Moon Knight Finale Teases New MCU Hero

After the Moon Knight finale, it looks like the MCU has a new hero alongside Oscar Isaac’s Marc Spector/Steven Grant.

Spoilers for the Moon Knight finale follow from this point!

We’ve been following Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy) since episode 2 of the series, but in the final episode she becomes the Scarlet Scarab – the first Egyptian superhero in the MCU.

“I hope the people who can identify with Layla feel seen and excited,” Calamawy explained via Marvel.com. “And people who don’t, that’s okay. There is room for everyone. I’m just the first. There could be many more to come. It is an honor. It is an honor to be or represent the Middle East and shine a light on that region.”

Introducing Layla El-Faouly

Layla El_Faouly in Marvel’s Moon Knight. Credit: Marvel.

Layla, the daughter of archaeologist Dr. Abdallah El-Faouly, first meets Marc during a recent dig when her father digs up Ammit’s Scarab – an ancient relic that may find the final resting place of the god Ammit. Marc Spector is accused of obtaining the relic… and witnesses the murder of Layla’s father when his fellow mercenaries go rogue.

But when Marc and Layla’s story begins to intersect with ancient tombs and Egyptian gods, she unwittingly begins her journey to become a superhero. As Ammit and Khonshu wage a bloody battle on the streets of Egypt, it seems that even Moon Knight can’t stop them alone. The goddess Tawaret explains that they need a different avatar to stand a chance… and Layle reluctantly agrees to become Tawaret’s Avatar.

Layla climbs out of the rubble and becomes the Scarlet Scarab – the avatar of the goddess Tawaret with a kick-ass costume and some seriously impressive fighting skills.

After rescuing a van full of onlookers, a young girl asks if she’s an Egyptian superhero, to which Layla replies, “I am.”

Her superhero alter ego has a history in Marvel comic books, albeit a very different one.

The original scarlet scarab

The original Scarlet Scarab takes on The Invaders.  Credit: Marvel.

The original Scarlet Scarab takes on The Invaders. Credit: Marvel.

The Scarlet Scarab first appeared in Invaders #23 in 1977 as a defense against the Invaders, a team of Marvel superheroes including Captain America, the Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Spitfire, Union Jack, Bucky and Toro.

dr. Abdul Faoul was an archaeologist who took on the mantle of the Scarlet Scarab as a hero who wanted to end British control of Egypt – first against the Invaders before finally teaming up with them against the Nazis. The hero got his powers from a scarab amulet (much like the Scarab of Ammit in Moon Knight), which imbued superhuman strength and agility, the power of flight, as well as the ability to fire energy explosions and take energy from other heroes to drain.

The only catch? The wielder must be in contact with the scarab amulet at all times.

The original Scarlet Scarab took it upon himself to protect Egypt from foreign invaders and eventually passed on his knowledge of the amulet to his son, Mehemet Faoul, who became the second Scarlet Scarab.

A New Look at the Scarlet Scarab

The new Scarlet Scarab in Marvel's Moon Knight.  Credit: Marvel.

The new Scarlet Scarab in Marvel’s Moon Knight. Credit: Marvel.

Obviously, May Calamawy’s version of the Scarlet Scarab is a little different. For starters, her superpowers come from a pact with an Egyptian deity, not a mystical amulet, though the appearance of the Scarab or Ammit was a nice touch that clearly nods to the Scarlet Scarab’s comic book origins.

Then there are the new powers of Scarlet Scarab. I feel like we haven’t seen everything she’s capable of yet, but Layla’s powers seem to be limited to superhuman strength and agility – much like Marc Spector when he acts as an avatar of Khonshu.

Whether she possessed any other unique abilities remains to be seen, but her costume is certainly one of the most eye-catching aspects of the new hero.

Calamawy sees her role as Scarlet Scarab as a first step, rather than anything and everything for a previously unseen kind of hero:

“I really had to sit down and say, I can’t represent every Arab woman or every Egyptian woman,” Calamawy said. “I just hope that all Arab women can see that and feel like a superhero, and that they have that space on that large scale.”

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