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Characters / Wonder Woman: Ares
aka: Ares DC

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Ares on the cover of Wonder Woman #6 (vol. 2), 1987. Art by George Pérez

Species: Olympian God

First appearance: Wonder Woman #1 (June 1942, as Mars)

"I'd love it if you would sign it for me. Something like 'To my archenemy, may you burn forever in Hades.'"
— Ares, Wonder Woman #199 (Vol. 2), written by Greg Rucka

DC Comics version of the Greek God of War from Classical Mythology and one of the most prominent members of Wonder Woman 's Rogues Gallery.note 

Ares, sometimes sporting different names over the years, has since remained one of the character's most long-lasting foes and as Wonder Woman herself has undergone several shakeups and a many Continuity Reboot, so too has the role Ares has played in Wonder Woman's mythos. More often than not as her Big Bad but has occasionally taken on the role of an ally, or even a mentor figure in some continuities.

Over the years Ares has become a somewhat frequent fixture in media adaptations that involve Wonder Woman in some form. He's been a playable character in several video games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us and as the antagonist of the direct to DVD original movies Wonder Woman (2009) film. He made his live-action debut in 2017's Wonder Woman as part of the DC Extended Universe, played by David Thewlis.

Not to be confused with Marvel Comics' Ares

Notable AppearancesComic Books

Other Notable Comic Books and Elseworld Stories

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    Tropes Applying to More Than One Incarnation of Ares 
  • Adaptational Badass: This Ares is leagues more competent in sowing discord and carnage amongst mankind than his Dumb Muscle Paper Tiger mythological counterpart.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Ares in Greek Mythology was a Dumb Muscle bruiser who left the thinking to Athena, and occasionally got his rear handed to him by mortals. While not a Genius Bruiser, Ares in most continuties displays more intelligence and cunning than his mythological counterpart ever did.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Mythological Ares wasn't a big believer in clothes. At all. He often wore a helmet, maybe added a cape, carried a shield and called it good. Aside from a few instances, DC's Ares is usually fully covered in layers of armor.
  • Adaptational Relationship Overhaul: Mythological Ares wasn't an enemy of the Amazons, he was their father, and he was actually shown to be a pretty good dad by Greek God standards (not a lot of competition there, but still). He was even something of a proto-feminist; he was proud of his daughters (and he was fiercely protective of them as Alirrothios found out), treated Aphrodite gently and with respect, and was always trying to win the love of his mother, Hera. In the DC canon, he's the Amazons' arch-nemesis, and is basically the God of Evil of the Greek pantheon.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Ares wasn't exactly beloved by the Ancient Greeks but he also wasn't a God of Evil as has often has been his role in the comics. And his antagonism to the Amazons especially stands out as he was their patron god and also considered a protector of women.
  • Animal Motifs: Unlike most of the gods who get whittled down to one correlated animal, the various animals associated with Ares from mythology and history have appeared in the comics across the continuities:
    • Snakes, carrying over from the original mythology where snakes often adorned his shield, were one of his sacred animals and one of his beloved daughters was turned into one. In some of his earliest DCU appearance in the Golden Age there were snakes on his breastplate and later his iconic helmet has a snake motif down each side wrapped around the spikes and horns. DC Rebirth upgrades this to twisting living snakes like those on his son Demios' helmet.
    • Vultures show up the least often, but he uses them to aid Diana after she defeats him and he swears not to try to destroy humankind again.
    • Dogs were one of his sacred animals in mythology and is often accompanied by a pair, who are the chosen form of his sons, the gods of terror and fear, Deimos and Phobos.
    • New 52 have now made Rams one as well that continues into Comic Book/Rebirth. His helmet prior to his imprisonment under Themyscira being modeled after a Ram's head. Bulls as well with the addition of bull-like horns to his iconic blue helmet.
  • Arch-Enemy: One of the top three classic contenders for the title, alongside Circe and the various incarnations of Cheetah. Of the three of them, he's easily the most powerful, with the furthest reaching plans. This makes his Post-Crisis relationship with Diana not unlike that of R'as Al-Ghul and Batman or Darkseid and Superman—he's not her most frequent adversary, but when he does show up it's on a whole other scale.
  • Big Bad: The biggest bad in the pre-New 52 comics, and the man behind more than a few major arcs.
  • Blonde Brunette Red Head: When he's taken a mortal form and has a visible face, he's had all three over the years;
    • Red Head: Pre-Crisis, New 52
    • Blonde: Post-Crisis, Rebirth
    • Brunnette: Rebirth
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: He's not human and doesn't think like one, even if he might pretend to for a brief while.
  • God of Evil: Frequently comes off as this given his juxtaposition to Diana and the Amazon's
  • Hot Consort: In most continuities save the New 52 long before Diana was born her grandmother Queen Otrere's hot consort was the scantly clad war god Ares. They had a few daughters together including Diana's mother Queen Hippolyta.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Ares has a low opinion of humans across pretty much all continuities.
    Ares: God of War? HAH! I am quaint! A mere dabbler compared to these modern men!
  • Mr. Fanservice: Believe it or not, he's quite handsome when out of his armor. Modern artists starting around the 2000s began following Ancient Greek depictions of Ares by making him something of a pretty boy.
  • Public Domain Character: As with the rest of the Greek Pantheon and Amazons in general. Comes with being Older Than Feudalism
  • Sadly Mythtaken: All versions who have appeared differ in some form or another from the Ares of Classical Mythology in both major and minor details. See the respective versions below for specifics. Most notably however is Ares mythological parentage of Hippolyta is either usually completely excised or rarely brought up.
  • Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes: As pictured above, he is depicted as this when in his armor.
  • The Dreaded
    • Even Darkseid tends to avoid approaching Post Crisis Ares without scouting his current status, as he finds Ares very hard to deal with when sufficiently powered up. This technically applies to all of the Post Crisis Greco-Roman pantheon, whose power tends to ebb and flow depending on circumstances, but Ares is the one Darkseid specifically tries to get on his side when he decides to move against the Olypians who rule it.
    • DC Rebirth Ares is one of the two most feared gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon, alongside Eros, and not because the two are the strongest, toughest or fastest but for their unique abilities to cause utter havoc wherever life takes hold. Rebirth Ares owes some of his bad reputation to Phobos, Deimos and Eros impersonating him, but admits he himself suffered from a bout of insanity Aphrodite had to pacify him out of.
  • The Strategist: Oddly a twist on the original myth, since Ares was said to encompass brute force and untempered violence. Mars on the other hand was something of a strategist in the myths, but was also heroic and revered rather than the unloved Ares usually acts as.
  • Tin Tyrant: Has frequently adopted this look, his most iconic being the layered blued armor covered in spikes and occasionally adorned in skeletal motifs from Wonder Woman
  • War God: Obviously
  • War Is Glorious: He will occasionally espouse such views but it's always either a sign that he's up to something or that his sanity is slipping because at his core he's of the opinion that War Is Hell, and he revels in it even if some things which occur during wars disgust him. He also feels that mankind's best and worst can only be seen in war.

    Mars (Pre-Crisis)

  • Affably Evil: Only in relation to his interactions with Aphrodite, whom he seems to have a degree of respect for and whom he never acts directly against nor sends any of his minions against instead targeting her acolytes and allies. She's willing to lounge around and debate their differing schools of thought with him without any protection for herself whatsoever, and she doesn't need any.
  • Ancient Grome: Goes by Mars rather than Ares and usually drawn to more resemble a Roman general or gladiator. In-line with the rest of the more loose interpretations and mashup of other Greek and Roman deities of Classical Mythology in Golden Age/Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman.
  • Beard of Evil: In the Silver Age Mars would even sport a big unkempt beard, even though such a thing can be a liability in combat.
  • Big Bad: He is and has been the most consistent and dangerous foe of Diana, Aphrodite and the Amazons.
  • Child Soldiers: The "Earth Two" Mars tasked Count of Conquest with rescuing the babies abandoned by Sparta, so that they could be imprisoned and raised as child soldiers on a planet Mars created called Duxo. Mars reasoned he could conquer the amazons with them, since they already would not kill human and certainly would not put up much of a fight against human children.
  • Composite Character: Of his Greek and Roman mythological counterparts. He has the name Mars but unlike in Roman mythology, where was seen as a more noble and positive figure, he has the short-sightedness and The Brute-like nature that's truer to how the Greeks saw Ares.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: On Earth one, he is the reason Orana temporarily replaced Diana as Wonder Woman, as Orana would have otherwise been disqualified from the contest by Hippolyta for endangering billions of lives with a Colony Drop. Ares rightly figured Orana would be a less competent, more easily dealt with Wonder Woman, but proved too right as she got herself killed early, at which point the other gods got tired of Ares meddling.
  • Evil Redhead: Mars is a redhead hellbent on entangling humans in a forever war.
  • Freudian Excuse: In the Silver Age Diana diagnosis Mars as a gynophobe and suggests that is his reason for always sending intermediaries to screw with the amazons, rather than any legit concerns about his position or desire to spread war. Mars denies it but doesn't actually give any kind of argument in his defense before slinking off.
  • God-Emperor: He's the King of Mars, and the God of War.
  • Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: This version provides the page image. Under Marston, the war-loving shortsighted Mars served as a metaphorical representation of violence and patriarchy. Even rules over the actual planet of Mars.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In the Silver Age Mars is very reluctant to move against the amazons or Wonder Woman himself. Even when they are directly in front of him and actively opposing Mars he often opts to just try and grab something he wants and flee. Golden Age Mars works through minions as well, but comparatively hands on.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Mythological Mars was not thought to rule an oppressive kingdom on the planet Mars as this one does.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Golden Age Big Bad Mars has snakes painted on his armor.
  • So Proud of You: Mars is very proud of Nubia's progress and the floating island she runs in the Silver Age, in spite of Nubia not being as violent as he would have liked her to be. At least while he still thinks it's possible she will eventually come around and destroy the amazons for him.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: While the Golden Age Olympians have very little to do with the Classical Myths their names came from several of their familial realtionships are maintained. However Ares and Aphrodite are not related on DC's Earth-Two, even though she's his great-aunt in the more popular of her mythological origins and his sister in one of the less circulated ones.
  • Variant Power Copying: In the Silver Age he steals Nubia before the other Olympians can grant their gifts to her statue, but he manages to give her all of the same gifts as Diana anyway. Aphrodite's wouldn't be too hard though, considering she's his wife.

    Ares (Post-Crisis)
Out of Armor:

  • Abusive Parents: While he was, up until his character revamp with Infinite Crisis, written as the only Olympian to avert this in a Batman crossover he sentenced three of his kids (Phobos, Deimos, and Eris) to punishment and imprisonment in Hades after they attempted to poison him.
  • Ax-Crazy: But slightly less ax crazy, since Wonder Woman made him see with her Lasso of Truth that destroying the human race, including his own worshipers, would effectively lead to his own disappearance. Now instead of trying to start World War III, Ares sticks to smaller goals such as trying to overthrow his fellow gods on Mount Olympus.
  • Arms Dealer: Ares Buchanan quickly raises through the ranks of the underworld by providing sophisticated, high tech weaponry to previously low level criminals.
  • Bad Boss: Ares Buchanan uses his executive position to sleep with his employees and shoots his lawyer when she becomes pregnant. Unfortunately for him, neither Ares nor even his lawyer knew she was the sorceress Circe, and she quickly retaliates. Ares is immortal but his human host can't take it.
  • Badass in Distress: He's kidnapped by Granny Goodness before the events of Amazons Attack, which are kicked off when Circe believes Ares has deserted her and taken their daughter with him in the process.
  • Came Back Wrong: In Gail Simone's run, Diana finally killed Ares after his involvement in the creation of Genocide. Ares' ghost returns with his head poorly stitched together from the killing blow he received from Diana and has a far more creepy characterization than he had before dying.
  • Color Motif: His armor is predominately colored blue, a fitting color since blue is traditionally associated with masculinity...though in antiquity it wouldn't have been.
  • Consummate Liar: Wonder Woman calls him the Deceiver for a reason. Here's a lovely spiel he sprouts when he walks as a guest into Hades to murder Hades and take the throne, managing to threaten everyone present with Hades and Poseidon thinking he's still allied with them and keep them from realizing his timing just saved Diana's life, and his forces grabbing Cassie and Ferdinand is to save their lives as well:
    Ares: Dear naive Cassandra, there's a reason Diana calls me "Deceiver". Now pay attention because you and the man-beast are next. Uncle... pray continue.
  • The Corrupter
    • Ares Buchanan drags the already Fallen Hero White Magician into new depths of criminality for the sake of destabilizing the United States while making White Magician believe Buchanan is bringing order to the Boston crime scene.
    • After Zeus begins reviving dead Greek Heroes as Gargareans, Ares draws son of Poseidon Euphemus to his side by promising the world Euphemus, not letting Euphemus know he'll be about the only human being left living in it once Ares is done.
  • Cool Helmet: His iconic item is his indestructible helm, which is usually blued and horned. He will occasionally change up it's appearance to fit with whatever form he's chosen at the moment this change is always temporary.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Ares snarks it's often gold, for example:
    Aphrodite: If you ache for something to hold, you'll find I'm much more yielding than that axe of yours.
    Ares: Softer, perhaps, but my axe is marginally less dangerous.
    Wonder Woman, Vol 2 #214.
    Ares: Oh, good. I made it in time for the murder.note 
    Wonder Woman, Vol 2 #217.
  • Demonic Possession: He frequently disrupts the power dynamics of the mortal world by taking direct control of unimportant people and using his knowledge to elevate them to far higher positions while taking far more malicious actions than the controlled or displaced ever would.
  • The Dreaded: He's the most hated and feared of the Olympians, and many of which fear him because he's grown stronger from the warfare over the years instead of weaker from lack of worship like his fellow gods.
  • Evil Is Petty: He went out of his way to cause a lover's spat between Zeus and Hera by playing on Zeus' ego and lust, which ended in Hera sinking Themyscira out of spite.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The feud between Ares and Zeus, Post Crisis, is between a would be tyrant warmonger and a ruling tyrant sexual predator. Which god is more evil depends on who is writing the comic at the time and what is more convenient to the story they want to tell this month.
  • The Faceless: Up until Greg Rucka's run, he was never seen without his helmet that obscured all but eyes. After Rucka he would switch-up between having the helmet on or off.
  • Gangsterland: Ares Buchanan becomes a business executive who secretly funds criminals in an effort to exasperate the gang wars of the US and turn the country into little more than various factions of opposed gangs.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Was both the source of both his motivation and defeat in the opening story line of Wonder Woman's Post-Crisis history. In ancient times he proposed conquering humanity outright to prevent them from falling out of worshiping Olympus and almost started World War III in the modern times before Wonder Woman caused him to realize that starting such a conflict would only give him a short term power boost. If everyone is dead, there will be no more war and he would eventually fade into nothing. Ares eventually found a way around this by reinventing himself as a God of Conflict and overthrowing Hades to become the God of the Dead too. As the dead in the Underworld are all his worshipers, he was safe to try to and trigger World War III again.
  • Hates Their Parent: Ares has made multiple attempts on his father Zeus' life, and while they both hate each other Ares is the only one of the two who will happily explain why he loathes dear old dad while Zeus usually tries to act as if he's just disappointed and doing what his position dictates he needs to in reaction to Ares' behavior.
  • Hell Hound: Ares comes into command of them after taking over the underworld, and grants one to his son Lycus as a gift, after Lycus returns to life.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Ares has had a rather complex history with Wonder Woman in post crisis. During the Perez run, she was able to convince him that starting World War 3 was a bad idea and he left her with the task of "saving mankind from themselves". During the Messner-Loebs run, he returned as a villain and was possessing the body of a criminal who sold weapons for gang wars. During the Rucka run, he reinvented himself as the "God of Conflict" and was more of a neutral character. He also served as a mentor of sorts to Cassie Sandsmark for a time. The Simone run saw him as an out and out villain again post crisis.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Ares Buchanan hires the services of newer villain White Magician and following the instructions of Ares White Magician becomes much more effective in dealing with Wonder Woman, leaving her stranded in space for so long The Justice League declared her dead. White Magician endures as Ares is taken out of Boston, but becomes much less effective without Ares to lead him, even as White Magician's powers grow due to demonic pacts.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: In George Perez's run Ares plays The Devil—a diabolical figure with his own domain called the Areopagus, and a powerful threat to his sibling Olympians.
  • Hypocritical Heart Warming: Ares cock blocks Eros from engaging in incest and doesn't have a good reason for doing so when Eros points out how hypocritical this is of Ares, beyond being uncomfortable with Eros making moves on the aunts and sisters of Ares specifically.
  • Ironic Hell: After Wonder Woman splits his head open, Ares is pulled into a personally created after life where he is tortured by the casualties of all the wars he's personally responsible for causing. Ares is still able to astral project from this place to torment Wonder Woman until Zeus shuts the ability off.
  • It Amused Me: He arranges to have Genocide saved from being drowned by Wonder Woman and healed from the beating Wonder Woman gave the monster because he thinks Genocide's plan eradicate the entire human race, one genocide at a time, will be fun watch, even if the monster doesn't actually succeed...which of course Genocide doesn't.
  • Kill All Humans: Came within a few minutes of starting a world-ending nuclear war before Diana pointed out the flaws in that plan. Did it again years later when he didn't need to worry about running out of people to worship him by becoming the God of the Underworld.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The Amulet of Harmonia will weaken Ares in his presence and strengthen anyone who attacks the war god while holding it.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Some of his kids take their old man (Phobos, Deimos, and Eris) take but others such as Eros, Harmonia, and Lyta (his daughter with Circe) show no signs of his villainy and are portrayed as good-natured individuals.
  • Laser Guided Tyke Bomb: The births of Spider, Scorpion, Adder, Rat and Goat were triggered the moment Wonder Woman killed Ares and they immediately set out to ruin Wonder Woman's diplomatic mission. While Ares continues to try and spite Wonder Woman from beyond the after life, it's implied this particular plan is one he regrets setting in motion. Why, when he was perfectly fine with Genocide, is not made clear, and he's clearly gotten over it by the time hia apparition is mocking the five amazons futitely trying to prevent their unwanted pregnancies.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: In the Post-Crisis continuity Ares was not aware he was Hippolyta's father until centuries after her reincarnation, as she took a new name after being brought back in a new immortal body as the Queen of the Amazons by the goddesses. He had no way of knowing without Hippolyta (or the patron goddesses) informing him that she was his daughter brought back in a new body, and she's implied to have been his daughter Alcippe in her previous life.
  • Manipulative Bastard: While not to the degree of other figures like Athena and Circe, as a part of his Adaptational Intelligence he's shown he can be just as a good as a behind-the-scenes player as a warrior on the battlefield. Most notably when played the part of a loyal ally to Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus following Athena's takeover of Olympus only to end up literally stabbing Hades in the back and thus takeover the Underworld.
  • Modernized God: In Rucka's run when he became the "God of Conflict", he changed his Tin Tyrant look to a pair black pants and open black shirt. He only wore his armor for certain occasions.
  • Must Make Amends: He kidnaps his own daughter, Lyta, and then takes her to her mother, Circe, in order for the three to live as a family in the underworld.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A pre-emptive version in "Gods & Mortals" when he sees what will happen if his plan to start a nuclear war succeeds.
  • Necromancer: Became it after killing Hades and inheriting his powers. Ares eventually reconnects with his deceased son Lycus, who ends up returning to life and getting his father's permission to kill Cassie Sandsmark and prove himself a superior champion of Ares.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: What Diana does in Vol 3 after the whole Genocide affair by grabbing a battle axe and splitting his head open.
  • Pet the Dog: Has his moments
    • A taste of the fact that he's more than he seems is given early on with the revelation that he has afforded his daughter Harmonia luxurious lodging in his domain even though she opposes him and he loves and cares for her as his daughter and respects her for standing up for her beliefs even if he does not share them.
    • Ares was part of the group that restored the Amazons when they were turned to clay, to the shock of the other Olympians, because his daughter and granddaughter were among them.
    • When Athena had her champion Diana, who was blind and recovering from serious injuries at the time, fight against Zeus' champion, the Eldritch Abomination Hekatonkheires, Ares strolled in to try and interfere. While he was stopped by Aphrodite he still made biting comments at Athena to try and get her to aid her champion.
    • When Cassie lost her powers, Ares offered to restore them. Instead of a Deal with the Devil, all he wanted in return was for her to call him brother and to say "I love you" to him. Though this was kind of subverted when it turned out that his powers were driving her crazy. Though he may not have known that, so it could still count.
    • He gives Circe a throne in Hades and promises to help her raise their daughter together.
  • Possession Burnout: He doesn't have to kill mortals who allow him to possess them in order for him to interact with the mortal realm, but he prefers to as he despises the type of human that would generally call him up to make such a deal. When he's done with them he'll set their flesh to boiling and leave a pile of smoldering bone and bubbling fluid for their corpse.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: With a little help from Wonder Woman, he realized that, thanks to nukes, starting World War III would destroy the world and leave no one left to fight his wars. He eventually focused his efforts to becoming the "God of Conflict", making him more powerful, devious, and more dangerous than before.
  • Red Baron: As "Ares Buchanan" he becomes known as "The Warmaster".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Easily mistaken as the god of evil and often has glowing red eyes when they're not pitch black pits. Even when he's in a suit with cropped hair and otherwise looks human his eyes are usually solid red. In a twist when he has human looking eyes it's best to just run since this generally only happens when he tries to turn good, which turns him into a horrific Knight Templar.
  • Renamed the Same: After possessing petty criminal Aristotle "Ari" Buchanan he insists on being called Ares Buchanan.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: While it's par the course given that part of the Amazon's backstory is that the myths are twisted versions of what "truly happened" Ares gets hit hard here, especially since his parentage of Hippolyta and Antiope was later retconned back in. Here it is he who drives Heracles to attack the Amazons rather than Hera, though her driving Heracles mad is given a mention. This means Ares orchestrated the rape and enslavement of his own daughters, which goes quite contrary to his mythological counterpart for whom his dedication to his children was his only redeeming quality. For mythological Ares the rape or attempted rape of his children was also a Berserk Button, and he didn't much get on with Heracles since the hero killed one of Ares' murderous cannibalistic children.
  • Smug Snake: Under Greg Rucka's pen at least, Ares is nowhere near as clever or powerful as he thinks he is, although Rucka's Ares is still smarter and more powerful than his mythological counterpart.
  • Spirit Advisor: His relationship with Cassie Sandsmark, prior to Amazons Attack, was to appear to her periodically with advice or explanations as to what was happening in his little sister's life. He does subvert this twice by physically providing Cassie with a lasso that can expel the otherwise uncontrollable Power of the Storm she unleashes when angry, and again when granting her power directly after Zeus takes it away.
  • Super Prototype: Ares Buchanan was made a habit of nabbing defective and rejected concept weapons from S.T.A.R. Labs and making sure they found their way to the streets of Boston. Ares didn't care if the products did not work as intended. As long as it could kill people and was unfamiliar to the local criminal element, it was good enough for him.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Ares had seeded five amazons to become magically impregnated in the even Wonder Woman killed him. The resulting Children of Ares, Adder, Spider, Scorpion, Rat and Goat, would have Emotion Control powers that they would then use to disrupt Wonder Woman's mission in "Man's World". Ares didn't think Wonder Woman beating him was a possibility any longer after he overtook Hades as god of the underworld and asks in horror what she had done when Diana splits his head open with an axe. She doesn't understand what he means until she finds "The Children Of Ares" wreaking havoc in Washington DC.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Learning Genocide's true nature caused Wonder Woman to declare Ares, Cheetah and Doctor Psycho to all be such and regret that she ever let them all live. Once Genocide is beaten, once her anger and andrenaline are back to their usual levels, Ares is the only one of the three Diana sees no other way to deal with other than a lethal blow on sight.
  • Villains Blend in Better: Unlike most of the other Gods and even Wonder Woman herself, he has quickly adjusted to the modern world and is comfortable with wearing modern clothing if the situation calls for it. By Rucka's run, he and Athena had taken on roles to better fir the modern age, in his case becoming more a "God of Conflict" rather than just war.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Firmly Averted and then Subverted. Post-Crisis Ares originally started off as considerably powerful by feeding off the warfare of mankind over the centuries and tried to kick start World War III to make himself supremely powerful among the Gods. When Diana defeated him by showing him that such a war would render him powerless by killing everyone on Earth, Ares modernized himself to become the God of Conflict, making him one of the top three most powerful gods on Olympus after Zeus and the rest of the former Big Three lost power due to lack of worship or activity in their domains, to the point Wonder Woman was no longer a threat to him. He later went about killing Hades to secure his place as God of the Underworld and Conflict, meaning he could now kill off everyone on Earth like originally planned and become stronger for it by taking everyone's souls into his domain. Feeling secure, Ares went about trying to kill off all the Amazons and Wonder Woman's coterie to remove any threats to his next scheme. However, despite his newfound power, he still somehow ended up being killed by an axe to the head by an already injured Wonder Woman.
  • Villain Respect: He tells the Amazon, Io, he'll kill her if she insists on trying to prevent him from reaching his daughter, but he just knocks her out when she fights him anyway. He later says it's because he respected her fighting abilities and her attempts to protect one of his children even if he thinks it misguided to protect his kids from him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In Greg Rucka's run, whenever he wasn't sporting his blue armor, He would lounge about and snark in black dress pants and a open button-up black shirt. It's part of the understated more human look he adopts, and the open shirt is just as much about showing off his chiseled good looks as it is about the quiet threat of all the thin scars on his torso.
  • We Need a Distraction: Ares stirs up hordes of sea monsters to attack Thalarion and Themyscira so that Wonder Woman does not catch on to the fact Ares is also having Euphemus, son of Poseidon, bring him the body of Genocide, who Diana had recently defeated by drowning.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Hasn't shown any compunction against going a few rounds with Diana on account of her gender.
  • Worf Effect: Even after becoming a God on the equal level of Zeus, he still ends up being killed by an axe to the head by Wonder Woman.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ares was very kind and doting to his sister Cassie Sandsmark, until after the events of Amazons Attack when Ares's son Lycus of Libya returned to life. At this point Ares allowed Lycus to take the powers he had granted Cassie and even kill her, Cassie only surviving because Zeus realized it was all his fault and took pity. Zeus suppressing Cassie's powers in the first place being what lead to her and Ares getting closer.

    War (New 52)

In His Younger Days:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Although neutral, he's much more of an ally than an enemy in New 52. Also tends to come off better in comparison to his mythological counterpart.
  • Army of The Ages: Is able to summon the ghosts of soldiers from all across human history. Used in his fight against The First Born.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: Lacks the macho-ness you would expect the God of War to have, but the blood stains on his clothes make a decent substitute.
  • Cynical Mentor: He was one to Diana when she was younger, but not for that long, kicking her out when she refused to kill someone.
  • Evil Old Folks: Not so much "evil" as extremely violent, but effectively the same by the modern era.
  • Grandpa God: He's an old man with a long white beard.
  • Pet the Dog: After helping Diana rescue Zola's baby he leaves, making it seem like he had kidnapped the kid for his own purposes, but it turns out he went straight back to Zola to give the kid back.
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • He makes comments that suggest he's either not Zeus' son or doesn't consider himself as such. It's kind of unclear which it is, but Apollo at least refers to Zeus as "our" father when speaking to Ares, so it might just be Ares disowning Zeus.
    • His relationship with the Amazons is quite different from the original myths where he was their patron god, consort to their queen Otere, the father of Hippolyta and her sisters and furious when any of his children were killed.

    Ares (Rebirth)
While in Prison:
Pre-Imprisonment Version:
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: His unarmored form lacks the scars and Glowing Eyes of Doom that his Post Crisis incarnation had. Justified, as those details were a conscious choice on the part of Ares.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Continuing on from the New 52, Ares here is a more sympathetic figure than he was in most prior incarnations. He was originally, willfully, imprisoned under Themyscira as humanity's constants wars drove him near-insane. Continues on after he is reincarnated and released and tries to be an ally to Diana, initially at least.
  • Badass Bystander: During Lazarus Planet Ares tries to pass himself off as a random citizen who just so happens to know about some of the rampaging monsters and how to fight them. Shazam sees through his ruse, but doesn't press him for his identity, only for his continued help.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Displays this when he tries to rebrand himself as the "God of Justice". His idea of justice being to punish everyone with the same equal severity.
  • Composite Character
    • Of essentially two previous versions of himself; the Post-Crisis and New 52 versions. Starting out life as a mad War God like his Post-Crisis version but overtime mellowing out and sometimes being an ally to Diana like his New 52 incarnation. His armor from his pre-imprisonment days even looks like a fusion of his two armored forms from his prior incarnations.
    • He's essentially got a personality fairly close to Roman Mars but the name of Greek Ares, with the explanation Ares was pretty much as brutal as his mythological counterpart in this continuity but has since calmed down.
  • Crossover Cosmology: During Lazarus Planet he conspires with Ratatosk to free Wonder Woman after she is tricked by Hera, tied to the side of Olympus with her own lasso and subjected to psychological torment.
  • Dumb Blonde: Not dumb per se but is sporting blonde hair during his initial attempt at being an ally of Diana and displays a very simplistic, and extreme, view of justice and punishment.
  • Evil All Along: The DC Rebirth Wonder Woman series has been implying the New 52 Ares and the rest of the Olympians were not the real deal, and that Ares is still one of Diana's enemies. The Year One storyline has Diana explicitly tell Barbara Minerva that the Amazons have never considered Ares an ally, saying "His is the way of madness." Ares then appears before Diana for what is supposedly their first meeting ever, saying he's waited aeons to meet her, effectively subverting all the tropes pertaining to New 52 Ares as lies and misdirection aimed at Diana. It helps that his appearance is once again similar to the blue armor George Perez designed. It's later revealed this also wasn't the real Ares, but Phobos and Deimos using his image. The real Ares has pulled a Heel–Face Turn inside his prison in Themyscira.
  • Foil: In the Rebirth continuity he's the well meaning if often misguided Anti-Hero to Eros's well meaning but often misguided Anti-Villain. They're the two most feared gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon, for entirely different reasons, but neither one for being the hardest hitting or fastest moving. Ares for thriving on conflict, no matter what for it takes but especially in the form of war, which most find undesirable, and Eros for weaponizing what almost everyone otherwise finds desirable in love.
  • For Your Own Good: He leaves his prison and has Phobos and Deimos bound in his place with Diana's lasso due to them suffering the same war induced madness he was and sees that they are being soothed by Wonder Woman's compassion. Later Athena releases them and they have Grail put in the prison.
  • Frame-Up: He's been impersonated both by his own sons Deimos and Phobos performing a Fusion Dance to fit inside his suit of armor, and by Eros wearing his armor while perfoming executions on the behalf of Hera. All of this while Ares was imprisoned on Themyscira, unreachable by these gods and thus blameless beyond his reputation.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Starting with DC Rebirth it's revealed that Ares was imprisoned on Themyscira. At some point in the past, Ares became consumed by war and was straight up Ax-Crazy. The other gods realized that he needed to be stopped so Hephaestus forged binding manacles similar to the Golden Perfect (the lasso of truth) which could hold Ares. Aphrodite was the one to place them upon Ares and in doing so also suffused them with her love of him (items touched by gods become god-touched and imprinted with their power). The manacles not only bound Ares but power of Aphrodite's love dispelled his madness. He even held her and cried Tears of Remorse afterward. In modern times, he's still imprisoned but by choice, wanting to spare the world his power unchecked and unrestrained.
  • In the Hood: He disguises himself during the events of Lazarus Planet by wearing a hooded sweatshirt, the hood of which remains over his face no matter what he does.
  • Knight Templar: When he attempts to pull a Heel–Face Turn he instead turns into a horrific pastiche of "justice", judging all crimes as equal and worthy of punishment by death. He's at his best when he tries to just stay apathetic.
  • Metaphorgotten: His attempts to advise Billy Batson without giving himself away fall flat, due to Batson being Literally Minded when not drawing upon The Wisdom of Solomon...which is any time Baston is in his civilian life.
  • Mysterious Protector: He spends most of this time during the Lazarus Planet event helping people in disguise, characters associated with Shazam and Wonder Woman most commonly.
  • Nominal Hero: During Lazarus Planet, Ares randomly assists humans during his daily routine incognito as they come under attack from lesser gods and monsters, then reveals his true identity when The Olympians step on the battlefield and makes his intentions to fight them known. As god of war, he doesn't feel obligated morally to pick either side in Hera's war on humanity, but Ares finds wars between humans more interesting, less destructive and thus more sustainable than wars between gods, and wants the humans to win so that humans may continue to fight among themselves. He also releases Wonder Woman from Hera's imprisonment so that she may ensure potential future wars between humans don't get too out hand.
  • Pet the Dog: He saves the soul of Isadore Cale after his sons Phobos and Deimos lose it. This of course means Isadore's soul is now stuck in the same prison Ares is, but he tries his best to make it an enjoyable experience and lets her leave to the much nicer Themyscira after her soul is reconnected with Isadore's body.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Subverted; Long before Diana' time, he willingly went into imprisonment under Themyscira after being driven near insane by humanity's constant wars and kept sane by chains forged by Hephaestus and powered by Aphrodite's love.
  • Shoot the Dog: When Hera removes the wards protecting Themyscira during Lazarus Planet he anonymously executes two men who discover the island and start filming their arrival, specifically so that the amazons will not have the blood of these interlopers on their hands.

Alternative Title(s): Ares DC