Beyond the Spider-Verse theory about Miles’ mother is heartbreaking

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
Rio Morales and Jefferson Davis in the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse cast

Across the Spider-Verse sets up a heartbreaking end for Miles’ father, but a theory describes a similar fate for his mother.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is considered by many to be the best Spider-Man movie of all time, so to say that people are excited for the film’s sequel, Across the Spider-Verse, would be an understatement. And at long last, it’s finally here.

As we stated in our review of the film, “The Spider-Verse movies as a whole are a masterclass of animation and what it can do. From the visuals to the characters, to the comedy and the action, for every criticism we have, there’s a multi-verse load of positives.”

The movie also ends on a cliff-hanger, which puts Miles’ parents in major danger. But while many assume that Mile’s father could kick the bucket in the third movie, a theory suggests that his mother may be in more danger than we realise. Major spoilers to follow…

Across the Spider-Verse hints at a death in the Morales family

The official plot of the sequel is as thus, “After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. However, when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders. He must soon redefine what it means to be a hero so he can save the people he loves most.”

In the movie, it’s set up that Miles’ father, Jefferson, who is just about to become Police Captain, is destined to be killed by one of the movie’s villains, Spot. As stated by the villain to Miles, “I’m gonna take everything from you, just like you took everything from me.”

The second half of the movie then describes how this is meant to be a Canon Event, a set moment in Mile’s future that he must face. Every Spider-Man has faced the death of a Police Captain, and now Miles will too. Miles obviously doesn’t want his father to die, and thus the film ends with him going against the Canon and jumping through the multiverse to save Jefferson from Spot.

However, things seem to point a little too heavily towards his dad dying. As in, it feels almost like the third film will subvert our expectations, and kill off another character instead. We would need a heart-breaking moment for the trilogy’s finale, but who would be the sacrifice for that? Some have theorised that Peter B. Parker could die in the threequel, but others have suggested someone else: Miles’ mother, Rio Morales.

A meme may foreshadow Rio’s death in Beyond the Spider-Verse

Some have theorised that Rio, from whom Miles gets his last name, could be the person killed by Spot. And while there are a number of reasons why these theories could be true, one aspect has actually become the most popular piece of evidence: The fact that Rio has “Anime Mom Hair.”

As described by Know Your Meme, “Anime Mom Hair or Motherly Side Plait refers to the side plait hairstyle commonly used in manga and anime to demonstrate that the character is a housewife. Due to such characters tending to get killed and then serve as a driving motivation for the main protagonist, the hairstyle is also known as Dead Mom Hair.”

You can see the proof in the TikTok below:

Now, Rio isn’t a housewife, she’s a nurse, but she is Mile’s mother, and these mothering traits make up a large portion of her character. Her major scenes in the film are either her attempting to discipline Miles, or admitting that she still sees him as her little boy, despite him growing up and pulling away from his parents. These make up some of the most heartfelt and grounded scenes in the film, but since they emphasise her maternal importance to Miles so much, this puts her in danger.

See, in both superhero films and anime, often a parent that has a strong emotional connection – or at the very least a scene in which they talk emotionally – with the main protagonist, will end up getting axed by the film’s end. And Rio has a lot of these moments in Across the Spider-Verse.

This, mixed with the fact that she has the “Dead Mom” hairstyle, is enough to feel nervous for her when Beyond the Spider-Verse swings into cinemas.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is in cinemas now. You can check out our other Spidey content here, our ranking of the Spider-Man movies here, and our other coverage of the new sequel below: