Antagonists who were involved in the Great War.
Species: Olympian god
Affiliation(s): Olympian Gods
Played by: David Thewlis (Wonder Woman), Nick McKinless (Justice League, both versions)
Dubbed by: Martín Soto (Latin-American Spanish), Gabriel Le Doze (European French), Benoît Rousseau (Canadian French)
Appearances: Wonder Woman | Justice League | Zack Snyder's Justice League
- "I am not the god of War, Diana. I am the god of Truth."
The Olympian God of War and a long-standing adversary to the Amazons. Diana of Themyscira believes him to be responsible for the Great War and follows Steve Trevor in Europe in the hope of confronting him to put an end to the conflict.
- Adaptational Badass: Unlike most versions of Ares, this one does not require War in order to have his power. He was also able to kill Zeus and the rest of the Pantheon, presumably on his own which puts him leagues ahead of his own mythological counterpart, who was frequently subjected to asskicking from even mortals. His ability to use the Lasso of Truth against its wielder is also a new addition.
- Adaptational Personality Change: Ares in most incarnations not only draws power from War but directly conspires to create and prolong wars being proud of being the God of War. Here he is polite to Diana even after revealing himself, not even seeing himself as the God of War but as the God of Truth wanting to create peace by destroying mankind. He also stated that while he put the idea of weapons in humans' minds, he did not make them use it.
- Adaptational Ugliness: In the early comics and the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, Ares is an attractive young man with blond hair. Even at his most demonic, he still looked quite virile. In Wonder Woman, he resembles a plain-looking man in his 50s. Could also be considered Adaptational Attractiveness in comparison to his New 52 look, who was so decrepit that his eyes had rotted away.
- Affably Evil: He remains polite to Diana even after getting rid of his Sir Patrick identity.
- All Myths Are True: He does exist; he isn't just the stuff of the stories Hippolyta told to Diana when she was young, nor is he a legend like Steve is led to believe until he sees him with his own eyes.
- Anti-Villain: He claims to be this in regards to annihilating humanity, and claims their inherent wickedness has to end in order to achieve peace. Keep in mind, he admits this while under the control of Diana's lasso, so he genuinely believes this.
- Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes:
- During the climatic confrontation in Wonder Woman, he dons a dark plate armor that fully covers his body against Diana, who wears much less armor.
- The reverse happened when he defended the Earth against Steppenwolf's invasion in the theatrical version of Justice League. He leaped on Steppenwolf shirtless with his war axe, whereas the New God wore much more armor.
- It's a bit more even when he attacks Uxas/Darkseid during that same invasion in Zack Snyder's Justice League, as the New God is shirtless too.
- Attack Backfire: He tries to kill Diana with a powerful stream of lightning, only for her gauntlets to absorb the entire attack. She then fires the lightning back at him in a concentrated blast, obliterating him.
- An Axe to Grind: He used a big axe to fight the Apokoliptian invasion of Earth.
- Badass Beard: He was bearded during the Apokoliptian invasion, when he boldly attacked the New Gods' army and even their leader (Steppenwolf in the theatrical version, Uxas/Darkseid in Zack Snyder's Justice League).
- Badass Moustache: As Sir Patrick Morgan he sports a mustache and as a flashback of him defeated showed he had it back then, he still sports it in his armor.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Technically, the goal he set out to achieve happened exactly as he wanted. The armistice that ended the Great War did, in fact, only inflame tensions, leading to another more deadly war that threatened to consume all of humanity. While he failed to completely break Wonder Woman's faith in humanity, his words left an impact on her that led her to withdraw from human affairs as a superhero for 100 years.
- Been There, Shaped History: Subverted. Diana thinks Ares is behind World War I. He tells her humans are cruel enough to generate war by themselves, he just lends them a hand to find new ways to annihilate each other. However, by his own admission, he had a hand in how things developed and has done so for ages — it's just that humanity never fails to put his whispered advice to "good" use. He also seems to often have a hand in negotiating fragile peace agreements in his mortal guises.
- Big Bad: Of the Wonder Woman film.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: His human disguise is Sir Patrick Morgan, who seems to be both a Reasonable Authority Figure, supporting Steve and Wonder Woman going after Ludendorff, and the Big Good supporting the armistice. In reality he's only sincerely affable to his fellow god, Diana, and he desires the extinction of humans.
- Blow You Away: At the start of the Final Battle, Diana attacks Ares with the Lasso of Truth and he counter-attacks by summoning a wind that blows strong enough to keep the lasso at bay.
- Cain and Abel: He's Diana's main opponent during World War I, and her half-brother as both of them are children of Zeus.
- The Cameo: In Justice League, he appears in a flashback of the original battle to repel Steppenwolf's invasion of Earth.
- Canon Character All Along: He is initially introduced as Sir Patrick Morgan before The Reveal toward the end of the film.
- Chain Pain: He snares Diana's arm with a chain and projects her away with it during the Final Battle.
- Composite Character: He is based on his comic book version as the God of War, but incorporates traits from his kids Eris (god of strife and chaos) and his aristocratic disguise from his three agents the Duke of Deception, the Earl of Greed and the Count of Conquest. And his spitefulness towards humanity is based on the First Born, a son of Zeus who was jealous of his father's creations and sought to kill them all; Ares was never so vindictive in the comics, seeking only to perform his job of spreading conflict and war.
- Cool Helmet: He uses metal debris to shape a whole plate armor on himself, and carves the eye-slits on his horned helmet by melting parts of it with his fingers.
- The Corrupter: Subverted. Diana believes that Ares is the direct cause of the war by corrupting humans, and once he's dead and his influence is gone, the war will end. Her idealism takes a hit when Ares reveals he doesn't force mankind to go to war, he merely acts from the shadows, whispering in their ears new ways to fight and kill each other. Then he sits back and lets humans decide whether or not they'll use his suggestions. Mankind does not disappoint him, though in all fairness to the entire species, he does pick the very worst of humanity to influence and refuses to see any good in the rest of them.
- Dark Is Evil: Unlike comic Ares this one lacks necromancy and a shadowy face, but he more than makes up for it with his mortal disguise, which wears black, reveals to himself to Diana in the middle of the night and ultimately dons a dark metal armor.
- Darth Vader Clone: Not just in appearance, but in his actions. He appears to be an aging frail man encased in dark armor who is related to the protagonist and tries to tempt her into coming over to his side.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Wore ankle wraps in his ancient god form.
- Dual Wielding: He attacks Diana with two swords in the final battle of Wonder Woman.
- Elemental Motifs: Fire.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He is legitimately disgusted at mankind and their actions.
- Even he didnt want the New Gods to invade Earth.
- Evil Brit: He pretends to be a British nobleman to ensure a terrible peace that will provoke the next World War.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Is so convinced that humanity is inherently evil, he absolutely refuses to see the good in them, even twisting Steve's Heroic Sacrifice as him leaving Diana. It's so bad that he killed the other gods for not siding with him, and ultimately snaps and attempts to kill Diana as well when he fails to convince her.
- Evil Counterpart: To Diana, and the Amazons in general. Both originate from Greek mythology and are adept at combat. While Diana actively participated in the war, Ares stood back and pulled the strings. While Diana is an idealist, Ares is a bitter misanthrope who believes the best thing for the world is humanity's extinction. They both want peace, but Diana wants it through the end of the war, whereas Ares also wants it through the "end of war"... via the annihilation of mankind.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The moment Ares begun to fault his power, the deeper his voice became.
- FaceHeel Turn: At some point, he stopped caring about protecting humans (like he did during Steppenwolf's invasion) and started corrupting them into waging war at each other.
- Fallen Hero: In the novel, he mentions once having saved mankind, but later coming to realize they were not worthy of salvation. He's likely referring to the war against the Titans, which is also mentioned in the novel. The events of Justice League suggest this is actually referencing the war against Appkolips.
- Flying Brick: He's capable of flight, has strength on par or exceeding Diana's, and is durable enough to survive massive explosions at pointblank range.
- Genius Bruiser: Has the strength you'd expect from a god, and can use the power of suggestion to instigate a war.
- God in Human Form: He's a Greek god, so this is a given.
- Heroic Build: To portray Ares in Justice League, Nick McKinless went through months of intense training to get to 6 per cent of body fat, and it shows given how jacked he is in his (brief) scene in the theatrical version. More of it will be featured in Zack Snyder's version.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Diana's bracelets absorb and concentrate the lightning shot by Ares into a powerful beam that kills him.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: His essential belief. However, while there's truth to that, Diana counters that they are much more than just that.
- Hypocrite: Criticizes humans as warlike creatures who slaughter each other, while being a warlike creature who slaughtered the other Olympian gods. Also, while admittedly not directly responsible for their capacity towards conflict, it doesn't help that he conveniently found the worst among them and planted the idea into their heads, all just to justify his double standard actions.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He doesn't seem to regret his murder of his own family, claiming they couldn't see humanity the way he did, so he offed them.
- In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: Since he sees mankind as inherently evil and destructive, he influences wars by merely giving people ideas on how to kill each other, then he watches as they act on his suggestions so mankind can end up destroying itself.
- Instant Armor: He summons an armor on himself instantly with his Mind over Matter powers, using nearby metal debris once his Sir Patrick Morgan clothes are of no use anymore and get burned.
- Irony: The God of War would rather have civil discourse with his enemies than fight or kill them. Of course, this version of Ares detests his name being synonymous with violence.
- Is That the Best You Can Do?: Says "Is that all you have to offer?" to Diana during the final fight as he overpowers her.
- Jerkass Gods: He plans several conflicts amongst humankind with the intention of having it all wiped out.
- Large Ham: He really goes all out on Diana when she refuses his We Can Rule Together offer. He also throws a crap ton of lightning at her.
- The Man Behind the Man: General Ludendorff got his war plans from him and Dr. Poison got her new gas from him.
- Manipulative Bastard: The Amazons teach that Ares turned humanity against itself in war with his powers. And he did... kinda. He acts as a defacto patron to the most warlike and dangerous individuals like Ludendorff and Dr. Poison, providing them with inspiration and formulas to create greater weapons of war, and practices reverse psychology to make an armistice a tool for even more war and to get Steve and Diana to go where he wants them to.
- There is also a noticeable shift in the demeanor and actions of soldiers after he is defeated, implying he was influencing them in a direct manner (though that could be a result of Power Incontinence).
- Mind over Matter: Hurls everything in the battlefield onto Diana (and at times, towards himself to create weaponry and armor) without even touching it.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Ares despises humanity (moreso than Zod ever did) but in a twist, he claims it's because mankind is warlike and destructive. He wants to purge the planet of mankind because he believes it's the best way to protect the world from them and ensure peace.
- Mole in Charge: Through his Sir Patrick Morgan disguise, he infiltrated the World War I Allies' high command.
- More Than Mind Control: Diana thinks that humanity is Brainwashed and Crazy under his influence and this is why they are fighting; in reality, and as Ares argues himself, humans are more than capable of fighting and killing each other all by themselves. Ares gives them a "push" in the right direction in order to make wars happen in times and ways of his choosing and certainly influences events and people through the power of suggestion, but the world isn't automatically going to become a better place just because he isn't there to cause problems.
- Motive Rant: He explains his motivations throughout the Final Battle between Diana and him.
- Never My Fault: While he has a point in humans choosing to act evil of their own free will, he conveniently ignores the fact that he is the one placing wicked ideas in decidedly evil individuals with the expressed purpose of manipulating them and the war to wipe humanity out. This doesn't seem to dawn on him as he explains this while under the influence of the lasso of Truth, meaning he is entirely convinced of his position.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He is out to Kill All Humans and plans to do it by manipulating them into killing each other.
- Out of the Inferno: During the Final Battle against Diana, he stands in the fire caused by an explosion, his Sir Patrick Morgan clothes burn off and he summons his armor on himself in said inferno, then attacks Diana from it.
- Patricide: He mortally wounded his father Zeus when he killed all the other gods of Olympus during the War of the Gods.
- Pet the Dog: He shows sincere respect toward Diana, even after he reveals himself, and doesn't think about killing her at first, even though he knows that she could destroy him.
- Physical God: As mentioned, he's the literal Greek God of War, with all that comes with it. The only thing capable of destroying him is his own divine power.
- Playing Both Sides: During World War I, he whispers new ways of waging war to Ludendorff's and Dr. Poison's ears and, as Sir Patrick Morgan, influences the British War Council.
- Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Played for Drama. By all objective metrics, the true Big Bad of the story is Ludendorff; Ares himself outright states that he didn't make Ludendorff do anything, and that he came up with the superweapon plan on his own and used his own resources to implement it. In fact, Ares claims he didn't do anything at all besides whisper suggestions for weapons in a few peoples' ears with telepathy, and besides his fight with Diana (and a flashback) he doesn't take any action or hurt a single person. This is played as part of the Aesop that humans don't need an overarching supernatural Big Bad to explain their flaws. He's around for less than ten minutes after The Reveal and only really relevant for Diana's Character Development, as her rejection of his philosophy and fending him off in the final battle represents her refusing to let go of her idealism. In the end, the only person he actually killed during the events of the film (either directly or indirectly) was himself.
- Powers Do the Fighting: Downplayed. While he does get physical with Diana (and throw a few lightning bolts) he shows a strong preference for simply using telekinesis to hurl things at her for most of the fight.
- Satanic Archetype: Ares tempts humans into warlike actions so as to bring about their destruction, bringing to mind Satan as a tempter, as does his role as being Driven by Envy of them. Ares also fights Diana while surrounded by flames, evoking hellfire. In ancient times, Ares opposed Zeus, who created and loved humanity, which is reminiscent of the rivalry between God and Satan in Christianity and Islam. Finally, a flashback shows a defeated Ares lying on the ground after falling from his heavenly battle with Zeus, bringing to mind Lucifer as a fallen angel.
- Shock and Awe: Like his own father, Ares can summon lightning. It ends up being his undoing when Diana redirects them on him.
- Shockwave Stomp: At one point during the Final Battle, he hits the ground hard enough to send a shockwave at Diana, who dodges it. It's powerful enough to cut a truck in half.
- Sincerity Mode: He emphasizes that for all of his influence, humans never go to war and kill one another unless they choose to.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Is capable of turning material around him into any weapon he desires in seconds.
- Superpower Lottery: A big winner of it. He has Super Strength on par with or exceeding Diana, Super Toughness sufficient enough to survive gigantic pointblank explosions unharmed, can move massive objects with ease via telekinesis, create weapons out of anything around him at will, send a Shockwave Stomp, teleport, manipulate the weather and generate cascades of devastating lightning. Justified, as he is literally a god.
- Takes One to Kill One: As a god, he can only be killed by another god. That's why he was able to kill the other gods of Olympus, and why Diana, his half-sister and fellow god, is the only being in existence capable of killing him.
- Token Evil Teammate: To his fellow Olympians, since they fought on Earth's side against Steppenwolf and the New God invaders.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: You wouldn't expect the God of War to look like an English gentleman.
- Tin Tyrant: In the climax of Wonder Woman, he summons a dark-looking armor on himself. It covers him entirely.
- Villain Has a Point: The points he makes about Humans Are Flawed, Humans Are Bastards and In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves are quite accurate, even though they're not enough to describe humanity, as Diana (and, about a hundred years later, Bruce Wayne) proclaims. He merely left suggestions that would keep the war going (and they did), but openly advocated a peace agreement (which was largely ignored). With tests like that, it's understandable that he'd see humanity as inherently violent.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Diana refuses to kill Doctor Poison by crushing her with a tank, he completely loses his composure and decides to just kill her.
- Walking Spoiler: For starters, he is the real Big Bad of Wonder Woman, not Ludendorff.
- War God: The Classical Mythology one. He thrives on violence. However he sees himself not a God of War, but a God of Truth.
- We Can Rule Together: He tries to get Diana on his side during the climax, believing they can restore the Earth to the peace before Zeus created mankind.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ares wants to purge the world of humanity who he views as polluters and violent warmongers but he also genuinely believes that this is what is needed to make the world into a paradise. This is confirmed by Diana using the lasso of Truth on him which shows he really does believe this to be true and isn't lying.
- You Are What You Hate: Despises humans as warlike creatures who slaughter each other and destroy the world around them, deeming them unworthy of the powers and favors of the gods. He himself is also a warlike creature who slaughtered the other Olympian Gods and was cast down from Olympus by his own father.
- You Don't Look Like You: An action figure and Lego set both show Ares sporting a helmet that resembles a ram's skull and a face that's blackened out except for his eyes. In the film itself, Ares wears a different kind of helmet and his face looks completely human. Also he's of average height, whereas the Lego set showed him being much bigger than a person.
General Erich Ludendorff
Affiliation(s): German Army, German General Staff
Played by: Danny Huston
Dubbed by: Jochen Hägele (European French), Jacques Lavallée (Canadian French), José Luis Orozco (Latin-American Spanish)
Appearances: Wonder Woman
- "You know your ancient Greeks? They understood that war is a god. A god that requires human sacrifice. And in exchange, war gives man purpose. Meaning. A chance to rise above his petty mortal little self. And be courageous. Noble. Better."
A general from Imperial Germany who's still warmongering (with mass murder plans in mind) on the eve of the Armistice in 1918.
- Artistic Licence History:
- The real life Ludendorff, like most men in Europe in the 1910s, had a moustache◊, while Danny Huston doesn't sport any in the film.
- The real life Ludendorff also survived World War I, eventually dying of liver cancer in 1937.
- Ludendorff mentions his fascination and love for the Greek Gods to Diana during the party. The actual Ludendorff indulged in the weird and trendy pseudo-paganism that was all the rage at the time, but his preference was the Proto-Germanic and Norse deities, and his true devotion was for Wotan.
- Bad Boss: His Establishing Character Moment is shooting one of his own officers for complaining about low supplies. He also gasses the whole German High Command just for going about and wanting to sign the armistice. He doesn't mistreat Dr. Poison at all however, showing complete faith in her.
- Badass Normal: While still reliant on the strength-enhanching gas for his blows to have any effect, the fact he seems equally skilled in hand-to-hand combat to a warrior princess trained all her life is saying a lot.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Played with, if not outright subverted once Ares' true role in the film becomes apparent. On one hand, Ares is indeed far more powerful and dangerous than Ludendorff could ever hope to be, and he doesn't last long against Diana when she reaches him. But Ludendorff was already a warmongering madman and didn't need Ares' input to continue being one. By all metrics, Ludendorff is the film's Big Bad for the conflict related to the war, with Ares being the Final Boss for Diana's Character Development.
- Captain Ersatz: A very blatant one to the MCU version of the Red Skull, being a sadistic German general and rogue agent who enhances himself with super serum to fight the hero, murders other officers that annoy him, has a mad scientist sidekick, and is planning to destroy entire cities in an attempt to usher in his domination of the world.
- Chest of Medals: He is seen wearing the Iron Cross and the Pour le Mérite (aka "Blue Max"), most notably. The Pour le Mérite was among the highest orders of merit in Imperial Germany.
- Classic Villain: Ludendorff embodies Wrath in that he wants to keep war going for no reason outside of enjoying the carnage. He also has a sinister German accent, manages to undo Diana's act of heroism and has a dramatic showdown with Diana.
- Composite Character: By virtue of being the sole named German antagonist in the movie, the leader of the German army, and the Big Bad, as well as his Historical Villain Upgrade and the setting change, he's effectively a Setting Update composite of Wonder Woman's various German enemies during the Silver Age, when she was a Captain Patriotic hero fighting in World War II. These included Red Panzer, Captain Nazi, Baron Blitzkrieg (who was also enhanced with Super Serum to be able to fight Wonder Woman), and Armageddon (who, like Ludendorff, utilized a potent and fantastical chemical weapon).
- Cultured Badass: He is obviously well-versed in the classics, since he immediately recognizes a quote from Thucydides; displays a darkly philosophical temperament in his conversation with Diana at the gala; and is not afraid to fight an obviously superhuman enemy hand to hand if need be.
- Death by Adaptation: His Real Life counterpart died in 1937.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Diana kills him believing him to be Ares but the War and the threat of the gas remain; it's not long after Sir Patrick Morgan reveals himself to Diana as Ares.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Since he's not Ares, he can only hold his own against Wonder Woman for so long because of a strength enhancing gas created by Dr. Poison.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: In contrast with the misogynist British Imperial War Cabinet officers who wouldn't even let Diana enter their offices, Ludendorff has no problem having a foreign woman (Dr. Maru) work for him in a pretty important position (chief chemist) and trusting her completely.
- Evil Is Petty:
- In between his massacres and backstabbing, he forces Diana to dance with him at one point.
- When gassing the German High Command, he tosses in a single gas mask for them to fight over. Which won't work against that gas, anyway.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His voice has a low-pitched growl to it.
- Faux Affably Evil: Conducts himself in a dignified manner as fitting his status, but in close-quarter combat it becomes clear that there's a Blood Knight under that civilised veneer. The way he forcefully grabs Diana and dances with her illustrates this pretty well; he'll take whatever and whomever he wants and play it off as harmless.
- Foil: To Ares, as he is directly campaigns to keep the war going, in contrast to Ares who uses subtle manipulations with politics and new weaponry.
- To Steve Trevor. Ludendorff boasts of the virtues of war, despite him being brutal and treating his soldiers as disposable agents. Ironically, Steve possesses the courage and nobility Ludendorff speaks of, and eventually sacrifices himself to stop a major superweapon.
- For the Evulz: When gassing the German High Command, Ludendorff tosses a single gas mask in with them. Thing is, he and Dr. Poison know perfectly well that the mask won't work against the gas, and that the officers will desperately fight for it only for the winner to die anyway.
- While he clearly views himself as a loyal German (if not the fanatic that he is), he's clearly supportive of Dr. Poison for personal reasons.
- General Ripper: He's a psychotic general who doesn't want the war to end. He's also not above murdering his fellow generals to prevent the armistice, gassing a whole town full of civilians to show off his new weapon and ultimately gassing London.
- The Heavy: Responsible for the manufacturing of the new chemical weapon that the heroes are seeking to stop, Ludendorff is the face of evil going against Diana and her allies even though he's merely a pawn of the true villain, Ares.
- Historical Beauty Update: Ludendorff was an old, portly man with a weak chin, unflattering mustache and a receding hairline, not a clean-shaven Silver Fox like Danny Huston.
- Historical Domain Character: Erich Ludendorff, Quartermaster general (Erster Generalquartiermeister), basically the supreme leader of the German military during World War I along with Paul von Hindenburg.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Downplayed. The real Ludendorff was most certainly a bad guy; a belligerent imperialist who wanted Germany to rule the world, he theorized total war — to him, "peace was merely an interval between wars" (paraphrased in the film), he was also quite The Social Darwinist and participated in Adolf Hitler's failed putsch in November 1923. He kept agitating for German rearmament and a new war, and also spread the infamous "Stab-in-the-back" myth/lie that would play a huge part in Nazi propaganda. Having said all that, nothing in this charming portfolio implies that he shot one of his staff officers for bringing bad news, nor that he had plans to bomb London with a Deadly Gas or tested said gas on a whole village. Nor was he disloyal and unprofessional/crazy enough to kill his fellow generals to prevent the Armistice.*
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Diana is convinced that Ludendorff is Ares, the God of War, and that he's using his power to cause the World War. The idea that Ludendorff is simply an evil human who committed atrocities of his own free will doesn't cross her mind until after she kills him and the real Ares reveals the truth. All things considered, Ludendorff actually seems worse than Ares simply because he glorifies war and its atrocities in the name of power and glory, while Ares hates mankind because of its warring tendencies and despises them something that needs to be eliminated to create peace. In essence, Ludendorff embodies everything Ares hates about mankind and war.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Diana runs him through with the supposed-Godkiller sword.
- Kick the Dog:
- His Establishing Character Moment is murdering one of his own officers to prove his point about how soldiers must expect an attack from anywhere.
- When he later murders the German High Command by gassing them, he throws one gas mask in with them before locking them in. When Dr. Poison points out the gas mask won't work because of her new formula, he tells her that the men inside don't know that.
- After the gala he gasses the town of Veld to show off his new weapon, even though it is entirely populated by civilians.
- Obviously Evil: Ludendorff kills his men for slights and is blasé towards news of them starving to death. He also has an ally named Doctor Poison, who herself has a facial disfigurement and enjoys gassing helpless people to death.
- The Philosopher: A villainous version, but he has an elevated, philosophical perspective on the war, driven by ideas that sound a lot like social Darwinism and Nietzschean philosophy. To some extent, this mirrors the historical Ludendorff, though here his warlikeness is exaggerated to make him a more compelling villain.
- Red Herring: Diana comes to the conclusion that he must be Ares in human disguise. He is not, Sir Patrick Morgan is.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: While the Kaiser and all of the German military's high command bar him want to sign the Armistice to put an end to the war, he wants the war to continue and kills the High Command during their meeting as they discuss the Armistice.
- Also subverted, in that his goal is to persuade the Kaiser and his fellow generals to continue the war. He's continually frustrated when his comrades refuse.
- Super Serum: Dr. Poison provides him with a gas that gives him Super Strength.
- Underestimating Badassery: He tells Diana "As magnificent as you are, you are still no match for me!" during their fight and attacks her fearlessly, not knowing what she truly is.
- Unwitting Pawn: Similar to Dr. Poison, Ares served as the Devil on Ludendorff's shoulder, influencing him only by giving him new ideas on how to wage war, not by controlling him directly.
- Villainous Friendship: He and Dr. Poison share a giggle after his Kick the Dog moment with the German High Command. Also, when Poison expresses frustration and despair at being unable to master her formula, Ludendorff calmly and quietly assures her of his faith in her.
- War Is Glorious: He glorifies war and says it elevates humanity, so much so that Diana thinks he is Ares.
- Weak, but Skilled: Even with chemically-induced super-strength, the fact he's skilled enough to go toe-to-toe with an immortal warrior woman who's been trained from childhood to be her people's champion, and actually do reasonably well (even if it's only for a minute or so), at least shows that the dude has a decent amount of legitimate fighting skill from his lifetime in the military and isn't just an armchair general.
- What the Hell Are You?: He asks "What are you?!" after Diana destroys his pistol with the very bullet he'd fired at her.
- Wicked Cultured: Like other German officers at the gala, he knows how to dance. He is also well-versed in historical war writings, such as the works of Thucydides.
- Would Hit a Girl: Even before realizing that Wonder Woman was more than she seemed, he had no qualms about shooting her on sight.
Dr. Isabel Maru / Dr. Poison
Affiliation(s): German Army
Played by: Elena Anaya
Dubbed by: Elisabeth Ventura (European French), Aurélie Morgane (Canadian French), Mariana Ortiz (Latin-American Spanish)
Appearances: Wonder Woman
- "I've got it! And if it's what I think, it's going to be... TERRIBLE!"
A disfigured scientist who conceives biochemical weapons. She works for General Ludendorff.
- Adaptational Name Change: In the Golden Age, the first Doctor Poison was named Princess Maru and during the Post-Crisis and New 52/Rebirth, the second Doctor Poison, her granddaughter, is named Marina Maru. Here, she's named Isabel.
- Adaptational Ugliness: Played with in a interesting way. While the original comic incarnation looked very unappealing, its revealed that was merely a mask and make-up to disguise her identity and she is actually conventionally attractive◊ underneath. The cinematic version on the other hand has actual facial disfigurement, which is quite the creepy new addition, but the mask she wears doesn't look nearly as off-putting as the original one.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Averted as Wonder Woman spares her, but it's hard not to feel sorry for Dr. Poison when she's staring death in the face. Seeing Wonder Woman about to kill her, she looks petrified.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: The only person she's willing to have a conversation with is Ludendorff. Even Steve struggled to charm her.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Many viewers were surprised to find out that Maru's mask is more or less historically accurate to the facial disfigurement masks manufactured during WWI. Typically they were one piece of galvanized copper coated with enamel and painted and were held up with spectacles as opposed to whatever Maru uses.
- Ambiguous Disorder: She seems a little on edge most of the time. No doubt whatever damaged her face also had an impact on her sanity, though given her actress' reveal that Maru tested the gas on herself, she might not have been that stable to begin with.
- Badass Longcoat: She wears one when she gasses the German High Command.
- Conspicuous Gloves: She wears bright red gloves, presumably to protect herself from her own chemicals. She's even shown wearing them at a gala, implying that they cover up further disfigurements on her hands.
- Cool Mask: It's not played as such in the movie but WWI period disfiguration masks like Maru's were hand crafted and painted to extensive detail to match the person's face and had a canny statuesque beauty to them.
- Deadly Gas: One of the biochemical weapons she works on is an acidic gas capable of dissolving gas masks.
- The Dragon: To General Ludendorff.
- Dragon Their Feet: Diana kills General Ludendorff while Dr. Poison is preparing the dispersal of her new gas. She still manages to get one plane filled with her weapon in the air before Diana's allies can stop her.
- Evil Laugh: She lets out a small one when she finds out a disguised Steve Trevor's attention is "elsewhere" (as Diana has just entered the ballroom in a lovely blue dress).
- Facial Horror: When her mask falls away its revealed her nose has been ground down and she has half a Glasgow Grin.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: Steve Trevor assumes this is the case with Maru, as he tries to play the part of a dashing suitor who sees past her deformity. There may be some truth to that, as Maru takes great offense when Steve's gaze wanders to Diana in a gorgeous blue dress as she just walks in.
- Karma Houdini: She's a Mad Scientist, but she seemingly gets away with everything since Diana refuses to kill her in retribution for causing so many deaths including Steve's, and the audience doesn't find out what happens to her after she runs off.
- Love Hungry: Is implied to be tempted to join Steve when he poses as a fake German aristocrat, but quickly realizes Steve's obvious affection for Diana.
- Mad Scientist: A scientist working on deadly biochemical weapons to be used in the war. She also invents a gas that enhances a person, allowing them to possess Super Strength.
- Malevolent Masked Men: She's a villain who wears a mask to cover her facial disfigurement.
- Master Poisoner: She gained the nickname "Doctor Poison" because of her profiency in developing lethal nerve agents for the German Imperial Army.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: She's a Mad Scientist creating dangerous gases to serve a warmonger's ambitions, and she has a doctorate.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Her surname is mostly pronounced 'marrow', like bone marrow.
- Nightmare Fetishist: If Steve's attempt to compromise her is any indication.
- Non-Action Girl: She's purely into science, she's not built to fight physically.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The character was created during World War II as a representative of Imperial Japan perceived as an antagonistic force. But since Wonder Woman had its setting taking place in World War I where Japan fought on the Allies' side, Dr. Poison is revamped to not feature any elements associated with the Japanese except by her surname.
- Professor Guinea Pig: According to her actress, her scars were self-inflicted after testing her poisonous gas' effectiveness on herself.
- Race Lift: From Japanese in the comics to Spaniard in the movies, as evidenced by her actress and the name "Isabel". Her surname remains distinctively Japanese-sounding, though.
- Red Baron: Her nickname has been given to her by her enemies.Steve Trevor: The boys in the trenches call her Dr. Poison.
- Red Right Hand: She is very disfigured and wears a facial disfigurement mask to hide it.
- Setting Update: The Golden Age comics Dr. Poison she is based on was active during World War II. Here she is active during World War I.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Her voice is rather smooth and on the quiet side, but she clearly enjoys inflicting pain.
- Straight Edge Evil: She rebuffs Steve's offer of a drink at Ludendorff's gala, stating that she does not consume alcohol.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite Steve Trevor's flattery to try to lure her out of General Ludendorff's circle, she tells Steve she's loyal to her boss.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Ares; he was the one she had gotten her new gas from.
- Villainous Breakdown: When forced to face a very enraged and grieving Diana, Dr. Poison steels herself and tries to Face Death with Dignity... only for Ares to telepathically tear off her mask and expose her disfigurement for Diana to see, leaving the doctor to start crying in fear.
- Villainous Friendship: She and Ludendorff share a giggle after his Kick the Dog moment with the German high command.
- Villains Want Mercy: Late in the movie where she's at Diana's mercy, we see her groveling in fear. Yeah, she's an unapologetic, sadistic Mad Scientist, but seeing her in such pitiful state is simply heartbreaking.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The audience doesn't find out what happens to her after Diana spares her life. Given that Ares is killed off moments later, she won't be able to come up with any formulas as dangerous as before and assuming she isn't arrested for war crimes, in all likelihood she'll die in obscurity.
Affiliation(s): Abteilung III b (German secret service)
Played by: Dominic Kinnaird (leader)
Appearances: Wonder Woman
- "Give us Doctor Maru's notebook!"
German agents General Ludendorff sends to London to kill Steve Trevor and take Dr. Poison's notebook back from him.
- Anachronism Stew: A Cyanide Pill in 1918. They were not to be invented until World War II. Could be Fridge Brilliance when you realise they were probably manufactured by Dr Poison.
- Beard of Evil: Their leader is bearded.
- Cyanide Pill: Their leader uses a cyanide pill to kill himself just before Diana tries to interrogate him.
- Dastardly Dapper Derby: The leader has a bowler hat.
- Mooks: They are nameless goons providing some danger to Steve and Diana in London as well as an occasion for Diana to showcase some classic Wonder Woman bullet-blocking action.
- Newspaper-Thin Disguise: One of them uses a newspaper to conceal himself when trailing Steve and Diana.
- Shout-Out: The scene these bad guys appear in is a gender flipped homage to the mugger scene from the 1978 Superman film, with Diana blocking bullets instead of that film's Superman stopping the mugger's bullet.
- Zerg Rush: They outnumber Steve and Diana in a back-alley, but they're of course no match for Diana's bracers and Super Strength.
German High Command
Affiliation(s): German Army, German General Staff
Played by: Rainer Bock (Paul von Hindenburg)
Appearances: Wonder Woman
- "Twenty-four hours from now, this war will end. It is over."
The heads of the German military during World War I.
- Alternate History:
- They all survived World War I in real life, whereas they get killed in the film. Most notably, Generalfeldmarschall Paul Von Hindenburg ascended the political ladder to become President of Germany in the 1920s, appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor in 1933 and died in 1934 from lung cancer.
- Ludendorff actually agreed to the armistice with Hindenburg, although both of them made sure to put the blame of the defeat and armistice on the "backstabbing by the civilian government" myth, with nasty political consequences.
- Board to Death: Ludendorff has them all killed during a meeting as they were deciding to go for an armistice.
- Death by Adaptation: Ludendorff has them all assasinated by Dr. Maru using her new gas, when in real life they died of either old age or sickness in the Interwar period.
- Historical Domain Character: Just like Ludendorff, von Hindenburg was based on a real-life figure.
- Pragmatic Villainy: By the time they appear, they agree to the armistice to end the war.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Unlike Ludendorff, they didn't get the Historical Villain Upgrade treatment, they're just military leaders of a country at war. Not only that, they recognize that their country is losing the war and are hence willing to sign the armistice.
- Truth in Television: Hindenburg mentions the fact that there are shortages of food. Germany was indeed on the verge of starvation by 1918.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: They're all killed off within moments of their introduction.
- What You Are in the Dark: In their brief appearance, we see that the war has softened their resolve, leading them to lay down their arms. They also fight each other for a gas mask, not knowing that the winner will die anyway.