The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares: although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, "overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering." His sons Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror) and his lover, or sister, Enyo (Discord) accompanied him on his war chariot. In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him. An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality. His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks.
Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to. When Ares does appear in myths, he typically faces humiliation. He is well known as the lover of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who was married to Hephaestus, god of craftsmanship. The most famous story related to Ares and Aphrodite shows them exposed to ridicule through the wronged husband's device.
The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars, who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity. During the Hellenization of Latin literature, the myths of Ares were reinterpreted by Roman writers under the name of Mars. Greek writers under Roman rule also recorded cult practices and beliefs pertaining to Mars under the name of Ares. Thus in the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, the mythology of the two figures later became virtually indistinguishable.
Ares is a recurring antagonist of DC's flagship superheroine Wonder Woman. Over the years, his appearance has varied per writer fiat. In his Golden Age appearances, he often appeared as resembling a powerful Roman Legionare and went primarily by Mars rather than Ares. George Perez re-imagined Ares after the Crisis on Infite Earths as a towering dark knight in blue plate armor, often only revealing his red eyes through the slits in his helmet, at other times revealing a demonic face hiding beneath the steel. He would later appear as more human, first as a ploy where he possessed a mortal and later revealing that while on Olympus he normally appeared as a scarred blond. Finally, after he became the ruler of Tartarus and seemingly slain by Diana, he appeared to be paling while crude stitches was had been used to bind his wound.
In his New 52-guise, Ares bears an uncanny resemblance to the writer Brian Azzarello as he had asked Cliff Chiang to draw Ares as a tired old man. Perhaps to reflect his own mood or the state of the idea of War, he appeared as a physically imposing, bald warrior with a long red beard and dark pits where his eyes should have been when he first appeared before a young Diana. When she rejected his ways he withered away into a dry old man in a sand coloured suit that always has blood on his shins and feet. As with all Olympians, he rejects the use of any kind of footwear.
Though wielding considerable power in the post Crisis world, so much in fact that not even Diana can physically threaten him save with certain items, Ares' true strength is his ability to scheme and manipulate from his home of Areopagus. He has come into conflict with Diana on numerous occasions as well as her allies Donna Troy and Cassandra Sandsmark along with others like Batman and his allies and the New Gods.
His perhaps greatest feat came near the culmination of the Genesis event, where he appeared and slew Highfather of New Genesis before attempting to gain control of the Godwave only to become stuck in the Source Wall. Often he is also considered the direct or indirect reason for both the Amazon's existence and later isolation on Paradise Island. Chiefly as they were created to combat his influence in the world of men and later it is his influence that spurs Heracles (or Hercules) to attempt and succeeding in enslaving the Amazons.
Post-Flashpoint, the character has been reinvented such that his relationship with Diana is more akin to that between a father and daughter. While Diana was young, Ares appeared before her and offered to train her during the full moon's light. Unknown to Diana, Ares was doing so because in Diana he saw his successor. The two suffered a split after a year when Diana refused to be merciless, even if Ares had been the same previously. Ares was to have spent the next 15 years in a disillusioned state, caring nothing for his mantle or his family while drinking his problems away. This only seems to change slightly when he is reunited with Diana, during her efforts to keep Zola and her child safe, first from Apollo and later the First Born. In a final fight with the First Born, Ares allows himself to be killed, allowing Wonder Woman to take his place as god of war as he intended.
First Appearance in DC comics?
While in National Allied Publications (the company later to become DC comics) Ares 1st Appearance is Wonder Woman #1 - The Origin of Wonder Woman published in 1942 Quality Comics 1st Appearance of Mars was in National Comics #1 published in 1940. When Quality Comics eventually went under DC bought many of Quality's characters and titles including National Comics which retroactively made National Comics #1 the 1st Appearance of Mars/Ares in DC comics.
Ares usually appears in the stories of Marvel's other myth-based heroes Thor and Hercules. After living the life of a god for millenia and tiring of it, he decided to live a normal life on Earth as a carpenter with his young son, Phobos. While on Earth, he fought on the sides of both good as well as evil, being a member of Tony Stark's Mighty Avengers as well as Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. During the siege of Asgard, Ares was brutally murdered by one of his own teammates, an out-of-control Sentry. He was briefly reanimated by Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the Chaos King, before returning to Hades following Mikaboshi's defeat.
For more information on Marvel's God of War, visit the Ares page.
DC Legends (Mobile) (2016)
Ares: God of War is a Mystical class villain.
Game Bio: The living embodiment of war Ares is a primal force of destruction and chaos. A God from Greek mythology Ares is the living personification of warfare inciting bloodshed with his mere presence. Eternal and immortal he stirred conflict among mankind for eons until Zeus created the Amazons to stop him and bring peace to the world. Though Ares was defeated the Amazons remain vigilant lest he returns and brings with him the destruction strife and eternal chaos of war.
Ares: God of War was released in June 2017.