Carlos Valenzuela is a guy you want to have around, especially if you’re a hyper-human being. Not only is he laid-back and easy to get along with, he also has the ability to metaphysically enhance the powers of any hyper-being in his proximity. He discovered this ability when he was just a kid, but his parents, Nehemiah and Pilar (hyper-beings themselves) encouraged him to keep it secret, for they knew that if super-villains or government agencies found out about him, they would surely come knocking.
Flow has the power to enhance the hyper abilities of other hyper-beings in his vicinity. He also has limited telepathic abilities.
By the time he was 12, however, he had been outed by a deadbeat uncle who needed some money. Uncle Horatio Valenzuela had a terrible gambling problem, and eventually got into debt with a group of hyper-powered loan sharks known throughout the streets of L.A. as The Shady Pool. Horatio owed a quarter-of-a-million dollars and, after being on the run for months, was finally tracked down and caught by Tanner Brew and his crew. Uncle Horatio was moments away from meeting his demise when the subject of Carlos came up. The Shady Pool were only small-time players in the organized crime world, and their hyper-abilities were weak and underdeveloped. Horatio promised he could help them take over the streets by giving them something that would increase their powers exponentially – namely, his nephew Carlos.
The very next day, all eleven members of the Shady Pool attempted to kidnap the boy, but his parents were ready. Pilar’s ability to blast ice beams from her eyes, and Nehemiah’s ability to coat his body in bronze armor, were too much for the petty crooks, who failed to get close enough to Carlos to take advantage of his hyper-boost abilities. The couple easily laid waste to the Shady Pool, but the battle brought all kinds of attention to the Valenzuela family.
As they feared, Carlos’ abilities were revealed, and quickly became a sought-after commodity. Nehemiah and Pilar vehemently rebuffed offers from dozens of government agencies, who wanted to pay them for the use of their son. And they battled even more super-villains and mad scientists, who attacked them at every turn. For years, the Valenzuela’s moved from city to city, country to country, until finally, they were able to find some peace and quiet in the northernmost region of Platinum City. They settled down and were never bothered again.
At the age of 22, Carlos moved out, and attended college at Platinum City University, where his easygoing demeanor made him a very popular guy. He also met Vivian Bautista, who, for some reason, made him feel more calm and at peace than anyone else he’d ever encountered. They married a weekend after commencement, then moved to Virginia to start a life together.
Carlos supported his wife through a short, but successful MMA, then, after their first of six children were born, opened up a small storefront exercise and pilates studio. He ran classes every evening, and each time the place was packed. Their quiet lives went on for the next 25 years, and Carlos had never revealed his abilities to his wife. However, that all changed on the day of their youngest daughter’s’ graduation.
A group of young hyper-powered punks, called the Kindle Kids, attacked the graduation ceremony – that was when Carlos learned of his wife, Vivian’s ability to mute the powers of other hyper-beings. That, coupled with her MMA background, gave her all the tools she needed to thrash the Kindle Kids and save the day.
That night, after all of the excitement died down, Carlos told her about his ability, and the two of them figured out why they were so compatible with one another. Essentially their respective powers, which were diametrically and infinitely opposite, did not cancel, nor enhance one another. They actually interacted with one another in an intensively metaphysical way, that induced a euphoric feeling in both Vivian and Carlos. It all made sense now – they were almost quite literally soulmates.
After the incident with the Kindle Kids, their lives changed. Vivian began doing contract work with the Department of Hyper-villain Detainment, and the two of them began taking in foster children. Furthermore, when they discovered hyper-abilities within any of these kids, the couple would begin training them. Carlos took on the moniker “Flow”, which went very well with Vivian’s new nickname. They were known collectively as “Ebb and Flow.”
Flow would combine his enhancement hyper-ability with various meditative techniques to facilitate higher power levels in their trainees, while Ebb would use her power-muting ability and extensive martial arts background to force them into learning how to fight in the absence of their powers. Needless to say, all students of the Ebb and Flow Dojo grew into extremely formidable hyper-humans.
Their most interesting student was a young girl by the name of Francine Fray, a powerful telepath who took to their training with more fervor and ferocity than any before her. She and her sister, Charlotte (who would come to be known as “Magnifica”) came to stay with them as teenagers. Francine was telepathic, and after four years of training she had grown so powerful that neither Carlos, nor Vivian’s abilities had any affect on her. Vivian wanted to keep training her, but Carlos felt it was dangerous. After several incidents in which Francine (now calling herself “Placebo”) endangered the lives of her foster siblings and others in the vicinity, Carlos finally convinced Vivian to halt the training.
This was a decision that Francine did not agree with, and after an intense argument, she left the Ebb and Flow Dojo. While Vivian continued to believe they could have helped her more, Carlos had a feeling deep in his gut that Placebo may come back to haunt them.