The Good: Decently detailed sculpt, Good accessories, Good coloring, Good articulation
The Bad: Can only hold one weapon at a time
The Basics: The DC Direct Amazons And Adversaries Ares figure is impressive, even if the subject is not!
When George Perez took over Wonder Woman in the mid-1980s, he came with a new sensibility to the character and a whole set of adversaries that accented (usually by contrast) the heroine’s values. One of the chief adversaries for Princess Diana was Ares, the Greek God Of War. Since the Perez reboot, Ares has been an enduring villain for Wonder Woman. And fans had to wait quite a while before DC Direct made an action figure to commemorate the comic book version of the God Of War. But DC Direct made an awesome, successful attempt as part of their 2001 Amazons And Adversaries toy line.
For those unfamiliar with Ares, he is the Greek God Of War, as depicted in modern Wonder Woman, starting with Gods And Mortals (reviewed here!). Shadowy and ethereal under his armor, Ares is an enemy of Wonder Woman who thrives on bringing war and chaos to Earth in order to feed his divinely nefarious needs.
Ares is heavily armored and looks like he could take on pretty much anyone on the DC Comics pantheon singlehandedly! To date, there is only one full-sized Ares action figure from DC Direct.
Ares figure is as heavily detailed as he can be considering he is based on a reference that was from a more simplistic time’s comic book art. This version of Ares is wearing heavy armor, gauntlets, and a helmet that obscures his entire face (but not his glowing red eyes). He is further accented by a cape and an armor skirt. DC Direct got the detailing absolutely right. The God Of War stands 7 5/8" tall to the top of the plume on his helmet and that is all right, though it puts Ares more in scale with the other 7” figures, as opposed to having him be proportionately larger as he ought to be (he usually towers over Wonder Woman by almost half again).
This toy is a completely accurate sculpt, especially for a character that has only had two-dimensional references, Ares looks good in all three dimensions. DC Direct made the character impressively muscled and broad-shouldered. He is sculpted with awesome detailing to the chest (which looks like textured armor, almost a lizard skin), appropriately accented armor on the boots and gauntlets, and the distinctive horned helmet of this iteration of Ares.
On the coloring front, Ares is a bit simplistic, though to be fair, the reference work was colored in monotones as well. As a result, the Ares figure is essentially two different blues, gray, red, and black, without any subtlety or shading. This is not the detraction it would be for other figures as the character still fits the rest of the DC Direct toy line perfectly and it is a great representation of the subject matter.
Ares, God Of War who is more or less ready to bury Diana at a moment’s notice, comes with only two accessories. He has an axe and a sword, neither of which are universally iconic to the character. The axe is 3” long and features double-curved blades for clearly lethal intent. The axe, which is colored two shades of blue and silver and sculpted to look like it has lacing up its shaft, looks almost like a bat symbol on a handle!
Ares also comes with a decent, though indistinct, sword. The simple blade is also blue and silver, 4 1/4” long, and fits only in the figure’s right hand. The sculpt and coloring perfectly match the rest of the figure.
The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play. Fortunately, Ares is pretty good on both fronts. He has decent articulation and balance that is good enough that he can stand in most poses (though some require him to be balanced such that the cape helps to hold him up). Flatfooted, he is able to stand well-enough and there are several poses that he can be put in that are a little more extravagant than a simple display-friendly pose. The figure does not, alas, come with a stand.
Ares comes with twelve points of articulation, most of which are simple swivel joints. Ares has joints at the knees, groin socket, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists and head. The elbows and knees are both hinge joints; all the rest are simple swivel joints, which does limit the figure’s articulation and poseability.
Unfortunately, the figure’s playability is lowered some by the fact that Ares can only hold the axe or the sword at any given time. He has no way to keep his sword attached to him when he is not holding it, so fans have to chose whether or not they want Ares to kick ass with the sword or the axe, which is unfortunate, especially for the lethal-looking God Of War.
Ares is part of the DC Direct “Wonder Woman” Amazons And Adversaries line which was only distributed through comic book shops and specialty toy stores. The Ares figure was a wonderfully sculpted figure and given how few Ares figures there are, it seems like it is generally maintaining its value; at least it is not losing value. Given that the new incarnation of Wonder Woman has a very different looking version of Ares, one’s choices for a classic Ares figure are this or the Mattel version and this is the superior toy. One suspects it will, as a result, at least maintain its value in coming years!
Ares is an awesome enemy for Wonder Woman and the figure lives up to what one might hope of it, even if it does have a few minor faults!
For other Wonder Woman toy reviews, please check out my takes on:
Amazons And Adversaries Artemis
Donna Troy As Wonder Woman
Justice Series 3 Wonder Woman
For other comic book toy reviews, please check out my Comic Book Action Figure Review Index Page!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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