Ares was the Olympian God of War, and the most fearsome son of Zeus, who was worshiped by the Ancient Greeks and Romans (though the latter civilization would give him the name Mars). Millennia ago, Zeus created the Amazons, specifically Wonder Woman, as a fail-safe against Ares's power. Ares would ultimately instigate and win the War of the Gods, killing all other Olympian Gods, but also forced to temporarily retreat for centuries in the process. Ares spent many years influencing humanity to create weapons which he hoped they would use to destroy each other. Ares would then reappear during World War I, taking the disguise of Sir Patrick Morgan, and inspiring Dr. Poison to develop a powerful and deadly gaseous weapon, which desired to use to destroy humanity, a race which he had developed bitter jealousy for. In the end, however, Ares' plans were thwarted, with Wonder Woman killing him and ending World War I and his violent influence over humanity for good.
Ares viewed the human race that Zeus created with disdain, and began corrupting them with war, blood-thirst, and violence. Zeus responded by creating a new race - the Amazons, who were intended to protect humanity from Ares' influence, while spreading love and compassion. Ares, however, violently rebelled, starting the War of the Gods on Olympus, which resulted in him killing off the other Olympian Gods for disagreeing with his bloodthirst and extremism. Ultimately, when only Zeus was left, he faced Ares in combat and defeated him, but was mortally wounded in the process. Before Zeus died, he fathered Diana (as a contingency weapon that could one day save humanity by defeating Ares) by Hippolyta, and created the protected island paradise Themyscira for the Amazons to live, hidden from the God of War.
- "All these years, I have struggled alone, whispering into their ears ideas. Inspiration for formulas, weapons..."
- ―Ares to Diana[src]
Now, as the sole surviving unopposed Olympian God, Ares again proceeded to corrupt humankind with war, determined to wipe the race out, but that ultimately proved ineffective. Hence, at some point, Ares came to Earth, disguising himself as an elderly and kindly human named "Sir Patrick Morgan", and became an advocate member of the British War Council. Secretly, however, Ares supported the German General Erich Ludendorff, slyly inducing him and Dr. Isabel Maru, or Dr. Poison, to create an extremely deadly gas, which Ares intended to use for wiping out humanity for good.
Instigating World War I
In 1918, Ares witnessed the arrival of Diana to London from Themyscira, but maintained his disguise, initially pretending not to know her identity. When Steve Trevor reported his discovery of Dr. Poison's notebook and the location of Ludendorff's base to the war department, the rest of the committee denied him a mission to halt their plans, earning them the ire of Diana which "Sir Patrick" silently observed. Ares had a word with Trevor and Diana afterwords.
Against the wishes of the committee, Ares later on met with Steve and the rest of his compatriots at a local bar, and showed his support for a raid by providing them enough funds for a halfway transport to Belgium, earning their gratitude.
Steve later decided to infiltrate a ball celebrating Ludendorff's first firing of Poison's new mustard gas formula. While relaying this information to Etta Candy, Etta relayed the information to "Sir Patrick", who vehemently denied him access, but was savvy enough to know that Trevor would go regardless.
- "When you first arrived, I was going to crush you, but I knew that if only you could see what the other gods could not, then you would join me and with our powers combined we could finally end all the pain, all the suffering, the destruction they bring and we could return this world to the paradise it was before them."
- ―Ares to Diana[src]
After Trevor, Diana, and the rest of their team discovered a large bombing facility manufacturing and loading mustard gas to be used against the Allies, Ares decided to take matters into his own hands. Transporting himself to the facility, "Sir Patrick" finally shed his disguise and revealed himself to Diana after she killed Ludendorff, whom she falsely believed to be the God of War. He went on to agree with his half-sister's recent sentiments that humanity didn't deserve the help of the Olympian Gods, but instead destruction. Ares then began stating his reasoning behind everything he had done up to that point. After retrieving the god killer sword from Ludendorff's dead body, Diana attempted to strike at him, but Ares simply held his hand out and disintegrated the weapon, stating that the sword wasn't the god killer; Diana herself was. Ares continued to try and tempt Diana into joining his side by telling her that he wanted humanity's eradication because he saw the inherent evil in Zeus' creations, whispering into the ears of mortals who craved destruction. From his point of view, humanity itself chose to start a war with the ideas he planted in their heads; he himself had nothing to do with it. Even the influence of the Lasso of Hestia didn't dissuade him; it only furthered his resolve, as he used Zeus' lightning to warp the Lasso and show Diana vivid illusions of a world at peace through the end of humanity. Despite his efforts, Diana ultimately decided that she couldn't be a part of Ares' plan.
Sibling duel and death
- "Let's see what kind of God you really are!"
- ―Ares to Diana[src]
The God of War then regrettably engaged his half-sister in combat, beginning by destroying the tower they were in and sending Diana flying. Seeing that she survived, he began telekinetically trying to slam her with metal slabs on the ground, but she dissuaded these efforts. Ares noted the naïveté of his half-sister as she tried to whip him with the Lasso of Hestia, simply creating strong winds to blow it away and dodging a slab toss by hovering in the air. He then attempted to crush Diana with an uplifted chunk of concrete, but she easily dodged and hit him with her bracelets. Tossed away, Ares stopped a box filled with explosives from reaching him, but Diana caused an explosion by simply throwing another box, temporarily incapacitating the both of them.
After the both of them recovered, Ares began to take the fight more seriously, manipulating the metal around him into a makeshift suit of plate armor, complete with Spartan-esque helmet, and nonchalantly walked out of the inferno he was in, having revealed his true self. Diana rushed at him, Ares responding by tossing huge shards of metal and combating her with crude swords. Even as they fought, the God of War continued stating how humanity would die, with neither of them gaining an upper hand on the other until Ares choked Diana and threw her into a large tank, wrapping her with its treads.
Ares condescendingly threatened Diana and attempted to force her surrender, but Diana bore witness to Captain Trevor's selfless suicide by blowing up the plane of mustard gas, making her send out a shock-wave that threw Ares back. The God of War then began seeing her combat the German soldiers with great anger, and he began his platitude once again in the belief that Diana finally saw from his point of view and continuing to state humanity's weakness and rush to violence, even twisting Trevor's heroic sacrifice as him leaving Diana. She threw her fists into Ares' face, only for him to push her back and summon Dr. Poison's car, tossing the mad scientist out as use as a final counterargument to Diana. Fully angered, Diana nearly crushed Poison with a tank until she looked back on Steve's final words. Poison escaped as Diana approached her half-brother, saying that while humanity was indeed everything Ares said they were, they were also more than met the eye.
Angered, Ares summoned another cadre of mighty swords and thrust himself at Diana, but every sword that attempted to reach out to her disintegrated, showing that she had finally tapped into her Olympian Godly power through her emotions. Determined, she released another shockwave that grounded Ares and removed his helmet. Furious, the God of War summoned a thunderbolt as he stated that humanity deserved none of Diana's love, but Diana blocked and absorbed its energies, as she countered by saying it was not about deserving her love, but about believing in a cause, with hers ultimately being love. Finally at the brink of madness because of her rejection of his cause, Ares summoned an even more powerful bolt and sent all of its intensity at his sister, who absorbed more energy thanks to her bracelets. Now overcome with surprise, Ares could only watch as she redirected the lightning bolt back at him, destroying him once and for all, and thereby ending the existence of the Olympian Gods.
Ares, as the God of War, is extremely violent, bloodthirsty, selfish, sinister, and egregiously malevolent, willing to wipe out humanity (by instigating the devastating World War I and then utilizing Dr. Poison's immensely deadly hydrogen mustard gas), and ruthlessly killing off all of the other Olympian Gods in the War of the Gods when they opposed his hatred of humanity, even killing his own father Zeus without remorse. Ares is purely evil and irredeemable, as he doesn't hesitate to turn against his allies when they are no longer useful to him (such as Dr. Poison), and even against his own family, remorselessly murdering his own father Zeus when the latter stood in Ares' way. Indeed, Ares' loyalty is only to those that can be more useful to him than others, as he only aided the Central Powers of World War I and General Ludendorff primarily because Ludendorff shared Ares' own sadistically romantic view of war (the position that war serves a purpose of bettering individuals, and demands human sacrifices), and because Dr. Poison's inventions offered him an easier way of wiping out much of humanity. Overall, however, Ares genuinely views himself as an altruist, given his belief that without humanity existing on Earth, the planet would be a paradise.
Ares is also extremely intelligent and divinely wise, given his tremendously long godly lifespan, allowing him unparalleled insight into humanity's darker traits, something no other Olympian God had, apart from Ares' father Zeus. Hence, even when not utilizing his divine powers, Ares is still extremely dangerous and absolutely lethal.
Despite his violent and bloodthirsty nature though, Ares (much like Lex Luthor after him) is a deceptive genius who can expertly hide it under a persuasive façade of calmness, kindness, perceptiveness, as well as his persuasive rhetoric, with Ares also usually not desiring to fight individuals who could be useful to him otherwise, like Wonder Woman. Indeed, while posing as the human "Sir Patrick Morgan", Ares deceived not only Wonder Woman, but even the highly experienced spies Steve Trevor and Sameer into believing that he was a staunch Allied Powers supporter, with him notably funding Steve Trevor's team for their military expedition to find and defeat General Ludendorff, with Wonder Woman never suspecting "Sir Patrick" until Ares willingly reveals himself to her.
Ares is also a phenomenal demagogue, with the usage of divinely wise and seemingly rational arguments making Ares' method even more effective. Hence, even after revealing himself and his motives to Wonder Woman, Ares claimed to be "the God of Truth, not War" (notably saying this while restrained by the Lasso of Hestia), and was still quite persuasive in presenting his viewpoints (him not actually being her enemy, and humanity being inherently malevolent and destructive even without his influence), to the point that it gave even the determined Wonder Woman some pause before she could even respond. As such, Ares succeeded in riling up Wonder Woman to a ferocious display of violence, and (by insulting Steve Trevor's sacrifice) almost got her to murder Dr. Poison.
Ares' greatest weakness is his occasional overconfidence and arrogance (much like it is for Enchantress, General Ludendorff, and Amanda Waller), with the God of War believing that his phenomenal divine power and ability to enhance himself from violence makes him practically unbeatable. This ultimately becomes his downfall, as Diana is able to use her non-violent emotions of love and compassion to overpower and defeat Ares, fulfilling her role as the Godkiller.
Powers and Abilities
- Olympian God Physiology: As an Olympian God, and a son of Zeus himself, Ares is a phenomenally powerful divine being, enough to surpass even the already tremendous might of Wonder Woman.
- Immortality: Ares, due to him being an Olympian God, has been alive for millennia, predating the time when Zeus created humanity and the Amazons.
- Super Strength: Ares has a tremendous level of superhuman strength, notably superior to that of Wonder Woman, and on par with Superman's, with Ares able to send her flying vast distances with his incredibly mighty blows. He was also able to go in battle againts Steppenwolf and wound the New God with an ax.
- Invulnerability: Ares, as an Olympian God, cannot be killed by normal superficial means, given as how Zeus was only slain by another Olympian God, Ares himself. As such, Ares' invulnerability is equivalent to that of Superman, with an additional immunity to most magical attacks, which allowed him to withstand conflagrations, and the full force of massive explosions, numerous tremendously mighty blows from Wonder Woman, and even a mighty divine lightning attack from Zeus, all without any permanent damage.
- Healing Factor: Ares, after being grievously wounded and forced into retreat by Zeus in the War of the Gods, managed to heal from it in a very short time. However, if the injuries are serious enough to instantly kill Ares, his healing factor will not be able to save him, which is what happened when Wonder Woman killed Ares by deflected the full force of the God of War's divine lighting torrents back at him.
- Super Speed: Ares can move at considerable superhuman speeds, going toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman's speed during their final fight, even outmaneuvering her on several occasions, despite his muscular physique and heavy armor.
- War Manipulation: Ares, as the God of War, has the formidable power to manipulate war, strife, combat, bloodlust, rage, and other forms of conflict. This power also allows Ares to naturally be incredibly skilled in all forms of fighting, and weaponry.
- War Inducement: Ares can induce conflicts by influencing people or events - raising personal and fanatical armies, shown when he corrupted humanity with warfare shortly after the race's creation, when he instigated the extremely devastating War of the Gods on Olympus, as well as later the equally devastating World War I (more horrific than any war before it in human history), which spanned much of Earth and lead to the deaths of millions.
- Violence Empowerment:Ares channels violence, hatred, rage, bloodshed and death to render himself more and more powerful, hence during the War of the Gods, Ares's power was enhanced enough to allow him to slay every other Olympian God, and evenly fight against Zeus himself, ultimately winning. During World War I, every time Wonder Woman attempted to fight Ares with violence, the God of War maintained the upper hand (the violence, hatred, devastation, and rage of Wonder Woman only making Ares more powerful), only losing when Wonder Woman understood and utilized the power of love against him instead.
- Violence Telepathy: Ares can subtly influence the thoughts of individuals that are predisposed to violence, hatred, rage, and bloodshed, with him covertly invading their minds, as in this way, Ares taught both opposing sides of World War I how to create innovative formidable weapons, notably giving General Ludendorff and Dr. Poison the idea of using lethal chemical warfare against the Allied Powers. He seemed to have also influenced Dr. Poison to create the metahuman gas that Ludendorff used to gain temporary physical enhancements as a ploy to fool Wonder Woman into thinking that Ludendorff was Ares, and to break her faith in humanity further. Indeed, after Ares' supposed death at the hands of Wonder Woman, many Central and Allied Powers soldiers embraced and smiled, as if they had just woken up from an enthrallment, ending World War I for good.
- Divine Electrokinesis: Ares, like his father Zeus, can generate and control divine electricity to an extreme degree, generating everything from precise small tendrils to tremendous torrents (which incinerated almost anything in Ares' path) from his hands, with Ares also able to conduct extreme amounts of electricity through touch, with that allowing him to instantly break free from Wonder Woman's otherwise unbreakable Lasso of Hestia. He could also summon immense celestial bolts of lightning, and redirect them towards desired targets.
- Telekinesis: Ares can move, hurl and manipulate objects' movements to an immense degree with mere hand gestures, thus keeping the Lasso of Hestia from entangling him while fighting Wonder Woman, as well as telekinetically projecting waves of debris and hurling entire tanks at her. Indeed, Ares' telekinesis exerts such tremendous force, that he was able to immobilize Wonder Woman by having thick metal sheets pin her torso to the ground, forcing her to helplessly watch as Steve Trevor died, as she struggled to break free from Ares' telekinetic clutches.
- Matter Transmutation:Ares was able use his telekinesis to summon battle debris towards himself and than transmute the debris into a fearsome and powerful black battle armor and a diabolical 4-horned helmet, as well as many mighty swords he created during his battle with Wonder Woman. He can even transmute parts of his armor into weapons, given as how he created a chain from the arm brace of his armor during his battle with Wonder Woman.
- Thermokinesis: Ares can manipulate and conduct an immense amount of heat, notably doing so when Wonder Woman tried stabbing him with her Godkiller sword (with the blade melting and harmlessly breaking into pieces upon touching the God of War), and when Ares used his superheated fingers to melt open the eye and mouth openings of his reforged battle helmet.
- Teleportation: Ares can instantly traverse immense distances at will, appearing before Wonder Woman moments after she slayed General Ludendorff, teleporting all the way from Great Britain to Belgium. He swiftly disappears again as soon as Wonder Woman slashes her sword at Ares, promptly reappearing some distance away.
- Flight: Ares can fly at considerable speeds both on Olympus and Earth, capable of maneuvering with precision in any direction, as well as hovering in one place.
- Invisibility: Ares can render himself imperceptible to humans as he covertly manipulates and corrupts them, notably doing so to General Ludendorff and Dr. Poison.
- Illusion Casting: Ares can conjure up extremely realistic and vibrant illusions, notably temporarily altering the environment around himself and Wonder Woman to look like a luscious forest ally (representing the "paradise" that Earth could be without humanity).
- Omnilingualism: Ares, as an Olympian God, has the ability to fluently speak, read, and understand all human languages, even currently dead ones. Hence, apart from his native Ancient Greek, Ares is known to speak Latin and English (in an RP accent).
- Genius-level Intellect: Ares is extremely intelligent and divinely wise, given his tremendously long godly lifespan, allowing him unparalleled insight into humanity's darker traits, something no other Olympian God had, apart from Ares' father Zeus. Ares' eclectic genius extends itself to his superb leadership, tactical, strategic, demagogic, deceptive, combat, and weapons intuition skills. Hence, even when not utilizing his divine powers, Ares is still extremely dangerous and absolutely lethal.
- Expert Deceiver: Ares is an extremely experienced deceptive genius, as he very convincingly posed as the human "Sir Patrick Morgan", and deceived not only Wonder Woman, but even the highly experienced spies Steve Trevor and Sameer into believing that he was a staunch Allied Powers supporter, with him notably funding Steve Trevor's team for their military expedition to find and defeat General Ludendorff, with Wonder Woman never suspecting "Sir Patrick" until Ares willingly reveals himself to her.
- Expert Demagogue: Ares is a divinely wise and experienced genius demagogue, since when posting as "Sir Patrick Morgan" to the British War Council, he successfully comes off as an altruistic advocate for peaceful negotiations, and a supporter of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor's team, with usage of wise and seemingly rational arguments making Ares' method even more effective. Indeed, even after revealing himself and his motives to Wonder Woman, Ares claimed to be "the God of Truth, not War" (notably saying this while restrained by the Lasso of Hestia), and was still quite persuasive in presenting his viewpoints (him not actually being her enemy, and humanity being inherently malevolent and destructive even without his influence), to the point that it gave even the determined Wonder Woman some pause before she could even respond. As such, Ares succeeded in riling up Wonder Woman to a ferocious display of violence, and (by insulting Steve Trevor's sacrifice) almost got her to murder Dr. Poison.
- Expert Social Intuit: Ares, in his "Sir Patrick Morgan" disguise, has a high degree of social confidence, allowing him to intuitively determine how to interact with others, gain their respect and get his point across with a calmness, eloquence, and charisma that belie his sadistic malevolence, megalomania, bloodthirst, and actual emotional state. Hence, Ares diplomatically greeted Diana Prince upon first meeting her (despite his initial desire to destroy the Godkiller), diplomatically addressed the British War Council, politely addressing Etta Candy with a proposition, and appealing to Steve Trevor's team's trust by financially supporting their efforts, gaining their trust (all despite his incredible hatred of humans). Only when finally confronted by Wonder Woman does Ares not hold himself back in conversation for the first time, passionately expressing his immense hatred for humanity, and everything his father Zeus' race represents.
- Warfare Expertise: Ares, as the God of War, is an unparalleled genius in all areas of warfare and military science, with him effectively using this knowledge while posing as "Sir Patrick Morgan" of the British War Council.
- Weapons Intuition: Ares also revealed to Wonder Woman that he had not been the one to start World War I, but merely taught both opposing sides of the global war how to create innovative formidable weapons (barbed wire, flamethrowers, flare pistols, machine guns, tanks, airplanes, anti-aircraft guns, submarines, depth charges, and chemical weapons), which induced humans themselves to choose war with one another. Indeed, the chemical weapons developed by Dr. Poison under Ares' tutelage proved so effective (especially her new and deadlier version of hydrogen-based mustard gas), that chemical warfare would become prohibited following World War I.
- Master Tactician: Ares, as the God of War and a megalomaniac, is an immensely formidable tactical and strategic genius, especially in regards to military tactics and strategies of war. As a result, Ares had been the one to discreetly start World War I, had manipulated the outcome of defining battles in both sides in the war, and, despite the German Kaiser being close to surrendering to the Allies and ending the war, had Ares' strategy of utilizing Dr. Poison's gas succeeded, the Central Powers would have emerged victorious, leaving much of humanity wiped out. As it was, Ares' strategy almost succeeded, and was only thwarted by Steve Trevor's team successfully intervening, and Steve Trevor himself selflessly sacrificing his life.
- Master Combatant: Ares, as the God of War, is a phenomenally skilled, fierce, and formidable armed and hand-to-hand combatant, a master of numerous martial arts, as well as an expert in wielding weapons (be they swords, shields, chains, telekinetically hurled objects, etc.), with centuries of combat experience. Indeed, Ares' tremendous combat skills have allowed him to defeat and kill off all of the other Olympian Gods in the War of the Gods (even those more powerful than him, like his uncle Poseidon and father Zeus), and to consistently maintain the upper hand against the extremely skilled Wonder Woman, mocking her skills, and with Wonder Woman only managing to ultimately defeat Ares with considerable effort and initial failure.
- Master Swordsman: Ares, as the God of War, is an incredibly skilled swordsman, with centuries of experience wielding his fearsome swords, most notably during the War of the Gods (where he slayed all other Olympian Gods with them) and in his final battle with Wonder Woman (where he initially drove her back with his superior swordsmanship, though she notably had gotten her own sword broken before the battle).
- Arrogance: Ares' greatest weakness is his occasional overconfidence and arrogance (much like it is for Enchantress, General Ludendorff, and Amanda Waller), with the God of War believing that his phenomenal divine power and ability to enhance himself from violence makes him practically unbeatable.
- Beings of Equal Power: Ares, when fighting other Olympian Gods (such as his father Zeus) is more vulnerable, as they are powerful enough to injure and even kill Ares, as during the War of the Gods, Zeus was able to temporarily force Ares into retreat off of Olympus by grievously wounding him, and Ares was able to mortally wound Zeus in the process.
- Non-Violent Combat: Ares, when attacked by an opponent filled with violence, hatred, or rage, will surely win, as the presence of those emotions only allows Ares to become more powerful. However, a sufficiently mentally powerful opponent can bypass this by attacking Ares without those violent emotions, however, unless said opponent is also sufficiently physically powerful, Ares, even weakened by a violent emotions shortage, will still prevail. This was seen when Wonder Woman finally found true love by remembering her last conversation with Steve Trevor, who bid her farewell and declared his love for her, prior to his sacrifice. This calmed Diana of her violence and instead filled her heart and emotions of compassion and love, even for Ares himself, and thus it allowed her to weaken and defeat the God of War, since it also finally allowed her to fully unlock her demigodly powers.
- Battle armor: Ares' fiercely intimidating black armor with a 4-horned helmet that is always worn by the war god in battles.
- Swords: Ares' mighty swords wielded by him in both the War of the Gods, and his final battle with Wonder Woman.
- Cane: Ares used a cane while posing as "Sir Patrick Morgan", in order to support the illusion that he was lame-legged and frail, and keep Diana Prince from ever suspecting him to be the mighty God of War in disguise.
- Resources: Ares, as "Sir Patrick Morgan" is sufficiently influential and wealthy, being a member of the British War Council and having diplomatic relations. He was also able to easily provide funding for Steve Trevor's secret mission against General Ludendorff and Dr. Poison.
- DCEU Ares is somewhat different from his original Greek mythology counterpart - the original Ares had been a rather poor tactician, more focused on mindless bloodshed. He is also usually depicted as somewhat of a joke, being beaten by other gods (like Athena and Apollo), heroic mortals (like Diomedes), insulted by Zeus, trapped in a jar by the giants Otis and Ephialtes, and caught naked with his lover Aphrodite in a net, while his incarnation both in the DCEU as well as the original DC comics is far more powerful, capable, serious, intelligent, and fearsome.
- DCEU Ares' life and role with humanity is quite similar to that of the biblical Satan for multiple reasons:
- Both Ares and Satan were present during the dawn of humanity's creation (by Zeus and God respectively).
- Both Ares and Satan rebelled against Zeus and God respectively due to the latter creating and loving humanity.
- Both Ares and Satan have been discretely influencing humanity to commit horrific atrocities against one another, but never forcing them to do so.
- When Zeus defeated Ares in battle, the image of the fallen from Olympus Ares lying on the ground is exceptionally similar to many paintings and depictions of Satan (formerly archangel Lucifer) after his defeat and banishment from Heaven.
- Ares' armored suit and 4-horned helmet is also somewhat diabolical in appearance.
- The DCEU Ares received a "Collect-and-Connect" figure in the DC Comics Multiverse line as well as a LEGO "Big-Fig"; however, the figures were based off of initial concept art for him (featuring a ram skull for a helmet, a mini side-cape and tunic, as well as being barefooted and wielding a sword and shield) rather than the final film, possibly to avoid spoiling the movie appearance.
- Mars, the fourth planet of the Solar System, is named after Ares' Roman name.
- Tuesday (Martis Dies in Latin), in most Romance languages, is named after Ares' Roman name as well.
- During First Invasion of Earth flashback in Justice League, Ares was played by stuntman Nick McKinless. He was required to get into a specific degree of physicality with Snyder instructing McKinless to sport "veins like worms and paper thin skin". In the finished film, McKinless's face was replaced with David Thewlis's face, and Thewlis received credit as Ares.