Miles’ mother, Rio Morales, is campaigning for office in Harlem in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but is she running as a Democrat or a Republican?
Many questions about Spider-Man: Miles Morales are finally being answered now that it’s out, but one remains a mystery: Is Rio Morales a Democrat or a Republican? As seen in Spider-Man: Miles Morales trailers, Miles’ mother, Rio, is running for office in Harlem. While her bid against the nefarious power company Roxxon seems to be her main policy goal, little else has been revealed about her campaign. So which party ticket is she running on?
Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not an especially political game. Though its story is largely about a political battle, Insomniac Games’ follow-up to its first Marvel’s Spider-Man game had to appeal to a wide range of gamers, so the story avoids directly commenting on many real-world issues. This makes the task of sussing out Rio Morales’ politics harder. However, there are some data points to consider.
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Rio Parker is the widow of a police officer. During the events of Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, Miles’ father, Jefferson Davis, was killed on duty by the Inner Demons, a gang led by the villainous Mister Negative. In the real world, both the Democratic and Republican parties support policing to varying degrees, despite public outcries against police violence. However, the majority of police are registered Republicans, according to Verdant Labs. Even police unions tend to urge their members to vote for GOP candidates, despite the party’s anti-union policies. Therefore, it is likely Rio harbored at least some conservative ideas about policing, which may have deepened after the death of Jefferson at the hands of a criminal.
What Spider-Man’s New York City Tells Us About Rio Morales’ Politics
However, there is another factor at play. In New York City, the Democratic Party is extremely dominant. In some cases, relatively conservative politicians who otherwise might run as independents or Republicans may wind up competing in Democratic primaries in order to have a better chance of winning in the general election. So, even if Rio is somewhat right-wing on at least one issue, there is a good chance she would run as a Democrat.
Another sign that Rio may be Democrat is her volunteer work. To be sure, many Republicans volunteer their time to local causes, and most politicians are active in their communities in some way. But the kind of organized action Rio participates in seems implicitly progressive. In Marvel’s Spider Man, Peter Parker’s aunt, May Parker, enlisted Rio’s help at F.E.A.S.T., a food pantry and homeless shelter. Nonprofits like this tend to be associated with left-of-center politics and may organize in solidarity with more explicitly leftist organizations. Additionally, many Democratic candidates begin their political careers in the sphere of community organizing, like former President Barack Obama.
Rio also campaigns on an anti-corporate agenda, centered on freeing Harlem from the evil company Roxxon. In our world, progressive New York City politicians – like noted gamer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – prevented a controversial deal with Amazon that would have opened a new headquarters in Queens. Obviously, as ominous as Jeff Bezos’ tech behemoth might be, Roxxon is a more openly sinister business, befitting a superhero story. But the inspiration behind Rio’s central campaign promise seems to be drawn more from Democratic politicians than Republican ones.
Like most people, Rio Morales does not fit perfectly into either major party. But taken together, her ideals seem to line up best with those of progressives. And given that New York City is controlled by the Democratic Party, it is most likely that Rio Morales is running as a Democrat. No matter how they vote, fans can finally pick up Spider-Man: Miles Morales now, on either PS4 or PS5.
Next: How Spider-Man: Miles Morales Honors Chadwick Boseman
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