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What Only Comic Book Fans Know About Netflix's Raising Dion

"Raising Dion" may not be Netflix's first foray into the superhero genre, but it's certainly the most unique superhero series the streaming service has ever produced. 

"Raising Dion" follows the story of a single mother named Nicole Warren (Alisha Wainwright) as she raises her son Dion (Ja'Siah Young) following the mysterious death of her husband. Nicole's life becomes even more complicated when Dion starts developing superpowers, and she is forced to protect her son from those that would exploit his new powers for their own gain.

The original "Raising Dion" comic was only 24 pages long, and was published independently by creator Dennis Liu, meaning that (unlike some of Netflix's more prominent superhero shows like "Luke Cage" or "Daredevil") there isn't a whole lot of source material the series has to work with (via HITC). Liu also decided early on that he didn't want to release more comics, as he worried that the "canon" of the comic books would start to conflict with the television series (via Newsweek). The lack of source material, and Liu's decision to make the television series the true "canon" portrayal of the story, means that most fans may have never even read the original comic in the first place.

That said, fans who have read the comic will notice a very specific difference between the series and its source material -– one which has to do with the story's emphasis on Dion's own genetics.

Liu claims the original story focused heavily on the "nature vs. nurture" debate

In an interview with IGN back in 2019 (which promoted the release of the series' first season) Dennis Liu asserted that one of the major differences between the comic book and the show was the way the comic emphasized the "nature versus nurture" debate in regards to how Dion was raised. "The comic focused more on designer babies and CAS-9 technology," Liu explained, referencing two controversial methods of editing a child's DNA to remove any sort of genetic imperfections (via The Guardian).

It seems that the story in the comic book was much more interested in how Nicole's parenting style might have affected her son as he grows up –- and how his superhero genetics might similarly affect the person he will one day become. It's interesting to consider this more philosophical side of the story, which is almost entirely excluded from the Netflix series. Indeed, most of the show's drama comes from Nicole's desperate attempts to keep Dion's powers a secret, and protect him from people who would use his abilities for evil –0 not from whether or not Dion's genetics will turn him into a hero or a villain.

It's certainly an interesting concept for a superhero story, and with the recent release of the series' second season, it's a debate we may see returning as the story moves forward.