In SONITUS #2, Ben begins seeing even more ghosts from his past, along with new creatures that make the first issue’s monsters look like kittens. The crumbling house where he and his friends spent their teen years continues to affect his tinnitus as well, a constant barrage of noises that may be much more than a ringing sound. His memories of a girl morph into something much more sinister, and we see more of the house in its grimy glory in flashbacks of a party that changed Ben’s life forever.

With only one issue left in this limited series, it’s hard to tell how many answers we’ll get from Dan Sheppard and Cody Sousa’s horrifying world. Still, SONITUS #2 is still a spine-tingling but enjoyable read.

Sonitus #2 Review
Image courtesy of Alterna Comics

Eight-Legged Freaks

I’m not afraid of spiders, but this issue still gave me the heebie jeebies. Amongst the darkness and grit of this issue, I found Ben’s arachnid antagonists are especially terrifying, more so than last issue’s Lovecraftian terrors. Cecilia Lo Valvo’s art really shines amidst the darkness, as she carries readers right alongside Ben. (Somebody really should have brought a flashlight.)

The creepy crawlies of SONITUS #2 feel fitting as Ben wanders this house, so full of decay and damp, dark spaces. The house almost seems to morph into an alien world, covered in huge eggs and stringy webs. As he wanders through the house, Ben sees an old high school friend, Claire, in the mirror, but the reflection quickly morphs into an arachnid creature with sharp teeth, beady red eyes, and far too many legs.

Metafiction and the Hero’s Journey in VOID TRIP

Along with the spiders, SONITUS #2 delves deeper into Ben’s tinnitus. Tinnitus sufferers usually report a ringing sound, but Ben probably wishes that was his biggest problem. The first issue tells us that Ben has struggled with tinnitus but can’t get doctors to take him seriously. But Ben’s “tinnitus” also includes much more complex sounds. In the flashback of Claire and Ben in bed — more on this in a minute — a hooded figure stands in the doorway while a persistent “reezgokc” sound pops up in each panel. I can’t imagine what that sounds like, but it looks horrifying enough in text form.

A Lost Love

One of the main focuses in SONITUS #2 is Ben’s relationship with an old classmate, Claire. Sousa and Sheppard do a great job of capturing Ben’s voice throughout the issue. Even as he tells his story, you can tell he’s actively repressing his feelings for Claire. For a few pages, we see a flashback from a party we only saw snippets of in the first issue. According to Ben, Claire is the only person he’s ever been close to loving romantically. But after sleeping with each other at this party, everything “felt different.” Eventually, they just stopped hanging out altogether. Unfortunately, we find out Claire died from an overdose long after she and Ben stopped talking, a detail that makes Ben question what could have been.

Ben’s journey so far appears to be metaphorical. The creatures he encounters in the crumbling house don’t exist on a physical level. But fighting them off is his way of coping with his mistakes, whatever they may have been. Obviously, he still has some residual feelings for Claire, but it’s impossible for him to do much about it.

I’m not sure if he feels responsible for her death, but he certainly hasn’t moved on. It feels like an accurate depiction of teenage relationships in general. People we haven’t seen in years can still have a profound effect on us depending on how close we once were. My guess is that SONITUS #3 will cover Ben’s relationships with his old friends, Alec and Tom.

MAUS, DEOGRATIAS, and Dehumanization in Genocide

Final Thoughts on SONITUS #2

The art in SONITUS #2 is as strong as the first. I really can’t get enough of Lo Valvo’s illustrations and ability to make you look over your shoulder in broad daylight. It fits the story  well, which is great for a story so defined by imagery.

As for the plot and characterization, I can’t make any hard judgments until the third issue comes out. It seems as though these comics work best side by side. At least, that’s how I see them now. Especially with only three issues of 30 pages or fewer, I’m eager to see what comes next. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that all comics are different and you have to adjust your reading expectations with each one. Some will never answer the questions you may have, but if some material isn’t not relevant to the core story, series this short sometimes lack the real estate to provide completely satisfying answers.

I can tell that there’s a pivotal moment in Ben’s life we haven’t seen yet. Hopefully the third issue will tell us more about that night, even if there are a few questions lingering.

Pick up Sonitus #2 at your local comic book store on April 25, or order here.

SONITUS #2 by Cody Sousa, Dan Sheppard, and Cecilia Lo Valvo
SONITUS #2 continues to be amazingly creepy with gritty illustrations and ominous sounds. Mysteries from Ben's past still persist, but each issue tells us more.
90 %
More Nightmares to Come

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