The Legion of Super-Heroes Reference File
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Waverider is a being who had grown up as Matthew Ryder in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In 2001, according to his recollection, a former super-hero, calling himself Monarch, slaughtered all other heroes and made himself dictator over the entire world. While the quality of life was not bad, Ryder remembered things like personal freedom and spontaneous ingenuity, things that had been greatly discouraged in Monarch's society. Ryder pledged to overthrow Monarch, and in 2030, he volunteered for a time-experiment that would send him back in time before Monarch's reign to try and stop this hero from becoming Monarch. After much searching, he discovered that Monarch was in fact Hank Hall, a. k. a. Hawk, and he proved unable to prevent Monarch's existence, but a later event, at which he saw something happen to his younger self that he did not remember, convinced him that he had been successful in changing his future; his own continued existence was an anomaly caused by his mergence with the time-stream.
A year later, he discovered twelve people who were dissatisfied with their lives summoning the extra-dimensional demon Abraxis to give them power and purpose, that they should act as a vanguard for his conquest of their universe. Abraxis, in order to establish a firm foothold in reality, needed to construct simulacra of himself in four different time-periods. Waverider, using his own powers combined with a device he had previously acquired from the time-traveling Linear Men, sought out heroes whose movement through time to stop Abraxis in other time-periods wouldn't badly damage the time-stream. In order to prevent the completion of the simulacrum taking form in the twentieth century, he summoned Jo Nah of the Legion of Super-Heroes along with Batman, Firestorm, the Creeper and the Spectre either from their presents or recent pasts. They were unable to prevent the simulacrum's completion, and the other three teams in other time-periods failed similarly, but he managed to win the war by temporarily freeing the Justice Society of America from their timeless limbo to take on Abraxis in his own dimension, which stretched Abraxis's power too thin to win all of the battles, and enabled the other four teams to win theirs as well (the Justice Society was eventually freed permanently) (Armageddon: Inferno # 1, 4).
Waverider was later convinced to join the Linear Men, and as a member of their group, he used his powers to "patch" the Valor of Batch SW6 into the time-stream in the place where the young, twentieth-century Valor would have been, had Glorith not interfered and almost destroyed all of time (Valor # 18-21). But the patch was only a limited solution, and the aftermath of the paradox that it involved was a major factor in causing the time-crisis called Zero Hour.
The Linear Men are a group of time travelers who have dedicated their lives to protecting the timestream's integrity, consisting of the founder, Matthew Ryder, his teacher and noted time-researcher, Rip Hunter, archivist Liri Lee and adventurer Travis O'Connell. Based on a place called Vanishing Point which is outside the time-stream which Ryder reached trough an experiment gone awry, they use monitors to track down chronological anomalies and try to correct them. In the late twentieth century, O'Connell attempted to forcibly return Booster Gold, a twenty-fifth century native acting as a hero in the twentieth, to his native time. Superman noticed the commotion and accidentally got caught in the time warp meant for Booster Gold. He ended up in 2973, meeting the fledgeling Legion of Super-Heroes. The Linear Man tried to return Superman to his own time by maneuvering him toward large explosions that could disrupt the timestream enough for him to pull Superman out and re-insert him in the proper place. Eventually, he got Superman to 2995, when the moon was, according to his history, supposed to explode...an event that would certainly be enough to accomplish the task. But instead of Superman getting caught in the moon's explosion, he prevented the moon's explosion alongside several members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, changing history. As the Legion returned to their headquarters, Superman remained on the moon a little while before he was going to follow along. Travis O'Connell came back and explained to him that he had changed history, and that it was his responsibility to set it right once again. Before Superman could stop him, he pressed the button that re-started the countdown to the moon's destruction, and in the resulting explosion, he died...but got Superman back to his own time (Adventures of Superman # 478).
Almost a year later, the Linear Men were again forced to enter the time stream to prevent time's destruction. The sorceress Glorith had come back to the twentieth century and killed Valor, upon whom much of post-twentieth century history depended. The Valor of Batch SW6, who had been traveling in time, ended up in the right place, but he tried to avoid repeating his own history. The Linear Men sent Waverider, who had joined them, to convince him to surrender to his destiny and become the past Valor himself, which he did, allowing Waverider to use his powers to smooth over the paradox in the time stream. But this "patch" turned out to only be a limited solution, necessitating Valor's accomplishments in a shorter time than previously understood history recorded and, in fact, skipping over some events at which he was said to have been present, a problem that eventually led to Zero Hour, the crisis in time (Valor # 18-21), an event which they tried to stop...but failed to, and could only pick up the pieces afterward (Zero Hour # 4-0).