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Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (race unrevealed) humanoid

Occupation: Interstellar shuttle pilot (a.k.a. a space cabbie)

Group Membership: Unrevealed (probably some sort of union for interstellar shuttle pilots)

Affiliations: Cannonball (Sam Guthrie)

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout space

First Appearance: U.S.Avengers#6 (July, 2017)

Powers/Abilities: Not known to possess any powers, but he is capable of piloting an interstellar shuttle with, presumably, a professional level of skill

Transportation" His shuttle

Type: Humanoid
Eyes: Two (orange)
Fingers: Two (plus opposable thumb)
Toes: Unrevealed
Skin color: Gray?
Hair: Unrevealed (beard might be slightly blue?)
Height: 6' 4 " (estimated)
Weight: Unrevealed (but probably more than 200 lbs.)

(U.S.Avengers#6 (fb) - BTS) - The "Space Cabbie" had seen some "glorp" during the Annihilation Wave.

(U.S.Avengers#6 (fb) - BTS) - The Space Cabbie was hired to transport Sam Guthrie from somewhere in Shi'ar space (presumably Shi'ar colony planet K'rii-VI) to the planet Earth in the Sol system.

(U.S.Avengers#6) - After an uneventful journey, the Space Cabbie told his passenger that they were coming up on the Sol system and that he should be able to drop his vehicle out of warp space in Earth orbit. He then asked his passenger if he would be good from there, if he had his suit sealed and if he could fly on his own, stating that he knew some Earthers had trouble with that. When Sam Guthrie replied that he would be fine, the Space Cabble said that he didn't look fine and asked if he was half-Kymellian and if that was the reason for the long face. Guthrie answered that he didn't rightly know, that he was just woolgathering and thinking about what he was leaving behind him.

   At that moment, the Space Cabbie pressed a red button on an overhead console as he announced that they were now coming out of warp. He then told Guthrie, "Listen, kid, I know Earth is...well, it's Earth, I can't sweeten it...but it's still your home planet, ain't it?" Guthrie paused, then said "Well, I guess that's the question --" but was interrupted when the Space Cabbie exclaimed, "Holy Flarkin' Glorp!" 

    Curious as to why the Space Cabbie had said that, Guthrie shifted his attention to what was visible outside the shuttle now that they were out of warp space and was shocked to see that they were close to a space battle between warriors defending Earth from Chitauri forces that were attacking.

   The Space Cabbie ordered, "Warp engines to power!" then said that they had to go NOW! When Guthrie asked if he could be let off first, the Space Cabbie asked him if he was crazy since he hadn't seen glorp like that since the Annihilation Wave. The Space Cabbie then told Guthrie that he couldn't fight that, that the Superguardians couldn't fight that, and that he was going to die out there. 

    However, Guthrie replied that it was a risk but that he was an X-Man and an Avenger and that was the job he'd signed up to do. As he donned his space helmet, Guthrie asked the Space Cabbie if, when he got back to Shi'ar space, he could get a message to Izzy Kane, also known as Smasher, who was a big-time hero out there. The message was that the people of Earth needed help, that he loved her and always would, and that she was to tell their son that he was proud. Guthrie also asked the Space Cabbie to tell Izzy to keep the faith. Cannonball then exited (somehow) and blasted off to join the battle.

(U.S.Avengers#6) - As Cannonball rocketed towards the battle, he opened radio communication with Roberto da Costa on Earth who informed him that the attacking forces were the Chitauri, a race of "space locusts" whose drone warriors were seemingly on a mission to eat Earth. When Cannonball saw that the new Quasar was being swamped by attackers and that "a big ol' dragon" was going for her, he advised Roberto of the situation and said that he was going to bounce off its hide in order to distract it. As Cannonball observed that Quasar had "done got chomped" by the dragon, Roberto warned him to wait because Chitauri dragons were not just troop carriers, they were living bombs! Unfortunately, it was too late for Cannonball to change course so he was caught in the explosion when the Chitauri dragon detonated. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) then reported that there was no way Quasar could have survived the explosion and that there was no sign at all of Cannonball.

(U.S.Avengers#11 (fb) - BTS) - Earth forces concluded that Cannonball was blown up in Earth orbit by the Chitauri dragon.

(conjecture) - When that Chitauri dragon exploded, the Space Cabbie was not yet back in warp space and was still close enough to see what had happened to Cannonball. He came to the same conclusion as the Earth forces.

(U.S.Avengers#10 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, over a month later, the Space Cabbie finally got word to Smasher (Izzy Kane) that Sam had died. However, as an official Shi'ar Superguardian and Sam's spouse, Izzy was able to access the data from Sam's bio-implant, standard Shi'ar med-tech that recorded life signs and transmitted them through warp space. Since the readings had not stopped when Sam had supposedly died, Izzy realized that Sam was actually still alive.

(U.S.Avengers#10 - BTS) - A day later, Smasher arrived at Earth aboard the K'katu, a Shi'ar mid-class diplomatic vessel. She told Roberto da Costa that a shuttle pilot ("kind of a space cabbie") had given her the word about Sam's death but then told Roberto how she knew that Sam Guthrie was still alive and said she was going to need some help in bringing him home.

Comments: Created by Al Ewing, Paco Medina and Juan Vlasco.

   By the morning of the day depicted in U.S.Avengers#10, General Maverick had been in his Red Hulk form for about 800 hours, a period that began at the end of U.S.Avengers#6. That's about 33 full days. However, when Smasher arrived on Earth at the end of issue #10, she told Roberto da Costa that she "got the word about Sam yesterday." That means that it took the "Space Cabbie" 32 Earth-days to find Izzy and tell her what (he thought) had happened to Sam. That really seems like too long of a time. Sure, the pilot had to travel through space to where he picked up Sam (probably Shi'ar colony planet K'rii-VI) but the small size of the shuttle indicates that it wasn't designed for journeys with a long travel time which implies that it must have been capable of traveQling at high speeds using its warp engines. This suggests that there must have been some other factor(s) that kept the Space Cabbie from delivering the bad news to Izzie Kane any sooner. Perhaps his shuttle broke down and left him stranded on some remote planet and it was weeks before it could be repaired? And maybe that planet happened to lack the capability to send messages across interstellar distances at hyperlight speeds?

   This "Space Cabbie" is yet another of those aliens created by writers who don't bother to reveal the names of the races to whom they belonged. As someone who likes knowing the proper names of things, I find this tendency to be very frustrating because it makes any references to that race cumbersome. Since there is no simple name (like the Blorg) that could be used, one has to constantly refer to "the Space Cabbie's race" every time instead.
    Agreed on the frustration note...give your characters a name! There's always room for backgrounds to be filled in later, but don't introduce a character and then leave him/her/it/they unnamed.

   That being said, the story really didn't reveal much about "the Space Cabbie's race." The only part of his body that wasn't covered by his space suit (or uniform?) was his face. Aside from the colors of his eyes and his skin, the only hair that was visible was the rectangular strip of beard that extended from below his lower lip, down over his chin and apparently continued down the front of his neck. I was going to call it a "soul patch" but is seems to be much longer than an actual (human) soul patch would be. Also, the beard looks slightly bluish to me but I can't be sure.
    I'm not convinced it is hair as opposed to a skin color marking, natural or artificially applied.

   If one assumes that the seats in which they were sitting were the same size, then the fact that the Space Cabbie's head seemed to extend about four inches above the top of his headrest while Sam's head was slightly lower than the top of his headrest could mean that the alien was about 4" taller than Sam. Or maybe Sam was just slouching in his seat in that single image?

   Whatever his height, the Space Cabbie was definitely not as slender as Sam. Between his apparent double chin and the pudginess of his abdomen, he was almost certainly heavier than Sam's 181 lbs. Whether his weight was normal for a member of his race cannot be determined since no other members have yet been seen, but if he was overweight it might have been due to the sedentary nature of his work. On the other hand, maybe the physiology of the Space Cabbie's race was such that their bodies were naturally less dense than those of Earth humans, which could mean that he actually weighed less than the more slender Sam.

   Although the Space Cabbie and Sam Guthrie were depicted as conversing in (vernacular) English, this was probably not meant to indicate that the alien actually knew English or that knowledge of how to speak that human language is widespread across the universe. A more likely explanation is that one or both of them possessed a Universal Translator, either as built-in components of their alien clothing or in the form of Translator Implants. Alternatively, the shuttle could have been equipped with its own Universal Translator, one that generated a telepathic field that automatically provided an ongoing translation of all words spoken within it.
   In any event, the only non-English words that was spoken during their conversation were "Holy Flarking Glorp!" (an emotionally-intense exclamation in response to suddenly finding oneself in an extremely hazardous situation) and "glorp" by itself (a synonym for trouble or negative/hazardous occurrences). These terms were presumably not translated as a form of censorship, exercised either by the Universal Translator or by the Marvel Comics staff who produced this issue.

   Although he was quite friendly with Sam Guthrie, the Space Cabbie did seem to have a negative opinion of Earth and, by extension, the people of Earth who had made their home planet something that he couldn't "sweeten" for Sam. It was an attitude that I found rather refreshing. All too often, the writers of stories set in the Marvel Universe (like the writers of the recent Star Trek series) treat the human race as somehow being intrinsically superior to other sentient lifeforms in their respective universes. It seems incredibly arrogant for the "heroes" of Earth to presume to tell other cultures how they should behave when things on Earth are so very far from perfect. After all, the basic premise of the Maximum Security event was not all that wrong, even though the Ruul/Kree were secretly guiding it to serve their own ends. Even back in 2000, it could justifiably be said that humanity was a greater threat, in their own way, to the other races of the universe than even Galactus. And things have only gotten worse since then. The Annihilation Wave, the Phalanx Conquest, Emperor Vulcan, the Fault - all of these universal threats either originated on Earth or were unleashed by beings from Earth. The fact that beings from Earth were ultimately (and partially) responsible for stopping those threats does not diminish the responsibility that they should accept for not dealing with those threats before they killed many BILLIONS of sentient beings across the cosmos. If one tosses a firecracker into a house and later helps put out the resulting fire, that does not make that person less responsible for the damages and any deaths that were caused by the fire that they started, even if they did not intend to start it.

   Wow, that last comment got away from me a bit. I should probably delete it but it does accurately reflect my frustration with how human beings are all too often depicted as the be-all and end-all of intelligent life in various fictional universes. So, I'm going to leave it in.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

The "Space Cabbie" was probably inspired by (but has no confirmed connection to)

Additionally, the "Space Cabbie" has no known connections to


   A small spacecraft capable of traveling across interstellar (and possibly intergalactic) distances in a very short time. This shuttle was equipped with warp engines that enabled it to enter and exit warp space, an extradimensional realm where vast distances can be travelled in an amount of time greatly reduced from the time it would take to travel that same distance in "real" space. The specific capabilities of this particular shuttle have not been revealed but it was able to transport a passenger (Sam Guthrie) from the Shi'ar colony planet K'rii-VI to Earth, a distance of thousands (or possibly millions) of light-years, in a period of no more than a few hours (or even less than an hour). That's REALLY fast (but not instantaneous).

   The shuttle itself was rather small for an interstellar spacecraft and appeared to be about as long as a Terran stretch limousine. The flight deck was similar in design to those of Terran airliners but somewhat wider. There were two seats located side-by-side, with the left seat being used by the pilot and the right seat being for the passengers, with an empty space between them that was about as wide as one of the seats. The main instrument panel extended across the full width of the cockpit with an equally-wide transparent window set above it. The pilot guided the shuttle via a yoke-style control column that was located directly in front of his seat. Other controls, such as those for the warp engines, were located on an overhead panel in the ceiling. There were two windows located on each side of the cockpit, directly beside each of the seats, with a triangular one positioned ahead of a square one.

   The shuttle only had one deck but the ceiling throughout the interior space was high enough for beings who were about 6 feet tall to stand erect with at least 6 inches of clearance. Immediately behind the flight deck portion of the interior was a somewhat open area that was as wide as the cockpit but without any built-in fixtures (like seats). On each side of this area there were two rectangular windows, about as wide as the square windows but not as tall and positioned one in front of the other. While the two rectangular windows were separated by a small gap of about an inch, the separation between the foremost rectangular windows and the square windows was about ten inches in width.

   To the rear of that area was the third and final section of the shuttle's interior. There were no windows in the sides of this section but there were internal structures on the walls, three per side, that looked liked some sort of bracing. At the end of this compartment, facing backwards, was a wall with two rows of two rectangular (but slightly trapezoidal) windows that were slightly taller than they were wide. The blue-white glow from the thrusters was visible through these windows.

   From the outside, the shuttle looked very much like a Terran automobile (or a minivan) to which wings and other structures had been attached. On the exterior of the right side (and probably the left side as well) of the shuttle there was a structure that ran most of its length. This attachment was a non-circular cone, with four sides that were visible outside of the shuttle's hull, and a width that expanded evenly along its length from front to back. What function it (or they) served was not revealed but it/they probably contained components of the warp drive system. Unlike most of the hull, this cone was grey in color.

   Attached to the hull at various points were four pairs of wings. The foremost pair, attached just ahead of the cockpit, were narrow but long, with each wing being over two-and-a-half times as long as the shuttle's body was wide. The second pair of wings were small and stubby and protruded directly out from the shuttle's underside. The other two pairs of wings and the single vertical tailfin were all attached to the rearmost section of the shuttle. These wings were at about 45 degree angles (both up and down) from the horizontal. Oddly, only the two wings on the right side were visible in the first image while the second image depicts the two left wings and the lower right wing but not the upper right wing. These wings were presumably functional when the shuttle was travelling within an atmosphere but, given how massive the shuttle must have been and how little lift such relatively small wings could have provided, the shuttle must have been equipped with some sort of anti-gravity generator that prevented it from dropping like a stone.

   The shuttle's forward motion was seemingly generated by thrust produced by what looked like a bluish-white exhaust gas being ejected backwards through multiple circular openings. Although only seven such nozzles were depicted, the overall bilateral symmetry of the shuttle suggests that there should have been eight of them, four on each side, and that the eighth was present but just not visible behind the tailfin. Given that they seemed to be fixed in place, how the shuttle was steered remains a mystery.

   To complete its similarity to a tax cab from Earth, there was a small sign on the roof of the shuttle on which four same-sized alien letters were partially visible.

   Oddly, there was no sign of a door/airlock on the sides of the shuttle so exactly how Sam Guthrie managed to get outside to join the space battle is something of a mystery. In the absence of any on-panel evidence, the best theory would be that the shuttle might have been equipped with some sort of short-range teleporter than enabled the pilot and passengers to enter or exit the vessel.

   The apparent absence of any sort of bathroom, meal preparation area or beds strongly indicates that the shuttle was only designed for short-term occupation which in turn implies that it must have been capable of INCREDIBLE speeds in order to travel between star systems or even galaxies.


Note: Typically, the term "hyperdrive" is used when a starship's method pf faster-than-light travel involves passage through an extradimensional realm (usually called "hyperspace") while "warp drive" is used when a starship creates a "subspace bubble" around it that "warps" space-time so that the bubble (and the starship within) can travel through normal space at many times the speed of light. The main effective difference is that starships traveling via warp drive would interact with objects in normal space while hyperdrive spacecraft would be outside of real space during their voyages.

images: (without ads)
U.S.Avengers#6, page 2, panel 2 (main image)
      page 2, panel 4 (head shot)
      pages 3-4, panel 1 (reacting with alarm to being so close to a battle)
      pages 3-4, panels 3-4 (trying to persuade Sam to not join the battle)
      page 2, panel 1 (starship in warp space)
      page 5, panel 4 (starship leaving the area)
      page 2, panel 2 (view of the aft compartment)

U.S.Avengers#6 (July, 2017) - Al Ewing (writer), Paco Medina (penciler), Juan Vlasco (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 02/27/2023
Last updated: 02/27/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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