Black Superhero Drama ‘Raising Dion’ Series Greenlit at Netflix
Creator Dennis Liu will help write and direct. Michael B. Jordan set to produce.
Two years ago,music video director turned comic-book writer Dennis Liu made a bit of a splash by directing a trailer for his self-published comic Raising Dion. The trailer focused on the exploits of a single black mother trying to raise her 7-year-old son after learning he has superpowers.
The trailer was exceptionally well-made, and the comic got picked up for the creator-owned athology IF. Now Netflix has announced a 10-episode series based on the comic has been ordered straight to production vial Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society Productions.
The series follows the story of a woman named Nicole Reese, who raises her son Dion after the death of her husband Mark (Jordan). The normal dramas of raising a son as a single mom are amplified when Dion starts to manifest several magical, superhero-like abilities. Nicole must now keep her son’s gifts secret with the help of Mark’s best friend Pat, and protect Dion from antagonists out to exploit him while figuring out the origin of his abilities. The ten-episode series will premiere on Netflix in more than 190 countries around the world.
By using the idea of “superheroes” as a setting rather than a genre and moving the point of view to Nicole, Liu was able to turn the traditional tropes and narratives on their head and gave us a story that was refreshing and honest. The series also smartly sidestepped a series of stale tropes. Nicole is not superwoman, keeping up with Dion is clearly taking a toll. On the other hand, she is not to be pitied — downtrodden and crushed by the world.
The challenges that single mother Nicole faces as she struggles to keep her son safe from harm and make sure he becomes a good and moral person are the same struggle that every single mother faces.
“I started this project many years ago because I wanted to see more diverse representation on film and television,” said Liu. “More than ever, we need more stories told from different points of view and my hope with Raising Dion is to create a cinematic experience for all families that will lift your spirits and make you laugh and cry.”
No release date has been set yet, but late 2018/early 2019 seems likely. The original comic, which explores Nicole’s relationship with Dion’s father is available for free download on Liu’s website.