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Why Wonder Woman Had To Include Ares

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wonder Woman. 

It's not every day that you see a god and a god-killer go head to head. 

Within the DC Comics lore, Wonder Woman has steadied herself as a primary member of the DC Trinity, along with Batman and Superman, and has a number of noteworthy foes that would make for great antagonists in a live-action film adaptation. So why is it that in the DC Extended Universe's latest (and perhaps greatest so far) flick Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot's Diana Prince faces off off against David Thewlis' God of War, Ares?

According to director Patty Jenkins, she needed to utilize the God of War rather than any other enemy because she feels as though he's the quintessential Wonder Woman villain.

 "In my opinion, it would've been a mistake to make a first Wonder Woman film without her absolute arch rival nemesis Ares, who is the most classic villain from the lore and is her counterpart of her point of view," Jenkins said on a commentary track included on the Wonder Woman home release (via CinemaBlend). "She's a god and he's a god, and he knows something she doesn't know and made a choice based on that. He saw the weakness in his father's creation and is trying to show the world how bad mankind is and therefore annihilate them and get rid of them. She, in the course of her journey, learns the same thing and ends up saying 'oh my god they are all of those things,' but she makes the opposite choice. If her story is about a shift in point of view, his storyline is a participant with that story, instead of being a villain bad guy, which is the point of the movie."

This train of thought certainly seems to shake out when considering the history of the modern comic book genre. Tim Burton used the Joker in his Batman movie, Richard Donner used Lex Luthor in his Superman, and Sam Raimi brought in the Green Goblin for his Spider-Man. These arch villains were used to counter the heroes at the heart of the films because their stark contrasts help define them, and thus the movie series as a whole. Jenkins choosing Ares for Diana Prince to battle in Wonder Woman was a clever move, as it allows for the hero to further prove her strengths, desires, capabilities, convictions, and preparedness. It also establishes an outlook on humanity that's unique to Diana, one that will continue on throughout future Wonder Woman movies. 

Wonder Woman is available now on Digital HD, with a Blu-ray release set for September 19. As for Diana Prince's next bad guy battle, we'll have to wait until November 17 when Justice League is launched into theaters. Beyond that, the sword-and-shield-wielding protagonist will appear in her solo sequel flick on December 13, 2019, but there's no telling which enemy she'll go up against in round two. 

While we wait to see more Wonder Woman goodness, take a look at the small details in the movie that only true fans noticed