"Time Ryders": Liri Lee pays Superman a visit at the Justice League headquarters, where she almost gets shot at by Booster Gold, fearing that she's coming to take him back to the 25th Century like the last [[Tr
Appearing in "Time Ryders"
- Matthew Ryder's grandfather (Dies)
Synopsis for "Time Ryders"
Liri Lee pays Superman a visit at the Justice League headquarters, where she almost gets shot at by Booster Gold, fearing that she's coming to take him back to the 25th Century like the last Linear Man tried to. Liri Lee reveals that her purpose of coming is to warn Superman of Waverider, whom the Linear Men see as an unstable element in the timestream that they are so vigilant to protect. Before Superman could ask anymore about Waverider, Liri Lee vanishes.
Superman returns to Metropolis, where he changes into Clark Kent and attends a dinner with his fiancee Lois Lane meeting with Clark's high school friend Lana Lang who's ready to tie the knot with Pete Ross. As Pete asks the question of when Clark and Lois are going to do the same, Clark hears a young boy crying out for help. It is young Matthew Ryder who is with his family at dinner in the same restaurant, watching his grandfather pass away. Suddenly at that same instant, everything freezes in time except for Clark, who uses this opportunity to change into Superman. He now sees why time is frozen: Waverider appears, and (because he is a grown-up version of Matthew Ryder from the Armageddon 2001 timeline) is watching his grandfather die, feeling that he no longer has any part in the timeline that was created with the defeat of Monarch.
He then sets off toward Vanishing Point, the home of the Linear Men, dragging Superman along with him, and attacks them, but Linear Man Matthew Ryder expects this and activates energy orbs in the attempt to contain both Waverider and Superman. Waverider, himself an energy being, uses that energy to create multiple versions of both himself and Superman to overwhelm the Linear Men. Linear Man Matthew Ryder reveals himself as being the Matthew Ryder that the timeline has produced, saying that his grandfather's death is technically more his tragedy than Waverider's since he's lived through it. Waverider becomes so enraged that he attacks and kills Linear Man Matthew Ryder. However, as he does so, the entire Vanishing Point structure vanishes, and Superman, Waverider, and the Linear Men find themselves in a place called the Nullsphere, where there's basically no way out of it.
Liri Lee, angry that Waverider has killed her husband, asks him if the hell he's been living in is so terrible he needs to drag others into it. Against his own desires, Waverider touches his Linear Man counterpart and sees that his life truly belongs in the timeline that was created with the defeat of Monarch -- how the boy that grew up now ended up working for Lex Luthor at the first when he graduated from college, then he worked with Rip Hunter and formed the Linear Men when he and Hunter were blown out of the timestream by an accident. Thinking of one possible way Waverider can get them out of the Nullsphere, he goads Hunter into using his eye-mounted energy beam to strike Waverider so he can use its energy to manipulate time. Soon they find themselves back at Vanishing Point, where Linear Man Matthew Ryder was still alive. Waverider revealed that he simply removed Matthew Ryder out of the way before his own energy bursts could strike him, resulting in their never having been transported to the Nullsphere to begin with.
Linear Man Matthew Ryder decides that, with the loss of the rogue Linear Man who went after Booster Gold and ended up sacrificing himself to send Superman back to his own time, Waverider can fill the void and take his place among the Linear Men, thus making sure Waverider doesn't become an unstable element in the timestream. Superman, however, still feels uncomfortable with the amount of power over time that the Linear Men have, but instead of answering his questions, they simply send him back to his own time.
And he arrives at the same moment that he left, watching as young Matthew Ryder's grandfather dies, and no one is able to save him from that.
- Superman navigation number 1992/42.
- This story is featured in the Superman: Time and Time Again! collected edition. One page of this issue is reprinted in the The Death of Superman trade paperback and the Superman: The Death and Return of Superman Omnibus.
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Links and References
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Superman: Man of Steel #17
Adventures of Superman #496