|First appearance||Armageddon 2001 #1
|Created by||Archie Goodwin (writer)
Dan Jurgens (artist)
|Alter ego||Matthew Ryder|
|Team affiliations||Linear Men|
|Abilities||Ability to time travel at anytime
Can access a person's aura and predict their future
Quantum energy blasts
Waverider (Matthew Ryder) is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics universe, a time traveler who was merged with the time stream. Waverider first appeared in Armageddon 2001 #1 (May 1991) and was created by Archie Goodwin and Dan Jurgens.
Fictional character biography
In the year 2030, the world had been ruled by a villain named Monarch, who destroyed all of the Earth's superheroes. Matthew Ryder, a scientist, who remembered the time he was a child and was saved by a superhero from a collapsing building, decided to fight back at Monarch's dictatorship. Matthew discovered that Monarch may have been a former hero, so Matthew built a time machine to travel back to the past to find out which hero would become Monarch. Unlike previous test subjects who had died when they tried the time machine, Matthew survived. However, he was merged with the time stream and was given numerous powers, two of them being to travel through time at his own free will and to predict a person's future. With his new powers and appearance, Matthew took up the superhero name, Waverider.
Making his way into the year 1991, Waverider predicted the futures of numerous heroes, however none of them turned out to be Monarch. When Waverider accidentally came into contact with Captain Atom, the interaction of their powers resulted in a massive amount of temporal energy being unleashed. This created an opening in the quantum field which allowed Monarch, who had been monitoring Waverider's actions the whole time, to travel back in time to ensure his own existence. When Monarch later killed Dove, her partner Hawk became enraged and beat Monarch and unmasked him, only to see that Monarch was Hawk himself.
Soon, Waverider and various heroes he gathered defeated a demonic being called Abraxis. Later, while Waverider was traveling through the time stream, he encountered himself as Matthew Ryder, who was from the year 2030, although Matthew was still a regular human and he had not become Waverider since Monarch's future reign had been erased. Following this, the two of them joined the Linear Men, a group that contained time traveling beings who protected the time stream. Despite the Linear Men's policy of non-intervention in the timeline - to the point that the previously actively interfering Waverider was discouraged from preventing Superman's death during his first battle with Doomsday - Waverider came to Superman's aid when he discovered that Doomsday had returned to life and was now working with the Cyborg Superman. Recognizing the danger of Doomsday's existence, Waverider showed Superman a detailed vision of the past to explain the circumstances of Doomsday's origin as a genetically engineered being capable of evolving to overcome anything that proved capable of killing him, as well as discovering that Doomsday's hatred of Superman was due to Doomsday's traumatic origins on Krypton leaving him with a deeply rooted hatred of Kryptonians. The two heroes seemingly defeated the monster by taking him to the end of time, where the imprisoned Doomsday was destroyed by entropy as the universe itself collapsed.
Later, during Zero Hour, Waverider was subsequently killed by Extant, who had evolved from Monarch. However, the human Matthew Ryder was still alive and was soon contacted by Metron, who told Matthew that he had to become Waverider and that he was the only one who could use time travel to save the universe. Matthew was then transformed into a new version of Waverider and took over the role his previous self did, helping a select group of heroes defeat Extant and Parallax's effort to recreate time according to their own design by triggering their own Big Bang with the aid of Damage.
Junior and Georgia, two descendants of the villain Doctor Sivana, had rebuilt their father's sphere of Suspendium, which was able to let them travel in time. Although they were able to open a gateway in the past, they ultimately had to suspend their experiment. Right before shutting down the machine, they saw Waverider in the timestream, but failed to recognize him. Later, Waverider was seen talking with the dying Time Commander, one of the former time traveling villains he tried to recruit in his efforts to save the timeline. Skeets, infected and controlled by Mister Mind, then arrived and killed the Time Commander. He then asked Waverider where and "when" Rip Hunter was in the time stream. When Waverider refused to tell, Skeets brutally tortured Waverider and later implied that he killed him and was wearing his skin.
Black Beetle, Despero, Ultra-Humanite, and Degaton had intended on finding Rip and killing him, so then the time stream would no longer be guarded. Black Beetle took his allies to a destroyed Vanishing Point and revealed that Rip and the Linear Men were never in agreement about how to handle time and that Rip, tired of the Linear Men's interference, locked them away in a cell at Vanishing Point. The four villains then found the cell and tore it open, seeing an alive Matthew Ryder and Liri Lee in it. Black Beetle asks the Linear Men to help bring Waverider back to life. But Supernova prevents Black Beetle from dystopia and he sends the Time Stealers back to the present, although Black Beetle escapes and Linear Men go with him. They then teleport through time to search for Waverider's corpse in the Earth's future desolate wasteland. After Black Beetle finds Waverider's corpse, he double-crosses them, revealing his plan to use Waverider's power to become invulnerable. Black Beetle attempts to fuse with Waverider's corpse's power but is thwarted by Supernova. Instead, Liri fuses with Waverider's corpse to become Linear Woman, after which Black Beetle escapes. Rip and the rest of the Time Masters arrive however Linear Woman refuses to agree with Rip's rules of time travel and teleports herself and Matthew through the timestream.
Powers and abilities
Waverider can time travel at any time he wants and is always capable of accessing the time stream and monitoring it. He can also access a person's aura and predict their future at any time in their life just by touching them. When he first received his powers, his entire appearance had been transformed from a normal looking man into a being with fire-like hair and yellow skin with a black outline along the back of his body. Waverider can also fly at lightspeed, can fire quantum energy blasts, and also has intangibility and can turn invisible.
In other media
- Waverider appeared in the animated series Justice League Unlimited as a member of the super-sized Justice League. He had no speaking appearances and only made very brief cameos in a few episodes, most notably in "Initiation", "Hunter's Moon", and "Divided We Fall." Hawk and Dove (Hank and Don Hall) were also members of the Justice League, which led to speculation that the Armageddon 2001 storyline would be adapted; however, the producers of the show had revealed that Waverider was included simply because he was visually striking, and to play with fans' expectations.
- Despite limited screen time, Waverider made his action figure debut in Mattel's Justice League Unlimited toy line in the spring of 2006.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Armageddon 2001 was the DC Comics event of the summer...Written by Archie Goodwin and Denny O'Neil, and drawn by penciler Dan Jurgens, Armageddon 2001 chronicled the birth of time-traveling hero Waverider."
- Armageddon 2001 #1 (May 1991)
- Armageddon 2001 #2 (October 1991)
- Armageddon: Inferno (April 1992)
- Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey (January 1994)
- Zero Hour #2 (September 1994)
- 52 #26 (November 2006)
- 52 #27 (December 2006)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #3 (November 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #4 (October 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #5 (December 2010)
- Time Masters: Vanishing Point #6 (February 2011)