WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Wonder Woman #58
Wonder Woman’s enemy, Ares the God of War has a new identity - and it’s one that will break movie fans' hearts. It appears that the Olympian has taken over the body of Steve Trevor, the love of Wonder Woman’s life. Though mainstream audiences were first introduced to Wonder Woman’s interpretation of the mythological figure in the 2017 movie, Ares and Diana's great rivalry rivalry is much longer, and more complicated in the comics.
Like Wonder Woman, Dc's version of Ares has been through his fair share of incarnations and explanations. The latest iteration of Ares, introduced in Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman, envisioned Ares as a broad and brutal young man imprisoned on the Amazons’ Paradise Island for his crimes against humanity. Most surprisingly, he was shown to genuinely be attempting to atone. In Wonder Woman #58, the first issue from Ms. Marvel creator G. Willow Wilson, Ares is on a new path... which directly ruins Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman’s happiness.
Although it's taking place a significant time after Greg Ruck’s last issue, Wonder Woman #58 picks up directly where Rucka left off in terms of Ares. Ares is still in his Amazon prison and pontificating about "justice." However in Wonder Woman #58 Ares confesses that he believes he’s served enough time. Ares has Grail, Darkseid’s daughter, kill him - thereby freeing his spirit from Paradise Island.
This freed Ares is where matters grow dangerous for Diana and Steve Trevor. It turns out that while Wonder Woman has been at their home in Virgina, Steve’s been on assignment in the war-torn land of Durkovia, one of DC's several made-up countries. But when Steve goes missing, Wonder Woman (being Wonder Woman) rushes off to save her 'dude in distress' but finds nothing.
All Diana encounters, unfortunately, is war, destruction and a man in ancient armor. This mysterious figure is destroying everyone and everything in sight - but the real shock though is what is under the warrior’s helmet. Upon seeing Wonder Woman, the man reveals himself to be Ares... lookiong exactly like Steve Trevor.
Wonder Woman #58 ends on this big reveal, so even Diana will have to wait until the next issue to absorb everything it means, let alone the reading audience. In the meantime, there are a few possibilities for what could be happening. Ares has a history of shapeshifting and changing his form, so he may be taking Steve’s appearance to appear more trusting to Wonder Woman and the world at large. It's also possible that Ares isn't Steve at all but another attractive blonde man (such is the reality of drawn faces).
The most likely explanation, based on how Ares and Wonder Woman both act during the reveal, is that Ares has possessed Steve. When Ares was freed from his prison he took control of the strongest warrior around: Steve Trevor. This explains why Wonder Woman is horrified beyond simply encountering herold foe, the god of war, who seems oblivious to the effect his appearance has on Wonder Woman. In current continuity, Steve Trevor and Ares have never met. So even if Ares is trying to redeem himself, he’s done it by taking over the body and mind of the one person Wonder Woman cares about most in the world.
Of course, it’s very unlikely this change is permanent. At one point DC Comics could’ve gotten away with killing off Steve Trevor or turning him into Ares forever. After the movie and Chris Pine's portrayal of Steve proved far too beloved to disappear forever, we're willing to bet Steve will become Ares-less eventually (but not without a lot of pain and suffering beforehand).
Wonder Woman #58 is available now from DC Comics.