Real Name: Chefren Ra
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Occupation: Billionaire scientist and inventor
Affiliations: Allison Kane, Round Table of America
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Peter Chefren
Base of Operations: Jefferson City
First Appearance: Big Bang #9 (Image Comics)
Powers/Abilities: Wears a computerized helmet and collar/backpack which amplifies his strength and generates a protective (bullet-proof) force-field, capable of shaping itself into huge, translucent energy wings which allow him to fly. Helmet has a concussive ultrasonic laser built into the visor, as well as a helmet phone.
History: Chefren Ra was a fugitive from a facist dictatorship on an Earth where the ancient Egyptian empire flourished. A member of his world's "Military Science Corp", he used "The Pharoah's cross-dimensional research" to escape to freedom, fleeing to the U.S.A. on a parallel Earth around the 1960's.
He set up home in Jefferson City, adopting the identity of the city's own resident super hero in the form of billionaire philanthopist Peter Chefren, also publicly known by the nickname "The Sphinx" because of his costume and mysterious origins (he admitted to being "of Egyptian descent"). He didn't try to conceal that Chefren and the Sphinx were one and the same, as he is "7 feet tall and weighs 310 pounds". Chefren was very popular with both the public and the police.
Chefren made his fortune quickly, "inventing remarkable technologies aimed at making the world a better place". He used some of this technology in his costume (actually his MSC uniform), giving him artificial superpowers beyond his considerable natural abilities. These included "a computerized helmet and collar/backpack which amplified his strength and generated a protective (bullet-proof) force-field, capable of shaping itself into huge, translucent energy wings" (permitting him to fly). His helmet also had "a concussive ultrasonic laser" built into the visor, as well as a "helmet phone", with which he could communicate with his only confidante, his business partner, Allison Kane, though not even she was told were he truly came from.
Chefren eventually gives up the "Sphinx" identity, passing the torch on to Allison Kane, who (in a custom made uniform "way to small for him") flies forth as the new Sphinx.
Comments: Profile by Chris Adams.
The Sphinx was created by artist and writer Jeff Weigel quite independently of Big Bang Comics. He produced two complete book length stories (one featuring Peter and the other Allison), but could not find a publisher. Ashcan copies were produced, which were sold to the public via an advert in Big Bang # 3 (Image series).
The Sphinx was not therefore, created to be the typical Big Bang "homage" hero. However, there are similarities with the Golden Age Hawkman (a re-incarnated Egyptian prince) and the Siver Age Hawkman (a policeman, and later refugee, from a hi-tech world). There are also overtones of both Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark in his civilian identity.
The Sphinx first appeared in BB #9 in a specially written prequel to the original stories (a second prequel appeared in BB #20), making him an official part of the Big Bang universe. As such (according to a text feature in BB #27) he was established as living on Earth A and became the first non-charter member of the Round Table of America.
Scheduling problems meant thay the first two Sphinx stories were finally published as book length issue in BB #13 and BB #23. There was no origin story as such, but his origin is shown in flashback in BB #13 and covered in the text feature in BB #27.
Big Bang comics were so impressed by Weigel's art that they gave him several Ultiman and Hummingbird stories to illustrate. I believe that "Peter" and "Allison" are the names of Weigel's children
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Sphinx, Golden Age hero
Sphinx, foe of Grimjack
the Sphinx, Mystery Men
Sphinx, Filipino character
Sphinx, either of the Marvel villains of that name
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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