Raising Dion: This superhero storms into our hearts

“I’m telling you, Nicole, that kid… there’s something special.” -Mark


graphic by Caroline Hobson

I’m convinced that Raising Dion is one of Netflix’s greatest sci-fi hits.

by Caroline Hobson, Reporter

Move over Marvel. Get ready for a new kind of superhero. Dion’s magic and superpowers will glue  you to the television, begging for more.

On October 4, Netflix, released a new original show called Raising Dion. The show focuses on a single mother struggling to raise a boy with “superpowers,” or so he claims. 

When I first watched the trailer, I was uninterested. It appeared to be a copycat of every other sci-fi show out there, but I watched one episode to see if it was worthwhile. After that, all I wanted was to watch more.

This is definitely a binge-worthy show.

Sci-Fi hasn’t been a topic that I have raved about in the past. I enjoy more of the rom-coms, and hopeless relationship dramas, but this show surprised me. It is well-written and not only focuses on the whole superhuman utopia that many people love, but also ties in many underlying issues that families face today: Poverty, racism, and single parenting.

Dion Warren (Ja’Siah Young) an eight-year-old who sees the world in a different perspective, and Nicole Reese (Alisha Wainwright), a now widowed mother who set out to find the cause of her son’s new secret abilities. Both of them need to learn how to control said powers and if they are linked to Dion’s father’s sudden death. 

Viewers are drawn into bright and colorful world that Dion creates throughout the episodes. The colors and childlike wonder makes the show much more enjoyable. Being only eight, Dion looks innocent; but he is capable of great damage. His mind has the ability to create, heal, and help others, but it also has the ability to destroy anything in its way. 

This child actor has made the season unforgettable, he is brilliant and for only being eight, is truly gifted in his ability to act. There is potential for Ja’Siah and this show. Almost like Stranger Things, viewers are attached to the young actors and watch them grow as the show progresses. If the show continues, viewers will watch Ja’Siah grow into a young man, just like child actors in Stranger Things.

The show is based on the Dennis Liu comic book. The comic books are well written, but they only focus on what it would be like to live a superhero life. The show on the other hand, adds the real world struggles that every widowed or single  parent goes through when raising a child alone. 

Dion goes to a predominantly white school in southern Georgia, and is often singled out for his differences. His principal Mr. Campbell (Matt Lewis) is a recurring antagonist that judges Dion based on his skin color. Dion being only eight learns how harsh the world is from characters like these but this makes his character more empowered throughout the plot of the story. 

Nicole is trying to detangle the web of lies that her husband left behind when he died unexpectedly and at the same time give Dion a chance at a normal childhood. Dion has trouble making friends at school and often feels alone. Nicole sees this and does her best in comforting him even though she is worried that he will never be the same after the loss of his father. 

“You’re such a special kid. You’re charming, smart, and very handsome.””

— Nicole Reese, Season 1

We come to know Dion’s father, Mark, through Dion’s imagination. Episode by episode, viewers piece together what really happened to Mark and how he is connected to Dion’s new secret super powers. This emotional backstory on top of the unraveling mystery made me want to watch more. 

Any doubts that I had about this show vanished after Esperanza Jimenez (Sammi Haney) was introduced. She brings positivity to the show and gives it a more realistic view of what society looks like today. Her bright smile and adorable style makes it easy to lover her. She has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I.) Type III or “Brittle Bone Disease” and needs a wheelchair to get around. She plays Dion’s best friend in the show and is helping raise awareness to disabled actors everywhere. Esperanza always says that she’s invisible, making her the perfect sidekick to Dion. Her and Dion make an amazing team and show what a cast should look like. They are only eight and nine but are helping break stereotypes in the acting community.

The show has eye catching visuals and special effects that really make the show stand out from other Netflix originals. In many scenes, the special effects create the magic of the show, from colorful sparks of light that Dion creates with his mind, to storms that pull trees right out of the ground. The special effects team has really made the superhero world come to life. 

The soundtrack for this season is one of my favorites. It includes modern hits like “3005” by Childish Gambino, and “Colors” by St. Beauty to give each scene an energetic vibe. Personally, I feel that the songs picked were perfect for the show. The setlist has many new faces with great songs which completes the show. Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify to see some of the great songs. 

Raising Dion is one of my new favorite sci-fi action hits. I think the idea and the focus, not only on super powers, makes it truly spectacular. Netflix has not yet announced whether to continue the season, but this show has great potential and has amazing actors that make it worth watching.