""Dark Time"": In the year 2030, scientist Matthew Ryder struggles with the totalitarian oppression of his world's leadership underneath the dictator and former superhero Monarch. Ryder, one of the very few in his world even privately opposed to Monarch's rule, finds s
- Someone should be there to try.
Synopsis for "Dark Time"
In the year 2030, scientist Matthew Ryder struggles with the totalitarian oppression of his world's leadership underneath the dictator and former superhero Monarch. Ryder, one of the very few in his world even privately opposed to Monarch's rule, finds small ways in which to research the superheroes of old, a long forbidden concept. Ryder's curiosity into the subject is drawn mostly from a vague childhood memory of being rescued out of a pile of rubble by a superhero that he couldn't put a face or a name to.
It is revealed through flashbacks how Monarch, at one point a superhero himself, had murdered all of the other heroes singlehandedly and installed himself as sole world ruler, 29 years previously in 2001.
Ryder's obsessions slowly alienate him from both his family, and his scientific colleagues in governmental research. He is brought into further conflict with his daughter, a member of the "Peacemaker" police force, when situation forces him to dive through police bullets to save the life of a young girl. The Peacemakers had been shooting at an old man deemed a "terrorist" for selling old floppy disks featuring information about heroes.
When pressure is applied to his department to increase research on Quantum Mechanics, for the purposes of Time Travel, Ryder immediately volunteers as a test subject. He believes time travel to be the only possible way to stop the nearly omnipotent Monarch... before he begins his career as a villain.
Although he fails to gain admission to the project due to his record as a possible subversive, he vandalizes a public statue of Monarch to call down the ruler himself. After a discussion, in which he accuses Monarch's thus far experiments of having failed due to the breeding out of traits of individual human survivalism and ingenuity, Monarch agrees to use him as a subject for the experiment. Although a quick investigation finds much subversive material on Ryder's computer, Monarch also believes that his love for his own family will prevent Ryder from attempting to alter the timestream. This is verified by a machine test that Ryder subtly tricks, as he hates what his family has become, but wants to believe that in another timeline he could have loved them.
After finally being thrust into the Timestream, Matthew Ryder becomes imbued with its powers, one with it, and becomes Waverider, using his newfound abilities to travel Time, and determine for himself which of Earth's heroes will become Monarch, in the hopes that he might prevent his own terrible future.
Appearing in "Dark Time"
- Matthew Ryder (Waverider) (First appearance)
- Janet Ryder
- Alex Ryder
- Karen Ryder
- Superheroes of the World (Flashback only)
- Wonder Woman
- Captain Atom
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
- Martian Manhunter
- Blue Beetle
- Doctor Fate
- Atom Smasher
- The Flash
- Blue Devil
- Green Lantern (Guy Gardner)
- Elongated Man
- Rocket Red
- Power Girl
- Booster Gold
- The Ray
- Supervillains (Flashback only)
- This is the first story to carry the Armageddon 2001 storyline. Several other title series Annuals will continue to carry the storyline until it is concluded in Armageddon 2001 #2.