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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulp action, 13 April 2010
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This review is from: Dark Avengers: Ares TPB (Graphic Novel Pb) (Paperback)
First of all - Amazon has the contents of the TPB wrong; it actually collects Dark Avengers: Ares #1-3 with Ares #1-5, and doesn't contain Thor #129 (which I believe was the first appearence of the character). As the 5-issue Ares miniseries seems to be out of print and difficult to get hold of, that immediately makes this a great collection, and was a pleasant surprising when receiving it.

As for the two stories contained within: Ares is pretty good, covering the God of War as he's forced to help Olympus in order to rescue his missing son. I think before this series he was generally a villain (in Thor and elsewhere), so I guess it kind of helps explain his appearances in the Mighty Avengers and Dark Avengers. I found it a little hard to follow exactly what was going on panel to panel in parts of this storyline, but it's still pretty good.

The second story is the titular Dark Avengers: Ares spin-off, and is a fantastic little piece of pulp action. Ares is once again informed that his son is missing, and he takes his newly formed squad of elite H.A.M.M.E.R. agents to get him back. Things aren't what they seem, leading to some great action featuring modern firearms and Greek myth (not unlike the first Ares miniseries, but in even bigger doses), and a nice, dark pay-off at the end.

The only thing the book really lacks is any kind of explanation grounding either story in the Marvel universe, especially when the second takes place during the Dark Reign story arc, so it's kind of baffling how Ares gets from the end of the first story to the beginning of the second. That's more a nitpick than anything else though, and they're well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad and the ugly, 19 July 2013
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Avengers: Ares TPB (Graphic Novel Pb) (Paperback)
There are two mini-series starring Ares, God of War; the first is a five-issue series from the Chaos King event, and a second, three-issue series from the Dark Reign event. Both are collected together as Dark Avengers: Ares TPB (Graphic Novel Pb). The second one gets top billing on the cover...

Ares issues #1-5 appears to be set during the Chaos King event - and a most forgettable event it was - , but starts a little earlier, in the aftermath of one of Pluto's assaults on Olympus, as Ares discovers that he is not seen as one of the `nice' gods, being the god of bad war, unlike his sister Athena, who is seen as the goddess of good war. In a huff, he goes off to live in the mortal world, where he settles down and raises a son, Alexander, in modern-day America (apparently time doesn't quite work the same way for gods and mortals). One day, Hermes the messenger god comes to call, requesting help for Olympus, which is under siege from a mysterious power that threatens to overthrow it. Ares declines, only to find that his son has gone missing. Suspecting the Olympians to be behind it, he goes off to get Classical on their ass, if I may misquote that nice Mr. Jackson. Well, it turns out that they were behind it, but only because their need was so desperate, and now someone else has gone and kidnapped young Alexander, the villainous Japanese god who we know is, was, or will be the Chaos King. Alexander is raised to hate his father - apparently time doesn't quite work the same way for gods and mortals - and is unleashed at the climax of the war between the pantheons to strike down his father. However...

Now, if you like battles of the gods, with lots of death and destruction and the like, but with little or no relation to the `real' world, then you will enjoy this; you will enjoy this or the gods will strike you down.

Dark Avengers - Ares issues #1-3 is set during the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn, who decides to petition the god of war, one Ares the Dark Avenger, for him to train a squad of HAMMER agents - "I wan them to know everything the god of war has to teach". So he does, and this is the story of that teaching, and what happens after Hera comes to tell Ares that his son is badly hurt and wishes to speak to him of revenge, and that he can be found at a particular abandoned SHIELD base. This is Hera, the Olympian equivalent of Loki when it comes to grudges, so Ares discovers that it is not the son he was expecting to find, and soon he and his squad are up to their midriffs in zombie Hydra agents - Hydra being a classical reference - as his son takes on the challenge of replacing Ares as god of war.

This is an excellently well-written and well-drawn story - with the odd classical reference thrown in, as befits a British writer - as we discover why the Greeks are mostly remembered for their tragedies rather that their comedies or paying of taxes.

Speaking for myself, I think I'll stick with a God who promises to look after you in the afterlife, rather than ones who apparently can't help you much in this life or the next.

I only gave the collection 4 stars, but the first story only deserved 3 in my opinion, while the second story deserved 5.
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Dark Avengers: Ares TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
Dark Avengers: Ares TPB (Graphic Novel Pb) by Kieron Gillen (Paperback - 31 Mar 2010)
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