Triple-I Sunday: Rocket-Race Jockey!

Man, could this episode be any better timed?

Yes, Bert’s got another pet! And where are they headed? Out to the spaceport to meet K. Carr, a space jockey who Triple-I has insured will weigh exactly 100 pounds in the big Earth-Pluto Round Trip race. See, K.’s ship flies optimally only when its pilot weighs 100 pounds.

In space.

*cough*

Sooooo anyway, they head out to the spaceport and get a big surprise — K. Carr is neither a man nor a Plymouth Reliant, she’s a woman!

They head off to Venus, and on the way Kay tells Bert about the upcoming race. The winning ship will be bought by the Solar Space-Trips Company, so there’s a lot at stake! She also tells him about her dangerous rival in the race, the Martian Vol Kos, “who’ll do anything to win!” Just then Oscar informs the two that there’s something wrong with the ship’s radar aerial, which means they’ll miss Saturday Night Chiller Theater on channel 26! Kay suits up and heads out of the ship to fix the problem, when suddenly…

(That’s some nice work there, Infantino!)

After Kay returns, exhausted from pulling her massive bulk through the weightless, frictionless void of space, Bert admits it was him who pushed her off the ship. Why? It turns out the exertion required to haul herself back in burned ten pounds worth of ugly flab! They know this because there’s a “correct weight scale” on the spacecraft!

What are you laughing at?

So Bert pushes her off two more times, the end. Not really. Anyhow, they make it to Venus only to find that Sebulba…er, Vol Kos…snagged the electronic compass intended for Kay! And the “Venusian Electronic Compass Co.” has no other compasses in stock. They can’t wait around for another one to come off the apparently very slow assembly line, so instead they just grab the parts and say they’ll build it themselves on the way to Jupiter.

To Jupiter? Yep, Kay has to pick up some specially-processed steel there. And who else is there? None other than Vol Kos himself! He claims he was just teasing Kay by robbing her of the compass, and in order to make nice, he offers her his load of steel to keep her from having to wait for hers. But as they’re flying back to Earth…

(Oh by the way, Bert weighs Kay on Jupiter and she tips the scales at 304 pounds, but relax, that’s only 115 Earth pounds.)

Vol Kos has burned these guys twice now, so they’d have to be idiots to trust him again. I mean seriously, what kind of absolute moron would…

To make matters worse, Kay’s ship has been torn apart by a — I don’t know…spaceship tearer-upper? — based on orders forged by Vol Kos. Kay feels weak in the knees and Oscar offers her a refreshing drink. Thirty seconds later the Martian’s pill takes effect and Kay starts zipping around faster than the eye can follow!

But Kos’ plan backfires! Kay proceeds to use this burst of energy to repair her spaceship in only an hour! And although she is exhausted afterwards, her efforts have also dropped her weight down to 100 pounds! On the dot! If she can just stay awake, she can race!

The race begins and Vol Kos takes an early lead. Kay is close behind, but can’t seem to close the gap. As they near the finish line, though, Kay’s ship suddenly leaps ahead, winning the race!

Once Kos lands, Bert changes the taste of defeat to the taste of fist, cracking him one across the jaw in return for all the “tricks” he pulled. Then, having satisfied his thirst for violence, he heads over to congratulate Kay, who is asleep in her cockpit!

This makes the Solar Space-Trips guy even more excited, because he’s buying a fast ship that’s fully automatic! Bert, Kay, and Oscar head out to celebrate the fact that Kay’s cheating robo-pilot won the day! Vol Kos, a bitter sore loser, starts up a political commentary blog, and now you know…the rest of the story.

Next week: Rescue Through the Fourth Dimension!

“Rocket-Race Jockey!”
Mystery in Space #21 (August-September 1954)
Writer: Sid Gerson
Penciler: Carmine Infantino
Inker: Sy Barry
Editor: Julius Schwartz

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