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Lara Lor-Van is Superman's mother, from the planet Krypton. Lara Lor-Van was Lara's full maiden name, as "Lor-Van" is the name of Lara's father. Most depictions of Kryptonian culture show that females use their father's full name as their last names before marriage, and then are known simply by their first names after marriage.
She was married to Jor-El, a prominent scientist on the Kryptonian council before the planet's destruction. In the pre-crisis comics, she was an astronaut, while other stories (including The Last Days of Krypton) depict her as an artist.
Lara is also one of several characters with the initials LL. There is a trend of characters having these initials who are important to Superman.
Lara's role in the Superman mythos has varied over the years, with her treatment and emphasis often depending on the decade she was written in. Earlier stories treated Lara in a lesser role compared to her scientist husband; however, stories from the 1970s onwards depict Lara in more prominent roles, with the 2004 miniseries Superman: Birthright as an example of this.