The sixth and last episode of Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight, “Gods and Monsters,” did not let viewers down. In a fast-paced 35-minute finale, Arthur Harrow’s (Ethan Hawke) scheme to free the goddess Ammit was put to an end. There is a lot to process, with the return of Marc and Steven (Oscar Isaac), a fight between Khonshu and Ammit (Saba Mubarak), and the introduction of Jake Lockley, a third personality. The transformation of Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy) into Scarlet Scarab is undoubtedly the most shocking and greatest section of the episode.
Who Is the Scarlet Scarab?
Fear not, Layla is a brand-new character created for the Moon Knight series, and it would be difficult to find anyone who knew about Scarlet Scarab prior to the programme. Unlike other characters in the MCU, Scarlet Scarab may not have a lengthy, illustrious past, but she still has an intriguing one.
Marvel Comics published the first appearance of the Scarlet Scarab in Invaders #23, which appeared in 1977. Abdul Faoul, an Egyptian soldier who served in World War II, gains superhuman abilities from the Ruby Scarab, an ancient artefact, and goes on to become the first Scarlet Scarab, guardian of Egypt. In the narrative, Scarlet Scarab has sided with the Axis Powers rather than England. He rejects an invitation to join the superhero team, but after meeting The Invaders he realises just how horrible the Nazis really are and joins them in fighting the Axis. Thanks to the Ruby Scarab, Scarlet Scarab has an astounding repertoire of abilities, including superhuman strength, the ability to fly, mystical energy bolts and shields, and the capacity to drain another’s power through physical touch.
After that, Scarlet Scarab vanished until 1982’s The Mighty Thor issue #326. On his deathbed, an elderly Abdul gives his son Mehemet the Ruby Scarab. Mehemet gains his father’s set of abilities, turning him into the second Scarlet Scarab. This Scarlet Scarab strikes a museum housing stolen Egyptian treasures in its capacity as Egypt’s protector. When Thor notices this, a fight breaks out between the strongholds of Norse and Egyptian myths. The two finally reach a consensus. Thor will cease his assault on Scarlet Scarab, and Mehemet will only bring the mysterious Eye of Horus back to Egypt. Mehemet’s Scarlet Scarab hasn’t been seen since they part ways after that.
Only once more will the character be seen, in the pages of 2014’s All-New Invaders #4. Though technically not a new appearance. In a flashback, Scarlet Scarab appears as Abdul Faoul, the figure who was still a member of the Nazis’ “Super-Axis” team. That would be the final appearance of the “Egyptian Captain America” in the comic books, and presumably the final appearance ever.
This brings us to Moon Knight, Episode 6, which makes some changes to the origins of Scarlet Scarab from the comic books. The painfully obvious fact that Layla, the new Scarlet Scarab, is a woman and an entirely separate character from Abdul and Mehemet. She also doesn’t get her abilities from the Ruby Scarab. In reality, the last sequence of Episode 4, “The Tomb,” and the entrance of the hippo Taweret, the Egyptian Goddess of Women and Children, serve as the impetus for the character’s entry to the MCU (Antonia Salib). Taweret, who is cheerful, lively, and amiable, welcomes Marc and Steven to the afterlife and assists in their resurrection.
To Episode 6, please. Layla has followed Harrow to Giza on a mission of vengeance. Along the way, Taweret gives Layla the option of becoming her avatar and hearing her messages from the dead. In Egypt, it appears that dead people have greater coverage than cellphones. When Harrow reaches Giza, he releases Ammit and swears fealty to her. At the same time, Layla releases Khonshu, who treats Marc/injuries Steven’s and brings back Moon Knight so they can pursue Harrow and his henchmen. Khonshu informs Layla that two avatars are required to bind Ammit before going in search of Marc/Steven. Taweret, our friend the hippo, enters. Layla consents to serve as Taweret’s avatar, but only for a short while. Layla is dressed up in a red and gold outfit with metal wings once she transforms into the avatar, Scarlet Scarab, which looks like a cross between Isis’ Golden Eagle armour and Wonder Woman’s. It’s a considerable improvement over the character’s comic book attire. Abdul Faoul’s Scarlet Scarab is, to put it mildly, hideous: shirtless, with scarlet frills on a neckpiece, scarlet frills once again on a skirt-like wrap, a scarlet scarab-adorned blue cumberbund, and a helmet with large red eyepieces and a protrusion that resembles an asp in the middle. Although Mehemet Gaoul’s Scarlet Scarab, a scarlet pharaoh headpiece with metallic neck, bicep, and wrist guards, and what appears to be a scarlet skort, isn’t quite as horrifying, it nonetheless evokes an atmosphere reminiscent of Super Samurai’s attire in Super Friends, a misguided attempt at cultural representation.
The new Scarlet Scarab joins the fight while wearing her new outfit. While there isn’t nearly enough time to witness all of Scarlet Scarab’s abilities, we do know that she has the ability to fly, deflect magic and bullets, summon two short swords at will, and, like her comic book cousins, possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and agility. One of Layla’s most memorable moments occurs when Scarlet Scarab saves a girl from being struck by a van. When the girl asks whether Layla is an Egyptian superhero, Layla proudly responds, “I am.”
The pairing of Layla and Taweret is a lot more serene, accommodating, and courteous than what we’ve seen from Marc/Steven with Khonshu, which has quickly won over the MCU faithful to Scarlet Scarab. By the end of the episode, despite what initially appeared to be a transitory job, the two still get along, with Layla warming up to the concept of being an Egyptian superhero. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s very likely that Scarlet Scarab will return. Scarlet Scarab would be a great addition, whether that means making an appearance in Season 2 of Moon Knight, should that happen, or in a future MCU movie.
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