Remembering Petra – The Earth Manipulating Mutant that Saved the X-Men

Petra the X-ManWho is Petra? Is she a villain? An ally? Or probably both? For those who don’t know, Petra (original name unknown) is a Marvel comic book character from the X-Men series. She was introduced to comic book fans in the first issue of X-Men: Deadly Genesis. Petra is a mutant whose powers include manipulating rocks, solid or any form of earth. She and her family lived in Denmark, a country which has the highest per capita income, least corrupt government and ranked 1st in the happiest country index, before migrating in the United States. Who would do that? Seriously? While on a camping trip, Petra’s family was killed in a landslide. She survived without a scratch, not knowing how it happened. The unfortunate Petra was then raised by a foster family. She left her foster home to avoid her abusive father. Since then, she became a wanderer.
While travelling, Petra used her earth manipulating powers to make shelter. Eventually, she discovered that she can turn rocks into diamonds. She sold the diamonds, but only in small amounts, fearing that the people may take advantage of her powers. I don’t understand; why couldn’t she have used the diamonds in order to make money so she can gamble for a living? Las Vegas could have been the perfect place for her, abundant in land and casinos. She could make a fortune in poker. With her skill (and not to mention, good looks), she would dominate her opponents. A game that requires less luck and more strategy, poker is the best way to gamble. Even if she loses, she could still sell small amounts of diamonds to try again. A win-win situation, just like playing in Partypoker . Unfortunately, she didn’t do this. She could have been in the Marvel universe still if she did.
A young Petra was discovered by Dr. MacTaggert, a friend by X-Men founder Charles Xavier (Professor X). Seeing potential in her, Prof. X immediately assigned Petra in a rescue team to save the original X-Men team. Along with Sway, Darwin and Vulcan, they battled the “living” island of Krakoa in an attempt to rescue the X-Men trapped inside. But Krakoa proved to be too strong. Darwin and Vulcan were able to escape the island, but our heroine and Sway died fighting.
As a fan of the Marvel Universe, it is sad to see a character with so much to offer be taken off the comic books. Petra’s power was awesome. Earth manipulation and turning rocks into diamonds, how cool is that? She was also designed very well that I thought she would be part of the main X-Men team. With the popularity of Marvel today, maybe she could have been a member of the Avengers. Too bad we will never know.

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