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Sons of Ares is an ongoing series from Dynamite Comics by Pierce Brown. The series serves as a prequel to his Red Rising novel series, focusing on the origins of the rebel group known as the Sons of Ares.

The series is told from the point of view of Fitchner au Barca, the Gold who will eventually become the rebel warlord Ares, and focuses on the events that lead him down that path.

For tropes applying specifically to the original trilogy, see here.

The first issue was released on May 10th, 2017.

Because this is a prequel, all spoilers for the original series remain unmarked.

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The series contains examples of:

  • All Planets Are Earth-Like: Done intentionally by the Golds, as they terraformed the solid planets and moons in the solar system to be more like earth, with being less earth-like the farther out from the sun you go.
  • An Arm and a Leg: As the novels indicated, Bryn lost her leg in the collapse of the Lovelock Engine on Triton. Fitchner also lost an arm helping the survivors out of the water.
    • And Arturius cuts off his right hand during his escape from the Board of Quality Control.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Quicksilver blackmails Fitchner by threatening to expose his marriage to Bryn.
  • Ascended Extra: Fitchner's wife, Bryn, who was already dead before the original series even began, appears in person and gets more development.
  • Badass and Baby: Fitchner and baby Sevro in the final issue.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: Arturius gives up on offering Fitchner a job after they graduate from the Institute when his mother threatens to disown him.
  • Big Bad: Arturius is set up as this when it's revealed that He's the one responsible for Bryn and Fitchner's abduction.
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  • Big Fancy House: The Vardan estate in the second issue's flashback portion.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the end of the series, Arturius has Bryn executed, but he allows Fitchner and the Sons of Ares to leave wit Sevro as a warning, and after Bryn's funeral, Fitchner dons the mantle of Ares and begins the rebellion against Gold.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While the novels were very violent and bloody, the comics feel gorier by virtue of the fact that the series' Crapsack World is being presented in a visual medium for the first time.
    • On a lesser note, the flashback panels indicate that Fitchner's year at the Institute was even more violent than what Darrow's class experienced, and that year was the one with cannibalism and crucifixions.
  • Boom, Headshot!: In the second issue, Ryanna executes Varus with a gunshot to the head when Doran accidentally lets slip Fitchner's name.
    • Fitchner also kills one of Varus' Obsidian bodyguards this way after brutally beating them in the head with their own gun.
  • Broken Pedestal: How Fitchner felt when he realized that Arturius was willing to give up on his attempts to set Fitchner up with a job when his mother threatened to disown him.
  • The Cameo: Nero au Augustus makes a brief cameo in a flashback giving his opening speech to the incoming students of the Institute.
    • He appears again at the graduation ceremony in the second issue.
  • Cliffhanger: The first issue ends with Varus' Obsidian bodyguards preparing to surrounding the warehouse to free their master.
  • Colonized Solar System: Just like in the novels. The present day story is set on Mars, with flashbacks set on Mars and Triton.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Just like his son in the original novel, Fitchner was set up to die in the Passage, only to surprise everyone by killing his opponent instead.
    • Augustus gives the same speech in the first issue as he does in the original novel.
  • Cool Mask: The early Sons of Ares all wear ancient Greek theater masks to conceal their identities.
  • Crapsack World: It's Red Rising. What did you expect?
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Everything Arturius does after coming back into the story in Issue 4 is motivated by an unrequited crush on Fitchner.
  • Distinguishing Mark: All Peerless Scarred Golds have a small scar under their right eye.
  • Domed Hometown: Large portions of Tirton are under protective domes because of the incomplete terraforming.
  • Doomed by Canon: The present-day storyline focuses on Fitchner racing to save his wife from the Board of Quality Control. Fans of the Red Rising trilogy already know how that will go.
  • Fat Slob: Fitchner's father appears quite sloppy in his single appearance.
  • Gold Digger: Ficthner's parents expect him to use his newfound status as a Peerless Scarred to boost their social standing.
  • Fingore: Fitchner cuts Varus' hand in half in order to make him cooperate.
  • He Knows Too Much: Varus is killed when Doran accidentally reveals Fitchner's name.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bryn stays behind to face capture and execution so that Fitchner and Sevro can escape.
  • In Medias Res: The story begins after Bryn is taken by the Board of Quality control, and each issue flashes back to show part of the story of how they got there.
  • Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery: The masks worn by Fitchner and the early Sons of Ares.
  • La Résistance: The titular Sons of Ares.
  • Last Stand: The Sons of Ares prepare to do this at the beginning of Issue 6 to buy Fitchner time to escape with Bryn.
  • Killed Off for Real: Doran is eaten by Devourers in the service tunnels of the Board of Quality Control's headquarters.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Implied, given that Fitchner's father is show watching porn while his wife is sitting right next to him.
  • Meaningful Echo: Fitchner says Augustus' line "Be proud, for you tower above your fellows" to the original Sons of Ares when they volunteer to hold off Whitehold's security teams so he can go ahead to rescue his wife.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The frame story is set in Agea, Mars' capital city.
    • Martian ArchGovernor Nero au Augustus gives the exact same speech to Fitchner's class at the Institute as he does to Darrow's in Red Rising.
    • In the second issue, fans finally get to witness the graduates of the Institute receiving the mark of the Peerless Scarred, something that only ever occurred off-screen in the books.
    • The third issue's flashback portion takes place on Triton. Fitchner mentioned in the novels that this was where he met his wife.
    • In the final issue, Bryn sings the iconic Reaping Song from the first novel to calm baby Sevro as they escape from Whitehold.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Since the Sons of Ares are still in their infancy, the resistance group consists of a single cell made up of two Reds, a Gray, a Green, and Ares himself.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Issue 5 brings the flashbacks full circle to the beginning of the first issue.
  • Papa Wolf: Fitchner
  • Prequel: Set sixteen years before Red Rising.
  • Red Baron: Ares. This series is about how he became this.
  • The Reveal:
    • Ryanna Is Bryn's sister, and Sevro's aunt.
    • When Bryn was abducted by the Board of Quality Control, they took Sevro as well.
    • Bryn's capture was ordered by Arturius, as part of an effort to protect Fitchner from the consequences of his actions in the hopes of convincing him to accept a job on the Board of Quality Control.
  • Rich Bitch: Arturius' mother looks down on Fitchner for his low social station.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Issue 5 is Fitchner doing this through the headquarters of the Board of Quality Control.
  • Saved by Canon: Issue 4 ends with Whiltehold carvers about to vivisect baby Sevro. Fans of the novel know that he'll be fine.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: When the Lovelock Engine at Triton's north pole fails, protocol dictates that Fitchner be evacuated first while the expendable Reds are left to fend for themselves. Instead, Fitchner runs straight for ground zero to help evacuate the engine crew.
  • Settling the Frontier: Triton and most celestial bodies beyond the orbit of Saturn are considered the frontier of the solar system.
  • Sherlock Scan: Varus au Celinius is able to piece together small clues (Red slang and the stench of oil used by Greens in implants) to determine the Colors of his captors.
  • Skyscraper City: Agea, the capital city of Mars.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Ryanna is the only woman on Fitchner's strike team.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Ares' identity was a key plot point in the Red Rising trilogy. If you're reading the first issue, you already know who he really is.
  • Terraform: A staple of the series is that most of the planets and moons in the solar system have been altered to be more earth-like.
    • Because of it's tectonic activity, the terraforming of Triton is an ongoing process.
  • Time-Compression Montage: The first issue features a montage of the construction of Agea.
    • The second opens up with a montage of Fitchner's time at the Insitute after the Passage.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Arturius returns in Issue 4 as a leader of the Board of Quality Control.
  • Undying Loyalty: Cylax Nexiti was part of Fitchner's terraforming crew on Triton, and is also part of the team racing to rescue Bryn.
    • Ryanna and Fitchner may argue and disagree over the difficulty of having to maintain their family's secret, but both will do whatever it takes to keep Bryn safe.
    • Doran was a coworker of Ryanna's and Bryn's when they moved to Mars.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The comics reveal that Fitchner ommitted some key details about his past when he explained his story to Darrow in Golden Son.
  • Villainous Rescue: A squad of Obsidian bodyguards shows up at the end of the first issue to rescue Varus.
  • We Have Reserves: In flashbacks on Triton, the terraforming administrators comment that Reds are cheaper to replace than spare parts.
  • Wham Episode: Issue 4. Doran is dead, and the Board of Quality Control, under the direction of Arturius, has taken both Bryn and Sevro.
    • Issue 5. Arturius is the one responsible for Bryn and Sevro's abduction, trying to convince Fitchner to accept a job at the Board of Quality Control by offering to "erase his mistakes".
    • Issue 6. Bryn manages to get Sevro to Fitchner before she's re-captured, but Arturius arrives and forces Fitchner to leave with Baby Sevro, sparing father and son as a gesture of love before sending Bryn to her execution.
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