Before becoming an Epic, he was known by his given name, Paul Jackson. In high school, he was a track star and had a reputation for being a bully. After finishing high school, he worked as a security guard at a factory and was an active member of online conspiracy theory forums. 
Steelheart came to Chicago shortly after the appearance of the Epics. He annexed the city and much of the surrounding territory, declaring himself emperor and all those within his domain his subjects. He offered other Epics the choice of serving him or dying. One of his initial acts was The Great Transfersion, in which he transformed most of Newcago, including buildings, part of Lake Michigan, and several miles underground to solid steel. Initially, he claimed to be building an ideal city with a vast network of understreets, but he soon abandoned this pretense and ruled his subjects harshly and erratically. He enlisted three Epics, Nightwielder, Conflux and Firefight, as his inner circle, built a high-tech Enforcement division, and allowed intelligent, wealthy or attractive humans to live above with the Epics, serving as functionaries and entertainers. Epics within his domain were allowed to kill or terrorize humans for any reason or no reason.
- Steelheart is impervious to harm from all known sources, including bullets, edged weapons, electricity and fire.
- Super Strength
- Inhumanly broad and tall, Steelheart is strong enough to crush bones and throw people with ease.
- Wind Manipulation
- Control of the wind grants Steelheart the ability to fly and pick up objects using the air around him.
- Steel Transfersion
- When angry, Steelheart spontaneously transforms non-living matter around him to solid steel, spreading out from him in a sphere. Steel and iron have the ability to "insulate" against the transfersion, but other metals are transformed to steel. As this ability is tied to his emotions, he sometimes uses it without intent.
- Energy Beams
- Steelheart can project energy beams from his hands that can vaporize people and melt steel with ease.
- Eidetic Memory
- Steelheart claims to remember everything perfectly, but this is not broadly established and may be boasting.
Steelheart can only be injured by the actions of a person who has absolutely no fear of him. Thus, he did everything within his power to make people fear him, including condoning the random executions of the Epics he ruled over, having Nightwielder shroud the sky in eternal darkness, fabricating stories of his previous mass killings, publicizing videos of him randomly targeting and destroying buildings, and killing people with their own weapons.
He was killed by himself in a trap set by the Reckoners. David Charleston hid a small detonator inside the barrel of his pistol before dropping it, anticipating that Steelheart would attempt to use the gun to kill him. When Steelheart fired the gun, the detonator was triggered, setting off explosives the Reckoners had planted under the ground. Because Steelheart did not fear himself, and the detonator was triggered by his own action, the explosion killed him. David himself expected to die in the process, but he was saved by the last-minute intervention of Jonathan Phaedrus.
|Controller of Conflux
||Succeeded by |
unknown, possibly free
Steelheart · (Mitosis) · Firefight · Calamity
|Characters||David Charleston · Megan Tarash · Jonathan Phaedrus|
|Places||Newcago · Babilar · Ildithia|
|Reckoners||Abraham · Cody · Exel · Mizzy · Tia · Valentine · Sam|
|Epics||Calamity · Conflux · Faultline · Firefight · Fortuity · Nightwielder · Obliteration · Regalia · Steelheart · Loophole|
|Other||Faithful · Coven · Great Transfersion|