Marvel Comics has recently been on a bit of a synergy kick with the MCU, such as revisiting previous stories like Secret Invasion and Planet Hulk in anticipation of their respective shows and rumored films. On top of that, another MCU-original character leaped the comics recently with Kat Dennings' Darcy Lewis!
But it's still surprising that Marvel Comics plans to include Marvel Studios' first Egyptian superhero in the MCU!
MCU's Scarlet Scarab Jumping to Comics
Marvel Comics has announced that in the upcoming Moon Knight #25, May Calamawy's Layla El-Faouly will be introduced as the new Scarlet Scarab.
There have only ever been two Scarlet Scarabs in Marvel Comics, but Layla El-Faouly is only loosely based on both, only taking the name.
Her comic book debut will continue into the five-issue limited Moon Knight: City of the Dead, written by David Pepose and illustrated by Marcelo Ferreira.
Moon Knight writer Jed MacKay said introducing Layla El-Faouly was "exciting" as including "an already beloved character into the universe of the comics is a really interesting opportunity."
McKay was also kind enough to give context to the new Scarlet Scarb's debut and how readers will see "a much younger Layla and a much younger Marc Spector as they embark on a mission as members of the crack mercenary team, the Karnak Cowboys:"
"Bringing Layla El-Faouly into our story was exciting. Adding an already beloved character into the universe of the comics is a really interesting opportunity, and being able to show the 'before' to David and Marcelo's 'after' was a wonderful bit of synchronicity. It was an idea that we both came to independently, and the way our stories were able to dovetail is something that I'm looking forward to people experiencing. While the Scarlet Scarab will indeed be turning up in 'Moon Knight: City of the Dead,' in 'Moon Knight' #25 we're seeing a much younger Layla and a much younger Marc Spector as they embark on a mission as members of the crack mercenary team, the Karnak Cowboys."
Pepose added that he "couldn't be more excited to be writing Layla El-Faouly's debut as the all-new Scarlet Scarab!" He also mentioned how Layla would know Marc Spector "better than almost anyone, and that tension is going to spark some spectacular fireworks on this otherworldly adventure:"
“But Marc won't be embarking on this mission alone — I couldn't be more excited to be writing Layla El-Faouly's debut as the all-new Scarlet Scarab! Layla has been such a fun character to adapt — she knows Marc better than almost anyone, and that tension is going to spark some spectacular fireworks on this otherworldly adventure. From diehard 'Moon Knight' readers to fans of the Disney+ show, we're going to have something for everyone in this series, as the Fist of Khonshu is pushed to his absolute limits in 'Moon Knight: City of the Dead!'"
Moon Knight #25 will release in shops and digital storefronts on July 12, 2023, followed by Moon Knight: City of the Dead #1 on July 19.
Marc Spector's Old Flame?
In the MCU, Layla was clearly based on Marc Spector's love interest, Marlene, from the comics, so it's funny that it appears this Layla will be someone who "knows Marc better than almost anyone" and how "that tension is going to spark some spectacular fireworks" between her and Spector.
So, will she be set up as Spector's new love interest, or will Layla's time in the comics be temporary? Looking at the recent comics, it's a bit doubtful.
Spector is currently involved with Tigra (again), so unless things fall apart between them within the following two issues, then this supposed tension with Layla will be just that.
Regardless, it'd be cool to see this Layla become a recurring character in Moon Knight moving forward, especially if she's anything like her MCU counterpart.
Layla can also be seen now in Moon Knight on Disney+.