So, yeah, sometimes weird stuff comes along.
That brings us to Space Cabbie. Or Space Cabby. Or the Space Cabbie.
Space Cabbie first appeared in Mystery in Space #21. And he was a taxi driver.
See, that was back in 1954, and DC Comics had a number of anthology books that often featured weird sci-fi type stories, and they tended to need regular features, and back then, well, it didn’t matter much what went in if it hit the page count and didn’t violate the Comics Code. The point is, there were a lot of what were probably initially thought to be a one-off character going on some bizarre sort of adventure that would fill some pages, hopefully entertain the juvenile reader, and then that was that.
So, sure, Space Cabbie had a backstory involving his being a fighter pilot in a space war in the 22nd century, but then he got his taxi driver’s license and basically delivered anyone anywhere they needed to be on time. But that didn’t matter.
What did matter was, somehow, Space Cabbie caught on. He reappeared in Mystery in Space #24 and became the closest thing that anthology had to a lead character. until something like three years later, and even then he still got a lead role in various stories all over the place.
And since then, well, he’s one of those “king of cameos” characters who keep popping into different series here and there for whatever weird need a series might have. And that leads me to wonder…did kids in the 50s really want to read about a taxi driver?
As it is, Cabbie more recently has been seen as an older guy with a robot leg acting as an informant for Green Lantern Guy Gardner, and a more classic version of character has been a supporting character on the animated series Justice League Action as voiced by popular geek comedian Patton Oswalt.
Yeah, this one was just weird.