"Sonitus #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Alterna Comics
Written by Cody Sousa and Dan Sheppard
Illustrated by Cecilia Lo Valvo
Colored by Dee Cunniffe
2018, 32 Pages, $1.50
Comic released on April 25th, 2018
Ben continues his journey through the haunted, abandoned house in the woods. He was called here for some reason and is looking around for answers. Ghosts are just one of the evil forces lurking within these walls. Shadows seem to come alive and all kinds of dark creatures are ready to gobble him up, but Ben soldiers on.
The foreboding atmosphere of Sonitus cannot be denied. This is a grim world that's ready to swallow Ben whole, but he keeps walking through, facing dangers at every turn and slowly piecing together his memories of this place from his youth. I hope they're becoming clearer to him because I'm still confused. As with the first issue, this is rather vague, so outside of watching this guy walk through this haunted house, I have no real understanding of what is going on.
Cecilia Lo Valvo's artwork elevates Sonitus with some incredible imagery. The darkness permeates through the entire book, even into Ben's memories of this house. Although the flashback is full of happy and hormonal teenagers, there's a feeling of dread that comes through, as if they're all doomed. The scene from the past contrasts nicely with the present, going from a lively house packed with kids to a decrepit shack that's full of garbage and bad juju.
The shadows feel like a character unto themselves in Sonitus. They seem to surround Ben as he walks through the house. They also serve to hide other monstrosities. This blending is done well by colorist Dee Cunniffe, leaving just enough to the imagination to wonder if you really saw something hideous in that darkness or if it's just your eyes playing tricks on you. Spoiler: There is totally something in there and it's definitely horrifying.
The art is often presented on its own with very sparse text, if there's any at all. While this looks great and creates a terror-filled experience, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the story. If Ben could create some context around what he's seeing or going through, it would add a lot. As it stands, we just follow along as he encounters different horrors and runs for his life. Yes, that's scary, but I'm still lost.
There are hints that Ben is being forced to confront his past or face his fears. I'm curious if this will reveal more about what happened here and his connection to this place. Since there's only one issue left, that's a lot of ground to make up in a short amount of time. Currently, we're not really invested in Ben's story, so I don't care if he lives or dies. He's just the possible next victim of this weird house in the woods. While the setting is rather unsettling and filled with all kinds of terrors, it doesn't form a cohesive tale leaving me confused and frustrated.