Layla El-Faouly is introduced in the MCU as the secondary protagonist behind the duo of Marc and Steven in Moon Knight. She is introduced as Marc’s wife but eventually ends up helping him out in his quest to stop Harrow from freeing the goddess Ammit. In the final episode of Moon Knight, she became the avatar of the goddess Taweret and went on to help Marc and Steven defeat Harrow and imprison Ammit in his body. So, who is Layla El-Faouly from Moon Knight’s new superhero persona?
Scarlet Scarab is the new superhero persona of Layla El-Faouly after she became the avatar of Taweret. However, Layla is an entirely new character in Marvel, even though Scarlet Scarab isn’t necessarily new. In the comics, Abdul Faoul and later his son, Mehemet Faoul, are Scarlet Scarab.
It is interesting to note that Layla El-Fouly is a new character that was made to be original to the live-action Moon Knight series. Then again, her superhero persona has a bit of a history in the comics, even though the character origins of the series and the comic book versions are not entirely the same. As such, let’s look at what we know about Scarlet Scarab in the comics.
Scarlet Scarab Origins
The final episode of the Moon Knight series allowed us to see more revelations from one of the best shows that you can watch today. Of course, this isn’t something new to the MCU, which always seeks to add new characters and different elements to its movies and shows. And the final episode of Moon Knight unveiled the MCU’s newest superhero in the form of Layla El-Faouly.
In the series, Layla is introduced as Marc Spector’s wife, who he seeks to protect by distancing himself from her. However, Layla eventually gets entangled with Marc’s quest to defeat Harrow and stop him from freeing the goddess Ammit. And this mission actually got Marc and Steven killed.
After Marc/Steven’s death, they were both brought to the afterlife and were greeted by the enthusiastic and bubbly hippo goddess named Taweret. She helps guide the two personalities in an attempt to balance their scales so that they can both enjoy a great afterlife. However, they chose to come back to life with the help of Layla, who freed Khonshu from his imprisonment after Taweret helped her out.
While Taweret was helping Layla out, she also offered a chance for Layla to become her avatar. Layla initially turned the offer down. But after Osiris’ avatar told Layla that they needed more than one avatar to imprison Ammit, she had no choice but to agree to become Taweret’s avatar, albeit temporarily.
As such, a new superhero was born as Layla used her new powers to help Marc and Steven in their fight against Harrow. She also helped Moon Knight out when they imprisoned Ammit in Harrow’s weakened body.
Meanwhile, the comic book versions of Scarlet Scarab is a lot different compared to the live-action Moon Knight series version of the character. And we’ll first look at how different the origin story of the original Scarlet Scarab is.
The original Scarlet Scarab is a man called Abdul Faoul, who led a group called the Sons of the Scarab during the 1940s. His goal was to end the British occupation of Egypt, and that is why they wore Ancient Egyptian costumes. They also went on to ally themselves with the Axis forces.
Meanwhile, the Invaders arrived in Egypt to help the British forces against the Sons of the Scarab. And this was where Abdul ultimately transformed into the Scarlet Scarab when he led Namor and the Human torch in a pyramid where the Ruby Scarab was located. He grabbed the Ruby Scarab and became the Scarlet Scarab as he battled Namor and the Human Torch.
However, when Abdul realized that the Nazis were not willing to help the Sons of the Scarab out and were instead attacking the Egyptians, he allied himself with the Invaders to repel the Nazis. Still, he didn’t like any foreign powers being involved in Egypt, and that’s why he still didn’t want any help from the Invaders or any foreigners.
Throughout his entire career as a superhero, Abdul continued to protect Egypt. But the Ruby Scarab eventually returned to its tomb as Abdul got older. That was when he passed the knowledge of the Ruby Scarab to his son, Mehemet.
As Abdul was dying, he told Mehemet the secret of the Ruby Scarab. After years of searching for it, Mehemet Faoul finally found the Ruby Scarab and succeeded his father as the second Scarlet Scarab.
After that, Mehemet also searched for the Eye of Horus as his search led him to a museum. When the curator told him that the eye had been stolen, he angrily attacked the museum while telling the curator that everything in it was stolen. That was when the curator contacted Thor as the god of Thunder battled Scarlet Scarab.
However, when Thor separated him from the Ruby Scarab, Mehemet explained to him his purpose. That was when they understood each other and decided to find the thieves together so that Mehemet could return the stolen eye to Egypt.
Scarlet Scarab Powers
In the Moon Knight series, Taweret gave Layla a superhero costume after she became the newest avatar of the hippo goddess of women and children. This allowed Layla to sport a new appearance that was very similar to what Ancient Egyptians used to wear. Meanwhile, her costume also allows her to use blade-like wings.
As the avatar of Taweret, Layla El-Faouly now has new tools at her disposal. While she is in her suit, she can make use of golden dagger-like weapons that she used to defeat Harrow’s henchmen. On top of that, her physical abilities have also been augmented.
When she is wearing her suit, Layla is strong enough to actually prevent a car from crushing a person. She does so using her bare hands as it is clear that the hippo goddess gave her more than just a shiny new suit.
On top of all of that, Layla was already an expert combatant before she became Taweret’s avatar. As such, she already has combat abilities that go well with her suit’s abilities and her augmented physical prowess. And because Taweret is the goddess of rejuvenation, it is expected that Layla can also heal herself.
Meanwhile, the comic book version of Scarlet Scarab has different powers compared to Layla El-Faouly. We can even say that the Abdul and Mehemet versions of Scarlet Scarab are far more powerful than Layla’s version.
In the comics, Scarlet Scarab is powerful enough to combat both Namor and the Human Torch simultaneously because he has superhuman strength and durability. His strength allows him to lift roughly 75 tons, and that means that he is very strong. The Mehemet version of the character was also strong enough to fight Thor on par.
Both Abdul and Mehemet could also fly at speeds of around 350 to 400 mph. The power of the Ruby Scarab also allows Scarlet Scarab to fire concussive bursts of mystical energy. And to top it all off, Abdul and Mehemet could sap power from others through physical contact.
As such, the original comic book versions of Scarlet Scarab are quite powerful and may even be nearly as powerful as Thor. Scarlet Scarab, in the comics, is powerful enough to have feats that are on par with some of the most powerful superheroes in Marvel, as it is safe to say that he is well beyond what an avatar from Moon Knight could do.
How Does Layla’s Scarlet Scarab Differ From The Original Scarlet Scarab?
As mentioned, Layla’s Scarlet Scarab’s origins and powers are far different from the origins and powers of the comic book versions of the character. But we’ll look at the differences in a more focused way.
Layla El-Faouly is actually an original character that was created specifically for the Moon Knight series. In that sense, she has no counterpart in the comic books whatsoever, although that could change if Marvel writers were to use her live-action version as an inspiration for a new comic book character.
On the other hand, the original Scarlet Scarab, Abdul and Mehemet Faoul, are both comic-only characters. It might be true that they aren’t necessarily the most popular comic book characters, given the fact that they don’t have a lot of fans. Nevertheless, their origins stem from the comic books as Abdul was first introduced in 1977 while Mehemet was first introduced in 1982.
The origins of the characters are also different. Layla is the daughter of Egyptian archeologist Abdallah El-Faoul and is the wife of Marc Spector. She became Scarlet Scarab after getting entangled with the affairs of the Egyptian gods and when she agreed to be Taweret’s avatar.
Meanwhile, both Abdul and Mehemet Faoul are natives of Egypt and are loyal to their country to the point that they are willing to do anything to keep Egypt safe. Their powers as Scarlet Scarab come from the Ancient Egyptian artifact called the Ruby Scarab. Both Abdul and Mehemet need to be in contact with the Ruby Scarab to maintain their powers.
Finally, Layla’s powers, while amazing, are probably just at the same level as Moon Knight’s powers. That means that she is super strong and super durable, but not to the point that she is well beyond what the ordinary human being is capable of. Aside from the weapons that her suit provides her and the augmented physical capabilities she gets while wearing her suit, she has no other powers.
Abdul and Mehemet, however, have godlike levels of power to the point that they are strong enough to battle powerful superheroes like Thor and Namor. The comic book versions of Scarlet Scarab also have concussive energy blasts on top of the superhuman physical abilities that they have.