How to raise a superhero

I just finished watching this Netflix series called Raising Dion, a story on a young superhero coming to terms with the fact that he inherited some superpowers from his dad. Dion, an 8-year-old boy, lives with his mum, Nicole, after his dad Mark (played by Michael B. Jordan!!!) drowned saving a woman in the middle of a thunderstorm. While superhero stories — sometimes belonging to young superheroes like Peter Parker’s Spiderman — often revolved around the perspective of the superheroes themselves, Raising Dion was built around the perspective of the parent. Think about it like this: Nicole to Dion is like the Aunt May to Spiderman’s Peter Parker, or Martha Kent to Superman’s Clark Kent. When she found out about Dion’s superpowers, she realised it would take a village to raise this child, and she decided to get support from family, friends, and some unlikely kind strangers to do so, and in the journey, we see so many heartwarming scenes unfolding as Dion discovered his powers and tried to help others, as young as he might be. There is also another question posed by this series — how could someone as young as Dion deal with his superpowers, when he isn’t within the age of consent, and not only that, he is even too young to understand the extend of how his superpowers could endanger himself and the people around him? Alisha Wainwright, who plays Nicole Warren the mum, is really excellent in portraying the struggles of a single mother raising a child, and one with life-changing superpowers at that. There were also several questionable plot twists that I am still grappling with, but all in all, I love the series for the change of perspective, and not to mention, Dion is adorable as the Mind Mover™ (that’s what he calls himself because he can move things with his mind).

Raising Dion started as a comic by the same name by Dennis Liu in a call for a more representation in comic books. More so, Liu wanted to “turn its back on the common superhero trope” where the parents often die — but what happens if they actually live?

“I always thought it’d be interesting to do Batman but from the point of view of Alfred,” Liu said in an email, referring to Bruce Wayne’s butler. “What if Alfred doesn’t do it right? Or Superman from [his mother] Martha Kent’s point of view. If she doesn’t do it right, what will he become?”

Raising Dion’s comic promo:

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