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PETRA

Real Name: Unrevealed (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human mutant, citizen of the United States

Occupation: Adventurer;
                      formerly student;
                      formerly runaway

Group Membership: Muir-MacTaggert X-Men (Darwin/Armando Munoz, Sway/Suzanne Chan, Vulcan/Gabriel Summers)

Affiliations: Moira MacTaggert, X-Men (Angel/Warren Worthington III, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Havok/Alex Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey, Polaris/Lorna Dane), Professor Charles Xavier

Enemies: Krakoa the Living Island

Known Relatives: Parents and brother (all deceased, names unrevealed)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Krakoa;
                                  formerly Muir-MacTaggert Research & Development Institute, New York;
                                  formerly her cavern inside a giant rock in Central Park, New York;
                                  formerly a foster home in New Jersey:
                                  formerly her parents' home

First Appearance: X-Men: Deadly Genesis#1 (January, 2006)

Powers/Abilities: A mutant geomorph, Petra could psychokinetically manipulate rocks, sand, stone and even lava for a variety of effects. She has been known to reshape rock into various simple forms such as hammers, blades or even using it to trap people inside giant earthen fists. Petra can create or stop earthquakes and generate rockslides, though it's not been established what her quakes' maximum magnitude are. Petra could alter the consistency of matter, for instance turning a lump of coal into a diamond. Her powers allowed her to generate dust clouds for cover and she could even have the earth "swallow" her up, to escape from danger. Through an active act of will, she also formed a small cave to survive in underground. By manipulating the trajectory of the piece of rock she was standing on, Petra could simulate flight. Orphaned at a young age and forced to fend for herself on the street, Petra had far greater experience with and control over her powers than most other teenage mutants.

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 143 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Blonde

History:

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#1/2 (fb) ) - Petra was born the youngest child of an originally Danish family, the only member of the family born in the United States. She had a happy, uneventful childhood but lost both her parents and her older brother during a freak rockslide shortly after turning 13. Escaping unscathed but emotionally traumatized, she was placed in foster care and placed with a family in New Jersey with five other foster kids. Her foster father turned out to be a sexual predator and when he tried to cop a feel during a family visit to Central Park, she instinctively used her mutant powers to hold him back. Stunned, shocked and scared she ran off, hiding out as a runaway in the park for months. She mostly kept to herself, afraid someone might realize she was a mutant. To keep herself hidden, she used her control over rocks and earth to create a comfortable cavern inside one of the park's many giant boulders. In order to survive, she would occassionally beg for money or steal food. By the time she was 16, the control over her powers had increased to such a degree that she could transform the physical composition of rocks. Turning a lump of coal into a diamond she sold to a shady pawnbroker, she used the money to rent a room and have her first shower in two years. Over the next year, Petra created a number of smaller diamonds she sold all throughout New York to have an income. However, when she returned to the pawnstore she sold her first diamond to, the owner knew something was wrong and called the police on her. After a brief struggle, during which she used her rock powers to defend herself, Petra waas taken down with a taser blast and incarcerated.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Learning of the incident with Petra, world renowned geneticist Moira MacTaggert contacted the authorities and used her influence to have all the charges against the girl dropped. She also made arrangements with the court for Petra to be transfered to her care.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#1/2 (fb) ) - When Petra woke up in a holding cell several days after getting tasered, she was surprised when a female guard came to collect her. The woman told her about the deal with the authorities and that someone was coming to get her. Terrified but excited, Petra waited for what was to come.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#4 (fb) - BTS ) - Petra met and accompanied Moira to the Muir-MacTaggert Research & Development Institute in New York. There, she joined Moira's other students Darwin, Sway and Vulcan. She also met Charles Xavier, who aided Moira in devising the students' training sessions. They also met Cyclops once when he accompanied Xavier to the Institute. As time continued, Petra started to hone her abilities, though she could get a bit cocky, which MacTaggert used to push her even further during her training. Compared to fellow students like the temporal energy wielding Sway, Petra was a quick study.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#4 (fb) - BTS) - Charles Xavier sent his X-Men on a mission to check out the mutant presence he detected on the island of Krakoa in the South Pacific. Xavier was unaware he'd actually felt the island itself, which following atomic testing had mutated into a merged animal/vegetable composite hungry for mutant energies. When the team arrived, they were quickly overpowered and taken prisoner, forcing Xavier to mount a rescue mission.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#4 (fb) ) - Xavier went to the Muir-MacTaggert Institute and explained to Moira what had happened to the X-Men before asking for her students. Petra and the others were propositioned by Charles and, in no small part thanks to the eager Vulcan, agreed to help him. Xavier took them back to his school where he used his telepathic powers to give the inexperienced, young mutants a crash course in the use of their powers. Within a few hours, they experienced long months of training which greatly increased Petra's control over her rock powers. As a result of Charles' mental boot camp, Petra and her fellow students believed themselves to be full fledged X-Men, ready for anything. After handing them their uniforms, made of unstable molecules by Reed Richards, Xavier and Moira saw Petra and the others off (see comments).

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (fb) ) - Charles Xavier mentally monitored the team's rescue mission to Krakoa, guiding Vulcan through the Strato-Jet landing sequence when suddenly their mental connection was broken. Now on their own, they were immediately besieged by the island, who formed monsters from the marsh and rock to attack them. While fighting off the initial wave, Petra quickly realized she had no control over the rock creatures, which scared her. Still, Vulcan pressed on, ordering Sway to use her time replay to track down the X-Men. They watched in horror as the island claimed Marvel Girl and Cyclops. The team discovered Cyclops who was being guarded nearby by some of Krakoa's creatures. They managed to free Scott and tried to get the drained mutant to the jet. As they marched through the jungle, Krakoa began to drain their energies as well, making it harder for them to move. They still reached the Strato-Jet and briefly talked with Cyclops who agreed to take the aircraft up into the air to attempt to reconnect with Xavier. As soon as he left, the enraged Krakoa turned on Petra and the others, attacking with full force. Sway tried to slow their enemies down, but was brutally cut in half even as a giant, walking volcano creature seemingly incinerated Petra and the others. Horrified by watching his fellow mutants, and kid brother Vulcan, die, Cyclops fired up the Strato-Jet and headed for home.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (fb) - BTS) - At the moment of her death, Sway released all her stored temporal energies at once. This slowed down time long enough around her teammates for Petra to act even as the volcano creature's flames consumed her. The geomorph had the ground swallow her friends, even creating a small cavern for them. Petra died, while the drained Vulcan and Darwin were rendered powerless and unable to move.

(Giant Size X-Men#1 ~ X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (fb) - BTS) - Xavier was forced to erase Cyclops' memories about ever meeting Petra, the others or the Muir-McTaggert Research Facility. He also mind-wiped Moira MacTaggert, unaware that the heartbroken Moira had already made videologs about the entire affair. In the end, Cyclops returned to Krakoa with a new group of mutants and rescued his teammates. Krakoa was rocketed into space, with no one but Xavier to remember Petra.

(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 - BTS) - The X-Men learned of Petra and the rest of Moira's students' existence and final fate when Vulcan returned to Earth and forced Xavier to reveal what he'd done all those years ago. The team decided to honor Petra's sacrifice with a proper burial, even though there was no actual body to bury. She was laid to rest along with Sway and the recently deceased Banshee (Sean Cassidy) at the Xavier Institute.

(X-Men Legacy I#210 (fb) ) - Locked in psychic combat with Charles Xavier, the Acolyte Exodus used Xavier's guilt over having caused Petra and Sway's deaths as weapons, replaying the events to torment and haunt Charles.

Comments: Created by Ed Brubaker (writer), Trevor Hairsine (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks).

Though Petra is a perfectly normal, not necessarily Scandinavian first name, it's most likely not her real name. After all, those of you who studied Greek in school already know that "Petra" means rock. It's also the name of a historical city in Jordan known for its rock-cut architecture.

If one does the math, Petra was seventeen when she was placed in the custody of Moira MacTaggert. Depending on how long she was training with Moira, she was either barely 18 or coming up on it when she was killed in the line of duty.

The tragic tale of Petra and the other students of Moira MacTaggert should be all the proof anyone ever needs that Professor Xavier truly is a jerk. Also, the idea that he could give them a crash course in using their powers by making them think they had the experience was ludicrous at best. Their minds might believe they have the experience and skill, but their actual, physical bodies had no time to develop and mature along in the process. It'd be like convincing a novice runner the idea he's actually a trained marathon man... The results aren't pretty. Also, even though time was of the essence, Charles still insisted that Reed Richards made customized uniforms for this rescue squad?

Petra received a profile in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#11 and X-Men: Messsiah Complex Mutant Files#1.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Petra should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
X-Men Messiah Complex Mutant Files#1, p48, pan2 (main image)
X-Men Deadly Genesis#1, p29, pans 2,3,4 (orphaned at 13)
X-Men Deadly Genesis#4, p12, pan2&3 (training with Moira)
X-Men Deadly Genesis#6, p19, pan3 (killed by Krakoa)


Appearances:
X-Men: Deadly Genesis#1 (January, 2006) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Pete Woods (pencils & inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
X-Men: Deadly Genesis#4 (April, 2006) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Trevor Hairsine (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (June, 2006) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Trevor Hairsine (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
X-Men Legacy I#210 (June, 2008) - Mike Carey (writer), Scot Eaton & Greg Land (pencils), John Dell, Andrew Hennessy & Jay Leisten (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)


Last updated: 03/19/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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