History=== Ancient History ===
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 from atop Mount Olympus. During the Trojan War, in which the Mycenaean Greeks attacked the city of Troy in Asia Minor during the 13th century BC, 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 patrol lord of war ever since. With the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire during the 4th century AD, Zeus allowed the worship of the Olympians to die out, forbidding Ares to act as the patron god of warriors and causing dissatisfaction with Zeus' rule over the centuries. At some point the ancient goddess Nox posed as Venus, seducing Ares and then bearing his children, Deimos and Phobos.
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 eventually 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. 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 force to return the Ebony Blade to the Black Knight (Dane Whitman).
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. Later, when a newly formed alliance with the demonic 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 Hunstman 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 again banished Pluto.
Ares next entered into 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 (Eric Masterson) 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 challenged 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 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 the 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 Warhawks took control of a SHIELD Helicarrier. Ares used the Heart of Athena to construct a sonic cannon known as the Gabriel Horn aboard the Helicarrier, which was intended to cause the structural berakdown 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.
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 brethren still looked down upon him and deeply regretted having needed Ares' assistance to win the war.
Raising His Son
Dejected, Ares finally realized he would never be considered one of Olympus' Gods of Light and abandoned his duties as god of war. He began living on Earth as a mortal man, adopting the identity of carpenter/construction worker "John Aaron" and selling a few rare Greek artifacts to become financially comfortable. He fathered a son named Alexander with a mortal woman but resolved never to let his son learn of his divine heritage or meet his mother, fearing that a woman's influence would make Alexander weak. Unlike his ancient sons Deimos and Phobos, whom he viewed more as spawn than children, Ares grew emotionally attached to the innocent and compassionate Alexander. Settling in New Jersey, Ares nurtured his son's aggressive tendencies as Alexander attended elementary school; all the while, Zeus watched Ares' actions from above, noticing that Ares' mortal guise had taught him humility. When the Asgardian gods fell during Ragnarok and the Japanese god of evil, Amatsu Mikaboshi, attacked the Olympians during their perceived time of weakness, a desperate Zeus had Hermes abduct Alexander to ensure that Ares would again assist the Olympians in their darkest hour.
Hermes transported Alexander to the stronghold of Achilles' warriors, the Myrmidon, for safekeeping, but Mikaboshi abducted Alexander following the Myrmidon's defeat and the destruction of the Hall of Achilles. Believing that Alexander was destined to kill his father and become the new Olympian god of war; Mikaboshi revealed to Alexander his true Olympian heritage after determining that it would be best to keep the boy as a pawn. Meanwhile, Ares reluctantly joined forces with the Olympians as Mikaboshi's forces breached the walls of Olympus. As the war raged on for five additional Olympian years, there were many casualties, including Deimos and Phobos, as well as Zeus himself (although Ares did not grieve any of them). Ares and his Olympian warriors finally reached the massive gates that guarded the Japanese underworld where they were attacked by Alexander, whom Mikaboshi had turned against his father. After nearly killing Ares in a one-on-one battle, Alexander was freed from Mikaboshi's corruption by Zeus' dying breath, striking down Mikaboshi with the legendary Grasscutter Sword and helping the Olympians achieve victory.
Joining The Avengers
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 (Tony Stark) and Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) traveled to Ares' construction site to recruit him for their new 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 US government.
Ares remained with the Avengers after Norman Osborn took over operations; Ares subsequently took a particular interest in the mortal War Machine (Jim Rhodes), who was waging a one-man war on global human rights atrocities, aiding him against unscrupulous defense contracting firm Eaglestar International and portecting War Machine from Osborn. Ares trained four HAMMER agents to become the Shades, but they died aiding Ares against his resurrected son Kyknos. Learning of Osborn's duplicitous actions during the siege of Asgard, Ares turned on him, and Osborn's stooge the Sentry (Robert Reynolds) ripped Ares in half. Resurrected and forced to serve the Chaos King (Mikaboshi) during his campaign to conquer reality. Ares opposed Hercules once again, but was apprently returned to Hades when Hercules' divine energies undid the Chaos King's actions. After Phobos (Alex Aaron) died in battle with the Gorgon (Tomi Shishido), he joined Ares in the afterlife.
Powers and Abilities
PowersLike all Olympians, Ares is immortal, possessing a life essence that cannot be terminated by conventional means. Although he can be wounded in battle, his godly life force gives him incredible recuperative abilities. He can fully recover from penetration wounds (such as by blades or bullets) in anywhere from minutes to hours, depending on the wound's severity. he has even been known to set himself on fire in battle and hurl himself at his opponents as a living fireball. Only an injury sufficient to vaporize him or disperse a major portion of his bodily molecules could cause him physical death. Even then, his life essence may still endure.
AbilitiesOriginally, Ares' skill was limited to the use of all implements of war used in the time of ancient Greece and Rome, such as javelins, axes, swords and flails. Over the years, however, he has mastered all forms of weaponry, both modern and ancient.
As an immortal Olympian god, Ares possesses vast strength (lifting up to 70 tons) and endurance. Phsically superior to most Olympian gods, he has virtually inexhaustible stamina and does not tire appreciably after any exertion.
TransportationWhile on Earth, Ares uses a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle for transportation
His personal arsenal consists of swords and axes from Ancient Greece, Celtic spears, Roman helmets, Middle Eastern scimitars, Arthurian swords, a Native American axe and various firearms.
- 58 Appearances of Ares (Earth-616)
- 17 Images featuring Ares (Earth-616)
- 5 Quotations by or about Ares (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Ares (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Ares (Earth-616)