Characters: The Reckoners Trilogy
Character sheet for The Reckoners Trilogy
All spoilers for Steelheart
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Reckoners in General
- Badass Normal: A prerequisite to join, unless you want to run ops.
- Cape Busters: Their job (and their only job, Prof asserts), is to kill Epics.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Technically, yes. For all the stuff they say about killing Epics, they're not squeamish about using weaponry and gear derived from Epics (Abe's various BFGs, the gauss gun, tensors, Reckoner jackets, the spyril) to fight Epics. Which is understandable, seeing as most Epics can withstand a full magazine from a rifle or just consider it a minor annoyance.
- Knight Templar: It becomes apparent in Firefight that their focus on killing Epics is not just restricted to the most dangerous of High Epics, as David thought, but extends to any Epic they see as dangerous to their mission, to the point of Fantastic Racism. David's refusal to kill Megan just for being an Epic gets him put on probation and nearly kicked out of the Reckoners.
- La Résistance: Moreso after David joins.
- Not So Different: As is expounded upon in Firefight, they can be just as destructive as the Epics, both through inaction and inability to see Epics as people who can be even potentially good. Granted, the last one is somewhat understandable, but it that doesn't make their actions in Firefight any less Knight Templar-ish, or their killing of Knoxx, the Epic that Megan and David captured, any less shortsighted.
- Serial-Killer Killer: Of a sort, the entire organization is this, through fighting Epics.
The main character of the story, an 18-year-old orphan at Steelheart's hands.
One of the Reckoners, a beautiful young woman who helps gather information for the team. She's actually the Epic Firefight, one of Steelheart's inner circle, sent to infiltrate the Reckoners and feed him intel. Things get complicated when she finds that her sociopathy subsides the less she uses her powers.
Prof (AKA Professor Jonathan Phaedrus)
This isn't just about revenge or payback. It's about the survival of our race. It's about men being the masters of their own destiny. I choose suffering and uncertainty over becoming a lapdog.
The leader of this cell of the Reckoners, and (as we eventually learn) the founder of the entire Reckoner organization. Ironically, he's an Epic himself
who only keeps himself sane through transferring his powers to others. Though he has heroic goals, and the people he's fighting are far worse, he's not exactly a squeaky-clean figure himself...
- Afraid of Their Own Strength: Oh God yes. It's not unjustified, given that he did terrible things before he somehow managed to regain his sanity. However, when the gloves come off, he's able to go toe-to-toe with Steelheart, often suggested to be the most dangerous epic in the U.S next to Obliteration. As revealed in Firefight, there's a lot of strength he's afraid of using, as he qualifies as a High Epic.
- Anti-Hero: It's driven home in Firefight. While he does have genuinely heroic goals, he's still a broken, self-loathing, insecure man with (Not entirely unjustified) tendencies toward Kill 'em All, and his go-to response to Epics is to put guns to their heads. Even to Edmund in the first book, but Prof seems to have warmed up to him.
- Amicable Exes: He used to date Tia, though it doesn't appear he does anymore, and they still are on very good terms.
- 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. Falls again when he gives in to the Rending.
- 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.
- Beware the Superman: Counts even more than other Epics. Megan and David discuss this in Firefight, with David pointing out he's an incredibly strong epic with not one, but two Prime Invincibilities, (Force fields and Healing Factor) making him incredibly powerful by High Epic standards. It's just that his powers are rarely, if ever used unless it's an emergency. Of course, by the end of Firefight he's gone full High Epic and has the transference powers to make an army, and has knowledge of the Reckoners, this is horrible.
- Big Good: Since he's the founder and leader the Reckoners, the only known resistance to the Epics' rule. Subverted in Firefight with him showing a lot more prejudice, and firmly averted when he has a Face-Heel Turn.
- Boomerang Bigot: As expounded on in Firefight, he's extremely prejudiced against all Epics, seeing killing them as putting down a rabid dog. This is in spite of the fact that he has proven through empirical evidence that by gifting his powers to others, he can stave off the corruptive influence and use the powers to help people.
- The Cynic: He doesn't believe in the idea of good Epics at all, after his attempt to form a Super Team with Abigail and his other friends led to disaster.
- Cynicism Catalyst: His seems to have been the failure of the Super Team he tried to make, which led him to believe there is no such thing as good Epics.
- Deadpan Snarker: Can at times be bitterly sarcastic, mostly around the idea of either not understanding something a team member says, or being exasperated with a situation.
- 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.
- Face-Heel Turn: In Firefight, he pushes himself far too hard, and becomes a willing High Epic due to not resolving his weakness.
- 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. After becoming a true High Epic, he abandons this, going instead to Powers Do the Fighting.
- Glad He's on Our Side: A rare example where this turns out to be foreshadowing. David and Megan discuss this and realize that he's incredibly powerful, with not one but two prime invincibilities.
- Green Lantern Ring: His forcefields turn out to work a lot like this. In addition to shielding, he can seal doors, conjure a kind of floating disk to fly on, and literally crush his enemies in them.
- Healing Hands/Healing Factor: One of his Epic abilities is to heal very quickly. As a Gifter, he can transfer this healing ability to others, acting as a healer as well. He disguises this ability as the harmsway.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the final fight against Megan and David, he tries to crush them with his forcefields. However, Megan keeps changing reality so that Prof is inside the forcefields, and he almost kills himself twice.
- 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.
- Multilayer Façade: While using Limelight as cover for the Reckoners, he's an Epic pretending be a human scientist pretending to be an Epic. It's not until Firefight that the reader really appreciates how much he was holding back in order to maintain his cover as a Muggle.
- 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.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: He has not one but two different prime invincibilities (his shields and his regeneration).
- Not So Different: Regalia calls him out (to David) on being not unlike every other Epic, what with his Underwater Base (in Babilar), his nickname, and his choice of "costume" (his lab coat and goggles in the pocket). Even David seems to admit she has a point.
- 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.
- Powers Do the Fighting: After becoming a full High Epic and giving in to the Rending, he takes this instead of Fights Like a Normal.
- The Professor: The source of his nickname.
- Shoot the Dog: He says that he views killing Epics as like putting down rabid dogs. He also regards his intent to kill Regalia as this, and thinks that her challenging him may be her asking him to do this.
- Super Strength: Appears to have this, if the strength with which he grabbed David in Firefight is any indication.
- 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. Namely that it is connected to fears, and he doesn't want to say his.
- That Man Is Dead: As far as David is concerned, Prof is dead after he used too much power to stop the bomb Regalia made from a piece of Obliteration. All that is left is the High Epic Phaedrus.
- 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. Subverted when he undergoes his Rending in the second book, making him fully evil.
- Touch of Death: Disintegrates nonorganic matter on touch, which he disguises as the tensors.
- Walking Spoiler: On account of him being an Epic.
- Willfully Weak: Then again, the alternative is go mad with power.
I took an oath. Serve and protect. I ain't going to stop that because some thugs with magic powers start shoving everybody around.
The Reckoners' odd-job man on Prof's primary team, a southerner who utterly tries (and fails) to be a True Scotsman.
- Hidden Depths: He was a police officer in Nashville who refused to Turn in Your Badge on order of the resident Epic, nor be a part of the force under said Epic's control.
- Nice Guy: Though he is also something of a troll.
- The Gadfly: Especially to Tia.
- Plucky Comic Relief: To a degree. He does lighten the mood a lot of the time.
- Sad Clown: Underneath his joking exterior, he's lost a lot.
The Reckoners' resident scholar who works directly with Prof most often, Mission Control
, and medic.
- Amicable Exes: With Prof, as revealed in Firefight. See Prof's entry for more.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Before Calamity, Tia used to be a rocket scientist, working for NASA. However, she also knows enough about medicine to act as the team's medic and perform impromptu surgery on heavily injured teammates.
- The Medic: To the team. She doesn't do any fighting, she's just the researcher and medic.
- Mission Control: For the Reckoners.
- Number Two: She's essentially this to Prof, being his Secret Keeper and having known him longer than the other 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.
The Reckoners' heavy-weapons man and mechanic on Prof's primary team.
The Mission Control
and leader for the Babilar Reckoners team, Val is a terse, all-business woman.
- Action Girl: Has some elements of this, though she prefers to take a backseat to the fighting.
- Character Death: She's the first victim of Prof's High Epic rampage. He generates a forcefield around her, then shrinks it down to the size of a basketball, crushing her.
- Knight Templar: "The only good Epic is a dead Epic."
- Mission Control: Had this job, though she cedes it to Tia when Prof's team comes to Babilar.
Every organization needs good chefs and good morticians. The two great constants of life. Food and death.
A Babilar Reckoner and former mortician pre-Calamity, he operates as the Reckoner's intelligence officer, often working at a radio in their base to pick up local gossip.
- Big Fun: As though his name being pronounced X.L. weren't enough indication.
- Big Eater: He is pretty fat.
- Busman's Vocabulary: Talks a lot about death and corpses, more than David is comfortable with.
- Character Death: Killed during Prof's Rending at the end of Firefight in the same way as Val.
Missouri "Mizzy" Williams
The new Demolitions Expert
on the Babilar Reckoners team, Mizzy is a very cheerful young woman who constantly wants to prove herself.
- Badass Adorable: Extremely cute in how she speaks. Also a capable close-combat combatant.
- Buffy Speak: Prone to this. For example, the "streambeam" on the spyril.
- Demolitions Expert: Her primary use on the Babilar team.
- Genki Girl: Extremely cheerful for someone who's grown up After the End. She chocks it up to growing up in a relatively good district of the old New York City.
- The Knights Who Say Squee: To David and Prof.
- Nice Girl: Barring her hatred of Firefight, which itself is justified.
- Plucky Girl: Her upbeat attitude is so up front that David has no idea how she keeps managing it in the wake of all that happens around her. She does anyway.
- Sole Survivor: With Sam shot dead by Megan and Val and Exel killed by Prof in the beginning of his Rending, she is the last surviving member of the Babilar team from before Firefight arrived in the city.
- Wrench Wench: She's in charge of the vast majority of the high tech equipment the Babilar team has.
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.
- Beware the Superman: Every single Epic that uses his powers on himself or does not transfer them to someone else is a sociopath until the weakness of that Epic is resolved.
- 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?
- Differently Powered Individuals: Called "Epics" here.
- Face Your Fears: The only way to either refuse the transformation into an Epic or remove its sociopathic tendencies is to face the weakness of said Epic head on and conquer the fear of it. It is unclear if a fully awakened Epic (such as Regalia, Obliteration, Nightwielder, or Steelheart) can do this.
- 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. Turns out that it's the Epics greatest fear, whatever they have nightmares about. Steelheart was a bully who feared people standing up to him, Sourcelight a girl whose grandparents joined a cult and almost killed her with poisoned Kool-Aid, and Megan a survivor of a house fire.
- 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.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Epic-derived technology is not actually derived from Epics in research, but literally from their corpses. The "motivators" of the devices are specially treated mitochondrial DNA that allow for the control of the devices.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: "The Rending", as described by Regalia, is what happens when Calamity first makes an Epic. Namely, it results in "an overwhelming sensation driving you to destroy, to break", and drives the sociopathy of Epics.
- Weaksauce Weakness: An Epic's Kryptonite Factor is often something very common and easy to obtain or deploy, so they kill anyone who finds out to prevent the knowledge of what it is specifically from spreading. However, this is not often the case.
- 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.
- Your Worst Nightmare: This is revealed to be the thing that decides what a select Epic's weakness will be.
Steelheart (Paul Jackson)
The main villain of the first 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.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: As revealed in Firefight, he used to be a bully and track star. Then, as shown in the first book, he got much worse.
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 (Edmund Sense)
A mysterious Epic who 'runs
' Steelheart's enforcers, another of his inner circle. It is his power that lights up Newcago. He later takes up the mantle of Newcago Power Reserve Generator, and is happy to sit back donating his vast electrical
- Accidental Murder: Not long after Calamity, he accidentally electrocuted his wife to death by electrifying a stove when trying to make himself some food.
- Achievements in Ignorance: It's implied in Firefight that he accidentally destroyed his weakness and lost his sociopathy.
- 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.
- Psycho Electro: Averted, in comparison to all the other Epics. He's happy to donate power, read books, and have calm and reasonable discussions with David.
- 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. A conversation with David implies this is because he unknowingly managed to overcome his weakness and thus the corruption.
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.
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.
A very minor Epic, his only power is that any handgun he uses never runs out of bullets.
A fictional Epic created gradually by the Reckoners as part of David's plan to take out Steelheart.
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.
- Antagonist Title: Of his own novelette.
- 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.
A comatose Epic who gained his powers whilst in a coma to begin with, Dawnslight is the reason for the greenery around Babylon Restored.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Regalia was about to crush David with water near the end of his fight with Newton, he conjured many plants to suck up all of the water she was using.
- Captured Super Entity: Regalia is holding his body.
- Dream Weaver: An interesting example. He creates food and light for people based upon his own dreams, and doesn't seem to realize if he's in a dream or not when he's doing so. This is because, as a comatose man, he literally can't tell at all, and is truly forming his powers out of his dreams.
- Green Thumb: He's why Babilar is full of food.
- Light 'em Up: Combines this with his Green Thumb powers to create glowing fruit, which he sometimes can blink in order to signal people for help.
- Like a God to Me: Many residents of Babilar worship him as a god.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: He's very powerful, but he's also not even awake, as David releases when he finally sees him.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest Epics in the series, up there with Edmund Sense.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: He doesn't seem to realize how creepy it is that he's having conversations with someone through fortune cookies.
- Personality Powers: As the nicest guy in Firefight, his powers are Green Thumb and Light 'em Up.
- Spanner in the Works: Tries really hard at this, managing to save both David and Mizzy, but still doesn't manage to stop Regalia's plan.
Leader of a gang in Babilar, Regalia has forced her into her service. She has the power to reverse the vector of an attack.
- Attack Reflector: Her primary power and the reason why she is a High Epic. She can reverse the vector of any attack aimed at her.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: David kills her in one when he figures out her weakness just as she tries to attack him, stopping her attack cold. He then proceeds to unload on her back when she tries to run.
- Dark Action Girl: A gang leader and female Epic on Regalia's side.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Her primary weapon. She sometimes carries a backup one as well.
- Super Speed: Her power beside her Attack Reflector.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Arguably the best example of this trope in the series thus far. She's weak to compliments.
- "Well Done, Daughter" Girl: A Defied Trope. As David realizes, she probably was afraid of actually living up to her parents' expectations, which led to compliments becoming her weakness.
A High Epic who is working alongside Regalia.
- As the Good Book Says: He read John the Evangenlist's account dozens of time before vaporizing Houston, and he commonly quotes from it whenever he fights.
- Ax-Crazy: Stands out as this even among other epics.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: About half of what he says is quotes from John The Evangelist, making him one of the most unnerving characters in the entire series.
- Deus Exit Machina: When he has a conversation with David about his nightmares near the end of the books, he thanks David for giving him an answer to the secret, and disappears for the remainder of the book. Fitting, since nobody had figured out his weakness to that point.
- The Dreaded: Being a High Epic with no known weakness means he already fits the profile. Vaporizing Houston, Albuquerque and San Diego cemented him as one.
- Even other High Epics fear him. His bio states that he melted a supposedly invulnerable Epic named Endless Dreams by generating a temperature said to match that of the sun.
- Exit Villain Stage Left: After learning his weakness is connected to his nightmares, Obliteration lets David live and leaves for the remainder of Firefight.
- Fantastic Nuke: He basically is one, as he sets himself up in a city and stores sunlight until he has enough power to melt the entire thing. He's done this at least three times.
- Faux Affably Evil: Talks like a kindly preacher who is just tending to and teaching his flock, but he's psycho enough to have a ball and chain on hand to attach to David to ensure he sinks into the waters of Babylon Restored.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He's nearsighted, and needs to wear glasses, but he's a monster.
- Holy Hitman: Commonly quotes John the Evangelist in combat. It doesn't make him any less of a monster.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Though unlike Prof, he's not a Reckoner. He just kills Epics for (possibly religious) reasons that are known only to him.
- Kill It with Fire: His main ability is to draw heat from his surroundings (freezing them in the process) and then expel the stored heat in powerful blasts.
- Mysterious Past: As of Firefight, anyway. It's implied that something drove him over the edge and made him melt Houston and Albequerque, then start melting Epics for no discernible reason.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He melts cities (with everybody inside them) essentially as a hobby.
- Person of Mass Destruction: The only suitable defense from Obliteration is not to be in the same city or even state as him.
- Power Of The Sun: He can absorb the heat of the sun and store up power. After a period of seven days, he can release it in one burst to vaporize entire cities. He did this to Houston, and two cities after that.
- Spider-Sense: Combined with his reactive teleportation power, it makes it near-impossible to kill him.
- Villain Teleportation: He can teleport to any place he can think of within his line of sight. The power is combined with his danger sense to make him nearly impossible to kill.
- Worthy Opponent: Appears to think of David this way, especially in their confrontation near the end of Firefight.
Initially believed to be a satellite around Earth, Calamity is an incredibly powerful Epic who creates other Epics on a whim.
- Alien Sky: Calamity is it. The first sign that something horrible was about to happen was twelve years before the start of Steelheart, when Calamity rose into the sky like a second, dimmer sun.
- Bigger Bad: To the entire series.
- Our Angels Are Different: He's identified as an angel by both Obliteration and Regalia. The former calls him an archangel, and the latter calls him either "the Destroying Angel" or "the Angel of the Apocalypse". His fiery wings give the impression of a Seraph.
- Red Sky, Take Warning: A variant. The red light of Calamity is definitely not for good.
- Super Empowering: Calamity creates Epics by giving them powers that will be "thematically appropriate," along with weaknesses based on their nightmares. David wonders if he is just an insanely powerful Transference Epic, and all the other "Epics" merely normal people playing with his toys.
- That's No Moon!: No, it's a person.
- Walking Spoiler: So much that even naming his entry is a spoiler itself.
- Winged Humanoid: Creates this impression, with what David believes he sees to be fiery wings.
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.
Mr. Charleston/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.
- Heroic Bystander: Acts as this in the prologue of the first book, shooting Deathpoint to save Steelheart, saying that sometimes, people had to "help the heroes along" before they arrived.
- I'm Not Afraid of You: A variant. It's not that he wasn't afraid of Steelheart because he was defiant or brave, he was just utterly convinced that Steelheart was a hero, and thus saw no reason to be afraid of him. But this still let him hurt Steelheart.
- Posthumous Character: Dies in the prologue of the first book.
- Rousseau Was Right: Believed in the idea that the good Epics would come, no matter what.
An old friend of David's who is working with Enforcement
in order to eke out a living.
- Mook-Face Turn: After the events of Steelheart, he's still in Enforcement, which is working for the Newcago provisional government and the Reckoners.