Ryder Lightning is a character in the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" comic series and a member of the supergroup by the same name. His first appearance was in the text-only "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" Issue #0 (2009) and was featured in Issue 2 (2009).
He is one of a small group of heroes who came from another universe referred to as XHT-S7. In that world, many people received their powers from radioactive rocks that came to earth during a meteor shower in 1938. He was previously known as The Runner.
Bart Allan Wallace was a child of a broken home in the outskirts of Philadelpha. He often ran away from home to escape the troubles. During one of those times, he came across what he called a "wandering spirit", the essnese of a person who was running since the 1938 meteor shower. Once it encountered him, he was linked to it and to what he called "The Vortex": a place where time and space meet. This gave him super-speed.
He became known as The Runner and eventually became a founding member of the League of Champions along with Icon Powers and MidKnight X and several others. He also went to school, got his doctorates, and became a published writer. He met his future wife Kris during her first year of medical residency. At first it was as The Runner, dropping off injured people in the Emergency Room, but later she met him at a bookstore for one of his book readings. They were married in 2000. Although the matter of children was discussed, between his abilities and her childhood medical history, they decided against it.
Crisis Event 2007
In 2007, The Runner was one of four heroes at the brink of a Crisis Event in which the boundaries of universe itself were ruptured by a cosmic being. The unnamed cosmic being then destroyed universe XHT-S7 because it considered it unacceptable. During that time, the surviving three heroes were thrown into the Paragon Universe.
The Runner arrived in Steel Canyon through a free-forming portal and collided with a retaining wall. He was discovered by Positron and taken to the Steel Canyon Medical Center where he eventually recovered, although like the others that came through, he suffered from amnesia from the change. When asked about his real name, he could only think of "Burnt Alien Walking". Because of his connection to the Vortex had changed as well as the nature of his powers, he took the codename Ryder Lightning. Eventually he learned of his real name and started to regain memories of his life in the other universe, including that of Kris.
For the first few years after discovering the truth, he was fixated on the belief that he could somehow return to his home universe and stop the destruction. His connection to the Vortex served as the unattainable goal, knowing that if only he could enter the Vortex, he could find his way back home and back to his wife. He often spent his time in Steel Canyon, running through it's streets trying to reach the speed needed to send him back into the Vortex.
Eventually, though, he was forced to recognize that the world and life that he knew, along with Kris, was dead, and that he was given a rare opportunity to move on with a new life. To that end he worked with the Vanguard to set up a secret identity under his real name of Bart Wallace and arrange to get teaching credentials so he could teach English Literature at Steel Canyon University.
Prior to his participation in bringing down the traitorous StarCygnus, Ryder was given a new outfit which would supposedly enhance his speed-based abilities. During this time, though, he noticed that the Vortex itself, the very source of his abilities, had changed.
Bart retreated from being a hero after the "disbanding" of the Guardians of the Dawn, focusing all of his time as a college professor. It would later be revealed that the reason why he began pulling back from his hero guise was because he had been slowly losing his connection to the Vortex.
On the same day as Galaxy City was being destroyed by Shivan meteors, Bart discovered that he lost all connection to the Vortex, and thus lost all of his powers. He has since accepted this new reality as the final transition from the world that he could not longer return to.
Return to the Guardians
At some point following the "Galaxy City Miracle" of 2012, Bart discovered that his powers slowly began to return. But by this time, he believed that this was a fluke, and that he was committed to staying "retired".
In the summer of 2014, Bart was approached by District Attorney Alex Wentworth, who had temporarily resumed his guise as the Libertarian Avenger to serve as the "public" leader for the Guardians. But Alex could not keep this dual position, given his current position with the city. Alex asked Bart to resurrect his career as Ryder Lightning to serve as the group's Operations Manager, filling the role vacated by Icon Powers, who had left that previous February.
That particular story is still being told.
Powers and Abilities
Ryder's primary ability is Kinetics. His connection to the Vortex of time and space allows him to manipulate the inertia in others, either giving speed and power to others or to siphon it away from them.
His secondary ability is Electrical Blast. He can use the power of the Vortex in its purest form for an electrical-based attack on either one or a group of people.
He also posseses super-speed, with speed levels equal to that of Synapse.
During the "Time and Changes" storyline, he was given a new tech-based outfit which allowed him to more readily tap into the power of the Vortex. It was believed that this would eventually give him the ability to breach the barriers of the Vortex without needing assistance from a portal device. However it was later revealed that he needed the tech-based outfit to maintain his connection to the Vortex after the nature of it changed.
He lost his abilities completely starting in September of 2011, the same time as the Devastation of Galaxy City by neo-Shivan meteors. It would be eventually revealed that this was because of the massive Time Echo that was created by Doc Tor that surrounded Galaxy City and preserved over 2200 people. When the people inside that echo were restored to the normal universe in 2012, the time echo's power slowly decreased, allowing Ryder gradual access to his abilities again. To what extent remains to be seen.
Reference In Media
Although he bears a striking resemblance to certain heroes in other publications, Ryder Lightning is a Pastiche of several speed-based characters in many publications, and not specific to any one of them.