Appearing in "What a Day for a Daydream!"
- Sam Melville (First appearance)
- Mary Melville (First appearance)
- Billy Molt (First appearance)
- Maple Waits (First appearance)
- Jack Horn (First appearance)
- Tom Martin (First appearance)
- Abner Perry (First appearance)
- Brian Banner (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Rebecca Banner (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Abomination (Vision)
- Bi-Beast (Vision)
- Gargoyle (Vision)
- Leader (Vision)
- Red Guardian (Vision)
- Rhino (Vision)
- Anvil (Vision)
- Hammer (Vision)
- Moonstone (Vision)
- Gremlin (Vision)
- Gregory Gideon (Only in flashback)
- Dragon Man (Only in flashback)
- Fantastic Four (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "What a Day for a Daydream!"
Rick Jones and Betty Ross have brought the Hulk back to Bruce Banner's old secret lab to try and cure Banner of his transformations. Having a rudimentary understanding that he and Bruce Banner are one and the same, the Hulk agrees to their suggestions. Standing before the Gamma Ray Projector, the Hulk is exposed to enough gamma rays to trigger a transformation back into Bruce Banner. While Betty is intent to cure Bruce Banner and be rid of the Hulk, Rick wonders if the Hulk doesn't also have the right of a continued existence. Regardless, Banner is changed back to human form and is exhausted from the ordeal. With Banner put to bed, Betty decides to head to the nearest town so she can stock up on supplies. As she heads out, Rick notices a rainbow in the night sky and takes it as an omen, forgetting the fact that rainbows do not come out at night.
In the nearby town of Dustbowl, the people go about their pitiful lives as the town around them slowly dies. In the local diner the patrons all let their minds wander about the dreams that they wish they could attain: For Sam Melville and his wife it's owning a fancy restaurant, Mayor Lyle has aspirations of being governor, while Sheriff Bates wishes he could be a real cop, Billy Mott and Maple Waits both want beauty, Jack Horton wishes he was not struggling with disability, and lastly there are Tom Martin and Abner Perry who wish for their lost youth. Suddenly, their evening is interrupted when the rainbow lands in their town. Emerging from it is a gold-skinned man named Glorian who offers to make their dreams come true. With a wave of the hand, everyone gets their hearts desires and the town is revitalized. Surprise by this sudden change, the patrons in the diner accompany Glorian as he goes about the town to spread the wish fulfillment to the rest of the people of Dustbowl.
When Betty Ross arrives in town she finds the locals all gathered at the drive-in theater. Betty is soon shocked when Glorian makes himself appear as Bruce Banner, putting her under is spell as well. It's about this time that Rick suddenly realizes that there is something wrong about the rainbow in the sky outside, especially since Betty hasn't come back yet. He rushed back into the cave and wakes up Bruce and tells him about it. Fearing for Betty's safety, Banner gets upset enough to trigger a transformation into the Hulk. The Hulk then bounds toward the rainbow with Rick Jones following behind on foot. When the Hulk arrives in Dustbowl he is confused by the sight. Seeing the Hulk, Betty is also confused by the appearance of both "Banner" and the Hulk. Glorian then tries to immerse the Hulk in some wish fulfillment. The Hulk then begins reliving some of Banner's memories with his family, at work and finally at Gamma Base. However, the Hulk knows that these are only dreams and manages to break free of Glorian's hold. When the Hulk reminds Betty that he and Bruce banner are the same person, Glorian's hold over her begins to break.
Unwilling to let his experiment fail, Glorian then uses his powers to make the people of Dustbowl appears as some of the Hulk's foes. Meanwhile, the townspeople see the Hulk as their former selves. The people of Dustbowl then attack the Hulk, who defends himself. It's at this point that Rick arrives in town where he is greeted by the Shaper of Worlds who explains that he is responsible for the happenings in Dustbowl. It's at this point that Glorian tries to further defeat the Hulk by making Betty appear as the Harpy. The hulk then tosses Betty, but she is caught in mid-air by the Shaper who calls an end to the experiment. The Shaper explains how he has the power to shape reality, but not the imagination to use it. For a time he used others until he came upon Thomas Gideon who was dying of cancer thanks to his father. The Shaper cured Thomas and made him into Glorian. It was some time later that Glorian suggested that he become the Shaper's pupil as the Shaper might one day die.
This explanation infuriates Rick, who goads the Hulk into attacking the Shaper and Glorian, but the pair escape. Rick then convinces the Hulk to frighten away the townspeople. Watching this, Betty begins to worry about not only the Hulk, but Rick's state of mind as well.
- Mention is made to the time Betty was transformed into the Harpy. This happened in Incredible Hulk #168, she was reverted to human form in the following issue.
- The Hulk recalls his last encounter with Glorian and the Shaper of the Worlds from Incredible Hulk #190-191.
- The flashback of Bruce Banner's parents is actually a false memory. In reality, Banner came from an abusive home as seen in Incredible Hulk #312. As explaiend in Incredible Hulk #-1, after Banner killed his father in self defense, his mind fabriated memories to make it seem like he had a better family life.
- The Shaper explains the events leading up to Thomas Gideon becoming Glorian. He is recounting the events of Fantastic Four #134-137.
- The Shaper states that Gregory Gideon intentionally exposed himself and his son Thomas to a nuclear blast in an attempt to gain power. This is not correct. Thomas' father, Gregory Gideon made a failed attempt at defeating the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #11. In that story, Gideon lost and renounced his fortune and promised to focus on his wife and son. As explained in Fantastic Four #135, Gideon took his family on one last trip before giving up his wealthy and their private plane was caught in a nuclear test blast.
The flashback in this story which explains the relationship between Glorian and the Shaper of Worlds affects the chronology of the following characters:
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