- "Us, street kids, we stick together. We give and we take... and that's how we survive."
- ―Topher to the Runaways
Topher Vasquez is a former employee at Goodman University who became addicted to a mysterious type of rocks that gave him enhanced strength and longevity. He was kicked out by his family due to his violent behavior. Being forced to live in the streets, Topher soon encountered the Runaways, tried to have them welcome him in the Hostel, and became friends with Molly Hernandez.
However, Topher took advantage of his stay at the Hostel to steal a map of the PRIDE Construction Site from Alex Wilder, which he used to find more Gibborim Rocks. Topher was chased by the Runaways in an attempt to have him stop using the rocks, but this caused him to fall into paranoid dementia, and Topher's fate was left uncertain in the ensuing confrontation in which he was grievously wounded.
Topher Vasquez used to live with his parents and his sister Sofia in a residential area in Los Angeles, and worked as a janitor in Goodman University. Topher was present on the nigh the Geosciences Research Center exploded, and in the aftermath of the explosion, he found strange rocks which gave him superhuman abilities, including an augmented strength. Thrilled by these newfound abilities, Topher kept the rocks to further use them.
However, the use of rocks Topher injected in his body caused him to become addicted to it, in turn affecting his personality which became more violent. Topher'as aggressivity and lack of control over his strength led him to severely hurt his father Joseph Vasquez, whose legs remained definitely paralyzed. From this moment, Topher was rejected by his family and was expelled from the house, forced to live on the street.
Meeting the Runaways
- "You know why you can trust me? Because I don't need you. I've already got this whole street-life thing wired. You guys? You need all the help you can get."
- ―Topher to the Runaways
A decade later, Topher had not aged thanks to his powers. During one of his night wanderings, Topher's attention was caught by Molly Hernandez using er superhuman strength to lift a pimp's car to intimidate him. Figuring out that this was the girl with the yellow eyes he had heard about, Topher followed Hernandez all the way back to the Hostel, where he introduced himself to the astonished Runaways. Assuring them that he meant them no harm, Topher expressed his amazement towards the Hostel. He was then put under a cone of silence manifested by Nico Minoru's Staff of One.
While the Runaways debated over what they should do with him, Topher injected himself with grinded Gibborim Rocks, causing his eyes to turn yellow and giving him enough strength to take down the cone of silence. Due to the similarity between his powers and Hernandez's, Topher was allowed to stay in the Hostel, but since the Runaways still distrusted them, he was instructed to sleep under Old Lace's watch. Topher suggested to Minoru that they could share the room, but Minoru walked away after telling Topher that she would discover his secrets.
Despite Old Lace, Topher blew a hole through the wall of the Hostel to sneak out and came back in the morning with a large amount of food, hoping that helping the Runaways would make his integration to the group easier. This impressed Hernandez, who suggested that Topher might be her relative, and Topher agreed that it was possible. When the rest of the Runaways arrived, Topher figured out that they still did not trust him, seeing how Chase Stein had brought the Fistigons with him.
Topher admitted that he knew who the Runaways were, but that he would not turn them to the authorities as there was nothing for him to gain by doing so. He explained that his street skills could be of use to the teenagers, who had much less experience in living as he had for years. In exchange, Topher only wanted to be allowed to stay in the Hostel so he would have a roof and a bed where to sleep. This barely convinced the Runaways, who agreed to taste the food brought by Topher, while Hernandez took Topher for a visit of the Hostel.
- "I walked into the computer lab. Dialed 19-26-3. And here you go. You're welcome."
- ―Topher to Alex Wilder
Topher was enlisted by Alex Wilder into a mission to break into Atlas Academy to steal a computer Wilder needer to hack into the PRIDE Construction Site's systems. For the Runaways to rapidly reach Atlas Academy, Topher used Lyft coupons for three cars, and got into one of the cars with Nico Minoru. During the drive, sensing that Minoru still heavily distrusted him, Topher used his knowledge of Wicca so she would warm up to him. With the effort being apparently successful, Topher was questioned about his use of the Gibborim Rocks, but he falsely assumed that all the Runaways were using it and that Minoru was simply playing dumb.
Having arrived in Atlas Academy, Topher was given instructions by Wilder so he could find the computer lab and steal the computer. However, as soon as Topher entered the school, an earthquake occurred, forcing Topher to leave in the evacuation. Sensing that he would eventually got spotted as an outsider, and still willing to accomplish the mission, Topher found a way to return into the school and to access the computer lab.
Topher was successful in stealing the computer and left Atlas Academy, waiting for the Runaways to join him. He then gave the computer to Wilder, who thanked him, and the Runaways then returned to the Hostel. Topher received the Runaways' gratitude for his assistance, and told them that he understood that they did not trust him in the first place. When asked about why his eyes turned yellow when using his powers, Topher eluded the question, claiming it might have been a genetic characteristic.
Topher was then asked by Minoru to come and talk in her bedroom. Once again, Topher made the mistake to believe that he had won Minoru to her cause and leaned to kiss her, but she revealed that she had stolen her vial of Gibborim rocks. Topher was then told that none of the Runaways used such thing to get their powers, meaning that Topher's abilities were not as similar as Hernandez's as Topher wanted the Runaways to believe. Topher was then ordered by Minoru to tell the truth about the origin of his powers.
- "You couldn't hold me before, you can't now!"
- ―Topher to the Runaways
Interrogated by the Runaways, Topher offered a fake version of his origin story: instead of admitting that he had left his family because of what his powers had done to them, he claimed that he had been kicked out by his cruel relatives before he found the Gibborim Rocks in a terrarium, and that the rocks had saved him from a suicidal behavior. Topher apologized for having lied to the Runaways and especially Molly Hernandez, but promised that he would stop using the grinded rocks once the content of his vial would have run dry.
Since the Runaways were convinced by Topher's story, he was allowed to remain in the Hostel. Having heard Alex Wilder talking about a dig site where Gibborim rocks had been found, Topher inquired on this topic to Hernandez, who told him everything they had gathered on the PRIDE Construction Site. Seeing this as an opportunity to find more rocks, Topher later stole the map of the dig site and, claiming to Gert Yorkes that he would find medication for her anxiety, he left the Hostel without anyone noticing.
Using the map, Topher arrived to the dig site and broke into it by activating his superhuman strength. He quickly spotted a dump truck full of sand and rushed to it. He searched through the sand and managed to find several rocks he put in his backpack. However, Topher was caught by a worker who tried to stop him, causing Topher to violently attack him before escaping from the dig site. Topher then carjacked a man and drove to his former home, unaware that the Runaways were chasing him.
Topher begged his sister Sofia to let him return home, but she refused, recalling what he had done to their father Joseph. As the Runaways arrived in the home, Topher ordered them to leave, but could not prevent his relatives from telling them his true story: that he was present when the Geosciences Research Center exploded, that he had not aged since then and that he was way too violent because of his addiction. Topher insisted that he was not the monster they thought he was, but he progressively lost control.
Completely rejected by Sofia, Topher attacked her before Chase Stein attempted to restrain him. Topher refused to let anyone help him, claiming that no one could stop him. When Hernandez stepped in and declared she was willing to fight him, Topher attacked her as well, projecting her out of the house. Topher attempted to leave, reiterating that the Runaways could not hold him, only to be attacked by Hernandez. Topher pushed her back, but was then attacked by Nico Minoru using the Staff of One.
Getting more and more enraged, Topher lifted up a dumpster and threw it at the Runaways. Stein repelled it with the Fistigons, but accidentally redirected it towards the car where Yorkes still was. Upon seeing this, Topher, who still cared about the Runaways despite his rage, rushed to the car and push it to save Yorkes. However, it caused him to be smashed under the dumpster. Severely injured, Topher tried to grab his backpack containing the rocks, which was taken away by the Runaways while Sofia looked after him and an ambulance arrived.
- "It's just, not everyone is as trustworthy as me."
- ―Topher to the Runaways
However, Topher's personality progressively grew more erratic and violent due to his use of the Gibborim rocks, which had caused him to be addicted to the substance and it's effects. The resulting outbursts of violence caused him to attack those who were close to him on several occasions; his father Joseph Vasquez due to his lack of control on his powers; and later his sister Sofia Vasquez when she rejected him. Still, even when driven nearly mad by the Gibborim rocks, Topher retained a good side, as he did not hesitate to expose himself to heavy injury to save Gert Yorkes.
Powers and Abilities
- Gibborim Rock Enhancement: Topher acquired the same Gibborim Rock that gave Molly Hernandez her powers, however, unlike Hernandez's powers, Topher has to continuously expose himself to the same kind of rock when he wants his strength to amplify. Specifically, Topher uses a grounded rock and rubs it into his wrist. He evidently, however, became addicted to the power and feeling the rocks gave him.
- Enhanced Strength: When Nico Minoru surrounded him in a barrier force-field, he effortlessly punched himself out of it. After following a map to find more rocks, Topher used the last one he had to break through a wooden gate with ease. Topher was strong enough to attack Hernandez and throw her out of a door, as well as throw a large dumpster towards the rest of the Runaways.
- Bioluminescence: When Topher uses his strength, his eyes glow with bright golden-orange ring around his irises.
- Longevity: Most likely as a side effect from his continuous use of the Gibborim Rock, Topher had the ability of reduced aging. His appearance did not change since the night when the Geosciences Research Center exploded and Topher obtained his powers in 2007.
- "Damn. This sure beats staying in a hostel, huh?"
- Hostel: Despite most of the Runaways' reluctance, Topher was allowed to stay in their secret hideout thanks to Molly Hernandez vouching for him. Topher tried to make himself be accepted by the group, frequently bringing supplies to the Hostel. He was also shown all of Alex Wilder's pieces of information regarding PRIDE's activities, and stole a map of the PRIDE Construction Site from the Hostel in order to find more Gibborim Rocks.
In chronological order:
- In the comics, Topher was a leader of a small criminal group in Los Angeles and a vampire who infiltrated the Runaways.