Nelson Gruber was a graduate student, and lab assistant to clinical psychologist, Professor Huddleston, at Metropolitan University at the time he acquired his powers. Shy and insecure, Gruber was known for being a bookworm with no social life to speak of, and his fellow assistant, Whitney Cooper III, only rubbed it in his face further. During a routine analysis of Rick Sheridan’s sleep cycle, Gruber failed to notice the alien entity, Sleepwalker
, which escapes from Rick’s mind whenever Rick is asleep. The energies from Sleepwalker’s dimension, the Mindscape, combined with an overloaded computer system served to give Gruber power beyond his imagination. Gruber soon discovered he could give life to the characters and creatures within the books he reads. Using this ability to try and get revenge against Whitney Cooper, Gruber unleashed Amazon warriors to take his life. Sleepwalker followed Gruber to Whitney’s home and foiled his plans, and soon he came face to face with Gruber, now calling himself Bookworm. Sleepwalker wanted Bookworm to give back the power he stole, but Bookworm would not give the power back even if he knew how. Sleepwalker, with a little help, defeated Bookworm who was carted off to jail along with a court order preventing him from having any reading material during his stay.