Could you imagine raising a superhero for a kid? One mother in the new comic series Raising Dion does just that. Raising Dion explores a new narrative with characters of color, explained in its official premise as this:
“Imagine Superman, but from Martha Kent’s point of view. Or imagine Spiderman, but from Aunt May’s point of view. This is a superhero story, but from the parent’s point of view. But unlike her son, she doesn’t have any powers.”
The product of the talents of Dennis Liu, a Taiwanese American writer/director/producer, notable for having worked with the likes of Mariah Carey, Sia, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, combined with those of illustrator Jason Piperberg, the first issue of this inspiring new story sets the framework for an interesting series. Here’s what we at FTS think of it.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! Please refrain from continuing if you would like to wait to read the following work.
1-Sentence Overview: Nicole, a single mother in Hamilton County, New York exploring the tests and adventures of raising a seven-year-old with constantly developing superpowers named Dion, recounts the experiences of meeting her past love and presumably her child’s father, Mark Warren.
- Dion is portrayed as a regular kid. In a time where little black and brown children are viewed as adults way before their time, as a writer and reader of color, it’s refreshing to see a more accurate portrayal of our little ones. Like any current seven-year-old, Dion likes cookies, no clothes and playing with iPads before homework. Accurate representation like this matters.
- Yay, backstories!!! Strolling down memory lane early in the issue solidifies the characters as flawed humans with interesting pasts. For Nicole, the issue’s narrator, these flashbacks aid in character development to come, gives the reader a chance to discover just who she is, and how her relationship with Mark began (giving insight on where Dion’s abilities originate). Ultimately, this narrative time hop helps the characters become more easily relatable.
- Amazing illustration. I double as a graphic designer and illustrator. Amazing art work generally is what draws me to a comic. When it complements a strong storyline, magic happens. Dion, so far, is magic.
- Though not super, it’s revealed Nicole has gifts of her own. As much as Dion is seemingly the focus of this series with his interesting array of superhuman powers, Nicole is just as gifted. Being revealed to be witty, sarcastic and a visual artist, in the flashback panels, she is seen making large use of her sketchbook, with Mark even gifting her a new set of Prismacolor pens to develop her craft.
- It’s dope and it’s NOT Marvel. It’s nearly impossible to not be a fan of Storm, the X-Men and the Black Panther (for me at least). Though I’ve been Team Stan Lee since birth (or some time really close to that), going so far as to seeing Marvel Comics creative director Bill Rosemann speak during my last year of undergrad, it’s incredible to see more and more high quality indie comics creating diverse stories with characters of color. Kudos to Liu and Piperberg.
Cons (that we could barely find):
- Dion’s not invisible again, is he? The titular character is missing for most of the issue, but with this series marketing as being told from the mother’s perspective, the title really isn’t that misleading. Because this is the first issue, one would expect that future storylines will revolve more around Dion and his interactions with his mother as things develop. No worries.
Would we recommend it? Yes. Emphatically.
A solid read for both seasoned comic book enthusiasts and newbies interested in starting a series, free pdf copies of Raising Dion #1 can be found online and downloaded from www.raisingdion.com. You can also buy a printed copy from Indy Planet for just $4.99 here. Watch the trailer for this surely to be awesome new comic series below.
Giving a strong storyline, seemingly well-rounded characters, sci-fi bits, and even some sex appeal, Raising Dion, in one issue, is work that For the Scribes can surely appreciate, as it is definitely working hard to stick around. We look forward to seeing what Liu and Piperberg come up with next for our new favorite superkid and his just as amazing mom.