576 BCE - Ares betrays Hippolyta, tricking Hercules to makewar on the Amazons and raping Hippolyta. He influences Antiope to lead an a smal army of Amazons against Athens.
1939 - Ares influence in WWII attracts Hippolyta, to remain in mans world with Steve Trevor, joining the war effort.
12 years ago - Ares influences man's armies to allign against Circe. Wonder Woman becomes the amazon's champion, halting his influence and sending him back into exhile.
8 years ago - Ares approaches a heartbroken Valerie Beaudry, granting her physical beauty to become his champion and battle Wonder Woman.
7 years ago - Ares former champion Valerie Beaudry reclaims her briefly to aid Diana Prince during the Godwar before he reclaims it.
6 years ago - Ares awakens the lost tribe of Amazons and uses to attack Themyscera. He is stopped only when Wonder Woman overcomes her exile and frees them from his control. He takes refuge with Circe, and they have a daughter, Lyta, together.
5 years ago - Ares defeats Artemis, freeing her only when Diana Prince sacrifices herself, only to escape the underworld with the sacrifice of Hippolyta and usurp the mantle of Goddess of Love to finally defeat him, casting him from the material plane.
The more you look at the classic Wonder Woman stories, the more you start to become aware of a startling fact: this character had an intensely complex internal mythology that it really had to give up in order to be accepted as a part of the larger shared DC world. The scope of her narrative was huge and mythic, a grand tapestry of gods and their influence of Earth. There are elements of this still at play, but it's weirdly vestigial; it plays as a background narrative. While Ares is still Wonder Woman's main antagonist, he opererates almost entirely behind the scenes. This creates a unique opportunity for us to find a new balance for the role of the this particular villain in the world of one of the best characters in DC.
Ares's Comic History
Ares appeared for the very first time in the same issue as Wonder Woman, in Wiliam Moulton Marston's Wonder Woman #1 in 1942. These early stories featured a more deliberate conflict between Ares and the goddess of love Aphrodite. She created the Amazons as a direct answer to his followers. He only went by the name Ares briefly before he began goign by his Roman name Mars. he also took over the planet Mars as his headquarters and enslaved it's alien population. He was continually testing his followers and giving them bodies and sending them to earth to reak havok on Earth, eventually playing a major part in World War 2. This was the structure of the classic Golden Age Wonder Woman stories that have served as the foundation for the character ever since.
Wonder Woman returned to prominence in the resurgance of comics in the late fifties. Her new stories featured Mars, but it wasn't until George Perez' rebooted the whole series in 1987 that we first started to see a return to the omnipresent, incredibly powerful character from the Golden Age. This is where the body-encompasing blue armor that has since been his trademark was introduced. While he is almost always operating behind the scenes, subtly manipulating events to foster his domain of chaos and war, he does occasionally come down an actually become physically involved, always to devestating effect. The guy is a god, after all.
Our Ares Story
It's a little touch and go for us to include an immortal god in our timeline... The character's existance basically confirms the existance of ALL gods of ALL pantheons in the world of DC. We actually delierately included George Perez's War of the Gods storyarc as a way to acknowledge their existance. Ares if , or course, a unique case, because he's played such a huge part of Diana's story that we wanted to ensure that we used him regularly. His constant efforts to sew discord and violence into the world serves as a very clean and easy to adapt tool to explain the conflict in Wonder Woman's story, whether it's the divison of ancient Amazons as Antiope is corrupted and leads them against Greece, or the modern conflict that leads Diana to first become Wonder Woman. Ares is a continual threat, even though he almost never actually involves himself in his own plans.
Of course... the major exception is in our interpretation of one of the big moments in Diana's history; when she lost the role of Wonder Woman to her Amazonian sister Artemis. There are a number of stories that involve Diana achieving godhood, and for us to adapt this idea the only real way for it to play out would for it to be what amounts to a final battle with Ares. This is intended to be the climax of their conflict, and that's a pretty cool idea. It actually thoroughly explains his roll starting to subtly corrupt Wonder Girl.