Real Name: Shagg

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial robot (Pre-Modern Era)

Occupation: Scout/warrior

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Its fellow warriors

Enemies: Humanity, notably an unidentified archaeologist

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The (Great) Sphinx

Base of Operations: Egypt; mobile throughout France and New York City, originally from "The Third Galaxy"

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#59/1 (July, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: Possessing incredible strength, Shagg had the ability to withstand most conventional military weapons (excluding nuclear devices), and could generate reality-altering "cosmo-gamma electro-magnetic waves".

Height: Unrevealed (200'; by approximation)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: None

(Journey into Mystery I#59/1 (fb) - BTS) - Untold ages ago, warriors from the Third Galaxy wanted to conquer Earth, so they stationed the robotic Shagg--along with an external control panel to activate it--in the deserts of Egypt. Humans came to believe that the immobile Shagg was a statue, and it would eventually become known as the Great Sphinx of Giza (see comments).

   Over the centuries, the dormant Shagg collected data from all parts of the primitive world and sent it back to its own planet -- when the time was right, Shagg's fellow warriors would return and reactivate Shagg for an invasion.

(Journey into Mystery I#59/1 (fb)) - After a sandstorm uncovered ruins near the legendary Great Sphinx statue, an unidentified archaeologist discovered the mechanical control panel. Upon shifting a lever on the device, the archaeologist was awestruck when the Sphinx began to move; then the stone monster seized him in its giant paw, opened its monstrous jaws, and revealed a giant door at the back of its mouth -- the Sphinx "swallowed" the archeologist by hurling him through the door. The archeologist found himself within the mechanical interior of the Sphinx, and the giant creature revealed itself to be Shagg, a warrior from the Third Galaxy.

   Shagg lumbered into the Mediterranean Sea and soon reached the coast of France, and although a battle-hardened army stood ready to oppose it, the troops couldn't stop the indestructible leviathan. After destroying Paris and leaving the city a mass of debris, the mighty stone creature crossed the Atlantic Ocean and headed toward New York City. Meanwhile, the trapped archeologist futilely tried to think of a way to stop Shagg, but he couldn't even begin to understand the internal mechanisms that allowed the stone giant to move, so he wrote down the events that had happened to him in a notebook, in the hope that he would eventually get an idea.

   Shagg reached New York City, and its rampage soon reduced the city to ruins. But then Shagg learned that it had been awakened by the archaeologist inside its robotic interior, instead of its fellow creatures; since the plan was for its fellow warriors to destroy Earth's missile bases and atomic stockpiles, Shagg realized that it could not conquer the world alone. Coming up with a solution to resolve its premature activation, Shagg sent out "cosmo-gamma electro-magnetic waves" to reverse all the physical destruction it had caused, and to erase its existence from the minds of humanity, so it could once again await the day that the rest of the invaders arrived. The archeologist passed out and drifted into a deep, strange sleep -- he awoke in Egypt, outside the Sphinx, with no memory of what had happened.

(Journey into Mystery I#59/1) - One month later, the archaeologist was back in his home, looking through his notebook. As he read the incredible story written on the pages in his own hand, he could only wonder if it all really happened -- was the Sphinx really an alien creature waiting to attack Earth...or was it all just a figment of his imagination that he wrote down in a moment of madness?

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby.

It was never made clear as to whether Shagg was an actual member of the Third Galaxy alien race, or just a robotic scout built by them.

Also, whereas many of the pre-FF monsters can be fitted into continuity with some help, I don't see how Shagg could be, erasing humanity's memory of him not withstanding. Considering the amount of work and research that has been done on the Sphinx, one can only ASSume that the archeologist did just dream the whole thing, OR Shagg at some point before being discovered again, replaced himself with a lookalike statue.
You mentioned that there would be problems fitting Shagg into modern continuity due to the work done on the Sphinx. That may or may not be the case. After all, in the Marvel Universe, we know the Sphinx is actually a device created by Kang the Conqueror back when he was Rama-Tut, as per his first appearance in Fantastic Four. Perhaps Shagg was exactly what he said he was, but only on the site during the times that Kang was busy using his sphinx-ship...which would explain the difference in what we know about the Sphinx's age, and Kang's arrival in Ancient Egypt, timeline-wise. :)
--TJ Burns

Since Shagg was able to restore all the damage it caused, and also erase the memory of its existence from mankind, with the "cosmo-gamma electro-magnetic waves," Shagg would seem to have powers akin to the reality-altering Cosmic Cube -- if that were the case, then why not just use that power to conquer the world instead? Also, when it employed that power, Shagg stated that humans would forget "the events of the last few hours" -- that would imply that Shagg was able to travel from Egypt to France, and then to New York and wreak all that destruction within one day's span. Considering all these logical inconsistencies, my guess is that the story was really just the archeologist's bad dream.

And when the story was originally published, Shagg was colored a dark gray, so I used images from a reprint in Tomb of Darkness I#18 (January, 1976) because I think the yellow coloring is more accurate to the actual color of the real Sphinx.
--Ron Fredricks

I don't know if this is its first appearance but the Official Index of the Marvel Universe: The Avengers, Thor & Captain America#5 says the Sphinx is seen in Captain America Comics#20 (November, 1942) Captain America first story (see Spawn of The Witch-Queen). Plus the Great Sphinx was possessed by a beautiful demoness (her body was imprisoned in it and her soul bonded to it) who served Set (Seth) in Marvel Tales I#96 (June, 1950). Whether she was still in the Sphinx when Shagg was activated is unknown.

Mystic#33 (September, 1954) also includes the story "It Happened 'Neath the Sphinx" where the Sphinx is animated--possibly an early appearance of Shagg?

There is another Spirit of the Sphinx story (Mystic#8 (5/52) "We Meet At Midnight"), but I don't know if it is a male spirit or female spirit like the story in Marvel Tales I#96 (6/50).

Profile by Madison Carter. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

Shagg has no known connections to:

Shagg's control panel

This mechanism was left on Earth by beings from the Third Galaxy. Located near Shagg, it could activate the giant robot simply by pulling a single lever.

Over time, the control panel became buried, but it was eventually unearthed by a sandstorm and discovered by an unidentified archaeologist.

When the archaeologist pulled the lever, he unintentionally reactivated the dormant Shagg.

--Journey into Mystery I#59/1

Unidentified archaeologist

He was on an expedition in Egypt, near the Great Sphinx, when he discovered some ruins uncovered by a sandstorm. Within the ruins, he found a control panel that he used to accidentally activate the Sphinx, which then "swallowed" him. After he found himself within the robotic interior of the Sphinx, he learned that the massive statue was actually Shagg, a warrior from the Third Galaxy.

Trapped inside the moving stone giant, the archaeologist could only watch helplessly as Shagg left a path of destruction around the world, and he could only write about the events in his notebook.

After he revealed that it was he who had accidentally activated Shagg instead of the giant robot's fellow warriors, Shagg employed "cosmo-gamma electro-magnetic waves" to reverse all the damage it caused, and to erase its existence from the minds of humanity -- as this occurred, the archaeologist drifted into a deep sleep. Afterward, the archaeologist awoke outside the Sphinx, remembering nothing of what had apparently happened.

But one month later, the archeologist was in his home, looking through his notebook; as he read the pages written in his own hand, he was left with a troubling thought -- was the Sphinx actually an alien creature waiting to attack Earth, or was the whole story just a figment of his imagination that he wrote down in a moment of madness?

--Journey into Mystery I#59/1

images: (without ads)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p1, pan1 (Main Image - Shagg)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p3, pan3 (Headshot - Shagg, with metal door in open mouth; archeologist)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p5, pan2 (Shagg destroys Eiffel Tower)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p7, pan4 (archeologist awakens next to Sphinx)
Journey into Mystery I#59/1, p1, pan1 (Shagg (original coloring))
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p2, pan4 (archeologist approaches Shagg's control panel)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p2, pan5 (archeologist pulls lever of Shagg's control panel)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p5, pan4 (archeologist within Shagg's internal mechanism)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p6, pan4 (archeologist speaking to Shagg)
Tomb of Darkness I#18/2, p7, pan5 (archeologist reads through his notebook)

Journey into Mystery I#59/1 (July, 1960) - Stan Lee (plot/editor), Larry Lieber (script), Jack Kirby (pencils) Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Goldberg (colors), Artie Simek (letters)

First posted: 02/12/2003
Last updated: 12/04/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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