|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Most people know of the Ares (or Mars in Roman mythology) from mythology. Most people do NOT know that the God of War is presently living on earth, and don't necessarily believe the fellow that might occasionally crop up on the news is the genuine Ares of mythology. Even if they did, few would genuinely accept him as a "god" and would likely just assume he's another metahuman, if one that's more formidable than many.
John Aaron is a high-steel construction worker in New York City. Those that work with him know him to be the biggest and strongest guy on any site, very good at his job, and hard to get to know. Those that are EXTREMELY well connected in mercenary or espionage circles (or very well-acquainted with those who are) may know of a "John Aaron" who was one of the world's most dangerous and successful mercenaries for several decades (basically from just after World War II to the early 2000s). However any connection between the two is far from immediately clear, especially given that the construction worker looks to be about 35 years old.
The Greek god of war, Ares was born to Zeus and Hera in the alternate dimension of Olympus, several millennia in Earth's past. Like many of his siblings, Ares was raised and tutored in Olympus, groomed for the role he would one day play. Unfortunately for Ares, his own nature and role was one that would forever set him apart from much of his family. Ares grew into a powerful but savage warrior, unmatched in ferocity and skill at arms but unpleasant in his bloodthirsty demeanor. Still, Ares craved nothing more than the acceptance and acknowledgment of his parents and peers, but unfortunately his attempts to earn that acceptance were ever-tained by the brutal acts he undertook in its' pursuit. While not fully an outcast, Ares was often seen as more of a pawn and useful (but distasteful) tool by gods such as Zeus, Hera, and Hades.
Still, when the worship of the Greek Pantheon was at its' height (including through the Roman period), Ares was relatively content, often battling on the mortal plane and empowering champions such as Achilles and Hippolyta to fight with his blessing. Oh, he was mildly resentful when Athena took on some aspects of war into her sphere of influence, but it wasn't so bad as to Ares' mind she took all the boring bits, anyway. At one point, the ancient goddess Nox disguised herself as Aphrodite, and seduced Ares, giving birth to the gods Phobos and Deimos. Ares did not care for his children, however, seeing them more as "spawn" than "children." Still, both they and the goddess Eris often accompanied Ares on his adventures on Earth.
It was not until the days of Hercules that the seeds of discontent truly began to bear fruit. As a demigod-hero, Hercules had already earned Ares' wrath by slaying the monstrous Stymphalian Birds during his legendary Twelve Labors. When Hercules was brought to Olympus and granted godhood at the end of his mortal life, Ares was immediately resentful that the fledgling god already had more love an acceptance from their father Zeus than Ares had ever enjoyed. Matters were further strained when Zeus chose to allow the worship of the Olympians to fade with the fall of the Roman Empire and advent of Christianity. Ares began to doubt the strength of his father.
As the millennia passed, Ares would alternate between rising up against Zeus (often with the prodding of Hades or Hera), and kowtowing to his every whim in order to try to gain the love and acceptance he sought. He would often run afoul of Hercules, who stood against him and defeated him many times during Ares' occasional coup attempts. Despite those attempts, Ares was usually only lightly punished (though on more than one occasion he was sent to Hades for a time)...largely because he still had his uses. Ares would also still occasionally manifest in the mortal world, fighting in the various conflicts that still gripped it, not caring which side was right or wrong, and just looking for an outlet for his skill. Zeus allowed these dalliances so long as Ares did not turn the tide of entire wars through his actions (thus forcing Ares to restrain himself considerably during these jaunts to Earth).
Finally, the day came when Hades attempted his own takeover of Olympus, using armies of the dead to assault the Olympians. When neither Hercules' strength nor Athena's wisdom (or the efforts of the other gods) proved enough to stem the tide, the Gods of Light once again called on Ares to protect Olympus. Given free reign, Ares annihilated the forces of Hades in his usual savage and brutal fashion, ending the threat of takeover at no small risk to himself. Ares returned to Olympus, certain that he would finally be accepted among the rest of the Pantheon as an equal, but instead he happened upon the gods describing him and his actions with great disdain, condemning them as "dishonorable" and "unseemly." Realizing that he would never truly be welcome among his siblings, Ares denounced his family, washing his hands of them and retreating to the mortal world in the mid-20th century.
For a few decades, Ares did as he had always done...fighting on the various battlefields of Earth, initially by "signing on" to various armies and placing himself where the fighting was thickest, and later by operating as a soldier of fortune. He was careful to hide his true nature from allies and enemies alike, fighting well enough to distinguish himself as a highly skilled "mortal" but not so much as to make his superhuman nature clearly evident. He adopted the identity of "John Aaron" and under that name became one of the most feared and accomplished mercenaries on the planet, amassing and spending a considerable fortune for his efforts.
Eventually, Ares ended up conceiving a son with a mortal woman. Naming the boy Alexander, Ares took him from his mother (though whether this was unwilling on her part remains a mystery), and chose to raise him as a mortal. He levied his black market contacts to forge an identity for himself and sunk much of what was left of his money into buying a home and setting up a "normal" life for himself and Alexander. He received training as a high-steel construction worker and carpenter, and eventually worked his way into a decent-paying job doing that work. For the next several years John maintained the masquerade, his son none the wiser about his father's divine nature. Amazingly, Ares found himself genuinely emotionally involved with Alexander (a far cry from his uncaring attitude towards past offspring), and determined to be a "good" father for him. Ares tried to cultivate the boy's strength while still letting him be "normal." However, Ares also watched the rise in metahuman activity with no small degree of concern...and no small desire to test himself against some of these new champions. Whether intentional or not, it was likely to be only a matter of time before the opportunity arose.... Ares/John has recently found a mortal woman of nurturing nature and impeccable education and 'breeding' and decided to have her be Alexander's step-mother. It didn't help that the God of War had been smiiten for the first time in his long existence.
As much as an immortal other dimensional humanoid can experience with out being insane, Ares HAS. He has finally found one person he knows won't reject him and another he fervently believes won't. He'll defend them at all costs. He didn't understand how hearth and home could send men to the far corners of the Earth to slay each other but he'd traverse the Universe to defend his family.
Cunning: While Ares can be brash, he's not a stupid brute. Fatherhood has tempered his fighting spirit and wheras he was once often spoiling for a fight he will back down from one unless his family is in dire danger or the cause truly provokes his interest. While he cares little for strategy prior to battle, he is exceptionally creative, clever, and quick-thinking once the fight has actually begun. He can readily develop tactics and tricks "on the fly" that lead the way to victory, though most of these tactics are more centered around himself than operating as part of a team. Against worthy or tricky opponents he can be very patient and calculating, always striking at the precise moments to cause the most damage, and attacking in ways his foes may not likely expect.
Proud: While Ares has largely turned his back on Olympus, and even tried to temper his godly nature so as to be a better father to his son, he is still proud of his heritage, his skill in battle, and his title of "God of War." He can be very arrogant and humility is in large part often a problem for him. Not that he doesn't find himself capable of mundane tasks (he actually enjoys his construction work and facade as a mortal man), but those that directly challenge him or mock him in some way are very likely to get a fight of some sort on their hands. Part of this also drives Ares' resentment towards his family and desire for acceptance: He (perhaps rightfully) feels as though his family looks down upon him simply for following the nature he was born with, and discounts the contributions he has made to their causes or the accomplishments he has achieved because of the manner in which they were won. After a few millenia of being nearly continually slighted by your family, it's probably only natural that Ares' ego is a little bit prickly.
First Player's Logs
Second Player's Logs