The Linear Men: Summaries & Annotations Part VII
The Kingdom #1 (December 1998)
The Kingdom reveals how Gog is traveling backward through time, stopping each day to kill Superman in new and horribly inventive ways. But with each earlier murder of the man of steel, Gog creates a new time paradox, further weakening the fabric of reality. Hunter, of the "Linear Men" who guard the Timeline, sets out to help stop this rampage... and protect a mysterious secret about the nature of space-time itself.
Arriving on the day that Wonder Woman gives birth to her and Superman's son, Hunter is unable to help the heroes of Earth stop Gog. The crazed, time-traveling villain takes the super-child and proceeds directly to 1998 Kansas to complete his mission of destruction.
The only course of action left is Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to accompany Hunter back to 1998 and battle Gog there. But even if they succeed, their journey will alter the time stream so much that their own future, the world of Kingdom Come, will be erased from reality!
And so, as the three greatest heroes the world has ever known depart on their final mission, the people of the future wait for their lives, their entire reality, to be erased. But four young heroes — Nightstar Offspring, Kid Flash and Iban al Xu'ffasch — will join forces to somehow fight the inevitable doom that waits them...
Son of The Bat #1 (December 1998)
1.22.5 - Iban & Nightstar embrace as Iban desides never to leave her again and they deside to try to save the present. Suddenly, Hunter appears to say, "Just the sort of dedication I'm looking for."
Iban turns and utters, "Who--?" (Note: The picture is different in Nightstar #1)
1.22.6 - Close up of Hunter as he says, "My name is Rip Hunter. And I am your only hope. If there are others like you who are willing to risk everything... To trade all their tomorrows for one yesterday... Gather them together. We have work to do."
Nightstar #1 (December 1998)
1.24.5 - Iban & Nightstar embrace as Iban desides never to leave her again and they deside to try to save the present. Suddenly, Hunter appears to say, "Just the sort of dedication I'm looking for."
Nightstar turns and utters, "Who--?" (Note: The picture is different in Son of the Bat #1)
1.24.6 - Close up of Hunter as he says, "My name is Rip Hunter. And I am your only hope. If there are others like you who are willing to risk everything... To trade all their tomorrows for one yesterday... Gather them together. We have work to do."
The Kingdom #2 (December 1998)
Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman of Kingdom Come team up with their present day selves to stop the menace of Gog. The true meaning of "The Kingdom" is reveled... And the DC Universe will change forever.
DCU Heroes: Secret Files & Origins #1
Miscellaneous character entries and mentions.
DCU Villians: Secret Files & Origins #1
Miscellaneous character entries and mentions.
Impulse: Bart Saves The Universe PF (April 1999)
Extant, the villain that nearly destroyed all of DC's greatest heroes in Zero Hour, has returned, and opnly Bart Allen stands in his way. And not even Batman, three Flashes, the JSA, and the Linear Men are enough to stop Extant, so this battle hinges on the stable, clear thinking of Impulse.
Action Comics #754 (May 1999)
Immonen, Miller, Marzan, Jr.
754.3.3 - Superman is lost in the Phantom Zone until a series of images begin forming infront of him of "Dominus and Kismet, Waverider and the Linear Men... The confrontation between the Justice League, the young Supermen of America and my peacekeeping robots... The last stand at the Fortress of Solitude..."
(Note: Only Waverider appears riding the time stream with an energy ball following him. No Linear Men appear in this panel.)
All Star Comics #2 (May 1999)
In the epilogue to the story Hourman II appears to the dying Hourman at Vanishing Point where Extant is doing battle with the rest fo the Justice Society of America. (Note: Vanishing Point appears but the Linear Men do not.)
JSA: Secret Files & Origins (Aug 1999)
Waverider mentioned in the Extant Bio.
DC One Million: 80-Page Giant #1,000,000 (Aug 1999)
The 853rd Century Superman is just about to 'boom-suit' Alchemo back to Pluto when the Super-Oracle Alarm goes off.
1,000,000.6.3 - As Heartiac and Alchemo stand behind Superman, he answers the destress call with, "What's the problem, son?"
The hologram version of the future Superman replies, "Hunter's Law of Time forbid's me from divulging the specifics Superman, but you must do exactly as I say or all is lost. Our future demands you assume Alchemo's identity and attend a meeting of the Superman Revenge Squad in deep space."
Superboy #65 (Aug 1999)
K. Kesel, Grummett, D. Davis
The remaining Challengers of the Unknown & Superboy have just returned from their adventures in Hypertime and are reflecting on the events that led to their crashing into the Planet Krypton Restaurant. Mr. Michael Jon Carter (aka Booster Gold) has just offered Planet Krypton's basement as the new Challenger's Hypertime Headquarters do to its' natural weak point between realities. Prof asks Mr. Carter, "And how would you know, sir?"
65.7.4 - Suddenly Carter transforms into Hunter of the Linear Men and answers, "Because I'm Rip Hunter -- Carter's silent business partner, and one of the few who knows about the existence of Hypertime. My disguise was necessary to deal with the employees earlier. I've traveled this timeline -- time after time -- and knew everything that would happen today... except your answer to my offer. As you know, the timeline isn't always straight -- anything is possible."
65.8.1 - Hunter appears in the background behind Superboy as they stand in the center of Planet Krypton.
65.8.3 - Hunter comments on Superboy's reply to Prof's offer with, "I don't know if I'd be so sure about the project, Superboy. I believe there's word on the internet says... ...Cadmis is hiring a replacement for you -- right now!"
Man of Steel #94 (Nov 1999)
94.17.1 - As Strange Visitor suddenly remembers who she is and
how she came to be, Waverider is shown and mentioned, "[...] With the aid
of Superman of the time-spanning Linear Men, Kismet's essence was spared...
...and transported to Superman's own past where Kismet's essence was
secreted in the body of a young girl named Sharon Vance, who otherwise would
have died... [...]"
Secret Files & Origins Guide To The DC Universe 2000 #1 (Mar 2000)
Timeline Text by Robert Greenberger & Phil Jimenez
1.92 - 2 Years Ago
"Stealing the chronal energies of Waverider, the villanious Monarch renames himself EXTANT and joines forces with Parallax to collapse the time stream and create a new reality of their own design. Parallax wipes out a host of potential timelines and draws a score of heroes to "Ground Zero," the beginning of time. The Justice Society's Atom, Hourman, and Doctor Mid-Nite are slain by Extant during this conflict. Green Arrow and Green Lantern join forces to end Parallax's threat."
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman: Waverider Character Preview
Waverider, "When I was simply Matthew Ryder. I lived in a dark future, a time when
freedom was a distant memory.
Our ruler, the mad warlord Monarch, was afraid that research into time
travel would give his enemies a way to defeat him.
He selected me to find a way to... control time. But, his machines...
merged me with the time stream. Making me into something else... Waverider.
I can now see the endless pathways each point in time can branch into and
sometimes help put events that are off track... back in line."
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman #2: Menace of Metallo #2
Waverider is monitoring a tesseract when he discovers timelines are dying. He tapes into a possible future to find Superman powerless to stop Metropolis and the world from being destroyed. He goes back to Vanishing Point with his report and plan for action. He intern gets a lecture on the Linear Men's charter and Waverider's personal involvement in past adventures from Travis O'Connell, Liri Lee, and Hunter. [Note: Travis O'Connell is used instead of the Linear Men version of Matthew Ryder due to the nature of Ryder's complicated background as both a Linear Men and as Waverider.] Waverider decides that he will not interfere, but will help insure other possibilities still exist and asks permission to warn someone who does have the ability to alter history.
Waverider's background and the Linear Men's background are given as possible options. The annotation of the Waverider entry can be found with the ‘Waverider Character Preview.' (above) The Linear Men background is told by Waverider and states:
"The Linear Men, Hunter, Liri Lee, Travis O'Connell, and myself, Waverider. Time Travelers from different points in history. I'm part of this... organization, if that's what you want to call it. We stand outside time, observing from our headquarters in Vanishing Point, a citadel that exists outside normal time and space. But, we only observe, never to interfere. None of us know how the Linear Men began. But, we know our mission, to protect the time stream from being changed by those who would remake the future or the past in their own twisted image. It is the most important responsibility in all existence."
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman #10: Boxing the Parasite #5
After Superman defeats the Parasite, Waverider appears to Superman informing him that they need to talk. The option is given for Waverider to give a briefing in which he states, "With the two weapons in his possession, Superman is doing very well. At least for now, the game could change at any moment, and the currents of time are moving so fast now that even I, Waverider, with almost a total mastery of time travel can not clearly see what lies ahead. I can only hope that Superman is able to stop the tragedy that is coming before time is irreversibly damaged." Waverider shows Superman the disappearing timelines form the vantage point of the time stream and further explains the grave situation. Someone or something is behind the dying timelines and the source of the disturbance is Metropolis in Superman's present. Waverider gives Superman what little information he can give on the weapons he has gathered and then wishes Superman luck as they part ways.
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman #11: Bizarro Battleground #1
Superman recaps the story so far and ponders Waverider's warning.
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman #16: Time's Arrow #1
The Vanishing Point computers come on line as another timeline is distroyed. Waverider monitors the situation and tires to calculate the probability of any timeline surviving the distrubance and but the data is uncacluable. And if the present situation isn't averted, all timelines will collapse and be distroyed in three solar days. Waverider then begins a personal log where he ponders the future and how he is useless to intervien.
Waverider's Mission: "I am one of the Linear Men, custodians of the universe who watch over the very follow of time itself. Coming from various points in the time/space continuum, we have agreed to use our knowledge and power to maintain the health of the time stream. Dyschord's mad quest to change time not only threatens the future and the past, but all of time as well. The very fabric of time will be reality will be torn to shreds if Dyschord is not stopped."
Vanishing Point profile: "The citadel headquarters of the Linear Men, Vanishing Point is neither at the beginning of time nor at the end. Rather it exists at all points in time, and outside of time as well. Built atop a floating asteroid, it is our window on the universe."
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman #21: Dyschord Inferno #1
As Superman races to Metropolis he recaps the events so far and tells what each item is capable of doing.
Entertaindom's The Multipath Adventures of Superman #30: Time's End #5
Waverider meets with Clark Kent in the aftermath of the Alien Invasion.
JSA #13 (August 2000)
13.5.2 - Aboard Hourman's Timeship the heroes have just learned that Extant is behind the present crisis.
Courtney - "Wasn't he supposed to be a prisoner of the Linear Men or something? How did he escape?"
Metron - "It is difficult to imprison a being made of pure entropic energy. Systems tend to break down around him--even the essence of time itself. Such was the case with his contrainment cell at Vanishing Point."
Action Comics #770 (October 2000)
770.18.1 - Waverider appears in the swirling vortex along with other cosmic entities in the Joker's mangled Universe.
Superman #165 (February 2001)
Story Title: "Help!"
Loeb, McGuinness, A. Adams, Madureira, Ramos, Wiertngo, C. Smith
165.1.1-165.1.4 - In Deep Space, the Linear Men are being taken out one-by-one by blasts of light. "They were called the Linear Men in this particular timeline. Matt Ryder. Hunter. Waverider. And lastly, Liri Lee."
165.2.1 - Slowly the Linear Men are being turned into piles of ash. "They came in search of the planet Pluto only to find they were too late. The transformation into the mega-weapon Warworld had been completed. And with their deaths, the path toward the great darkness has begun. Unless..."
165.2.2-165.2.4 - Liri Lee hits a switch on her right arm and ticks out of the time stream.
Superman: The Man of Steel #109 (February 2001)
"World Without Superman"
Schultz, Rouleau, Mendoza, Alquiza
109.6.5 - Clark Kent is at home during Christmas watching TV as a while light in the shape of a woman appears in front of the TV's luminous glow greeting the man with a simple, "Hello Superman."
109.7.1 - Clark Kent shields his eyes in realization of who it is who has interrupted his peaceful night, "Liri Lee -- Of the Linear Men? Am I dreaming?"
109.7.2 - Liri Lee "Maybe you are. That's for you to decide. But I must look more like a nightmare."
Clark, "You do look... Rough. The Linear Men don't just drop by..."
109.7.3-109.7.4 - "The Linear Men are on the ropes, my friend. Just look at me. There's been a terrible disruption in our time continuum," Liri Lee interrupts as she finishes materializing. "The proper and necessary flow of our reality to its destined end is in -- Jeopardy. We're fighting an interloper who is ripping our timeline to shreds -- And we are losing."
109.7.5 - Clark is shocked, "Losing? Losing what?"
Liri replies, "The future. The future without you. It starts here, Kal-El -- With the political victory of Lex Luthor, and your correspondent sense of failure -- Of loss -- Of hopelessness. We have seen the future and it has no Superman!"
109.8.1-109.8.2 - The scene shifts and Clark is now dressed in his Superman costume, "What -- What have you done?"
Liri Lee, "Not what -- When. This is your apartment -- Fifteen years in the future. Kal-El, I am charged with convincing you that bowing to Luthor's public acclaim... ...To stepping off the field of honor -- Is not an option."
109.8.3-109.21.7 - From here Liri Lee takes Superman on a guided tour of a possible future. It is her hope that showing Superman the error of his current outlook will spark the Man of Steel into changing. If he does choose to abandon his adopted planet, then the Linear Men will be forced to take some very drastic steps to ensure the sanctity of the present timeline.
Superman: Our World's At War: Secret Files & Origins #1 (August 2001)
"The Eighth Day"
Wolfman, Loeb, Guichet
1.9.1-1.9.2 - 'Deep space. Some light years away, some time ago.'
Liri Lee is scanning over a large crust encoded asteroid, "Time log entry. Liri Lee of the Linear Men. After searching through an infinite number of timelines... ...I have regrettably, found what we have desperately been searching for. Such is the paradox of the mission and in truth, of all our missions. Imperiex sleeps. And when he awakens--"
1.9.3 - Suddenly the asteroid lets out a large tremor that blasts the crust off revealing a large sphere shaped object. At the same time Imperiex probes descend on the area. 'And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after His kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 1:24 [Genesis, The Bible]'
1.24.3-1.24.5 - Liri Lee stands atop the Daily Planet building looking out onto the ocean, "A universe must be swept aside, so a new one can emerge. So it has been since the beginning of time... ...And why, as guardians of the timestream, it must be allowed to pass."
1.24.6 - A long shot of the city shows Liri silhouetted on the large dome as trails of light.
Young Justice: Our World's At War: Secret Files & Origins #1 (August 2001)
"Comedy of Fras"
Abnett, Lanning, Nauck
1.1.1 - 'Time Log 701050: Earth 21st Century, abandoned Cadmus Facility outside of Metropolis. Internal fighting among subjects--YOUNG JUSTICE--over the continued cloning of the hero Guardian for the coming war.' The team members of Young Justice are at each others throats unaware of what is about to happen.
1.2.1 - Lil' Lobo is ready to pound Superboy and Robin into mush as Liri Lee executes a STASIS mode.
1.2.2-1.3.2 - The time becomes frozen and Liri Lee 'blips' into existence to relay instructions, "Please excuse the time stasis. I see you are in the process of exploring certain... Issues. You must put these to one side immediately. Young Justice... Consider yourselves drafted. A renegade artificial intelligence is ravaging your timeline! If it is not stopped, it will annihilate the entire continuum. You are the only team we Linear Men have been able to contact to help us. This temporal compass has been set with coordinates to transport you to the moment in the time-line when this evil consciousness is at its weakest. You must stop it for the sake of everything you know and care about. Good luck."
1.2.3-1.2.4 - Liri Lee blips out of existance with the frozen Young Justice in tow. As time restarts, the piece of hardware Lobo was about to throw comes crashing down to the ground.
After a series of misadventures and an interesting adventure with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Young Justice has ends up in a bizarre place filled with circuits. Suddenly, Waverider streams onto the scene and chastises the team for their foolish actions, but gives them one final chance to redeem themselves.
Young Justice #35 (August 2001)
David, Nauck, Stucker
35.16.1 - Red Tornado, "As you know, Earth finds itself faced with perhaps its greatest threat ever: a being named Imperiex, alleged to have destroyed entire systems, who is now approaching our world. Your own encounter with the Linear Men, and the machinations of Brainiac 13, have served to make you aware of the problem first-hand."
Superman: The Man of Steel #118 (November 2001)
"Time and Punishment"
Schultz, Mahnke, Wong
Superman is leaving from his visit with Steel when suddenly time freezes and Superman realizes that he has been lifted out of time by...
118.6.1 - "...The Linear Men?!" Superman is shocked at what he sees before him. A very metallic and robotic Liri Lee is floating in front of him and behind her are three enormous brains. One is that of Matt Ryder, the other is Hunter complete with a cybernetic eye, and the other is Waverider who's brain-like form coursing with a flame like appearance. Stranger still, the Linear Men now communicate telepathically.
Hunter, 'Don't even think about giving us trouble, Superman.'
Waverider, 'You have been commended to our custody by a higher authority.'
118.6.2 - Superman, "Hunter?! W-What's happened to you?"
118.6.3-118.6.4 - Hunter replies, 'Too much time-travel--Too much physical trauma at the hands of such as Brainiac 13. It has become convenient for Matt Ryder, Waverider and myself to reduce our-selves to our essential bio-auras. Only Liri Lee remains tied to human vanity, expending the energy necessary to maintain her corporeal form.'
"I... Don't quite understand... ...And until I do, I'll be taking Liri's time-control bracelet..." Superman announces while using his heat vision.
118.7.1-118.7.2 - Hunter sends a blast of light from his sensor that deflects Superman's head vision and then sends Superman crashing downward. Superman proclaims that they can't take him hostage, but the scene shifts as Liri Lee tells the man of steel that "it is in your best interests to cooperate."
118.7.3-118.10.2 - Superman and the others appear in a fiery wasteland in front of none other than the Spectre (Hal Jordan) who backs up Liri's statement. Spectre explains to Superman that he is now "Out of time. In the middle of time. A higher plane of existence. A court of natural law, where you will be heard and judged."
Superman is shocked that the Spectre would judge him, however he soon learns that it is now the Spectre who will judge him but rather the Quintessence, the high council of beings who govern reality. Standing in on this court is Highfather, Shazam, Ganthet, Zeus, and the Phantom Stranger. Superman is on trial for nothing more than thwarting the entropic force of Imperiex in the recent war. It seems Superman's role has skewed the timeline and now nothing is certain. Zeus instructs the Linear Men to proceed and declare the charges.
118.10.3 - A mouth and two tendril like hands sprout from Hunter's brain like form as he begins, "Thank you, Zeus, and may this gathering be pleased to hear us. We are the Linear Men, guardians of time, privileged to have glimpsed THE END--The ultimate destination of the known universe... ...And charged with seeing that the end is properly realized. We bring before you Kal-El of Krypton--Superman--Who has perpetrated a crime, an atrocity of the gravest proportions, against the cosmos itself!"
Liri Lee is standing with her arms crossed as she snidely remarks, "I'm telling you, Hunter... You're going to win more sympathy in mammallion biped form..."
Hunter takes Liri's comment in stride, "...Sigh... We will show you a cosmic-powered being who has abrogated his responsibility to the universe!"
118.11.1-118.13.1 - As the trial continues the Spectre objects in Superman's favor and Hunter counters by telling the panel of judges of Superman's rather bizarre influence over time. He brings up their first meeting when Superman interfered in "the unfortunate Booster Gold debacle." The case shifts to Superman's tampering with the timeline during the Imperiex war. It seems that Superman's tampering not only lead Strange Visitor to commit suicide, but it also tore Kismet, the goddess of the pathwars and the illuminator of realities, free from her shelter of flesh.
118.13.2-118.15.5 - Kismet/Sharon appears in front of everyone. Superman tells her that he is sorry and Kismet replies to his grief by telling him he did the right thing. As the trial continues Hunter shows the court images of countless beings who would have been important to the security of future timelines. Hunter even goes so far as to bring the Black Racer onto the stand to prove that Superman even cheated death to bring back Steel.
118.16.1-118.20.2 - A rumbling envelops the court as Steel, clad in the very remains of Imperiex himself, bursts onto the scene in hopes of saving Superman. He however is not needed. The court it seems never was going to punish or even blame Superman, but rather this hearing, in the words of Highfather, "an effort to access the nature of the change you and your kind have wrought over all creation." Zeus says that the responsibility for the outcome is to be appointed and shared by all. It is a time for change and a new order is dawning. "A future of chaos--And possible madness--Awaits us all, because the meek, the mortal, have matured and begun assuming control of their universe."
118.20.3 - Zeus, "The old days are finished. Those who guarded the cosmic wheel become increasingly irrelevant! Superman! Steel! As you throw down your lot with mortals, so let mortals stand accountable for the future! This is neither good nor evil--It merely is. You are dismissed!"
118.21.1 - The council begins to discuss amongst themselves as Hunter watches. Shazam, "The future is in good hands, I think."
Zeus, "True, Shazam, he knows and values the higher power..."
Phantom Stranger, "...The power of love."
118.21.2 - Hunter can't stand ideally by anymore and has an outburst, "No! This is insanity! Insanity! The man was instrumental in obscuring all known paths to THE END! He's too dangerous! He must be controlled."
118.21.3 - Zeus's eye glows as he snaps back, "No, Linear Man. Your encounters with the B13 consciousness have left you mad. It is your dictatorial philosophy, your adherence to a fated end, that is now out of step with temporal transmutation and progression."
118.21.4 - A whirlwind of light begins to swirl around Hunter and the others as Zeus continues, "The age of predestination is over! Superman signals the coming of an era of free will... ...And you all must learn to get on with your lives!"
Hunter screams out, "NOOOOO!!"
118.21.5 - "To think that the Linear Men were once ordinary humans..."
"*Sigh* The converts are always the most fanatic."
The swirling vortex culminates in a huge burst.
118.22.1 - Epilogue:
A voice off frame announces to a brown haired lady with a pony tail like Liri Lee's that, "He'll see you now, Ms. Largo..."
118.22.2-118.22.4 - Ms. Largo enters President Lex Luthor's office as the man shifts through some paperwork, "Come in, Ms. Largo. Don't be shy. Timidity has no place around here. Liesel Largo--I've been puring over your resume, trying to find fault, but... ...Heads of state--Captains of industry--Dukes and kinds--Glowing recommendations from all. Confirmed by my own rigorous background checks. You'll be perfect. You will be a perfect nanny to my Lena. The position is yours, Ms. Largo. When can you start?"
118.22.5 - Close up of Ms. Largo. We can see a strange light in her eyes, "Anytime, Mr. President--Anytime. I have all the time in the world."
Personal note: Having reread Superman: The Man of Steel #118, I feel that this was meant to be the final apppearance of the Linear Men. I hope that it's not, because there is so much more that these characters could be used for. If someone from DC Comics is reading this... I have a heck of an idea for the Linear Men and would love to do a mini-series!
| Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII |
I am sure I have missed some appearences by the Waverider & The Linear Men.
And in case I have please send me an e-mail at email@example.com.