Netflix’s superhero drama Raising Dion struggles to find a Stranger Things balance

Photo by Steve Dietl / Netflix

A young hero must learn to use his exceptional powers to stop a terrible threat and save his friends, family, and possibly the entire world. It’s a pretty typical setup for a superhero origin story, but Netflix’s new series Raising Dion, which launches its nine-episode first season on October 4th, changes things up by making its hero a seven-year-old. Splicing family drama with comic-book action produces some engaging story beats, but the friction between the two genres eventually makes the show fall apart.

Raising Dion follows Nicole Warren (Alisha Wainwright), who’s left raising Dion (Ja’Siah Young) alone after his brilliant meteorologist father Mark (Michael B. Jordan of Black Panther and Creed) drowns saving a woman’s life. When Dion…

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