Before Barry Allen became The Flash, Manuel Lago was a close friend to the would be super hero. Manuel had a habit of getting in trouble, bringing Barry along for the ride, which would usually end with the two running from whoever they angered. Manuel joined the CIA after his father was killed in an air-liner highjacking and asked Barry to join with him, though Barry refused. The CIA trained him to be an elite agent and he took part in an experimental project to give him regenerative powers after he lost his hand. With these powers he became one of the best but he was only biding his time, using the CIA to gain connections and intelligence on the organization that killed his father and he went rogue.
The organization was called 'Basilisk' and he began eliminating them one by one until they managed to gain the upper-hand and captured him. Believing that he couldn't have been working alone Basilisk tortured him cutting off his fingers one by one and they discovered they would grow back so they continued cutting him. When Manuel was ready to give up on life these discarded limbs each grew into a whole new copy of Manuel. They felt connected to their 'father' and saved him and working together they continued to fight Basilisk until the duplicates began to die in the order they were 'born'. Instead of staying with them to help discover why they were dying Manuel just ran away like he did to all his problems in his life.
Manuel Lago was created by The Flash writer/artists Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.
Major Story Arcs
While on a date with Patty Spivot at a science exhibit, Barry Allen manages to stop a group of what look to be terrorists from stealing a human genome re-coder. One of the terrorists dies on the scene after the Flash saved him from falling from a helicopter, immediately some believed it was the Flash's fault. When Barry investigates with the Central City Police, he recognizes the body as his old friend Manuel Lago. The next day, the police find that the suspect mysteriously died from an undetermined reason, not the fall so it was not the Flash's fault. That night while investigating the altered DNA from the body at his own apartment Barry is confronted by Manuel alive and well. Before the shock of his dead friend being alive can wear off the group of terrorists from the science exhibit break in and Manuel leads Barry out the window on a chase through Central City. Barry takes a dive into the river in order for him to become the Flash. However when Barry catches up to Manuel, he sees that Manuel has been captured by the terrorists who all happen to be duplicates of his friend and are known as Mob Rule.
The Flash manages to take out several of the duplicates but they have the upper hand and tell him that they have Barry Allen's reporter friend Iris West and they'll only release her if he lets them escape with Manuel. Mob Rule took Manuel to Dr Guerrero who originally gave him his regenerative powers but even with the original genetic source he couldn't why they were dying though the doctor did black out both Keystone and Central Cities trying to find out. After being disappointed with Dr. Guerrero's performance Mob Rule killed him and sought out the inventor of the genome re-coder they attempted to steam Dr. Darwin Elias to solve their problem. Barry and Patty found Miguel in Dr. Guerrero's lab being held by Mob Rule and tried to rescue him but Barry stayed behind to give them time to escape and was apparently shot. Manuel however is quickly recaptured by Mob Rule who inform him that they shot his best friend Barry which impacts Manuel more than he thought it would.
Manuel Lago is an expert trained CIA operative who gained regenerative powers as part of Project Bellator. The regenerative formula would heal any injury, including regrowing lost limbs. It also increased his strength and resilience beyond that of any man and was intended to turn him into an unstoppable one man army. As a side effect of this regenerative ability any part of his body that is removed can grow into a full grown duplicate of Manuel complete with his skills and knowledge and sharing a psychic link with each other and Manuel, their 'father'. The duplicates have varying demeanors and personalities but all share an affinity for that who they spawned from.