Matthew Ryder was a scientist from the future Earth ruled by Monarch, an armored despot who had eliminated all heroes. Matthew Ryder believed that one of Earth's erstwhile heroes had evolved into Monarch, and, using his scientific skills, Matthew Ryder created a time machine to journey into the past and change history. Matthew Ryder convinced the despotto let him be a guinea pig in his own device. Monarch agreed, believing Matthew Ryder, like several initial test subjects, would die in the process. Matthew Ryder however survived, merging with the timestream and transforming into Waverider, a yellow super-powered human being. Traveling back to the past, he joined forces with Earth's Greatest Heroes, including the Justice League of America, the Teen Titans and Captain Atom to defeat Monarch, who was later revealed to be Hank Hall, formerly the hero known as Hawk (resurrected during the
Brightest Day Story Arc). Waverider later joined the Linear Men , a group devoted to maintaining the timestream integrity.
Return of the JSA and Zero Hour
After defeat Monarch Waverider discovered the plans of Lord Abraxis to take over the earth dimension through a time rift (Armageddon: Inferno). To stop Abraxis followers Waverider recruited various heroes from different time periods. Was then than the Spectre, also fighting Abraxis, was capable to free the JSA from the Ragnarok-like limbo where they were prisioners.
Waverider He had a relevant role during Zero Hour, a Crisis in time managed by Hal Jordan (later revealed possesed by Parallax then) and Hank Hall (in his Extant identity). Extant apparently killed Waverider and absorbed his powers, but that was reveled as false.
There has been alsoand several apperances in adventures involving time travel. Mainly in the Superman titles, as their fight with Dominus and the trial of Superman after the defeat of Imperiex and Brainiac 13, when, along the Linear Men, acted as prosecutor against the man of Steel, accusing him of crimes against time. The Quintessence, who acted as jugde, instead ruled in behalf of Superman and then proceed to dissolve the Linear men, stripping them of their powers. But that don't stoped Waverider to still travel through time.
Death and post death appearences.
Waverider found his end during the 52 maxi-series. He was discovered first by the sons of Sivana, to whom he revealed than there were somebody hunting time trevelers. The culpruit was later discovered as Skeets, Booster Gold's robotic valet. Using his technolgy Skeets started to torture Waverider, but first he told his victim than his exterior shell was built using Waverider's skin. Off-panel, Skeet proceeded to tear off Waverider's skin.
His remains would appear again during the Time Masters:vanishing point mini-series. The remaining energy in his corpse was used to transform Liri Lee in the Linear woman.
There is no new apparition of Waverider post-Flashpoint.
Waverider has mastered the art of time-travelling, being a scientist. Due to an accident using his machine, he was turned yellow, and given a golden rod, allowing him to fly and, using the rod, project quantum-powered force blasts. He can access a person's aura and predict the future the most probable for them.
Appearances in Other Media
Waverider appears in the TV Series known as Justice League Unlimited. He is never truly a "spotilighted" character, but more as an object placed in the background, to add more depth to the team. Thus, we cannot discuss if his character remains true to the comics or not.