Gender: Transgender Woman
Character Type: Secondary
Summary: A fan-favorite transgender character in the space opera Saga, Petrichor helps rescue Hazel from a detention camp and becomes an important member of the family. As Jessie Earl writes in The Advocate, "Due to her having lived in two gender worlds, Petrichor empathizes with the lead character’s plight of being hunted for her biracial identity. Yet while being trans informs her character, it does not completely define it. She is a remarkable soldier, is easily the most well-trained of any of the lead characters, can do magic, and has saved the protagonists’ lives on numerous occasions." Though many transgender comic fans consider Petrichor to be inspiring, others object to the sensational reveal of her biological anatomy during her introductory shower scene. Although Petrichor is single and lonely throughout much of the story, a surprising plot twist emerges when she falls in love with Prince Robot IV.
Database Links: Image Comics DB, Gay League
Important Issues: In Issue #31 of Saga, Hazel stumbles across Petrichor in the shower, commenting "you've got an outie." Smiling kindly at the child, Petrichor replies, "I be Petrichor. And, yes, in here I be girl."
Petrichor is one of the few trans characters in science fiction that I truly love. She is clearly transgender, often remarking, educating, or even joking about her transness. Her transness also informs her character choices...Most important, however, is that she is not perfect. She has flaws like every great character. She’s gruff, quick to anger, and slowly works to recognize her own internalized racism as the series progresses. (Read more)
Jessie Earl, "The Case for More Trans Toys," The Advocate, March 23, 2018.
What Visaggio vividly pointed out was that the failing of the character was that her role as a transgender character was only validated by directly confronting the reader with the fact that she has a penis. Within the scene, this in-universe outing is done against her will; she has no control over who’s seeing her like this, and yet has no qualms about the blatant breach of privacy. (Read more)
Atla Hrafney, "The 'reveal' of trans characters in comics," Women Write About Comics, January 12, 2017.
I adored Petrichor’s sharp wit, her battle-tested strength, and her confident-but-impatient competence on a rather personal level. She has complex responses to people’s assertions about her body and its rightful existence and she is not shy about addressing them, which I found refreshingly delightful. She doesn’t suffer fools or rudeness about her gender or her needs, be they emotional or sexual or intellectual. (Read more)
Lee Mandelo, "Love, War, and Bodies: Catching Up With Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples," Tor.Com, March 28, 2019.