|1st appearance:||The Invisible Hand of Fate|
SPHINX (officially S.P.H.I.N.X.) is an organization that was the primary adversary of the OSI 20 years ago ("The Invisible Hand of Fate") and returned only recently. Just what the letters in SPHINX stand for has not been revealed.
The original SPHINX was a terrorist organization that was the frequent adversary of OSI. As a group they had an ancient Egypt theme; including pyramids; desert colors of sandy gold, brown, and black; and Sphinx head logos. What and who they terrorized and for what reason is as yet unknown.
In 1987 they engaged, and lost to, OSI in what became known as the Pyramid Wars. The entire SPHINX organization was wiped out with most of their agents killed.
The SPHINX brand was picked up by a new group 20 years later by an entirely new, unrelated group of people.
Exactly when Gathers began reviving SPHINX is unclear, though it appears to have started while he was still an OSI agent, with some SPHINX agents going undercover as freelancers fired from OSI. After Gathers OSI defection and his infiltrating Molotov Cocktease's Black Hearts the origination came out of the shadows and began acting in as much light as a covert operation can. They recruit Brock Samson, himself recently quitting (or being fired from, he's unclear) OSI. The rest of the group is composed of Shore Leave (AKA Holy Diver), Mile High (AKA Sky Pilot), and a number of generic soldiers.
They operate from a base located on an unused section of the Venture Compound. Their base is stocked with advanced equipment from the original SPHINX (e.g a large sphinx that makes announcements and a sphinx shaped flying troop carrier) and items commandeered from defeated foes (a submarine, limousine). They also have a memory eraser, which can roll someone's memories back to a specific date. The Plastic Surgeon's equipment also seems to come from SPHINX.
The new SPHINX clashes with The Black Hearts, Nazis, Dr. Schumpmaker, and any other evil organization or individual who does not submit to rules of organized costumed villainy. They've got a long running investigation into The Investors, who have evaded them at every turn.
They do not cooperate with fellow hero organization OSI, preferring their own, looser rules. They do act friendly with Team Venture, mainly because they are based at the Venture Compound, and they have to regularly scare off and wipe Dean and Hank Venture's minds. Upon learning they are on his property, Dr. Venture attempts to use them as justification for the Compound's zoning and even pry back rent from them.
- The original SPHINX was primarily a parody of COBRA, the shadowy, masked evildoer organization in G.I Joe. OSI (as well as several members such as Shore Leave) are themselves an obvious parody of the G.I Joe team, even shouting "Yo-S.I!" and "Go-S.I!" on one occasion as a nod to G.I Joe's famous "Yo-Joe!" and "Go-Joe!". Additionally, SPHINX's heyday as villains seems to have taken place in the mid 1980s, with their final defeat and disappearance in 1987, not coincidentally the year the real-life G.I Joe cartoon was cancelled for good.