Fandom’s 10 Most Searched for MCU Characters of 2022

Matt Fowler
TV Movies
TV Movies Comics Streaming Marvel

Warning: The following contains a few spoilers for the MCU’s Phase Four offerings…

The MCU unleashed the second half of its Phase Four in 2022, and while none of its streaming shows wound up on Fandom’s most-searched list (the way they did in 2021) there were still many characters that fans researched individually, based on all the mighty Marvel that hit all manner of screen.

Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law landed on Disney+ while multiplexes were dominated by the likes of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. And let’s not forget that Spider-Man: No Way Home, though opening in 2021, was still packing people into theaters at the start of 2022. Disney+ even premiered its first-ever MCU Special Presentations, which included Werewolf By Night and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Even given all those stories, the actual Top 10 for most-searched MCU characters may surprise you given that sometimes it wasn’t the main character from the show or movie at all who fans were interested in doing a deep dive on. Was Jen Walters the most searched for character from She-Hulk? Was Doctor Strange truly the star of Multiverse of Madness? Read on to find out…

10. Iron Man

Tony Stark still cracking the Top 10 is a total testament to the popularity of the character, and maybe an indicator that the MCU is in need of an anchor character or two (Wong’s doing his best, y’all!) as it heads into Phase Five and things feel a bit scattered.

Tony sacrificed himself back in Avengers: Endgame and the world’s been reeling ever since. Phase Four was about the world post-Blip and post-Avengers and a lot of that focused on dealing with what we’d lost in the midst of all that turmoil. The MCU might be ready to move on from Iron Man but Fandom readers aren’t. And let’s not forget that the upcoming Armor Wars series, starring Don Cheadle as War Machine, has officially turned into an upcoming movie – perhaps because of Tony’s legacy and fans’ interest in that corner of the MCU.

On top of all this, (unfounded) rumors swelled ahead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ release regarding a cameo by Tom Cruise – who once was attached to an unmade Iron Man movie – as the Illuminati‘s version of Tony Stark. Those fan rumors alone would have brought a lot of eyes to Tony’s page, along with constant speculation that maybe one day Robert Downey Jr. could return via an Iron Man multiverse variant, fueled by the announcement of a Secret Wars movie down the line.

9. Thanos

Much like Iron Man rounding out the Top 10, Thanos is a major Infinity Saga player who readers still remember (fondly?). Thanos never fully left the pop-culture conversation, since so much of the post-Endgame discourse was “Who’s the next Thanos?” but he definitely didn’t make an appearance in any Phase Four’s offerings (unless you count Clint drinking from a Thanos Was Right mug on Hawkeye).

Starfox appearing during Eternals’ mid-credits may have sparked a bit of interest, since in the comics he’s Thanos’ brother, but other than that the Mad Titan really only has himself, and his enduring legacy, to thank for coming in at number nine. The past two years of the MCU involved a lot of cleaning up and moving on after The Blip, so Thanos’ name got dropped quite a bit, even as recently as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

8. Arishem The Judge

Interestingly, none of the actual Eternals from Eternals wound up on this list but the Prime Celestial, Arisham, was a big mover and shaker on Fandom’s wikis. It should be noted that Eternals, which ran in theaters in late 2021 to underwhelming (for the MCU) box office, landed on Disney+ in January of 2022, sparking new interest in the movie from those who’d skipped theaters and bringing the conversation into the new year. And Celestials have been a visual part of the MCU since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which only helped build up their majesty and mystery.

Arisham was mostly in the background of Eternals, the creator of the titular heroes who sent them to Earth to help prep the planet for the cataclysmic birth of fellow Celestial, Tiamut. At the end of the film though, Arisham was pretty peeved, to put it lightly, and swiped three of the Eternals for what’s sure to be a nasty reckoning.

7. Abomination

Ever since Abomination showed up in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, fans have wondered both what lay ahead for the battling brute from The Incredible Hulk and also what in the hell Wong was doing using Abomination in an underground fighting ring. And even before that happened, Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky was announced as part of the She-Hulk series and that bit of casting sent rumors swirling in its own right, given how long it had been since Roth had appeared in the MCU. At the peak of Mt. Speculation was fans’ long-standing desire to see other elements from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk finally come back into the MCU in a big way.

When She-Hulk aired this past summer, readers flocked to Fandom to read up on Abomination. Keep in mind that it may have been a long time since many folks had seen The Incredible Hulk (if they’d seen it at all) so a refresher was very much in order – especially given that movie is not readily available on Disney+ with most of the MCU, thanks to Universal owning it.

6. Love

An interesting entry here, as Love, from Thor: Love and Thunder, made the Top 10 but not Thor himself, Jane Foster (AKA Mighty Thor), Gorr the God Butcher, Zeus, or other notables from the film. Love, who only bookends the movie, though in a significant manner – as Gorr’s late daughter who eventually gets resurrected and adopted by Thor – was the source of many many searches as she wound up leaping into a violent fracas with her surrogate God-dad, and wielding Stormbreaker – which is possibly the last time we’ll see Hemsworth’s Thor for quite a while, as we wait to see where exactly he returns again.

Another element that may have driven traffic to Love’s page is that she was played by Chris Hemsworth’s own daughter, India Rose Hemsworth. Also, Love is yet another in a growing group of powerful young characters seemingly set up for future adventures.

5. Spider-Man

Look, Spider-Man is Spider-Man and he’s Marvel’s biggest character. On top of this, the tail-end of 2021 saw the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which would go on to earn a couple billion at the box office while also tying together Sony’s other two live-action Spider-Man franchises from the past two decades. Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield all shared the screen – and with different franchise villains like Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, and more!

So there was no way Spidey wasn’t thwipping his way onto this list. And with the other “Spider-Men/Mans” now a part of the MCU, this identity has separate branches, creating a true multiversal effect. No Way Home was still huge as 2022 kicked off and Spidey will never not be popular.

With Now Way Home setting Spider-Man up for new adventures as more of a low-tech, Golden Age-style web-head than the other films portrayed, there’s a general uncertainty about the character and his future, along with the ever-present questions about the state of the unusual partnership between Sony and Marvel Studios to keep Spidey in the MCU. An unease that won’t be assuaged until Holland signs on for a new Spider-Man movie and we learn details about it.

4. Daredevil

The Marvel Netflix series fans mourn the loss of the most is Daredevil and when 2021 gave us Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin on Hawkeye and Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock briefly popping up in No Way Home, Man Without Fear fever was in full swing.

When it came to light that Daredevil not only would be getting his own Disney+ series, Daredevil: Born Again, but that he’d also show up first, in costumed form on She-Hulk — and rocking a snazzy new red and gold look inspired by DD’s first comic book uniform — Fandom readers went nuts for the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

But when would he show up on She-Hulk? Week after week we waited for the arrival of Matt Murdock, and when he finally entered the story in the penultimate episode, he was an awesome part of a much looser, funnier story than we’d seen on Netflix. And seeing Matt in a better place, smiling even — while still beating the hell out of bad guys in hallways — was a joy to watch.

3. Doctor Strange

Doctor Stephen Strange was a prominent part of two giant MCU flicks that played in theaters in 2022, one of which, Spider-Man: No Way Home, was still pulling in crowds after being released at the end of the previous year. His hubris, and heroics were on full display as he dealt with two enormously dangerous multiverse dilemmas.

First, he used sorcery to sort out Spider-Man villains from different realities finding their way to Earth-616. Then he scraped and clawed to keep a Darkhold-corrupted Wanda from stealing the powers of (and killing) Nexus being America Chavez. All in all, a huge year for Strange and his outrageous adventures. Him popping up at number three here makes all the sense in the world. In every world.

2. Moon Knight

Quite frankly, Moon Knight is a Marvel comics hero many thought, even with the MCU up and running, would never see the light of day on screen. And given this relative obscurity, Moon Knight searches were definitely way up in 2022 as the fractured hero landed his own series headlined by two movie stars in Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke.

On top of this, the Moon Knight series itself was a puzzle to be sorted out as Steven Grant worked backwards through a superhero story and we caught up with Moon Knight at, what would appear to be, the end of his vigilante career. This was all about Marc Spector wanting nothing more to do with the Egyptian God Khonshu and how he (and alt personality Steven) stumbled their way through one final mission to stop a different God’s avatar from decimating humanity. Every week there was something new to look up on the Moon Knight front.

1. Scarlet Witch

Given her heel turn in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness it’s no wonder the Scarlet Witch tops the list. 2021’s WandaVision, which is one of the most acclaimed MCU series to date, brought Wanda Maximoff and her tragic psyche to the forefront like never before, making her feel like a more complicated and understandable character when compared to some of the overcrowded movies she’d been a part of.

That being said, not all fans were pleased with Wanda’s villainous swerve in Multiverse of Madness. WandaVision had made her relatable and engaging and some fans felt it was cheap to have her go so dark. Yet that negative reaction from fans who loved Wanda would have also pulled focus to the Scarlet Witch wiki.

All of that said, Scarlet Witch definitely stole the show in Sam Raimi’s horror-tinged Multiverse of Madness, displaying both demonic terror and hearfelt maternal grief. Plus, there’s the question of her ultimate fate given the ending of that movie, though it feels safe to presume we haven’t seen the last of Wanda.

Matt Fowler