I've killed a lot of fathers. And mothers, sons, daughters. It is my right.

–Steelheart to David, Steelheart

Steelheart is the main antagonist in the first book of The Reckoners trilogy.  He is a High Epic, which is an epic that cannot be killed using regular means. 

He took over the city of Chicago and renamed it Newcago, turning the whole city into steel, including part of Lake Michigan, where he then constructed his palace.  

Two years after Calamity affected certain people, when David was about seven years old, David witnessed him get grazed by a bullet from a gun David's father fired.  The graze caused him to bleed, and David was the only one who survived after that to know about it. 

Steelheart had ruled over Newcago for ten years before being confronted by the Reckoners and David.  

During the final confrontation, David figured out Steelheart's weakness, allowing him to devise the plan that killed Steelheart.

In "Firefight", David found some history on him: originally known as Paul Jackson, a track star in his high school years. however, he never received any scholarships due to his history of being a bully and responsible for injuring his teammates. Then, he worked as a factory nightwatch man. Also, he did some conspiracy forums where he complained about the way the country was running. 


  • Invulnerability: Steelheart is extremely resistant to harm. Neither bullets nor Deathpoint's attacks could hurt him at all, and it is heavily implied the explosion that killed him wouldn't have been enough if it hadn't been for his weakness. He is not completely invulnerable; as nuclear blasts have killed other High Epics, they may have worked on him as well.
  • Enhanced Strength: Steelheart's strength is immense. However, a blow from him only causes extreme injury rather than instant death.
  • Energy Creation: Steelheart can create and manipulate energy in his hands, using it as a weapon and launching it at his foes.
  • Flight: Steelheart can fly. This seems to be a form of wind manipulation, but he does not use the wind offensively.
  • Steel Transfersion: Steelheart can turn any material not near a living being to steel, at massive range. Steel insulates against this effect.
  • Wind Manipulation: Steelheart can command the winds. He never used this ability offensively and barely used it in the book. Might have some relation to his flight.

Possible Powers: Edit

  • Enhanced Memory: He appears to have excellent memory as he remembers David from the Bank incident ten years as when David was a kid
  • Pain Durability: He might has some pain durability, as he didn't realized, at first, that he was grazed by a bullet.


Can be harmed by anyone who does not fear him; in Steelheart, David's father managed to harm him for that reason. Steelheart could even harm himself, because Steelheart did not fear himself. Steelheart later shot the gun that David rigged to blow up because David knew Steelheart's weakness.