Fandom’s 10 Most Searched MCU Characters of 2023

Matt Fowler
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Despite Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 being a big hit and Loki Season 2 arriving to a lot of positive reaction, the Marvel Cinematic Universe struggled in 2023 with the falterings – whether critical, box office, or both – of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Secret Invasion, and The Marvels. That didn’t stop the MCU wiki from remaining popular though, as a highly-sought out source of key details and character intel.

In the midst of some attempted course correction (intermixed with WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike-influenced delays), the MCU will only have one movie released in 2024, Deadpool 3, while the Disney+ show Echo and select future projects will be now under the new “Marvel Spotlight” banner for stories that largely do not affect the broader MCU storylines. With that in mind, as the MCU tightens its belt, it’s interesting to see which characters are still popping with fans.

Here’s a Top 10 rundown of the most-searched MCU characters of the year on Fandom’s MCU wiki, from Ant-Man and Loki’s arch-villain to a few Guardians to a popular witch who folks would love to see return to the screen.


Alioth, the guardian of the Void that was inadvertently created due to temporal rifts during the past Multiversal War, clocks in at number ten, though we never actually caught a glimpse of it in 2023.

Though Alioth was a big presence in the back half of Loki Season 1, it’s return is only implied, off-screen, at the end of Season 2 when we check in with Ravonna Renslayer right at the finish.

Renslayer’s fate is still unknown though, despite the tease that she was consumed by Alioth, whose powers allow it to destroy entities completely (something even the TVA can’t do). Alioth making this list, though, shows how invested fans were in Loki’s second season as they, most likely, needed to refresh their memory regarding the big Void monster from Season 1.


Yup, Iron Man’s still dead. And he’s still the most popular original Avenger. There was a lot of talk this year surrounding the late Tony Stark, however, from Keven Feige saying Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man would stay dead and that they’d never “‘magically undo” his demise to larger conversations regarding the original Avengers potentially returning for a future movie.

There’s a bit to unpack there. Firstly, the internet tried to spin the O.G. Avengers thing into something more connected to the MCU’s recent struggles, as if it were in “Hail Mary” move on the part of Marvel Studios. The truth is that many fans already expected or predicted that the original Avengers will be back, even if in some variant form, for Avengers: Secret Wars from the moment that film was announced, since that’s fully in line with the comics. Meaning, it was already likely in motion and not just a pivot because Quantumania bombed.

And then there’s Feige’s quote, which could be full of loopholes. Maybe Downey Jr. returns as someone else. Or maybe it’s a new Tony Stark variant who isn’t Iron Man. Or maybe he’s brought back from the dead, just not “magically.” In the end, whether we see him again or not, fans still love the character and that’s clear from Iron Man’s placement here on the list.


James Gunn’s final project with Marvel Studios, before heading off to hopefully lead the DCU to glory over at Warner Bros., was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – aka the MCU’s one notable box office triumph in 2023. It was an emotional, thrilling ride that stood as the perfect send off for this massively-popular team. One that fans came out for big time, not even expecting a story that connected to the ongoing MCU. It was purely for the love of these misfit heroes.

Star-Lord’s three-movie arc came to a close as he found himself in not only a place to move on from his Gamora grief but also revisit the life he left behind on Earth decades earlier. Peter Quill may not have “saved the galaxy” this time but he and his found family did save their good friend while thwarting the plans of an evil madman to some near-perfect needle drops.

Not for nothing though, but Vol. 3 also ended with a “The Legendary Star-Lord Will Return” card. When? Who knows? The same Star-Lord? Who can say? It’s a lot like the “Thor Will Return” deal we got at the end of Love and Thunder.


If there’s a pattern at all to look for here, regarding the MCU’s wins in 2023, it was the big, meaningful conclusion of popular characters’ stories. Like with Guardians Vol. 3, Loki’s second season seemed to close the books on the God of Mischief as he scraped and scrambled to not only save his good friends but also countless new timelines that spring from the death of He Who Remains.

Loki’s first villain to hero arc was a bit incomplete, since he was murdered by Thanos, but this Loki, the Loki variant at the center of this show, was allowed to fully bloom into a selfless defender who was able to find pals he deeply cared for and a new purpose to carry him forward.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was truly Rocket’s story as the blockbuster galactic cry-fest delved into his tragic backstory as a tortured lab experiment who lost his first close friends thanks to the cruel, insidious High Evolutionary. Rocket himself may have been down and out for a good portion of the film but his backstory became the heart of everything, as writer/director James Gunn had planned from the very start.

And like all of the Guardians, Rocket’s full arc was full of friendship and triumph, steering him from a surly, reluctant wisecracker into a position of leadership and benevolence (with wisecrackin’ still intact’). He even picked up a great taste in music over the years thanks to Quill, so all in all we were gifted with one well-rounded Raccoon.


Even though Adam Warlock’s most important arc in the comics came via the Infinity War and other earlier battles with Thanos, the character was promised to us back at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And the promise was very much fulfilled – though maybe not in the way fans expected. Will Poulter’s Adam, in Vol. 3, was not a hugely important part of the story, aside from attacking Rocket at the outset and nearly killing him.

No, this Adam, in this iteration, would be different from the comics in some pretty big ways and also only serve Vol. 3 as a supporting character, though one who notably would join a new Rocket-led version of the Guardians team by the end of the film. And since Adam Warlock, in general, is not very well known to non-comic readers, while also appearing as a version very different to those who have, it makes sense that the Fandom community would want to read up on him.

4. M.O.D.O.K.

Perhaps one of the MCU’s biggest goofs, both in concept and special effects, was Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’s version of M.O.D.O.K. – which would see the first Ant-Man film’s villain, Darren Cross, get transformed by Kang the Conqueror into a giant floating head-slash-mechanical monstrosity.

To be fair though, M.O.D.O.K., no matter how they fit him into an MCU story, was going to be a hard sell. There are a handful of comic characters that many fans agree are probably too ridiculous to translate to the screen properly and M.O.D.O.K. is at the top of that list. Previously, Arnim Zola stands as the best example of taking a loony idea and making it fit into the MCU movie world but M.O.D.O.K.? Yeah, he was always going to be a problem.

Also, M.O.D.O.K. was nearly entirely played for laughs and fans seem to really want… less goofiness nowadays? What with some of the negative reactions to Thor: Love and Thunder, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and The Marvels.

Nevertheless, M.O.D.O.K. brought boys to the yard as fans flocked to his page to find out… WTF?


Everyone loves a good villain and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 had a doozy. Taking a step back from more sympathetic bad guys, or even enemies with understandable motives and agendas, James Gunn delivered a pompous, vile scientist who tortures innocent animals without remorse. Just someone you want to see get blasted to bits.

Naturally, fans were drawn to this since it is actually possible to have villains be both somewhat one-dimensional and yet also captivating and Chukwudi Iwuji’s performance was magnetic. Readers were also probably hungry for more deets on High Evolutionary’s comic book exploits, which saw him tangle with the likes of the Avengers, the X-Men, and more.


There was absolutely no Scarlet Witch activity in 2023. Well, aside from a few mentions in The Marvels as the witch who created a hex that gave Monica Rambeau her powers. But yeah, there wasn’t even a tease that we might be seeing her again in a future project (unless she still counts as an “Avenger”).

We did get some updates on the Agatha Harkness series, now called Agatha: Darkhold Diaries (unless it’s called Agatha All Along), which will premiere in 2024, and could end up including Wanda in some capacity, but that’s kind of it. Scarlet Witch being at number two just speaks to how popular this character truly is now and how her WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness leveling up, post Avengers: Endgame, really resonated and made her much more of a fan favorite.


First off, we’ve cheated a bit and combined the actual first and second place entries on the list into one, allowing them to represent the multiversal swarm that is Kang. In truth, He Who Remains, from Loki, was number two and Quantumania’s Kang was in first place, but this all just speaks to how much people both wanted to know more about Kang and also want to make sense of Kang, even as real life events make things all the murkier as we try to look ahead. Whatever the future holds, 2023 was a big year for the time lord and his variants – from Kang to He Who Remains to Loki‘s more kindly Victor Timely, to the crazed Council of Kangs seen at the end of Quantumania.

However, with Jonathan Majors now out of the MCU, after his conviction for assault and harassment at the end of the year, it’s currently unknown if Kang will remain the Thanos of the Multiverse Saga. Going forward, the character could be recast yet still remain a big focus, he could be recast and his role simultaneously diminished, or Marvel could immediately pivot to a new villain and we simply never see any version of Kang again.

Matt Fowler