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"You don't know me! They don't know me! No one knows me! No one knows what I can do! And you can't make me leave."
Topher[src]

The Chase of Topher was a confrontation between the Runaways and Topher, who attempted to gather Gibborim Rocks at the risk of hurting everyone around him.

Background

"I don't think he's coming back here."
"Shit, he took the map to the dig site."
Karolina Dean and Alex Wilder[src]

Traumatized by the death of her second cousin Graciela Aguirre at the hands of PRIDE, Molly Hernandez decided to use her superhuman abilities to fight crime in Los Angeles as a vigilante.[1] However, by doing so, she caught the attraction of Topher, a young man living in the streets, who followed her up to the Hostel, the Runaways' secret hideout.[2]

Despite the Runaways' initial reluctance, Topher was allowed to stay in the Hostel, especially because of the powers he displayed which were similar to Hernandez's.[3] Topher, who had gained these powers after the explosion that had killed Hernandez's parents and had not aged since then, lied to the teenagers about his abilities' origin. He also falsely assumed that the Runaways' powers were due to a regular consumption of grinded Gibborim Rocks, just like him.

Having become addicted to the rocks, Topher stole a map of the PRIDE Construction Site from Alex Wilder and headed to the site to collect more rocks. This forced the Runaways to go after him, as they feared that his actions could endanger their own plans to fight against PRIDE.[4]

Chase

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Topher finds Gibborim Rocks

"You couldn't hold me before, you can't now!"
Topher to the Runaways[src]

Topher quickly arrived to the PRIDE Construction Site, and injected some grinned Gibborim Rock into his body to activate his powers. He thus acquired a superhuman strength he used to break through the fence of the dig site. Then, Topher noticed a dump truck filled with sand and figured out that he might find some more rocks there. He thus climbed onto the truck and began searching through the sand. He managed to find Gibborim Rocks, but was spotted by a nearby worker who attempted to stop him. In an outburst of violence, Topher violently attacked him, leaving him for dead in the sand.

As the Runaways arrived at the dig site, they saw the worker attacked by Topher being dragged out of the sand. They then noticed Topher, who stole a car and fastly drove away from the dig site. Although Alex Wilder suggested to inspect the site to assess the damage caused by Topher, Nico Minoru ordered Gert Yorkes to follow Topher. Despite Yorkes' reluctance to drive fast and to breach the traffic laws, they managed to track down Topher in a residential area, with his car being parked near a house. The Runaways, except Yorkes who stayed in the car, entered the house and saw Topher arguing with people who turned out to be his family.

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Topher confronts Molly Hernandez

The Runaways then learned about the truth regarding Topher: he had acquired his powers in the same night when Molly Hernandez's parents were killed, and the lack of control over his newfound powers caused him to hurt his family, notably cripping his father and forcing him to run away without aging ever since. The Runaways attempted to convince Topher to leave the house and to give up on the Gibborim Rocks, but he refused to listen to them. Hernandez then stepped in, threatening to use her own superhuman strength, but she was violently hit by Topher, projecting her out into the yard.

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The Runaways are attacked by Topher

Hernandez was quickly joined by the other Runaways while Topher left the house, claiming that no one could stop him. Nico Minoru attempted to attack him with the Staff of One, but Hernandez instructed her not to, instead tackling Topher herself. However, he pushed her back one more time and Minoru seized the opportunity to blast him with the Staff of One. Angered, Topher retaliated by throwing a dumpster at them, which Chase Stein attempted to repel with the Fistigons.

However, the dumpster was redirected onto the car where Yorkes was. Refusing to see her harmed, Topher rushed to push the car, thus saving Yorkes, but was violently hit and trapped beneath the dumpster. The Runaways managed to drag him out, but could not afford to stay and tend to his wounds, instead being told by Topher's sister Sofia to leave and get rid of the Gibborim Rocks.[4]

Aftermath

"Topher may have been suffering, but he was also dangerous. And you are my family, not him!"
"Do you know who you sound exactly like right now? Your mom."
Nico Minoru and Molly Hernandez[src]

The confrontation with Topher deeply affected the Runaways, especially Molly Hernandez who had befriended him, and who blamed Nico Minoru for her behavior towards him. This brought a heavy strain in their relationship, as Minoru insisted that she was right to distrust Topher in the first place the moment he had arrived in the Hostel. Minoru claimed that she had tried to spare Hernandez from losing someone she cared about once again and that she cared more about Hernandez than she did about Topher, but Hernandez refused to listen to her, stating that Minoru sounded like her mother.

Gert Yorkes later comforted her adopted sister about the events, claiming that she was proud of her strength and stating that even though she could not have formed a real connection with Topher, she could always consider the Runaways her family.

One of the neighbors who had witnessed the fight between Topher and the Runaways, and had had a glimpse of Hernandez's eyes when using her powers, drew a large graffiti of a yellow-eyed girl's face on a wall.[4]

References

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