Space Cabby proved to be such a phenomenal hit* that not only did he return in Mystery in Space #24, his adventure provides the cover (though one gets the distinct impression that, as usual, the story was written — and featured Space Cabby — after the cover was drawn.)
We begin “Hitchhiker of Space!” with Space Cabby telling you his current troubles. His Space-Taxi — and apparently his bow-tie — have been stolen! There’s good news, however.
With no jets and no cash, SC wonders how he’ll ever get to Jupiter. One of the Ippy cops tells him, “Try a time-tested method! Hitchhike!” And since our story is called “Hitchhiker of Space!”, Space Cabby proceeds to…not do that.
Instead, he stows away on a Martian freighter (I assume there are no ships going to Jupiter he can sneak onto). Before long he’s discovered by the crew and the captain assigns him to the hated job of “meteor repair”.
Eventually he gets to Mars, where he proceeds to start hitch– no, sorry, he proceeds to get kwonked on the head.
He awakens to find he’s been shanghaied by Venusian criminals, who have captured him to help them load stolen loot from their secret asteroid hideout onto their ship. In addition to Space Cabby, there’s also a Plutonian, a Mercurian, a Martian, a Saturnian, and a couple of Moon-Men. The Mercurian slips one of his four hands free and unties Space Cabby, who leaps into action!
He frees the other prisoners and they quickly take control of the ship. Once the Venusians are subdued, Ippy is called, who show up to take control of the situation. When Space Cabby says that he doesn’t want to go to Venus, where Ippy is bringing the criminals to, the police do the only logical thing: give him his reward in glass Venusian money and
Yes, the police just dump him onto a rock the size of a persian carpet and leave him there. To protect and serve!
AND NOW BEGINS THE HITCHHIKING! With no other options, SC sticks out his thumb and hopes to grab the attention of spaceships passing by at “a thousand miles a second”. After two entire panels of this he catches a break and is picked up. But once on board:
His would-be biographer takes him to Jupiter and at last he gets to the Ippy headquarters there to claim his stolen Space Cab. All he has to do is prove his identity to the police. But — darn the luck! — he left his wallet back on Earth! He has no ID and no money to use the “space-video teletype” to prove his identity! He does have his Venusian reward, but Officer Friendly reminds him:
Luckily at that moment, a Venusian traveling back to Venus happens by and offers to trade the Venusian money for Jovian currency, since there aren’t any currency exchanges on Jupiter, I guess. SC does the swap, gets on the space-video teletype, and convinces the Ippies that he is who he says he is, at which point they give him back his Space Cab.
And that’s why…
Next week: “Mystery of the Counterfeit Space-Cabby!”
“Hitchhiker of Space!”
Mystery in Space #24 (February-March 1955)
Writer: France Herron
Penciler: Howard Sherman
Inker: Howard Sherman
Editor: Julius Schwartz
Table of Contents
* – I guess