It’s been a wild year for the DC Extended Universe, both on and off screen, and the Fandom community once again came out in force to brush up on their favourite characters, learn about new ones, and dive so deep into their wikis that they might have actually found Atlantis.
Despite Peacemaker airing on HBO Max (Sky in the UK) at the beginning of 2022, and Black Adam closing out the year on the big screen and threatening to disrupt the hierarchy of power, content-wise, DC has been fairly quiet in terms of quantity of output compared to its counterpart, Marvel. But turmoil with the release schedule, allegations against The Flash star Ezra Miller, and big changes at the top that has also meant that Henry Cavill’s off-then-on-again turn as Superman is now firmly off again, have kept the DCEU front and centre in fans’ minds, and conversations.
Without further ado, here are Fandom’s ten most searched-for DCEU characters of 2022…
NOTE – This piece will contain spoilers for the following: The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker.
10. Doctor Fate
Introduced in Black Adam, comic-book movie fans finally got to see Doctor Fate in live-action, played by the absurdly dashing Pierce Brosnan who brought charm and humour to the character on the big screen, and whom many declared the best part of the film. While Doctor Fate, however, may have been familiar to some die-hard comic fans, it’s fair to say he isn’t a name that most casual moviegoers would know, prompting a cavalcade of visitors to his wiki page.
Thank goodness for Fandom, eh? Wielding the Helmet of Fate and imbued with more superpowers than you can shake a stick at, Doctor Fate aka Kent Nelson was definitely someone the Fandom community wanted to know more about as they delved into his comic book backstory and compared it to the lore touched upon in the film.
9. Rick Flag
Poor Rick Flag. He did his best in 2016’s Suicide Squad (the less we say about that movie the better?) before reprising his role and standing out in James Gunn’s 2021 reboot… until he dies of course (“Peacemaker. What a joke.”)
Flag clearly left his mark on fans, however, as he was the ninth most searched-for DCEU character in 2022. Even offscreen, his death played an integral role in the HBO Peacemaker series from earlier in the year, acting as one of the catalysts for the eponymous hero’s personal ‘growth’.
Hardly a household name, Rick Flag saw droves of fans head to his wiki page to learn more about our fallen hero – from his relationship with June Moone to the other actors who were considered for the role, including Jon Bernthal and Luke Evans. Fans were also likely driven to discover whether the Flag of 2016 Suicide Squad is considered the same Flag of Peacemaker.
Colonel, we hardly knew you. RIP.
Coming in one spot ahead of Rick Flag, Bloodsport was a character many of us definitely needed to do our research on. I’m a fairly big comic book fan, and I knew approximately zilch about him. But why is he still so popular and searched for a full year after his live-action debut in The Suicide Squad?
Because he’s bloody brilliant, that’s why! Idris Elba brought his A-game to the DCEU with his portrayal of Robert DuBois, and they repaid him with a decent amount of backstory for an ensemble character. We were told about his assasination attempt of Superman, his incarceration in Belle Reve prison, plus we were given a look at his truly charming relationship with his daughter, Tyla (Storm Reid).
Fans were likely wondering if we’d see him again in Peacemaker, or, indeed, elsewhere now that James Gunn is in charge of DC at Warner Bros.
7. Wonder Woman
Ah, Wonder Woman, or Diana of Themyscira to those who know her well. Although seen briefly in Peacemaker (via a body double) as she tries to aid the 11th Street Kids, Diana hasn’t graced our screens since Zack Snyder’s Justice League from 2021, but being one of the most iconic characters in all of pop culture, she’s perenially pretty popular.
That being said, Wonder Woman has an immense canon to explore, from her famous arsenal consisting of the Lasso of Truth and her Bracelets of Submission to her numerous and varied relationships with other characters in the DCEU. Wonder Woman also got a boost following reports that Wonder Woman 3 has been cancelled by the new top brass at DC Studios. Whatever the future holds for Diana, her popularity isn’t waning anytime soon.
The Man of Steel, The Last Son of Krypton, The Most Powerful Superhero on Earth, Clark Kent a.k.a. Kal-El was the sixth most searched-for DCEU character in 2022. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, until recently, it looked as if the character had no immediate future in the DCEU, particularly in the guise of Henry Cavill. Then, a Black Adam post-credits scene reintroduced Cavill as Supes and an army of fans went bananas as the actor was confirmed to be back in the suit. It also looked like the film was setting up a face-off between Black Adam and Superman, which set tongues wagging and fingers tapping. Fans headed to Fandom to research stats and history in anticipation of their teed-up conflict following their dialogue in Kahndaq.
Unfortunately for Cavill fans, James Gunn and Peter Safran taking the helm of DC at Warner Bros. has put a spanner in the works, and Cavill is now NOT returning as the Man of Steel. But we are getting more Superman, says Gunn — just a younger one.
Of course, there’s also the small matter of Superman being arguably the most recognisable hero, super or otherwise, of all time which means we’re always interested in checking him out, right?
It’s important to note that this Batman isn’t the Pattinson iteration from 2022’s The Batman but the Ben Affleck version, though what’s happening with that character now is anyone’s guess! It’s a pretty good bet that this is exactly the reason why Batman ranks so highly. We simply have no idea where his future lies in the DCEU, we can only sit and wait for answers from James Gunn and Peter Safran.
Right now, Affleck is currently scheduled to appear in the upcoming 2023 Flash movie (as is Michael Keaton, as his version of the Caped Crusader), so bank on searches for Batman increasing exponentially next year.
4. Clemson Murn
An original character from the mind of James Gunn, Clemson Murn was created exclusively for Peacemaker on HBO Max. Played delightfully by Chukwudi Iwuji, Murn was the leader of the 11th Street Kids tasked with taking down Project Butterfly, but unbeknown to us until later on in the season, he was actually possessed by a Butterfly known as Ik Nobe Llok.
Clemson Murn (and Iwuji) left a pretty big mark on the Fandom community, and clearly had you trawling his wiki for more information about his past actions as an assassin. While he dies (typically a permanent thing), Gunn and Iwuji have struck up a pretty great partnership as the latter will be starring in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 set to release in 2023. Maybe don’t rule out the return of Clemson Murn somewhere down the line in the DCEU.
3. Black Adam
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson finally got his Black Adam movie into cinemas in 2022 after what has felt like 15 years of campaigning. The hierarchy of power in the DCEU may not have changed as much as we all expected, but the titular character definitely enjoyed a surge of interest as the year went on, clocking in as the third most searched-for DCEU character on Fandom.
As with any new character introduced to a wider audience for the first time, there comes a huge amount of information to process during the film, something made all the harder by the numerous explosions and Pierce Brosnan looking dashing (there’s that word again, but it’s true!) in the background. Luckily, the wiki is replete with the in-depth history of Kahndaq, how Black Adam massacred the Council of Wizards, and what the difference is between the Strength of Amon and the Power of Aten. It’s safe to say that Black Adam will be a big part of the DCEU going forward, so get used to searching for him in the future.
Vigilante, otherwise known as Adrian Chase, was a lesser-known character until 2022’s Peacemaker show thrust him into the spotlight. A restaurant busboy with a penchant for hobbies such as murder, torture, and general violence, he idolises Peacemaker and jumps at the opportunity to join his team to take down the Butterflies.
The Fandom community (and everyone else who watched the show) fell in love with Freddie Stroma’s amazingly awkward sociopath, and wanted to keep tabs on where we might be seeing him next. Wherever it is, we really hope Barbie Girl is still his ringtone.
Rapidly becoming one of DC’s most popular characters, the jingoistic ‘superhero’ portrayed by John Cena was the most searched-for DCEU character of 2022 by the Fandom community. It’s in no small part down to his own wildly successful spin-off show following 2021’s The Suicide Squad. Peacemaker has established himself as a staple of the franchise moving forward, known for his relentless pursuit of peace… no matter how many innocents have to die to achieve it.
His wiki is chock-full of information about his pretty terrible childhood, his relationships with the rest of the 11th Street Kids, his rivalry with Bloodsport, and his PTSD from accidentally killing his brother along with his murder of Rick Flag. For a character as over-the-top as Peacemaker, the guy comes with a staggering amount of depth, and Fandom users have spent 2022 learning everything they can about him. Roll on Season 2.