A Tribute to the of





Welcome to the latest edition of the Silver Age Sage: #369. If you're looking for a previous interview, please scroll down to the bottom of this page to the Special Features header. There you will find a list of links to all the creators who have been interviewed in the past.

All hail the reprint! Where would we be without them? Reprints allowed us to sample stories that we probably wouldn’t have known about in the first place and/or could not find or afford. So often they were from the Golden Age or sometimes obscure or popular tomes from the Silver Age. Thanks to the webmaster and some foraging I’ve done on my own, I’ve got reprints galore to choose from for this ongoing feature and while musing about what to explore this time around I stumbled across a character I’d not read before. I’d certainly heard about Space Cabby, but up to now had never been able to enjoy one of his tales. Well, no more, thanks to the foresight of those who were at the helm of DC Super Stars back in the 70s. In fact, every other issue for quite some time it became DC Super Stars of Space and would carry stories of Adam Strange, Captain Comet, Tommy Tomorrow and others. Issue #6 [August, 1976] contains a Space Cabby tale and I just had to check it out.

Before I go much further, however, the lettercol offered a nice little history of the Space Cabby, that I’ll quote here: “The Space Cabby (his real name was never revealed) began cruising the solar system in MYSTERY IN SPACE #21, August/September 1954 in a tale entitled “Space-Taxi.” It was not intended as a series at the time, but rather a whimsical space-opera story of the trials and tribulations of operating a rocket-space-taxi in the next century.

But the story proved popular, and a sequel was prepared for MIS #24. Again the mail indicated the readers enjoyed Space Cabby’s crazy exploits. Beginning with MIS #26, Space Cabby was in every issue through #47, Oct., 1958, when he was edged out in favor of more scientifically accurate stories.

Though Space Cabby’s travels were impossible (traveling to Pluto in less than a day, for instance), the stories maintained the simple charm that has prompted us to reprint one here from MYSTERY IN SPACE #45, Aug. 1958.

That’s a pretty good intro, but of course we need to include that “The Luxury Limousine of Space!” was written by Otto Binder, of Captain Marvel fame (not to mention helping my friend, the late, great Al Plastino roll out the first tale of Supergirl) and illustrated by Bernard Sachs, who of course did scads of wonderful inking throughout the Silver Age. Editing was accomplished by Julie Schwartz.

The story opens with the Space Cabby picking up an unexpected fare on an asteroid. It turns out that the interplanetary jewel tycoon, Mr. Roger Ames is stranded as his space limousine has conked out and the repairs are beyond the capabilities of his chauffeur. Ames needs a lift to Mars for an important meeting taking place in just four hours.

The Space Cabby rises to the challenge, zipping through a meteor shower, threading his way through a space hurricane by going through the eye and then using a comet to help push them along in order to meet the deadline. Ames is impressed and promises him a tip at a later date.

A week later, the cabby learns what Ames had in mind when he takes delivery of a new, custom-built space cab complete with gold trimmings. Eager to get his new ride on the “road,” the cabby takes his old cab in to a used spaceship lot and then begins to enjoy the amenities of this new craft. It seems to be equipped with everything, from a meteor deflector to a hi-fi space radio, electric brakes, perfumed air-conditioning and free cosmetics and cigars for his passengers.

What he didn’t count on, however, was what begins to happen as he plies his trade. While his customers appreciate the offerings, they reason that with such an expensive ride, he doesn’t need their tips. Furthermore, the new ship is substantially larger, so it cannot fit into a regular space, requiring double the parking fee and it cannot fit into some of the short cut tunnels. Let’s not even talk about how much more fuel the luxury limo requires.

Dejected at this turn of events, the Space Cabby tries to get his old jalopy back, but Smilin’ Sam has already sold it. Soon afterward he spots his old ride, but unfortunately it’s now being used as a getaway vehicle for interplanetary bank robbers. It seems the souping up he’d done on it made it an irresistible getaway ship. The Cabby decides to assist the “Ippy,” or Interplanetary Police by giving chase with his large engined rig, but he soon learns he’s not as maneuverable in this big, sleek vehicle.

He soon decides to use himself as bait by first removing his cab insignia and posing as a wealthy limousine owner. His ploy seems to work, but before he can radio the Ippy, the crooks catch on and jam his signal. Now the chase is on and the Space Cabby uses his meteor deflector feature to push a magnetic meteor onto his old cab, which sticks like glue to the metal exterior, slowing them down. Unfortunately, while he was focusing on his task, more meteors came along and riddled the limo, forcing him to jettison into the void in his handy space suit.

Realizing he’ll be stranded, the Space Cabby quickly grabs onto the meteor to hitch a ride with the bandits. They notice him, though and make plans for an ambush, but before they can get to their destination, they’re pulled over by the Interplanetary Police. Baffled at how they were found out, they soon discover that the resourceful cabby had the presence of mind to grab some of those complimentary cosmetics from the limo and used a lipstick to scrawl a bright red SOS on the meteor, alerting the Ippy.

The final panel shows a happy Space Cabby back at the wheel of his trusty old jalopy.

What a fun little read! I liked the light-hearted touch and Bernie Sachs was no slouch as an illustrator. As long-time readers know, the webmaster and I are old science-fiction fans as well, so this little story scratched the itch quite nicely. I’m going to do some digging and see if I have any more of these in my reprint collection. I’ll give it a 7 on the rating scale and am glad to have finally enjoyed my very first Space Cabby story. Now if I can just find a Space Museum tale…

Be sure to come on back on the 15th of the month for the next installment of the Silver Age Sage. As always, your feedback is both welcomed and encouraged. Questions, comments and other input can be sent to: professor_the@hotmail.com

See you next time and…

Long live the Silver Age!



© 2000-2015 by Bryan D. Stroud


This feature was created on 05/01/00 and is maintained by

Bryan D. Stroud

 

Special Features

Gaspar Saladino Interview

Arnold Drake Tribute

Joe Kubert Interview

Joe Giella Interview

Carmine Infantino Interview

Sheldon Moldoff Interview

Neal Adams Interview (Pt. 1)

Neal Adams Interview (Pt. 2)

Ramona Fradon Interview

Bob Rozakis Interview

Dick Giordano Interview

Denny O'Neil Interview (Pt. 1)

Denny O'Neil Interview (Pt. 2)

Irwin Hasen Interview

Lew Sayre Schwartz Interview

Al Plastino Interview (Pt. 1)

Al Plastino Interview (Pt. 2)

Jim Mooney Interview

Russ Heath Interview (Pt. 1)

Russ Heath Interview (Pt. 2)

Frank Springer Interview (Pt. 1)

Frank Springer Interview (Pt. 2)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 1)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 2)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 3)

Joe Simon & Creig Flessel Interviews

Jim Shooter Interview (Pt. 1)

Jim Shooter Interview (Pt. 2)

Len Wein Interview

Tony DeZuniga Interview

Jerry Grandenetti Interview

Murphy Anderson Interview

Mike Esposito Interview (Pt. 1)

Mike Esposito Interview (Pt. 2)

Stan Goldberg Interview

Marv Wolfman Interview

Bernie Wrightson Interview

Clem Robins Interview (Pt. 1)

Clem Robins Interview (Pt. 2)

Joe Rubinstein Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Rubinstein Interview (Pt. 2)

Jack Adler Interview (Pt. 1)

Jack Adler Interview (Pt. 2)

Elliot S! Maggin Interview

Mike Grell Interview

Joe Kubert School Interviews

Anthony Tollin Interview

Sam Glanzman Interview

Ernie Chan Interview

Steve Skeates Interview (Pt. 1)

Steve Skeates Interview (Pt. 2)

Mike Friedrich Interview

Tom Orzechowski Interview (Pt. 1)

Tom Orzechowski Interview (Pt. 2)

Walt Simonson Interview

Gene Colan Interview

Gerry Conway Interview

Guy H. Lillian III Interview

Frank McLaughlin Interview

Al Milgrom Interview (Pt. 1)

Al Milgrom Interview (Pt. 2)

Irene Vartanoff Interview


Don Perlin Interview


John Workman Interview (Pt. 1)


John Workman Interview (Pt. 2)


Tom Palmer Interview

Paul Levitz Interview

Jay Scott Pike Interview

Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 1)

Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 2)

Carl Potts Interview

Larry Hama Interview

Joe Kubert School Interviews 2

Greg Theakston Interview (Pt. 1)

Greg Theakston Interview (Pt. 2)

Michael Netzer Interview (Pt. 1)

Michael Netzer Interview (Pt. 2)

Alan Kupperberg Interview

Joe D'esposito Interview

Steve Mitchell Interview (Pt. 1)

Steve Mitchell Interview (Pt. 2)

Ralph Reese Interview

Bob McLeod Interview

Bob Smith Interview

Jose Delbo Interview

Joe Staton Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Staton Interview (Pt. 2)

Frank Thorne Interview

Bob Wiacek Interview

Nick Cardy Interview (Pt. 1)

Nick Cardy Interview (Pt. 2)

John Calnan Interview

Sy Barry Interview

Cary Bates Interview

John Severin Interview

Liz Berube Interview

Thom Zahler Interview

Paul Kirchner Interview

Sheldon Moldoff Interview #2

Mike Royer Interview (Pt. 1)

Mike Royer Interview (Pt. 2)

Joe Barney Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Barney Interview (Pt. 2)

Ken Bald Interview

Sal Buscema Interview

Angelo Torres Interview


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