This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.
The being known as Waverider is originally a human scientist, Matthew Ryder. In the year 2030, the world has been ruled for 20 years by an armored despot known only as Monarch, who has destroyed all of Earth's super-heroes. Most of the people of Earth have had their wills crushed by Monarch's reign. Ryder, however, was as a child rescued from a collapsing building by an unknown superhero, later known as Bennett Dilly - his future college roommate, and was inspired by his memory of this event to fight back. Knowing that Monarch had once been a hero before some unknown event turned him to evil, Ryder volunteers as a time travel test subject in hopes of traveling to the past and preventing Monarch from ever coming to exist. Though previous test subjects have died, Ryder was able to enter the timestream and was transformed into a being able to travel freely through time.
As Waverider, Ryder is also capable of seeing a person's most probable future by temporally merging with them. The future he sees is by no means assured, and reading a person a second time can result in a wildly different vision. Typically, Waverider is able to temporally merge with subjects without their becoming aware of it. Waverider uses this power to try discovering which hero would become Monarch but is unsuccessful as his mere presence changes the future. When Waverider attempts to read Captain Atom's future, the interaction of their powers resulted in a massive amount of quantum energy being unleashed. This creates 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.
After Monarch's defeat, Waverider continues to use his powers to travel the timestream attempting to render aid whenever possible. Waverider's attempts to 'fix' the timestream lead him to clash with the Linear Men on multiple occasions.
Linear Men member
Eventually, Waverider joins the Linear Men. Despite his now officially-neutral status, he proves a great help to Superman when Doomsday returns the first time, providing Superman with both information on Doomsday's origin and a means of defeating Doomsday by transporting the creature to the end of time (although Doomsday is later recovered by Brainiac).
In a prelude to the Zero Hour event, Waverider and Rip Hunter fight Monarch, who has built a crude time travel device. After bouncing across several eras, Waverider attempts to use his powers to overload Monarch's armor. The plan backfires, and because of Waverider's interference, Monarch evolves into Extant. Hunter informs Waverider that Monarch should have died in the encounter.
During the Zero Hour event, Extant and Waverider come into contact at Vanishing Point, the Linear Men's home base. Extant removes his mask and reveals that he has the same powers as Waverider, and even his appearance. Extant informs Waverider that he has used the powers of Hawk, Dove, and ultimately Waverider himself to achieve his current form.
Later in the miniseries, an Extant from another point in the timeline (between his evolution from Monarch and the meeting at Vanishing Point, Waverider is killed and absorbed by Extant, who later merges with the present day Extant.
- Quantum Energy Physiology
- 33 Appearances of Matthew Ryder (Armageddon 2001)
- 6 Images featuring Matthew Ryder (Armageddon 2001)
- 2 Quotations by or about Matthew Ryder (Armageddon 2001)
- Character Gallery: Matthew Ryder (Armageddon 2001)