Flores

And here we are, finally catching up with Runaways. In episode 4, Fifteen, we meet the last (for now) new character introduced by the show. During a flashback, in fact, we learn that Nico Minoru tried to call an ambulance for her suicidal (?) sister Amy, but her mother Tina prevented her from doing it, and she called a police detective she knew to cover everything up. The detective in question is Flores, portrayed by Alex Fernandez, the same one who prevents Robert Minoru and Victor Stein to be arrested after trying to kidnap a hobo, and whose presence convinces Nico of the uselessness of asking help to the police. In the comics, Flores has more or less the same function, but his main ties with The Pride are not the Minorus. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about young Lieutenant Flores, not even his first name. Born in Los Angeles, he joined LAPD and became a police officer, but it’s more than likely that he was dirty from the beginning, and that he owed his career to the crimelords of the West Coast: Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder. The deal between them was simple: he covered their illicit operations up, while they used their remarkable power and influence to make him advance in the food chain within LAPD. The tasks the Wilders demanded of him were pretty simple, usually, and they mostly involved closing an eye if some runaway or prostitute disappeared without leaving trace, and Flores earned quite a lot of easy money just not doing anything. Then, of course, things became more complicated, as they always do. The Wilders contacted him to find someone, rather than to make them disappear, a group of kids that included also their son, Alex. The kids had run away from home, and their parents wanted them back at all costs. Problem was, Flores had no idea where to start his researches, as the kids seemed to have inherited their parents’ skills and connections, as they had apparently vanished. Believing he was doing the best interest of his employers, Flores contacted two heroes from the East Coast who were somewhat specialized in runaways and street kids: Cloak and Dagger, who arrived in L.A. in a matter of seconds, and joined Lt. Flores’ task force.

Hiring superheroes is not exactly a bright idea when you’re working for supervillains, and Catherine Wilder made that point clear when she shot Flores to the leg, destroying his kneecap: The Pride didn’t like to have vigilantes in their turf. This wound obviously took Flores away from the scenes for a while, recovering in a hospital. It was there that he received an anonymous call, that informed him of where the hideout of the Runaways was: a building sunk underneath the city they called The Hostel. Finally having a chance to redeem himself, Flores left the hospital, and personally led a SWAT team to The Hostel, where he had all the intentions of apprehending the kids for his employers. Unfortunately, he once again underestimated the kids’ resources, and one of them, Nico Minoru, destroyed the building by making the cave around it collapse. While all the cops in the SWAT unit were killed in the collapse, Lt. Flores barely escaped with his life, despite his plastered leg. Troubles weren’t over, however: he had to face his employer to report yet another failure. This time, he met Geoffrey Wilder, and when he pulled out a gun, he was sure he would have lost also the other kneecap. He was wrong. Tired of a resource that was becoming more and more a liability, Geoffrey quickly put an end to Flores’ life, unable to stand his failures anymore. So much for money and glory.

Lt. Flores is an overly ambitious and greedy man, who renounced to any form of honesty and integrity for money and career. Allegedly pretty smart when it comes to regular investigations, it turns out that most of his successes were a gift from The Pride, and that he actually isn’t as brilliant as he lets his colleagues believe him to be. An amateur like Flores, however, should be careful while playing with the grown-ups…

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