Abraham is one of the Faithful, the group that maintain that sooner or later, "the heroes will come." As of the beginning of Mitosis, they have. We see that Conflux is openly serving the city by providing power, and Prof uses his powers to help the Reckoners protect Newcago. For quite possibly the first time, we have Epics using their powers not to enslave or dominate, but to serve. The heroes have come. Firefight proves that ANY epic can be cured by having them face their worst fear, not just gifters. And they have an illusionist on their side.
If an Epic's weakness has something to do about their past, then it provides an interesting clue about Steelheart. He can only be killed, let alone be harmed, by someone who isn't afraid of him. Which could mean that he may have been a sort of bully in the past and had an incident with someone who finally stood up to him. Then there's Nightwielder, whose weakness is sunlight, or simply UV rays being flashed at him. This may imply, along with his Asian features, that he may have been an Otaku, or simply put, a shut-in before his Epic days. Also, his primary offensive weapons are Tentacles.
Edmund/Conflux said he 'thought' his weakness was being near a dog, but it apparently wasn't as bad as he thought. How would he know this if he hadn't actually gone as near (or been threatened with) a dog to test this out?This explains his humble and good behavior above and beyond his being a gifter Epic. It's because he has already overcome the corruption, albeit unknowingly. He IS the first good Epic.
Rule of Symbolism in play here as the first seemingly benevolent Epics David meets in Steelheart and Firefight both share the role as sustainers for their respective cities. Both effectively use their powers for the sake of others as opposed to using it to serve themselves and dominating others with it.
The three books in the trilogy are titled Steelheart, Firefight and Calamity. The first two are Epics. Guess what the Big Reveal about Calamity in book 2 is?
Gifting is the only Epic power so far seen that is designed to be used for the benefit of others (there are no Epics with Healing Hands, for example, only ones with a personal Healing Factor). Gifted power also does not induce the madness, or at least not to anywhere near the same degree. Interesting...
The main character's initials are "DC." The initials of the insurance company underwriting the contents of the vault are "JLA." Abraham wears a stylized "S" on his chest because he believes the heroes are coming. Brandon Sanderson has been hiding DC Comics easter eggs. Not only that, but people who believe that superheroes are coming are known as True Believers
Nightwielder's powers included the ability to make the sky totally black. No sun, no moon, no stars, nothing. Only Calamity could be seen in the sky. This makes total sense with The Reveal that Calamity is actually an Epic. Presumably Nightwielder's power only blocks light coming in from outside the atmosphere. Calamity could be floating around low enough to not be affected. That, or it's a hint that Calamity is immune to all Epic powers.
Steelheart made a point of killing special enemies with their own guns. While it initially seemed to just be a way to underline his power, there turns out to be another reason. His weakness is people who aren't afraid of him, so it's entirely possible that his powers wouldn't have worked when used against such people. Guns, on the other hand, worked just fine.
David becomes the new Steelheart at the end of Calamity. At the end of Steelheart, he gets Steelheart to kill himself with his own gun. David is keeping with a time-honored Steelheart tradition.
Limelight uses careful planning to defeat his opponents and when he does get into a Mano-a-mano fight he's a combat pragmatist that fights dirty. His costume is solid black with a lab coat that flows like a cape. Before he turned evil, his job was fighting and defeating people with super powers. David, meanwhile after killing Steelheart, wants to try and save them. He carries a distinctive S symbol that represents hope, and is attempting to live up to the inspiring words of his father and help people. Calamity is a Superman/Batman fight!
In Firefight, when the Reckoners are working out their plan for the epics in Babilar, Step 2 is to kill Regalia, and Step 3 is "Mizzy gets a cookie." At the end of the book, after Regalia's death, Dawnslight gives Mizzy a fortune cookie, allowing her to survive Prof's purge.
In the first book, why did Prof stop and listen to David again when he and the Reckoners had already decided to walk away? Because David said they were failing. While at the time it reads like they stop because of the attack on their pride, after revelations in Calamity, it becomes clear that Prof stopped because David's words struck too close to his Weakness. It was something he'd instinctively stop and pay attention to.
It's mentioned that an Epic's weakness doesn't negate wide-area or indirect uses of their powers (i.e. Nightwielder's darkness was not dissipated by the UV from the sun, devices charged by Conflux's power don't fail in the vicinity of dogs, Steelheart's Great Transfersion still took place even around those not afraid of him). With the revelation that the weaknesses are quasi-psychosomatic, derived from the Epic's fears rather that from anything fundamental about their powers, this makes more sense. If the Epic isn't being directly confronted with the thing they fear, then it doesn't have much of an effect.
At the end of Firefight Prof is a true Epic. Almost the first thing he did was try to kill his fellow Reckoners, since he knows more than anyone else just how dangerous they can be. And he's the one person who knows all the Reckoners' identities and locations, along with the various safehouses that only he created. And he can create an army for himself.
Like Megan and Prof, many Epics did horrible things while under the influence of the darkness. Now that the darkness is gone, they will have to come to terms with the atrocities that they committed with their powers. How many Epics are now in Prof's situation? How many Epics have killed their loved ones? How many random civilians have they killed for some petty annoyance? The guilt and horror that they'll experience would be immense.
Fortuity's weakness was attractive women, but he's introduced with A Lady on Each Arm, which means he's overcome his weakness. Which means two things: He's committing all of his evil acts of his own free will, and if David hadn't interfered and checkmated him, the Reckoners' trap would have failed and likely got them killed.
Alternative Title(s):Firefight, Steelheart, Calamity