Rejected Concept Art for Ares in 'Wonder Woman' Shows Just How Much Cooler He Could Have Been

Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 11:05AM
DC Comics
Wonder Woman
Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 11:05AM
Rejected Concept Art for Ares in 'Wonder Woman' Shows Just How Much Cooler He Could Have Been
Image credit: Warner Bros.
Anyone who's spent time in a toy shop with Wonder Woman action figures recently might have noticed that the toys that were produced to represent Ares look absolutely nothing like his character in the final movie. As it turns out, there's a very good reason for this—Ares' design was changed very late in the game, as can be seen from a piece of concept art which was, at one point, the confirmed design for the character. It's a shame we didn't get this version, as his skull mask and pelts certainly make him stand out a lot more.




According to concept artist Peter McKinstry, this design was the approved look of Ares that was the culmination of the art department's work on finding the right look for the character, but after they'd signed off on it, Ares continued to evolve until we got his final armor in the finished movie. However, the final version doesn't really feel like an improvement on the concept art—not least because the DCEU is built on a firm foundation of large, grey, CGI monsters/villains that have little to no defining features.



People say that Marvel has a villain problem, but it's nothing compared to DC—at least Marvel's baddies have unique and often colorful designs. Doomsday, Ares, and even the upcoming Steppenwolf from Justice League, are all very generic grey blocks of lumpy armor and muscles.

Perhaps there's a deliberate reason why DC elected to make Ares more boring. Maybe the studio is deliberately making its villains looks grey and bland in order to have the heroes sparkle and pop a little more by contrast. In a washed-out world where Superman is a grumpy jerk, it makes sense to ensure that the villains don't upstage the characters we're supposed to be rooting for. After all, it's not always the case that a DCEU villain is bland. Suicide Squad is packed with colorful characters, but it's probably worth noting that Enchantress, the antagonist of the movie, is the greyest of the bunch.

Still, the skull mask on Ares still would have been cooler.

Wonder Woman is in theaters now.
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