is a common secondary ability for intangible Epics (presumably those that don't have it can be found stuck in the Earth's core).
  • Tele-Frag: Averted. David was curious as to what would happen were Nightwielder to be made solid while phasing through a solid object, but luckily for Nightwielder he is simply forced out of the object.
  • Weakened by the Light: His personal Kryptonite Factor is daylight, or more accurately ultraviolet light. It forces him into tangibility, weakens his ability to fly, and also destroys his dark mist tentacles.

    Conflux 

Conflux (Edmund Sense)

A mysterious Epic who 'runs' Steelheart's enforcers, another of his inner circle. It is his power that lights up Newcago.
  • Accidental Murder: Not long after Calamity, he accidentally electrocuted his wife to death by electrifying a stove when trying to make himself some food.
  • Captured Super Entity: He isn't as strong as Steelheart, but he is still this for the entirety of Newcago.
  • Living Battery: Generates the majority of the power for the city.
  • Made a Slave: Apparently has been one to various powerful Epics since a month after Epics started appearing.
  • Meaningful Rename: Inverted. The fact that he prefers his human name to his Epic name is one of the signs of his My Species Doth Protest Too Much status.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: One of three known Epics with some degree of humanity. Also the first Epic to openly serve humanity instead of trying to rule them, when in Mitosis he takes up the job of Newcago Reserve Power Generator.
  • Nice Guy: As David notes, the most dangerous thing about him is he might accidentally hit you with one of his hands while he's waving them around as he speaks.
  • Super Empowering: As a Transferrence Epic, he gives energy generation powers to Enforcement members.
  • Token Good Teammate: To Steelheart's regime, and Epics in general.

    Firefight 

Firefight

The last of Steelheart's inner circle, an epic with fire based powers who seems to act as Steelheart's bodyguard. David notes that his powers are too simple, and has determined he's actually an illusionist.

    Deathpoint 

Deathpoint

An extremely dangerous Epic seen only in the Prologue.
  • Boom, Headshot: How David's father kills him.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He points at people, and they die. He acknowledges that it's not very imaginative, but he still likes it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Very courteous and even chats with the tellers at the bank... as he kills random people along the way.
  • Glass Cannon: He appears to have no defensive powers whatsoever, only offensive ones.
  • In the Back: After his primary power is shown to be ineffective on Steelheart, he attempts to use an unknown secondary power on him when his back is turned.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Killed this way by David's father. The fact that this shot also hurt Steelheart kicks off the plot.
  • Stripped to the Bone: By simply pointing at a person he is able to instantly dissolve them into dust, leaving only their bones whole.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Vaporizes a baby in his/her mother's arms.

    Fortuity 

Fortuity

A precognitive Epic, low-to-middling in the ranks of Steelheart's organization.
  • Combat Precognition: The reason he's considered a High Epic. He can foresee any attempt to hurt or kill him enough in advance to avoid it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: His danger sense doesn't work on people he's sexually attracted to.
  • Serial Killer: With at least a hundred murders to his name.
  • Starter Villain: The first High Epic David is known to be involved in killing, and the source of his inclusion with the Reckoners.
  • Super Reflexes: His secondary ability, which David admits is pretty useful for a precognitive Epic.
  • Whatevermancy: He likes to practice Extispicy - with human entrails. Whether it works or it's just sadism (Given that he's an Epic, it could go either way) is never answered.

    Curveball 

Curveball

A very minor Epic, his only power is that any handgun he uses never runs out of bullets.

    Limelight 

Limelight

A fictional Epic created gradually by the Reckoners as part of David's plan to take out Steelheart.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He doesn't actually exist. That isn't to say he's a hero, just that he's trying to depose Steelheart.
  • Secret Identity: Taken up by Prof as a ruse. Because he actually is an Epic.

    Mitosis 

Mitosis

An Epic who appears in Newcago after the events of Steelheart in the short story Mitosis.
  • Achilles' Heel: Like all Epics. His is his own music, which he hated. David theorizes that there's an important clue about a pattern of the weaknesses, but Prof insists that it's completely random, and just a coincidence that this was something obviously connected to him.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: His clones are weaker the more of them there are. Not because of Clone Degradation, every single clone becomes weaker as each new one is born.
  • A God Am I: He constantly refers to Epics as gods.
  • Hive Mind: It's not clear to what level, but enough that he knows when one of his copies is killed, and can thereafter identify the killer on sight.
  • Me's a Crowd: His power is to make copies of himself. There's no "prime" copy, and any copy can make more with no difficulty.

Other Characters

    Diamond 

Diamond

An arms dealer who works with many people, and moves around the Fractured States.
  • Arms Dealer: He's noted to be immune to predations from both sides, since if anyone hurt him, no arms dealers would sell to them ever again.
  • Mad Bomber: His enthusiasm for explosions is... somewhat unnerving.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: A huge fan of explosions.

    David's Father 

David's Father

A single father raising his son after his wife died. He is noted to be calm, soft-spoken, and a hard worker, who strongly believed that good Epics would come to fight the bad ones. He firmly believed Steelheart was one, to the point of killing Deathpoint in order to save him.


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alternative title(s): Steelheart
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