Ares is based on the ancient Greek deity with the same name. Typically, he is portrayed as Wonder Woman’s nemesis. His debut occurred in Wonder Woman #1. George Pérez was the first to establish his contemporary appearance in the DC Universe, but Wonder Woman had been haunted by Mars (his Roman name) for decades prior.
Ares was one of Wonder Woman’s most persistent foes during the majority of the Golden Age, Silver Age, and Bronze Age, when he was known as Mars. He was shown as a Greco-Roman soldier wearing orange armor. His face was visible, unlike the modern interpretation of the character.
Ares, who eventually became known as Mars, endeavored to actualize his vision of endless war and struggle in the realm of humans. He was opposed primarily by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who endeavored to achieve an opposing ideal of loving society. When Ares mocked Aphrodite with the success of his plans, Aphrodite molded from clay and breathed life into a new race of women, the Amazons, who constructed a city-state named Amazonia and created a women-centered civilisation in order to preach the gospel of Aphrodite’s Way. The golden girdle entrusted to Hippolyte rendered her invincible. (Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #1)
Ares, now mostly known as Mars, was infuriated at the success of the Amazons and commanded Hercules to steal the golden girdle and enslave them. Aphrodite granted the repentant Amazons their freedom and sent them to Paradise Island, which they would later refer to as their new hidden home.
During a time when the Amazons of Earth-One sent a champion named Artemis into Man’s World as a champion for justice and peace, Mars manipulated circumstances so that Artemis would gradually stray from a path of trust and love, ultimately setting her up to appear to have betrayed the location of the Amazons’ temporary hidden home, Themiscyra.
Mars eventually established a home base on the planet Mars, enslaving the planet’s superpowerful inhabitants to serve him and his senior deputies, the Duke of Deception, Lord Conquest, and Earl of Greed. He utilized Mars as his interstellar headquarters and supplemented the enslaved Martian population with the souls of the dead he collected from conflict zones on other planets, including Saturn and Earth. After being transported to the planet Mars, slave spirits were subjected to strength tests to determine how they would be best utilized, whether as gladiators in slave games, personal slaves in Mars’s retinue, or workers in the War Factories, which included the Lie Factory run by the Duke of Deception. The world’s most powerful individuals would be trained and given new bodies before being dispatched to conduct future wars. He also established the Injustice Court, which humiliated and punished slaves. (Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #2)
From this location, he attempted to defeat the Allies in World War II, but was constantly thwarted by Wonder Woman.
On Earth-One and Earth-Two, Mars repeatedly tangled with Wonder Woman. Mars (calling himself Ares this time) and his children Phobos, Deimos, and Eris fought the Amazons to obtain from Hippolyta the secret to dominating all dimensions of existence during a time when Diana abandoned her powers to live in the world of men and the Amazons temporarily retreated into another dimension. Later, he enlisted his descendant Helena Alexandros to be the Silver Swan.
His ultimate plan before the war that altered the course of history during the Crisis on Infinite Earths was to form an alliance with Hades and the Anti-Monitor in order to subdue the Gods of Olympus. Steve Trevor liberated the gods and Hades’ wife Kore sent a message of love to her husband, isolating Mars as Wonder Woman engaged in the ultimate battle with him.
Ares built his own domain, the Areopagus, despite being the son of Zeus. Aphrodite, the patron goddess of the Amazons, swore that her women would save the world through love from the anger and bloodshed of Ares. Ares just overthrew Hades and seized control of the underworld by means of guile and cunning.
Ares attempted to destroy the Amazons by using Hercules against them. However, Diana was born and reared just in time to face Ares when Steve Trevor’s jet, piloted by one of Ares’ human puppets, crashed into Paradise Island. His plan was to simultaneously launch missiles from the United States and Russia, igniting World War III. However, Diana was able to convince him, while he was entangled in her magical lasso, that this turmoil would lead to his demise, as Ares would have no one to worship him.
Although Ares abandoned his objectives at the moment, he nevertheless managed to control a minor criminal named Ari Buchanan. He changed his name to Ares Buchanan after possessing his body. He began his ascent up the business ladder by providing high-tech weapons for gang wars. As Buchanan, he had a relationship with his attorney Donna Milton (who was Circe in disguise, though neither she nor he knew it at the time), with whom he conceived Lyta. Lyta has been shown to possess a tremendous deal of magic, which she continues to hone via practice. However, Ares exhibited a lack of concern for Donna by shooting her while she was pregnant. Circe, disguised as Donna, later attempted to assist Diana in escaping a trap that he had set. She used her last remaining strength to fire a gun that created a miniature black hole and sucked Ares into. She, Diana, and the infant all lived.
Modern actions and beliefs demonstrate that the roles of numerous gods have changed somewhat from ancient times. The actual faith-based authority Ares’ father Zeus obtained as a result was significantly weakened. On the other hand, other gods such as Athena, Aphrodite, and Ares began to acquire influence as the computer era emerged, love never diminished, and conflict remained constant. Thus, the three divine siblings eventually assumed control of Olympus as the new masters of the divine residence.
Ares changed his name to the God of Fighting when he realized that conflict helped him preserve his might over the output of war. To mark this transformation, he adopted a more approachable appearance. His reign under this name was brief, however, as the deity Hades was also deposed and Ares was anxious to assume the role of God of the Dead.
Reunion of family
Ares confessed in his half-sister Cassie Sandsmark that the gods of Olympus were at a crossroads and that a conflict was imminent. He wanted merely his sister’s affection in exchange for increased powers. He then journeyed to Themyscira, where his daughter Lyta was under the protection of the Amazons, and abducted her. Circe confronted Ares and was astonished to learn of his new divine title upon discovering this news. She consented to stay his consort and to bring up their daughter Lyta in the Underworld.
During Ares’ family bonding with Cassie, he bestowed to her a lasso capable of expelling Zeus’ lightning in times of rage, to be used in her Wonder Girl form. Since then, Ares has repeatedly appeared to Cassie to warn her of the “imminent conflict.” In Teen Titans (v3) #17–19, the Teen Titans are sent ten years into the future, when Cassie has assumed the mantle of Wonder Woman following Diana’s demise. She was also known as the “champion of Ares.”
Ares appeared to Cassie for the last time in Teen Titans #33 and explained that the gods were departing this realm and Zeus was removing the power he had bestowed Cassie as well. In exchange for recognizing their siblinghood and being his champion, he offered her some of his strength, stating that she would be “more powerful than she has ever been.” In Infinite Crisis #6 and Teen Titans #34, it is implied that Cassie has kept all of her previous abilities.
During the events of Amazons Attack!, it is revealed that Ares abandoned Circe and took their daughter to raise by himself. Due to the fact that he and Lyta were only mentioned in the narrative, their presence is uncertain.
As the god of war, Ares was devoured by his own realm; having succumbed to violence and bloodlust, he was viewed as a threat by his fellow gods, who so devised a plan to capture him. Aphrodite, his consort, managed to mislead and bind Ares with chains crafted by Hephaestus, which not only restrained him but also served to calm his fury. Ares was then imprisoned beneath the island of Themyscira, which was populated by Amazons who were formed to guard the battle god.
During his imprisonment, Ares’ twin sons Phobos and Deimos plotted to liberate their father from Themyscira, either so he could lead them in battle or so they could kill him and claim his position as god of war. As part of their scheme, the twins kidnapped Izzy Cale’s soul and imprisoned her behind a soul stone in order to force her influential mother to support their cause. Ares, sensing the young girl’s suffering within the stone, snatched Izzy’s soul away from his sons and into his own prison, where she might at least be kept safe and comfortable, albeit still imprisoned. Ten years later, Phobos and Deimos arrived in Themyscira alongside Wonder Woman and Izzy’s mother, Veronica. Veronica brought her daughter’s body, which was reunited with her soul, allowing Izzy to leave Ares’ prison and dwell among the Amazons of Themyscira. Phobos and Deimos were defeated and chained by Wonder Woman, although they were not imprisoned alongside Ares.
Years later, the half-Amazon Grail would join Ares in prison after she and her father, Darkseid, conspired to slay Zeus. By this time, Ares had determined that he could attain virtue and atone for his previous transgressions by waging only “just” conflicts. To execute this plan, he gave Grail the Godkiller sword and convinced her to use it to murder him. The death of the battle god caused a schism between Themyscira, Olympus, and the world of mortals. The interplanar instability would exile Aphrodite and other mythological creatures to Earth, enabling Grail to overthrow Hippolyta as monarch of Themyscira, and release Ares from his captivity and cause him to reappear on Earth.
Now free, Ares attempted to embrace the concept of a “just war” by backing rebels in a brutal civil war who believed they were persecuted by their rulers, but the struggle was complicated by the arrival of Wonder Woman and her allies Etta Candy and Steve Trevor. Ares was dissuaded from further combat by Aphrodite, who was discovered by Steve Trevor, when he realized that, despite his efforts to back the ‘good’ side of the war, his actions still resulted in the death of innocents he was now attempting to defend. Ares remained unaccounted for for a period of time until he attempted to capture and interrogate Wonder Woman, posing as an A.R.G.U.S. agent, only to have the tables turned on him by Wonder Woman, who lured him into a cell that was later transported by the Amazons back to his old prison of Themyscira.
Abilities and skills
Ares possesses immense physical power, as do all the Olympian gods, but he may currently be the strongest of all. Moreover, he is an expert in combat and strategy, and he possesses perfect mastery of any weapon. His armor is nearly impervious to damage. He is capable of regenerating his body into any form he likes, teleporting himself and others, and altering reality to his liking. He is now also acknowledged as the Death god of the Greek pantheon, and thus holds authority over the deceased.
He is immortal because he is a god.