After Jor-El, we’re now speaking of Superman‘s mother, Lara Lor-Van, who will be portrayed in the upcoming Man of Steel by Ayelet Zurer. As her husband, Lara appeared in a great number of live action portrayals, but her most famous one is still Susannah York‘s, who portrayed her in the first two movies of Richard Donner‘s and Richard Lester‘s series. The first Lara on screen is Aline Towne, who played her in the tv series Adventures of Superman, while the last one is former Supergirl actress Helen Slater, who appeared in Smallville. In every case, her portrayal has been similar to her comicbook’s appearance.
Lara Lor-Van was born in Kryptonopolis, the capital city of the planet Krypton. She was the heir of a noble family on the planet, and the direct descendant of Nara, one of the planet’s heroes and the de facto founder of Kryptonian aristocracy, and she was the product of the best eugenics on the planet. Lara was raised following the planet’s tradition to the letter, and she became quite an expert in every field of Krypton’s culture. Despite being also a brilliant physician, Lara was also a renowned scholar, and she became one of the most knowledged librarian in Kryptonopolis’ archives. When she came of age, the Master of the Gestation Chambers, a noble Kryptonian entrusted with the task of finding the most compatible couples for procreation, declared that Lara was to be married with Zon-Em, a young man from the city. Before they could marry, anyway, Zon-Em was killed by the plague that was decimating the Kryptonian population, the so called Green Plague. Lara was left without her best suitor, but the Master soon found another one for her: it was Jor-El, a young man from the noble House of El. Lara’s grandmother, Nara, came to an agreement with Seyg-El, Jor-El’s father and head of the Kryptonian Science Council, and the marriage was decided. Lara was quite surprised when her new husband-to-be asked her for what we can call a date, quite an unorthodox behavior for a Kryptonian (on Krypton, since marriage was just a matter of procreative efficiency, bride and groom never met before the ceremony, and shared a little time together also after it). She and her family agreed nevertheless, and luck wanted that she actually fell in love with the brave and brilliant young man she was destined to marry, and he felt the same for her.
Lara Lor-Van and Jor-El got married, and they passed some years in perfect armony and happiness. Lara was a skilled scientist, and proved to be almost and equal in intelligence to her genius husband, and helped him in his most delicate researches. She was given a special suit from Jor-El that slowed her aging and prevented her from the most basic physiological needs, thus helping her work. Lara’s and Jor-El’s cells was collected for conceiving their son, who they named Kal-El. The embryo was put into an isolated gestation chamber, growing up to be a baby. In the meantime, Lara and Jor-El continued their research, which involved the Green Plague. With the help of his wife, Jor-El discovered that the Plague was strongly connected to the geological and atmosperical anomalies the planet was going through, everything depending on planetary imbalances inducted by Black Zero, whichwere eroding the very core of the planet. Unfortunately, the Science Council led by his own father refused to listen to Jor-El, and not even the influence of Lara Lor-Van and her family name could do anything to convince the government of the upcoming catastrophe. With nothing else to do but to wait for destruction, Lara resolved to save at least her baby, the fruit of their love. Along with Jor-El, she built and programmed a rocket to send the baby in space with, and after her husband had found a distant planet, Earth, suitable for Kal-El, she provided to entrust his spaceship with records of all the Kryptonian history and culture, and a mental pattern of her husband and herself to guide the child on the alien planet. With her son flying away from the destruction of his homeplanet, Lara shared a last moment of intimacy with her beloved husband, before Krypton exploded with its entire population.
Lara Lor-Van is an extremely intelligent and cultured woman, the result of the best Kryptonian education and eugenics. She is also in a perfect physical shape, and, having been trained at Kryptonian Military Academy, she learnt how to fight and how to take care of her body in addition to her mind. She’s been a loving mother for the brief time she’s been allowed to be, and developed a deep affection towards her husband and her son, thus denying part of the tradition she’s been raised with.