What Is MOON KNIGHT’s Scarab and What Powers Does It Hold?

While the first episode hinted at its important MacGuffin status, the second episode of Moon Knight confirms that the mysterious Scarab that Marc Spector stole and Arthur Harrow wants is the key to the mysteries of the show. So what is the MCU’s Scarab? Why does Moon Knight have it? Why does Harrow, or more importantly Ammit, desire the Scarab? What does Layla have to do with it? We’re here to answer all your burning Moon Knight Scarab-centric questions. So grab your best mythical item and join us on this quest.

What Is the Scarab in Moon Knight and What Does It Do?
A still from Moon Knight shows Oscar Isaac's hand holding a golden Scarab
Marvel Studios

From the first two episodes, we’ve gotten a good understanding of the importance of Moon Knight‘s Scarab. It’s the reason Harrow is after Steven, and seems to be tied to the re-emergence of Marc. So what is it? Well, as Steven realizes this episode thanks to the help of Layla, it’s a compass that directs its holder to the Tomb of Ammit. In case you don’t immediately remember who that is, Ammit is the Egyptian deity that Harrow and co. worship. This goddess of judgment allegedly gives Harrow his powers and he wants to resurrect her. To do that he needs to find her tomb, which has been hidden to stop people like him from doing exactly that. But at the end of the episode, Harrow has the Scarab once again, meaning he’s on his way to find Ammit.

Is There a Scarab in Moon Knight‘s Comics?
a panel from Moon Knight Fist of Khonshu #1 shows the Priests of Khonshu
Marvel Comics

The short answer is yes, Moon Knight‘s comics do have a Scarab. And the longer answer is actually there’s more than one that could be relevant to this series. In Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu #1, Marc Spector reconsiders his role as Moon Knight. With the encouragement of his girlfriend Marlene, he sells the statue of Khonshu that he believes connects him to the deity during an auction at one of his art galleries.

But soon he’s awoken by nightmares and is drawn back to Egypt to get answers. It’s there that he meets the Priests of Khonshu, who bestow upon him a series of ancient artifacts. One of the artifacts Moon Knight receives is a golden Scarab. In the comics, it looks almost identical to the compass we see in the show, but it’s actually his weapon, “Scarab Darts.” The artifacts enable Marc to once again access the powers of Khonshu and Moon Knight. So that could come into play and might be another reason that Marc and Khonshu were so eager to keep the Scarab from Harrow. But for now, the MCU’s Scarab and Marvel Comics’ one seem like they share more of an aesthetic similarity than a power one.

The second relevant Scarab doesn’t directly link to Marc or Moon Knight. But it could be a connection to Layla El-Fauoly. As we explained in our Moon Knight Easter eggs piece, she may be a recontextualization of the Scarlet Scarab. The mantle belongs to two of the only Egyptian characters from Marvel Comics, and they’re both powered by a literal Ruby Scarab amulet. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Layla potentially discover a connection to the Scarab in the show.

Oh, Actually There’s Another Marvel Scarab Too, and It Belongs to Kang
Kang smiles as he sits behind a desk
Marvel Studios

Marvel Comics has a long history of seeding things that may turn up in its movies and shows in their comics. So we’d be remiss to not mention this recent Scarab edition. In 2019’s Moon Knight Annual #1, Cullen Bunn, Ibrahim Moustafa, Mike Spicer, and Joe Sabino introduced a new Scarab. The story centers on Kang retrieving a similar set of Sacrab totems that Moon Knight is given in the Fist of Khonshu series. Kang wants to wield them so he can control time, as well as erase Khonshu and his avatars. Moon Knight teams up with the Priests of the Moon, who seem to be a reimagining of the Priests of Khonshu. Kang travels through multiple universes seeking out the artifacts and fighting many Moon Knights. It’s all very multiversal. The Scarab works alongside the other artifacts to affect time, which Kang obviously loves to do.

So is Moon Knight setting up a Kang showdown? It feels slightly unlikely, but there is another big connection to the villain. In his original comics, Kang took on the role of Rama Tut, a pharaoh in Ancient Egypt. So it really wouldn’t be hard to tie this all back to Kang. Especially as, in the Moon Knight Annual, Kang travels through the multiverse to kill every Moon Knight. That could be a pretty epic conflict to introduce since Kang recently appeared in Loki. But this one seems like an outlier right now. Still, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see the Scarab take on some more time-shifting powers as the series moves on.

What Does the Scarab Mean for Moon Knight Going Forward?
A still from the recent trailer for Moon Knight shows May Calamawy as Layla in Moon Knight
Marvel Studios

As the end of the second episode teased, most immediately the presence of the Scarab in Moon Knight means we’re going to Egypt. Harrow will surely already be on his way with his most trusted followers, and Khonshu already told Marc that’s where he’s needed too. We know that Layla and Marc spent years hunting down the compass/Scarab, so she’ll probably join too. If you’ve been hoping for some Indiana Jones/The Mummy-style shenanigans, then you’re in luck. On a more theoretical basis from what we know from the show it also means that we could see Harrow resurrect the goddess Ammit. He has the means to find her now, so he could do it. We think it’s more likely that Marc and Layla will stop him. But what will they do with the Scarab if and when they do that?

Now let’s look at those comics and see what they could tell us. Out of all the source material, a potential connection between Layla and the Scarab seems the most likely. If there’s one character who could join the main MCU, it seems like it’s her. We know Oscar Isaac hasn’t signed a multi-picture contract. So they’ll probably need a new Moon Knight or Moon Knight-centric character. Perhaps Layla will become the new avatar of Khonshu? It’s what Khonshu wants. Or maybe she’ll reinvent herself as the Scarlet Scarab. Maybe once they visit Egypt we’ll learn of more artifacts that, when used together, give the users massive power. If that’s the case, then we can start #KangWatch once again. But until that time, just know the Scarab has infinite possibilities…

Featured Image: Marvel Studios

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