Under an Esad Ribic cover worthy of a Molly Hatchet album, artist Das Pastoras joins writer Jason Aaron for “Days of Wine and Dragons” in “Thor: God of Thunder” #18. In this issue, the Thor in the spotlight is the younger Thor from just after his first confrontation with Gorr. This issue, however, is less burdensome than the tale of the God Butcher or even the recently concluded “The Accursed” storyline. It’s a done-in-one story that Jason Aaron uses to deepen the canvas of Thor’s existence. In celebrating the boisterous Thor of 894 A.D., Aaron continues to showcase the Nine Realms and the mythology surrounding Thor and his Norse brethren.
“Thor: God of Thunder” #18 features the telling of Thor’s friendship with Skabgagg the dragon. Sure, the issue opens with ill portent as Thor wakes up in Skabgagg’s mouth, covered in mead and vomit, but Thor and the dragon make amends as the Thunder God attempts to prove Skabgagg’s innocence to the she-Vikings of the Faroe Islands. As Aaron does so frequently with the adventures of the Odinson, he provides yet another fun, well-rounded character that instantly becomes a fixture in the legend of Thor.
In addition to contributing polished characters to “Thor: God of Thunder,” Aaron continues to illustrate the humanity of the blond-haired son of Odin. “Thor: God of Thunder” #18, like so many others in Aaron’s run, illustrates the consequences of Thor’s decisions, both to the Thunder God and to those around him. In this case, Skabgagg reaps some consequences of his own doing, but they are in no small part tied to Thor. In tying the two characters together, Aaron crafts a bond that goes deeper than his words conscribed to the page. Indeed, the pictures in “Thor: God of Thunder” #18 tell a powerful story.
The end of this issue is sure to tug at readers’ hearts as artist Das Pastoras hits all the right notes, packing the thunder god full of emotion and restrained power. That power is present throughout “Thor: God of Thunder” #18 as Pastoras showcases the strength of mighty Thor in the god’s actions and poses. Pastoras’ style has a raw quality that looks like inspired ballpoint pen drawings colored with crayons, but composed in such a manner that the paper these drawings are on curls at the edges from so much attention and energy being poured upon it.
“Thor: God of Thunder” #18 is yet another example of what Jason Aaron brings to the character and the mythology of Thor. Once again, Aaron’s artist rises to the occasion, providing a magnificent sample of collaborative excellence for the adventures of the Thunder God. In the text page at the conclusion, Aaron notes that the issue draws his initial exploration of the Nine Realms to a conclusion. From here, Thor is bound for an adventure on Midgard — but to this point, Aaron has enhanced the Nine Realms for readers and continues to do so magnificently in “Thor: God of Thunder” #18.