For years, Ares has been a staple of the Wonder Woman comics, and it is only fitting that he would become the first adversary that Diana would have to face during her solo introduction to the DCEU. Despite this, however, there have been other villains in Diana’s rogue's gallery, and even some outside of it, who have demonstrated their potential to be far more challenging. It is questionable, then, whether or not Ares is truly the powerful antagonist that his frequent appearances in Wonder Woman have implied him to be. The following list will thus put this to the test by going over both the God of War's past defeats to other villains, as well possible ones between him and other stronger, villains from the DC universe. Let’s look at 10 DC villains more powerful than Wonder Woman’s Ares.
10 First Born
Part of First Born’s power as a divine character comes from his endurance, which allows him to quickly counteract an assault by someone like Ares. Although his skill is not nearly as coordinated as Wonder Woman’s, First Born’s advantage in combat comes from his invulnerability that allows him to wait for an opening and then strike. In fact, it was this exact ability that was used to defeat Ares in the New 52. While technically it was Wonder Woman who killed Ares, she nevertheless had to because First Born was about to do the same. Ultimately, it was somewhat of a low point for Ares, having lost to such an entitled brat like First Born.
As the titan father of Zeus, Cronus can cause incredible damage when given the opportunity. During the Bronze age of Wonder Woman, Cronus would indeed acquire said opportunity, as he would lead his titan army into Olympus and defeat Greek god after Greek god. When it came to Ares, Cronus was superior to him in both skill and prowess, having an edge over his younger descendant. Nevertheless, Ares approached his grandfather under the impression that it was his destiny to defeat him, though he fails anyway. The flaw on Ares' part was not that he was necessarily weaker, rather he thought himself entitled. Ironically, this is similar to First Born.
Genocide is another villain who demonstrates enough capability to defeat Ares, due to her skill as a warrior and the abilities she maintains as a result of her origin. As a version of Wonder Woman, Genocide possesses similar powers to that of the Amazon, such as strengthen and invulnerability, though she uses them without the same moral restraint. Genocide essentially thrives on rage, as it is this emotion that she relies on heavily during combat. A match between Genocide and Ares would be evenhanded, because of a mutual energy source between them. Though due to Diana's abilities that frequently overpower Ares, Genocide would then be able to tip the scale to her favor.
7 Black Adam
Black Adam is consistently referred to in conjunction with other powerhouses that are invulnerable like him. Nevertheless, his magical abilities put him at an advantage against those vulnerable to magic. Add in his incredible strength and seemingly endless stamina, and you have practically a hench-wizard. Due to this, Adam has the potential to both keep up with Ares as well throw in some crucial hits against the God of War, who is vulnerable to magic.
Circe is one villain who should never be underestimated, as she often returns the favor to those who have wronged her (divine or otherwise). Ares himself was one such individual after he turned on the then mortal Circe. She retaliates against him by sending Ares into a black hole, even using his own weapon to so. The very idea that Circe was able to defeat Ares, sans magic, demonstrates both her power and how valuable Ares' arrogance is to someone more manipulative than him.
Trigon is one of the most daunting villains from the DC universe, despite appearing mostly in The Teen Titans. He is practically overpowered, and could, in turn, defeat Ares in a fight due to his supernatural abilities. Furthermore, Trigon's powers are not bound to Earth, unlike a divine figure like Ares, who relies on humans for power. The interdimensional status of many villains would be an advantage against Earth gods like Ares.
4 Mr. Mxyzptlk
The annoying and havoc-inducing Mxyzptlk is highly formidable, despite his elfish appearance. The powers possessed by Mxyzptlk could be easily be used to clash with gods like Ares, and not simply because they are derived from magic. With the ability to bend reality, control the elements, and even talk to the dead, Mxyzptlk can fight with the best of them, and it is gods like Ares (who are bound to the 3rd dimension) that are limited in comparison. Case in point, Mxyzptlk nearly ended the world during an intense feud between him and Trigon during Injustice.
Although a relatively new character, Grail is nevertheless a powerful adversary to the god Ares, because she herself bares a godlike heritage, her father being none other than Darkseid. She also has combat skills comparable to that of Wonder Woman’s, along with powers of her own. These include an omega beam, teleportation, and energy manipulation. Even without powers, Grail demonstrates a tactical mindset for battle, that allows her to outsmart her enemies. While it may be true that gods are powerful by nature, how this power is applied can affect the outcome.
Darkseid himself is a worthy opponent to anyone capable enough to stand against him. Darkseid is a strategist through and through, and like his daughter, it is not necessarily his powers that define him as a strong villain. For example, it was Darkseid’s political decision in Injustice that had granted him a victory over Ares. During this series, Darkseid agrees to a truce with Superman that promised him the more enticing prospect of getting even with Ares, after he used Darkseid for his schemes. Even though he eventually escapes, it is Darkseid who wins in the end, because Ares leaves Apokolips with a broken spirit.
1 The Roman God of War, Mars
There is perhaps no greater challenger to one’s self than one’s own self, and it is that which puts Mars (the Roman God of War) as the most powerful. Obviously, Mars wields similar, if not the exact same powers as Ares, which for them, become a battle of strategy, rather than strength. When Mars challenges Ares for the title of God of War, in War of the Gods, he presumably wins after striking Ares when he becomes distracted. Despite the loss, however, there might be, in the end, no better person to lose to than to yourself.