*Artist Jason Piperberg and writer Dennis Liu have teamed to create a dandy new comic book called “Raising Dion,” which centers on Nicole, a widowed, black single mother who is dedicated to raising and chronicling the life of her son, Dion, a seven-year-old boy who possesses a bevy of curious superpowers, including teleportation and invisibility, Fusion reports.
“How do you protect him from the world?” Nicole asks in the cinematic trailer for the comic book. “First, never take your eyes off of him; his powers can be unpredictable.”
Check out the trailer for “Raising Dion” below.
As Fusion reports, Nicole homeschools Dion in relative seclusion in a small cabin in the woods. As Dion ages, he loses certain abilities while gaining new ones. According to the artist, Nicole is equal parts Martha Kent and Alfred Pennyworth, the adults who raised Superman and Batman.
“Traditionally in comics and really most stories, the protagonist is the one with the powers,” said Piperberg. “You see the world through the eyes of the character with all the abilities usually because they are immediately the most exciting and/or interesting person in the story.”
Dennis Liu was inspired by his five nieces to create “Raising Dion,” and he said he spoke with single mothers about raising children alone in order to develop Nicole’s voice.
“If these key parental figures did not raise these superheroes correctly, then who knows what Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne would have become?” Liu said in an interview with Fusion. “Parents instill a value system.”
Liu, who serves as union director for the Eastern Diversity Steering Committee’s diversity council, said that decision to make Nicole and Dion black was in direct response to the growing need and demand for diverse superhero stories.
The Talk that many Black parents have with their children about race is the driving force of “Raising Dion.” Nicole’s goal is educate her superhuman son on how to maneuver through a world that judges him because of his race, while at the same time, not bring attention to his special abilities.
“I think a lot of people still don’t get that The Talk is a real thing that black families have to have,” said Piperberg. “I think it’s really important to step out of my bubble of privilege to see what’s really going on. To discover and look at injustices that have been swept under the rug, or worse, accepted as the norm by society.”
The first issue of “Raising Dion” is available to read for free on Liu’s site, with further editions in the works.