User:Spriy/David Charleston

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|parents=[[Blain Charleston]]
|titles=Steelslayer{{book ref|Mitosis|1}}
|born= ~18 years before ''[[Steelheart]]''
|books=[[The Reckoners]]

I’ve seen Steelheart bleed. And I will see him bleed again.

—David Charleston.[1]

David Charleston, an orphaned teen living in Newcago, is a member of the Reckoners on Earth. He maintains a list of all known Epics, keeping a record of their locations, abilities, and weaknesses.[2]

David's fascination with Epics stems from the incident that orphaned him. His father, a member of the Faithful named Blain Charleston, was at a bank, negotiating a mortgage, when an Epic called Deathpoint entered and began murdering people. However, Steelheart entered the bank, claiming the city as his own. Deathpoint began attacking Steelheart and was about to use a second, unknown, ability, when Blain shot him. As the man still believed that Epics could be good, he did not fear Steelheart, triggering the Epic's weakness and causing him to be injured when the bullet grazed the side of his face on its way into Deathpoint's skull. He then killed Blain and would have killed David as well had he not hidden in a vault that Steelheart didn't think to search.[3]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

David knows an huge number of facts about different Epics. He uses this to great effect while hunting Epics, knowing even the vaguest speculation about the weaknesses of different Epics.[4] This stems from his obsessive hatred of Steelheart, and by extension Epics in general, and the single-minded focus on a way to kill him that it fuels. He is extremely skilled with a rifle, and believes that they are in all ways superior to handguns, though, if he were to need to use a handgun, he'd prefer one with as much stopping power as possible since he wouldn't expect to hit his target more than once.[citation needed] He habitually makes terrible metaphors and similes such as "perky as a sack full of caffeinated puppies".[5]

After being made an Epic, David gains the abilities that Steelheart once had, with his weakness being water.[citation needed]

Epic Powers[edit]

Wind Manipulation
David can move anything in the wind, including himself.
David can propel himself through the air under his own power. It is separate from his wind manipulation.
Steel Transfersion
David can 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.
David is impervious to harm from all known sources, including bullets, edged weapons, blunt force, suffocation, radiation, electricity and fire.
Super Strength
David is extremely strong; far more than would seem possible considering his muscle mass. He is still developing the power.
Energy Beams
David can project energy beams from his hands that hot enough to melt steel with ease.

Epic Weakness[edit]

This page or section deals with theories or speculation.
Please read carefully and note that this is not necessarily canonical.
The Ocean
David used to fear the depths, but has brought his fear under control in what he describes as an uneasy truce. As in all Epics, the fear was exaggerated, but after he confronted the fear, it returned to normal.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

David is a Caucasian man of about twenty years.[6] After his father's death, he focused his entire life on gathering information about everything related to Epics, especially Steelheart, and has maintained this obsession even after the Epic's death, finding Epic powers and their abilities interesting even when the Epic possessing the abilities is trying to kill him.[7]



David was a child living with his widowed father when Calamity first appeared. All he and his father had to worry about were typical financial problems; however, those same financial problems would have unprecedently far-reaching effects. David and Blain were at a bank, trying to negotiate a mortgage, when an Epic named Deathpoint arrived. The Epic began murdering random people and soliloquizing about how he could take whatever he wanted when Steelheart entered and claimed the city as his own. Deathpoint attempted to kill him, but only succeeded in damaging his costume slightly, but when he attempted to use a second ability, Blain shot him. However, the bullet grazed Steelheart's cheek, and as Blain didn't fear him, it injured him. Steelheart then murdered him, along with everyone else in the bank, and began the Great Transfersion. David managed to hide in a vault that Steelheart didn't think to check, though, and so he survived.[2] After a year of living homeless and alone, David was taken in by the Havendark Factory, where he, along with many other children worked in exchange for food and board.[2] During this time David became obsessed with researching Epics and finding their weaknesses, particularly that of Steelheart. He compiled a complicated ranking system and many notebooks full of information about different Epics, but try as he might, the one weakness he could never discover was Steelheart's.

Killing Steelheart[edit]

David had figured out that the Reckoners, a rebel group fighting against Epic rulership led by a man named Prof, were in Newcago and planning to assassinate a High Epic named Fortuity. The plan was going perfectly until Curveball, another Epic, appeared. David assumed it was going awry and intervened, which would have ruined everything had one of the Reckoners not been able to "checkmate" Fortuity, making it so that he would die no matter what action he took.

David then went with the Reckoners to their hideout, and after receiving a dowser test, told them about his experience with Steelheart, which was enough to convince them to take him on and begin plotting to overthrow him. However, he remembered about his notebooks back in his apartment, full of information about different Epics, and went with Megan and Cody to retrieve them if possible, but to destroy them if not.[2][8] Just after he'd entered the flat, the Enforcement officers that had been sent to investigate his room entered and found the notebooks. However, one of the officers, Roy, knew David from the Factory, and was able to vouch for his "hobby" of collecting information about Epics. This gave him and Cody the opening that they needed to shoot them, though David spared Roy's life. He then set off a smoke grenade, as an Epic with illusionary named Refractionary had accompanied the Enforcement, and smoke negated her powers. However, she was not in the room, so he instead called her mobile, which allowed Megan to figure out where she was and shoot her.[9]

After returning to the base, David compared notes with Tia, another of the Reckoners who catalogued Epics, and discussed ranking systems and Epic classifications. The group discussed the viability of assassinating Steelheart, and Megan argued that it was impossible and that the only reason she'd go along with it was because of her respect for Prof. He himself took David to a side room and told him that if he wanted the Reckoners to go with him, he'd have to convince Megan.[10]

David soon began learning how to use tensors. While he practiced, he talked with Cody and Tia, another of the Reckoners, learning that Cody used to be a police officer, but quit the force after the Epics took over and began using them as a personal enforcement squad, and how Tia began analyzing exactly what happened on the day of David's father's death to figure out exactly what Steelheart's weakness could be. Prof then arrived to send David to a meeting with Diamond along with Abraham and Megan.[11][12]

The three soon arrived at the shop. Megan and David conversed about his childhood in the Factory as Abraham browsed the weapons, eventually settling on a high-powered gauss gun that shot bolts of pure energy, although it needed a huge amount of power to do so. David convinced Diamond to throw in a remote detonator disguised as a pen, a proposal to which the weapons dealer readily agreed since Abraham was paying with samples of Epic DNA.[13] However, David suddenly smelled garlic and realized that Nightwielder, one of Steelheart's lieutenants, was there.

David fled with Abraham and Megan to the back of the shop. Although Abraham began to dig through the wall with a set of tensors, he wasn't going very fast, and Nightwielder noticed the empty space on the wall where the gauss gun had been.[14] In imminent danger of discovery, David came up with a split-second plan and stepped out from the shadows holding Abraham's gun, pretending that it was part of the store's stock and he had been polishing it.[15] Nightwielder asked him for its specifications, which he easily gave along with those of a couple others, and David retreated to the back of the room with an idea on how he could test Nightwielder's weakness. He found an ultraviolet scanner with a built in camera, and wandered up to Nightwielder and shone it on him, pretending to be fiddling with the device and having not noticed the Epic.[15] Nightwielder then took the scanner from him and crushed it, but not before David managed to take out the data chip with the recording of whether Nightwielder become corporeal when exposed to ultraviolet light or not, finding upon later examination that he did. Abraham was impressed at this discovery, but Megan was angered at the risk, and when they arrived back at the base, Prof shared her feelings, warning David that if he got one of the Reckoners killed from such a reckless risk, Prof would kill him before any Epics could.[16][17]

David then went to the Newcago power plant with Megan in order to sabotage it, as Prof and Tia agreed that such a decision would be the preferred course of action of any rival Epic moving in on Steelheart's territory. Though they successfully tunneled in with tensors, they ended up stuck when an elevator [18]

Things still to Finish[edit]


He later finds out that Megan was an Epic named Firefight, an Epic with reincarnation and "illusion-based powers" that was part of Steelheart's innermost circle.

The Fall of Steelheart[edit]

While fighting Steelheart, Prof comes to aid David, revealing that he himself was a struggling High Epic trying to remain sane. Together, the Reckoners successfully execute a plan which results in the destruction of Steelheart's government and the eventual death of Steelheart himself.[19][20]


After the death of Steelheart, the Reckoners have to defend the city of Newcago against Epics from another place in the world. An Epic with replicating powers known as Mitosis arrives in Newcago and confronts David after hearing that he had killed Steelheart. Upon fighting Mitosis, David realizes that Epic weaknesses always have to deal in some way with the Epic's past.


Journey to Babilar[edit]

The Reckoners learn that Epics, including Mitosis, were being sent to Newcago by a High Epic known as Regalia in Babilar, formerly New York City. David, Prof, and Tia travel to Babilar to take on Regalia; but David's primary reason for going to the city is to find Megan after hearing that she killed a Reckoner based in Babilar known as Sam. Throughout the book, David struggles with finding a new purpose and changing his perspective on Epics after meeting Prof, Megan, and even Dawnslight, an Epic responsible for the nourishment of the people residing in Babilar.

A Familiar Face[edit]

In Babilar, David meets more members of the Reckoners and finds Megan camping out in the city. There, David learns that Megan is illusory powers are really reality warping powers and that she struggles to fight the corruption resulting from the use of her powers. After sharing intimate moments with Megan, a bond between the two of them grow and a potential romantic relationship begins to bud.


Regalia reveals to David that Calamity is an Epic or some sort of higher being that gifts people with powers and then attempts to turn him into an Epic. Because David refuses to accept the powers and confronts his fear of the ocean, Regalia believes she failed to turn him into an Epic. She then reveals to David that she intends to make Prof succumb to the corruption of his powers so he can succeed her. This, with Megan's revelation of her fear and weakness to fire, leads David to the conclusion that confronting your fears can fight the corruption resulting from your Epic powers.

An Unexpected Twist[edit]

David eventually succeeds in bringing down Regalia and Newton, another High Epic in Babilar, but loses Megan after Prof lures her into a burning building to "save" David. After repeatedly convincing Prof to accept his Epic status and that he too can fight the corruption, Prof fails and wreaks havoc. Prof's destruction leads to the deaths of both Val and Exel. Because Megan confronted her fears by running into the burning building, and had died by remote-fire sniper suicide rather than flames, her death was not permanent and she managed to save David.


With Prof turned, David must lead the Reckoners on a desperate chase to recall their mentor, destroy Calamity, and save the world. David comes to the conclusion that not all Epics are evil and adopts a philosophy similar to the Faithful. The book begins with David, now the leader of the Reckoners, leading them through a mission to steal equipment from Knighthawk to fight Prof. There, David reveals that he intends not to kill his former leader, but free him from the corruption and use him to fight Calamity. He eventually attempts to save Tia from Prof but this leads to Prof accidentally killing her. This breaks Prof and the Reckoners. In his final face off with Prof, he and Megan find out that Prof's weakness is failure and manages to defeat him. Obliteration teleports David to Calamity's glass base in space. David later finds out that he himself is actually an Epic with Steelheart's powers but he subconsciously blocked his ability to use them. He uses his powers to save Prof, Megan, and himself from crashing to Earth after defeating Calamity. After Calamity leaves, Epics no longer go dark and David shows his acceptance of the powers gifted to him.


  • According to Megan, David's bad metaphors are actually bad similes
  • In the parallel universe from which Megan pulls Firefight, David was killed by his father, potentially on the Day of Annexation.
  • David hates being called a nerd
  • David and Spensa would get along.[21]


{partial} {Reckoners}} [category: viewpoint characters]]