Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
TwiLyghtSansSparkles

Why Are Some Epics More Powerful?

14 posts in this topic

I was right about Calamity being an Epic, and wrong about where weaknesses come from. So, with that track record, it looks like I have a….75 percent chance of being wrong. :P 

 

Anyway. 

 

Ever since finishing Firefight, I've wondered why some Epics are more powerful than others. You have Steelheart, who is basically a god among Epics, and then you have Firefight, who is a High Epic by default but far less powerful by her own admission. 

 

Why is this? 

 

As of right now, I have no idea, and I'm preparing to have this theory blown to smithereens. But with Epic powers tied to their fears, with powers appearing to give symbolic empowerment over those fears while their greatest fear cancels their powers entirely, I'm wondering if an Epic's power level is related to their willingness/ability to act on their fear. 

 

Take Steelheart, for example. He wasn't about to overthrow the government (so far as we know) but he was more than willing to use force when making his peers fear him. Once Calamity gave him the power to do so, he became one of the first Epics to conquer a city, and was one of the main reasons the US passed the Capitulation Act. He was extremely willing to act on his fear, and did once given the power to do so. 

 

Then there's Firefight. She fears fire, yet throughout Steelheart, we don't see her going out of her way to avoid fire. This could be—and almost certainly is—because Newcago runs entirely on green energy (well, Epic-supplied energy, which doesn't seem to leave a carbon footprint) leaving the citizens with little to no reason to ever use fire, making her avoidance of it a moot point. But even before Calamity, the only thing she could really do to act on her fear was get her parents to buy better smoke alarms and install an indoors sprinkler system. Her fear of fire is strong, but her willingness and ability to act on it is lower, so this could be a connection between her fear and her power level. 

 

What do you guys think? Thoughts? Comments? Snarky memes? :P 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I think it has a good chance of being slightly related to the truth. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a WoB for calamity being an epic?

Edited by Redbird
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regalia confirms it in Firefight. If you haven't read Firefight, you're in the wrong part of town.

I find it interesting that Steelheart has a weakness that basically makes him immune to epics, because all epics are fearful by nature. Does that have something to do with it? Honestly what we need is to learn what criteria Calamity uses when deciding what power to gift.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regalia confirms it in Firefight. If you haven't read Firefight, you're in the wrong part of town.

I find it interesting that Steelheart has a weakness that basically makes him immune to epics, because all epics are fearful by nature. Does that have something to do with it? Honestly what we need is to learn what criteria Calamity uses when deciding what power to gift.

I think the empowerment theory holds water--that Epic powers give them symbolic empowerment over their fears without really requiring them to face those fears, like the spyril did with David's fear of water. Of course, this would mean one of two things:

1. Calamity has some method of seeing into a person's past, allowing him to choose powers that will symbolically empower that person. This would mean Calamity potentially knows the weakness of every Epic he has created at the very least.

2. Calamity uses the same transformation process with every Epic and has no idea what powers they will receive. This means either he lied to Regalia when he said David's powers would have been "thematically appropriate" (because he had no clue what they'd be) or David was a special case and Calamity handpicked his powers, which he had done for no other Epic.

The first one points to a near-omniscient Calamity who has very specific reasons for choosing the people he does. The second points to a much more limited Calamity, perhaps with some sort of empathic ability that allows him to separate the courageous from the fearful.

Edited by TwiLyghtSansSparkles
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do I get the feeling Calamity will sing that to at least one person in the third book? <_<:P

I had another thought. What if an Epic's power level is related to either how strong their fear is, how rare it is, or both? Someone fearing those who don't fear him has to be pretty unusual, while a fear of fire is fairly common. Though a fear of not living up to your family's expectations can't be that unusual, and Newton was pretty powerful, so I don't know how sound that theory is.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something about Epic power levels that makes theorizing about it hard. Their power level isn't set in stone. Calamity can enhance the power of Epics, although we don't know if that enhancment has to fit in with already established powers or could also be something new (aka give Obliteration the ability to shoot lightning instead of just his teleport limit and maybe strenght)

Clearly Calamity has some in-put in how strong an Epic can be, if anything he seems to be limited in the range of powers every Epic can be bestowed with.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something about Epic power levels that makes theorizing about it hard. Their power level isn't set in stone. Calamity can enhance the power of Epics, although we don't know if that enhancment has to fit in with already established powers or could also be something new (aka give Obliteration the ability to shoot lightning instead of just his teleport limit and maybe strenght)

Clearly Calamity has some in-put in how strong an Epic can be, if anything he seems to be limited in the range of powers every Epic can be bestowed with.

 

Remember that Calamity gave Sourcefield the ability to make forcefield bubbles when Regalia enhanced her.  I'd say that they can get new powers.

 

Edit: Great, when I think about Calamity giving an evil laugh, I think of this.

 

Edited by Patrick Star
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that Calamity gave Sourcefield the ability to make forcefield bubbles when Regalia enhanced her.  I'd say that they can get new powers.

She always had protective energy fields, it's even in her name, so that's only an improvment of an already established power and not something completely new.

Edited by Edgedancer
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She always had protective energy fields, it's even in her name, so that's only an improvment of an already established power and not something completely new.

 

I read it as she has an energy shield, but was given the ability to project forcefields.  To me, that's a new power.  It would be like giving Newton the ability to create shockwaves.  Similar, but very distinct.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read it as she has an energy shield, but was given the ability to project forcefields.  To me, that's a new power.  It would be like giving Newton the ability to create shockwaves.  Similar, but very distinct.

She's still doing exactly the same thing with her power, just without the range limit forcing it to be defensive only. It certainly is a significant addition to her power-portfolio but not an entirely new power.

 

On a side note looking at Prof's forcefields versus the one he gifts projecting forcefields seeming to be the natural power scaling of protective ones in the Steelheart-verse.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It certainly is possible. It wouldn't surprise me, given how the nature of epics has become much less "random" since the beginning of first book. At first, we think epics are randomly selected with random powers and random weaknesses, who randomly turn evil. But by the end of firefight, we've learned that maybe none of those things are random or unplanned at all. So no, it wouldn't surprise me if Calamity correlated an Epic's rough power level with his or her ability to act on his or her fears.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A large part of it is due to what the powers actually are too . . .

A mediocre invincible epic, for example, is going to be beating a Calamity-buffed hydrokinetic if you give him enough time unless his weakness is unknown. He can't lose.

Prof's powers besides super strength were inherently a rather powerful combination. He'd still be a powerful threat even with weaker versions of the same powers, just not nearly as broken as the infinite regen, disintegrating, and nigh-indestructible crushing forcefield generating god he is now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.