‘Moon Knight’ Episode 6: Who Is the Scarlet Scarab in the Comics?
From beginning to end, Moon Knight was an origin story, but not only for Marc Spector and Steven Grant. Fans first met Layla El-Faouly in episode 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series, and they immediately loved her character. She was complex, determined, and a stark contrast to Oscar Isaac’s characters. And now, fans will likely see more of Layla in the MCU after she transformed into the Scarlet Scarab in the Moon Knight finale.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Moon Knight Episode 6, “Gods and Monsters.”]
Layla becomes the Scarlet Scarab in the ‘Moon Knight’ finale
Tawaret contacts Layla in the Moon Knight finale and informs her that she has to release Khonshu to help Marc and Steven stop Ammit. So with Tawaret’s guidance, Layla follows Arthur Harrow and his followers to the Great Pyramid of Giza. She finds Khonshu’s ushabti and releases him, but Arthur also frees Ammit.
Khonshu pleads with Layla to become his Avatar, but she refuses after seeing how his influence affected Marc. Thankfully, it’s not long before Marc and Steven go through the Gates of Osiris and reenter the living world. Once they do so, Khonshu reconnects with them, and they regain their powers.
Meanwhile, Layla discovers that multiple Avatars can stop Ammit by binding her to a human body. So she makes a temporary deal with Tawaret to become her Avatar. Layla then gains powers (and a spectacular suit), and she helps Marc and Steven fight Arthur and imprison Ammit in his body.
After, Khonshu releases Marc and Steven from their service to him. However, they don’t know that the Egyptian moon god is still tethered to their third personality — Jake Lockley. As for Layla, it’s unclear if she remains Tawaret’s Avatar in Moon Knight or if she gives up her powers as the Scarlet Scarab.
Who is the superhero in the comic books?
In the Marvel comic books, the Scarlet Scarab is actually Dr. Abdul Faoul, who might be who Layla’s dead father is based on in Moon Knight. According to Marvel, Abdul is the “protector of Egypt, defending his home from all foreign invasions.”
He draws his power from the Ruby Scarab, which gives him superhuman strength and the ability to fire bolts of mystical energy. Abdul’s other powers include creating protective auras, flight, and the ability to drain power from his opponents.
After Abdul’s death, his son, Mehemet, takes on the Scarlet Scarab alias and continues his father’s legacy of protecting Egypt.
May Calamawy discusses becoming the Scarlet Scarab in ‘Moon Knight’ Episode 6
“I had to really sit with it and be like, I cannot represent every Arab woman or every Egyptian woman,” Calamawy shared. “I just hope that all Arab women can watch that and feel like a superhero and that they have that space on that big scale.”
The actor continued, “I hope that the people who can relate to Layla feel seen and excited, and people who don’t, that’s OK. There’s space for everyone. I’m just the first. There’s many more that can come. It’s an honor. It’s an honor just to be able to represent or to be Middle Eastern and shine a light on that region.”
Goher also explained the importance of the scene where a young girl asks the Scarlet Scarab if she’s an Egyptian superhero, and Layla says, “I am.”
That scene “is going to be a magical moment for lots of people around the world,” Goher said. “It’s great that Marvel is really at the helm of this movement on this scale to make sure that everyone feels like they belong.”
All episodes of Moon Knight are now available to stream on Disney+.