Warning: this story contains spoilers for Wednesday's Moon Knight season finale, "Gods and Monsters." Meet the newest superhero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After shooting and killing mercenary Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) in the long-lost tomb of Ammit, the zealot Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) summons the crocodile goddess (voice of Saba Mubarak) to unleash her lethal judgment on Cairo — and then the world. To save Marc and stop Ammit, Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy) breaks the ushabti imprisoning the moon god Khonshu (voice of F. Murray Abraham), agreeing to become the (temporary) Avatar of the hippo goddess Taweret (Antonia Salib).
As the resurrected Marc Spector/Steven Grant battles Harrow on the streets of Cairo as Moon Knight and Mr. Knight, Layla allows Taweret to take temporary control of her body after learning the goddess escorted her father to paradise in the Field of Reeds. As the Avatar of Taweret, Layla summons her suit: a ceremonial armor with golden wings.
Layla swoops in to save Moon Knight and a van full of innocents as an awe-struck little girl looks on. "Are you an Egyptian superhero?" the girl asks. Layla answers, "I am."
Marvel.com confirms the super-powered Layla is the Scarlet Scarab, who in the Marvel comic books was a costumed supervillain and an enemy of the Invaders — a WWII super-group that included Captain America, Bucky Barnes, the original Human Torch, and Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Introduced in 1977's Invaders #23, the Scarlet Scarab was Professor Abdul Faoul, an expert in Egyptian history and the leader of the Sons of the Scarab, sworn to defend their homeland from foreign rule. Wielding the power of an ancient magical artifact, the Ruby Scarab, Faoul's abilities included superhuman strength, durability, and super-fast flight.
"I've read interviews [with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige] about how he's shaping Marvel Studios and taking it into a direction of really progressive thoughts and ideas," Moon Knight consulting producer Sara Goher told Marvel.com. "Marvel Studios is really pushing for that and really supportive about it. I think inside all of us, [these characters] are like your inner child dreaming."
Layla's Egyptian superhero debut "is going to be a magical moment for lots of people around the world," Goher continued. "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."
"I had to really sit with it and be like, I cannot represent every Arab woman or every Egyptian woman...I just hope that all Arab women can watch that and feel like a Super Hero, and that they have that space on that big scale," added Calamawy of the Scarlet Scarab, the latest superheroine to enter the MCU. "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."
All six episodes of Marvel's Moon Knight are now streaming on Disney+.