Ares is the eldest son of Zeus. Shunned by his fellow gods and even his own father Zeus as one of the most hateful Olympians, Ares constantly yearned to serve alongside the "Gods of Light" who ruled atop Mount Olympus. During the Trojan War, in which the Mycenaean Greeks attacked the city of Troy in Asia Minor during the 13th century B.C., Ares initially fought on behalf of the Trojans; battling the Greek warrior Diomedes, he was repelled by Athena, who had guided Diomedes' sword. Ares later rejoined the battle and stood alongside the Greek warrior Achilles, serving as the demigod's patron lord of war ever since. With the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire during the 4th century A.D., Zeus allowed the worship of the Olympians to die out, forbidding Ares to act as the patron god of warriors and causing dissastisfaction with Zeus's rule over the centuries. At some point the ancient goddess Nox posed as Venus, seducing Ares and then bearing his children, Deimos and Phobos.
Mayor Story Arcs
Rivalry with Hercules
Ares's enmity towards his half-brother Hercules extends as far back as the latter's mortal days. Hercules came into conflict with Ares's son Kyknos, who waylaid travelers and was using their skulls to construct a temple dedicated to the God of War. Not wishing to see his son slain at the hands of Hercules, Ares descended from Mount Olympus and engaged his half-brother in combat. With the aid of Athena, Hercules was able to wound the God of War, thus driving him from the battlefield and allowing Hercules to defeat and subsequently kill the son of Ares. Ares has never forgiven Hercules for this slight.
In modern times, when Pluto tricked Hercules into taking his place as Lord of Hades, Hercules sought his half-brother Ares' help. Hating Hercules' blustering manner and close relationship with Zeus, Ares refused, but the Asgardian thunder god Thor helped release Hercules from Pluto's contract.
Later, Ares and Asgardian sorceress Amora the Enchantress tricked Hercules into drinking from the Fountain of Eros, compelling him to fall madly in love with Amora. The Enchantress pitted Hercules against the Avengers, who soon released him from her spell; however, Ares had already convinced Zeus that Hercules had renounced his Olympian heritage for the love of an Asgardian, and Zeus banished Hercules from Olympus for a year. Joining the Avengers during his exile on Earth, Hercules eventally helped free the Olympians, whom Typhon the Titan had banished to the Land of Shades by extinguishing the Promethean Flame which sustained them; Zeus forgave Hercules and ended his exile, infuriating Ares.
Coming of the Warhawk
Once again allied with the Enchantress, Ares used Merlin's cursed Ebony Blade to extinguish the Promethean Flame and transform the Olympian gods to crystal; this did not affect demigods such as Hercules, whom Ares threw off Mount Olympus. Ares then traveled to Earth as "Mr. Tallon" and founded the militant Warhawk organization, using the entrancing music of Olympian satyrs to incite his followers to violence in hopes of creating a nuclear war that would open a portal to the halls of Asgard. When the Avengers thwarted his plan, Ares fled to Olympus and had an amnesiac Hercules brought there. As a small strike force of Avengers stormed Olympus to stop Ares, his hordes of Olympian beasts and demigods invaded Earth, where the remaining Avengers opposed them until Ares was defeated and forced to return the Ebony Blade to the Black Knight. Venus angered Ares when she visited Earth, seeking to avert a war he had engineered. She teamed with Namor the Sub-Mariner to defeat Ares, weakening him with rays emitted by her enchanted girdle Cestus and forcing him to end the war and return to Olympus. Ares next plotted with Pluto to start a war between Asgard and Olympus by abducting the Asgardian valkyrior Krista while disguised as Hercules and absconding with her to Hades. After the witch Chaga told Thor and Hercules that Ares was the culprit, they defeated him at the Gates of Hades and rescued Krista from Pluto's clutches.
Pluto, God of War
Later, when a newly formed alliance with his fellow Hell-lords gave Pluto the power to challenge Olympus, he demanded that Zeus arrange marriages of Venus and Hercules to Ares and Amazon Queen Hippolyta, both trusted friends of Hades; since Olympian law forbade acting against one's own spouse, this double marriage would have constrained the only two Olympians capable of preventing Pluto's planned takeover of Olympus. The Olympian Huntsman and the Titan Menoetius were dispatched to bring Venus and Hercules to Olympus, where Zeus reluctantly decreed that they be married to Ares and Hippolyta. After the heroic Champions of Los Angeles interrupted the ceremony and informed Zeus of Pluto's plan to overthrow him, Zeus called off the weddings and banished Pluto.
Wager with Hera
Ares next entered a wager with his mother, Hera, to see who could bring the most sorrow to Hercules' life. Jealous of Hercules' friendship with the Avengers, Ares possessed the body of the new Thor and attacked Hercules in an attempt to force his half-brother to kill his friend; but a lightning bolt summoned by Thor's hammer exposed Ares' involvement and ruined his plan. Ares later conspired with Pluto to kill a temporarily insane Thor; however, Thor's madness made him a fiercer combatant, and he savagely defeated Ares. Pluto returned to Olympus with the wounded Ares and informed Zeus that Thor had attacked them without provocation; but the Asgardian shield maiden Sif refuted this allegation and challenge Pluto to trial by combat before appealing to Ares' sense of warrior's honor convincing him to reveal the truth.
Hera later enacted her half of the wager with Ares by impersonating Hercules' ex-girlfriend Taylor Madison. Hoping to win his father's good graces, Ares informed Zeus of this; Ares and Zeus then descended to Earth, exposing Hera's scheme before she could kill the Avengers and revealing that the original Taylor Madison was merely a magical construct created by Zeus to force Hera's hand.
Ares and The Heart of Athena
Ares next returned to Earth to reorganize the Warhawks as a terrorist organization, slaughtering diplomats at international peace and economic summits in order to exploit their deaths and ignite the flames of global war. He attacked Hercules at the New York Museum of Greek Antiquity in order to draw his half-brother into conflict and steal the Heart of Athena, an ancient artifact empowered by Zeus that geometrically magnified any force projected through it.
Hercules immediately accepted an offer to join SHIELD in order to stop his brother; but while Hercules and his SHIELD strike force raided Ares' base in the jungles of South America, Ares and his Warkhawks took control of a SHIELD helicarrier. Ares used the Heart of Athena to construct a sonic canon known as the Gabriel Horn aboard the Helicarrier, which was intended to cause the structural breakdown of all metal on Earth so that society would devolve into warring feudal clans; however, Hercules and his SHIELD allies defeated Ares before the Gabriel Horn could be activated.
God of War: No More!
When Pluto again sought to conquer Olympus, the battle between Pluto and the Olympians had reached a stalemate until Zeus summoned Ares to turn the tide in the Olympians' favor. Ares crushed Pluto's hellish armies, dismembering the bodies of the fallen enemy soldiers so that they would never be complete, even in death; but when Ares returned to Olympus expecting to be accepted by his fellow Olympians at last, he learned that his brethen still looked down upon him and deeply regretted having needed Ares' assistance to win the war. Dejected, Ares finally realized he would never be considered one of Olympus' Gods of Light and abandoned his duties as God of War.
A Human Life
Ares own mini-series starts with Ares contemplating his life, The gods of Olympus wished to have nothing do with him and he loathed what he had become. He decided to leave and live a relatively peaceful life on earth with his son, Alexander (better known as Phobos). Alexander knew nothing about his fathers former life as the god of war, nor did Ares want him to find out. But one day Hermes paid Ares a visit with a message from for him, they needed his help once again to fight off a new threat, Amatsu Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of evil. But Ares had not forgotten the treatment they gave him and refused to come to their aid. Zeus had Alexander kidnapped to force Ares to pick up his old ways and come to . After a furious outbreak on earth hurting some police officers. Achilles comes to him and tells him why they’ve done this, Asgard had been destroyed and would be to, they could not hold out for much longer. For his son he agreed to return with Achilles but when arriving at the building where his son was kept in safety was destroyed and there was no sign of Ares son anywhere. Alexander was taken by Mikaboshi and showed him who his father truly was, and who he really was so he would fight for him.
Alexander’s mind was poisoned somehow with a drink which him furious at his father. In the meantime Ares agreed to fight with Zeus against the invader but only to regain his son. At the walls of Olympus began their final battle. Ares fought valiantly side by side with the Olympians to secure the safety of and retrieve his son from the hands of Mikaboshi. While Zeus was leading his troops he spotted what seemed to be Alexander in the battlefield. He races towards him to protect him but he was tricked, it was not truly Alexander but it was Mikaboshi who pretended to be him. Mikaboshi managed to mortally wound Zeus and take him out of the battle. Enraged by this, the two brothers Ares and Hercules fought with Mikaboshi and managed to make him retreat. They returned to to heal Zeus and are greeted by Inari, a messenger from the remaining gods of the east.
They will help him if they ask but Ares refuses to beg for help, the messenger asks for a bit of water to quench his thirst and then leaves. But in secret he goes to his gods and says that this water had been offered by whom requested their help. From here the story skips five years into the future where a large battle is being held at the Mammoths gate, the gates that guards Japan’s hell and behind them, Mikaboshi. Ares finally faces his son Alexander, but his mind is clouded and attacks Ares ramming a sword into his fathers body. In the meantime Zeus and Apollo get wounded in battle which enrages Zeus seeing his three sons wounded. He shows a magnificent display of power but is mortally wounded once more by Mikaboshi. With one final act he lifts the spell of Alexander, seeing what he just did to his own father Alexander goes into a rage and attacks Mikaboshi for what he had done to him. In the meantime the gods of the east arrive on the battlefield to aid the Olympians. They wash away the evil with a giant wave while Alexander kills Mikaboshi. The evil army had been defeated and Alexander was once more Ares’s son.
Still insistent that Alexander have a mortal upbringing, Ares returned to his life as a construction worker in Dover, New Jersey, where he worked at the time of the enactment of the Superhuman Registration Act. Immediately following the super hero Civil War over this legislation, Iron Man and Ms. Marvel travelled to Ares' construction site to recruit him for their Avengers team. Angered that the heroes had ruined his civilian cover, Ares eventually agreed to join the team after Iron Man threatened to deport him to Olympus if he did not register with the U.S. Government.
Ares: The Mighty Avenger
Ares joined with Tony Stark's Avengers. Not soon after, when Ultron attacked New York, and demobilised Iron Man, Ares - with help from Hank Pym- shrunk down to subatomic level and entered Ultron to fight back against the machine. Ares and Pym's efforts helped turn the battle in the Avengers' favour, and Ultron was once again defeated. Ares continued to fight valiantly alongside the Avengers against threats from the Mole Man, Tiger Shark, a symbiote assimilation, the Hulk, the time-displaced Invaders, and the renegade band of heroes operating underground. However, Ares was reckless and hungry for action and on one occasion betrayed the team to get revenge on his brother Hercules.
The Avengers launched an assault on Doctor Doom and Latveria, who they discovered was responsible for the "Venom Bomb" that had disrupted New York and temporarily fell many of the Avengers. While the team entered Latveria, Ares flew the Avengers Quinjet straight into Castle Doom, in the battle that ensued, Doom managed to capture the Avengers. Upon capturing the team, Doom soon realized that Ares was in fact the son of Zeus. While Doom had no qualms with executing the rest of the team, Doom refused to kill Ares out of fear of the wrath of the Gods if he were to kill Zeus' son. Doom wished for Ares to return to contact Zeus and return to Olympus so that he could do whatever he wished with the remaining Avengers. Ares, fearful of his father, refused. While Doom was stalemated, Spider-Woman managed to use some of her Skrull powers to free herself and her fellow Avengers from their shackles, and Ares instantly launched an attack on his oppressor. Ares insisted Doom was a "coward" for attempting to escape, and with the help of his team-mate the Sentry, Ares defeated Doom and for the first time in Avengers history... the Avengers had beat Doctor Doom.
When the team of outlaw Avengers stole one of the Avengers Quinjets to investigate a Skrull ship that had crash landed in the Savage Land, the Avengers followed them to reclaim the Quinjet and arrest the team. However, when Iron Man's armor failed and a clan of heroes emerged from the ship, claiming to be the real heroes, Ares realised that this was in fact a diversion for an assault on the mainland. Ares insisted that all the Avengers return to the mainland while he dealt with the imposters, however only Ms. Marvel listened to his suggestion and left to check up on the mainland.
When the heroes-cum-Skrulls, began battling against the Avengers and the outlaw Avengers, Ares fought against Pitt o'Nili, the leader of the team who believed himself to be the real Captain America and then decapitated the Skrull impersonating Thor later on because he was getting on his nerves with his constant talking. The two Avengers teams joined forces after disposing of the Skrulls in the Savage Land and flew to the mainland to fight against a mass army of Skrulls attempting to take over New York. Ares, alongside Thor and Wonder Man, led the frontline in the battlefield, against seemingly endless battallions of Skrulls. Ares fought valiantly against Skrull warriors revelling in the action.
Norman Osborn's Avengers
After the invasion, Ares remained a registered superhuman and accepted a place in Norman Osborn's Avengers alongside one of his teammates from the Mighty Avengers, Sentry. He did not understand why his former team leader, Carol Danvers ( Ms. Marvel) was against working for Osborn. He viewed his new alliance with the ex-villain simply as continuing the fight that the original Mighty Avengers had started on terrorist-level superhuman, and natural threats against America and even the entire planet. Ares now fights with the Dark Avengers headed by Norman Osborn. Ares views his alliance with the Dark Avengers as continuing the fight alongside the Mighty Avengers against superhuman and natural threats against the world.
The first mission of Ares and the rest of the Dark Avengers was to assist Doctor Doom and the rest of Latveria who, at that moment, were under attack by Morgan Le Fay. As the Dark Avengers arrived in Latveria, they saw Victor knocked out cold on the floor. Upon seeing Morgan Le Fey, Osborn tells Sentry to go all out. Sentry easily rips off Morgan's head and the Dark Avengers seemed successful in their first mission until Sentry started to scream and subsequently exploded. After it cleared, Morgan Le Fay was seen back and Sentry was gone. Ares confronts Morgan and tells her that he is the God of War and son of Zeus and demands that she goes back to the time she came from. Morgan then casts a spell that turns Mac Gargan ( Venom) crazy and he tries to eat Ares. Morgan's army and the Dark Avengers then begin battle. While not eaten by Gargan, Ares is nevertheless turned to stone shortly thereafter.
After Morgan is defeated, Doctor Doom returns Ares to normal, commenting on how Morgan used a easily reversed spell because she probably feared the wrath of the gods. Upon returning to America, he intervenes in a somewhat childish argument between Bullseye and Venom, in which he backhands Bullseye for acting like a child, causing a grudge to form. He later returns to his home in the Bronx where he discovers his son missing, and multiple truancy notices in his room.
Ares is next seen in the X-Men/Avengers crossover event, Utopia, where he jumps in front of San Francisco City Hall in order to defend it from rioters, warning both sides to stay away, for coming too close will incur his wrath. Ares and Bullseye both begin to get angered by the Dark X-Men as they do all the work while the Dark Avengers just watch from the sidelines.
One morning, Ares wakes up his son, Phobos, and makes him get ready for school. Phobos questions his father about his decision to join and be a part of the Norman Osborn's Avengers. Phobos gets ready and is picked up by Quake, who is actually bringing Phobos to the meeting place of the Secret Warriors instead of school. Ares follows their scooter on his motorcycle to their headquarters. Breaking in, Ares is immediately confronted by member of the Secret Warriors, Hellfire. Ares easily dispatches of the young hero, though. He is then confronted by Nick Fury, who is leading the Secret Warriors, and he reveals to Ares that his son has been on his team for quite some time now. Ares doesn't fight anymore as he wishes Alex to make his own choices and to be better father than Zeus was to him.
Ares talks to Norman and he is informed by him that he is making a list. He's making a list of the things he needs to change in the world. The first thing on his list concerned the Avengers and Clint Barton. As Clint, Ronin, attempts to assassinate Norman Osborn, he takes down most of the Dark Avengers, but is eventually captured and arrested by Ares before he can kill Norman.
Osborn tasks Ares with the training the agents of H.A.M.M.E.R. Ares gives an impassioned speech about how he is the God of War and that battle, winning, and death are the glories of a true warrior. He picks four of agents who he will specially train as his team of "Shades." He personally subjects them to a rigorous training regimen, parts of which include live fire exercises in which Ares uses real weapons against them as they navigate a series of obstacles. He instills in them an attitude of superiority even among their fellow soldiers and encourages them engage in bar brawls and drinking games. All of this forges them into an elite unit, utterly loyal to Ares, a sentiment Ares reciprocates.
During this time, Ares is approached by his mother, Hera, informing him that his son has been hurt. Ares assumes she means Phobos and takes his "shades" to go and attack Nick Fury and his team of Secret Warriors. Upon entering the hideout, it is revealed that it is not in fact Phobos, but his other son, Kyknos. Freed from death and arm and armored with Ares's own discarded weapons and armor, Kyknos had been promised the mantle of the God of War provided he was able to kill Ares and claim it. The trap sprung, Kyknos unleashed Ares's other 'children', include the Mares of Diomedes and a seemingly endless horde of skeletal warriors. While his shades managed to escape, Ares himself was captured as he covered the escape of his men. Refusing to leave the commander they had grown to respect, The Shades staged a rescue mission, hiding in the entrails of a dead animal and attacking with all their fire power. In the end Ares was rescued and, in proving that he was the true God Of War, killed his son, just as Hercules had done millennia ago. However, all his Shades had been killed.
The rest of the Dark Avengers arrived to find Ares sitting on the thrown built by Kyknos, his slain men arranged in front of him. When Osborn tried to chide Ares he shot him down and remarked "you wanted me to teach them everything the God Of War knows. Well, they've learned it now".
After the U-Foes attack on Volstagg at Soldier Field, Osborn declared his Siege on Asgard. However, before launching his assault, Osborn consults with Ares about his plans. Ares strongly opposes & refuses to do battle against Asgardian Gods and also warns he will stop him for trying, respectfully. Osborn reassures him that Thor is out of the picture & Asgard has fallen under Loki’s control. Ares reluctantly agrees to help but assures Osborn that if he is lying he will cut off his head, armor and all.
Ares rallies the H.A.M.M.E.R. troops before battle with a war cry and the Siege begins. Ares is first confronted by Hogan & Fandral who compare him to his crazed father, a big mistake. He next takes on Balder who tells him he has been deceived into battle. Heimdall confirms this and Ares becomes infuriated. He charges after Osborn who then calls in the Sentry. After trading a few blows and some hopeless attempts by Ares to reach his former friend, the Sentry grabs him by the shoulders and tears him in half in front of everyone. Ares is next sighted after Alex's (Phobos) death in Secret Warriors on the fields of Elysium. He asks if Alex did all he could and then stands proud with his son the God of Fear.
Ares was one of the many characters briefly revived during the Chaos War and he fought alongside and against the Dead Avengers. Upon the climax of the war, Ares and all those who were dead previously, faded back to death.
Contest of Champions
Ares is later abducted from the afterlife in order to serve in the new Contest of Champions between the Collector and the Grandmaster. He attempts to escape, but is beaten into submission by the Maestro. He agrees to join Collector's team, prompting the Masestro to call him a coward, but Stick notes that Ares is simply biding his time and plotting his revenge. During the final battle, Ares kills an alternate reality version of Ragnarok. Ares and the rest of the heroes ultimately rebel against the Maestro after he takes control of the contest, and Outlaw is able to return everyone to their home realities. The surviving heroes of Earth-616 (including Ares, Stick, Outlaw, White Fox and Guillotine) choose to stay together as a team, with Ares saying that he wants to have many more adventures he can one day tell his son about.
During HYDRA's takeover of the United States, Ares and his companions (with the group expanded to include Captain Britain, Faiza Hussain and Peregrine) are shown defending Paris. They heroes now refer to themselves as the Champions of Europe, and help Squirrel Girl and Enigma fight against HYDRA's forces.
Powers and Abilities
As a god, Ares possesses vast strength and endurance. His physical capabilities are superior to those of the majority of Olympian gods. He has virtually inexhaustible stamina, and does not tire appreciably after any exertion. He is stronger than the average Olympian, strength level estimated to being able to lift around 70 tons. Zeus and Hercules are the only Olympians stronger than Ares.
Like all Olympians, Ares is immortal, possessing a life essence that cannot be ended by any conventional means. He can be wounded in battle, but his godly life force gives him incredible recuperative abilities. He can fully recover from penetration wounds (such as by knife, sword, or bullet) in anywhere from minutes to hours, depending on their severity. Only an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates him or disperses a major portion of his bodily molecules could cause him physical death. Even then, his life essence may still be unharmed, and Zeus may be able to resurrect him.
Superhuman strength, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. Ares also possesses a regenerative healing factor which is capable of repairing damaged or destroyed tissue at superhuman levels of speed. He has also been shown to be injured by weapons of magical nature such as Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor. He also has some low-level magic abilities such as summoning weapons or sensing if magic is being used.
Ares is the god of war and is a master of a variety of hand-to-hand combat skills. Ares is also a master of all Olympian weaponry and most human weapons ranging from clubs to modern firearms and explosives. Though having normal intellect Ares' military tactical skills are at genius-level, and he is also well versed in torture, combat engineering, and knows vast amount of military history particularly focusing on battles and wars that involved Greek and Roman (or Italian) soldiers and armies. Ares is one of the most talented and ruthless soldiers that has ever fought on Earth.
Weapons and Equipment
Ares uses a variety of weapons which includes ancient Greek and Roman javelins, axes, swords, knives, shields, spears, and flails. Also uses Celtic spears, Roman Helmets, Middle Eastern scimitars, Arthurian swords, as well as Native American axes. Ares also is an expert when it comes to using modern day weapons, such as a variety of different firearms, gases, and explosives.
In Other Media
- Ares appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "The Incredible Herc," voiced by Trevor Devall. This version of the character sports his modern appearance, but is closer in characterization to his original, more evil incarnation. After Hercules steals the Mace of War, Ares sends several mythological creatures to Earth to capture him. When the creatures fail, Ares confronts Hercules in person, leading to a fight with the Avengers. He returns to Olympus with Hercules as his prisoner, and plans to release the Kraken upon the Earth to punish Hercules for his transgressions. However, the Avengers arrive to rescue their comrade, and Black Panther and Hercules are able to subdue Ares and trap him in the depths of Tartarus.
- Ares appears in the Facebook game Marvel Avengers Alliance. He initially appears as a member of the Dark Avengers, but can be unlocked and recruited.
- Ares appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers.
- Ares was the subject of a Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure wave from Hasbro. A Walmart exclusive, the BAF could be assembled after purchasing each of the other figures in the wave (Crossbones, Guardian, Heroes Reborn Iron Man, Human Torch, Kang, Scarlet Spider, Ultimate War Machine and Vision).
- Ares was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Universe line.
- Ares was featured in Hasbro's kid-friendly Super Hero Squad line as part of a two-pack with Thor.
- Eaglemoss released an Ares figurine.
- Hasbro later released an updated Marvel Legends figure as part of the Gladiator Hulk BAF series for the Thor: Ragnarok movie.