Marvel Fans, You Need to Add this Underrated Netflix Drama to Your Queue

It's no secret that there's been an influx of superhero content these days. There's Prime Video's The Boys, The CW's The Flash, Netflix's Umbrella Academy and of course, Disney+'s lengthy roster of Marvel titles, from Moon Knight to WandaVision. These fan-favorites prove that there's more to these shows than caped crusaders and cool fighting scenes. And there's an underrated gem that totally deserves to be mentioned with this group: Raising Dion.

Based on Dennis Liu's comic book of the same name, the Netflix superhero drama follows the life of Nicole, a widowed Black mother who struggles to raise her 7-year-old son, Dion, after learning that he has superpowers. With the help of her late husband's best friend, Pat, Nicole must help him control his abilities and keep them a secret while investigating the origins of these powers and the real cause of her husband's death. It's wholesome, it's fun and it offers a fresh take on what being a superhero entails. But more importantly, the show sheds light on the realities of being Black in America, tackling deeper topics like racism, grief and mental health.

Dion's story is told from his mother's perspective, which already sets the series apart from other shows like it. Viewers can see how Nicole—played brilliantly by Alisha Wainwright—is dealing with grief and struggling to balance motherhood with her career. And while she does a stellar job of instilling the right values and going the extra mile to protect her son, she doesn't fall into the toxic "superwoman" stereotype. (In case you're unfamiliar with the popular saying, the idea that single moms are "superheroes" suggests that they're capable of doing it all while being completely unfazed by the tolls it can take, which puts unfair pressure on mothers.) She's also scared, overwhelmed and exhausted, since raising a Black son on her own is already challenging enough. But even as he develops his new powers, she manages, while also figuring out her romantic life and working her way up to a successful career.

Meanwhile, Dion (Ja'Siah Young) is playful and instantly likable. He gets enrolled in a predominantly white school where he struggles to make friends and fit in—and the emergence of his newfound powers don't exactly help matters. Plus, there are heartbreaking scenes where the young superhero experiences racism first-hand, prompting his mother to have a difficult talk that will definitely resonate with Black moms.

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But aside from touching on the more serious themes, this show does a great job of combining light-hearted moments with suspense. One moment, Dion and his godfather, Pat (Jason Ritter), are bonding over superhero comics and the next, a mysterious new enemy has eyes on Dion. And as Nicole and Pat continue to investigate her late husband's (played by Michael B. Jordan) research, you can't help but stay invested.

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With layered characters, an intriguing plot and honest portrayals of the Black experience, this superhero show has so much more to offer than action sequences and CGI effects. It's exciting and heartwarming enough to watch with the family, but also thought-provoking enough to spark some great conversations.

Both seasons are now available to stream on Netflix.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...