Lara was a young scientist born on Krypton. During her career, she interned for a man named Jor-El. At first sight Jor-El loved her but it took time for Lara to feel the same way towards him. Eventually they fell in love, and later had a son named Kal-El. Unfortunately, shortly after his birth, they were forced to send him away from the impending destruction of Krypton. Kal-El was the only being to escape, leaving his parents, and the rest of Krypton, to perish.
Lara-Lor-Van was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and her first appearance comes in More Fun Comics #101 which was released in 1945.
Lara-Lor-Van is shown to be an incredibly loving and devoted mother and wife, willing to sacrifice herself to save her son's life when her planet was about to be destroyed. She's also an tremendously intelligent woman, one of the brightest scientists on Krypton.
Powers and Abilities
Lara-Lor-Van being a Kryptonian is blessed with various powers typical of her race, those include but are not limited to: Flight, super strength, speed, healing, stamina, Heat and x-ray vision,and longevity.
As she is a Kryptonian, all of them are weak to Red, Blue, Yellow, Black, and Gold Kryptonite. In addition various forms of magic, telepathy, and sun deprivation also will weaken and some cases kill Kryptonians.
For a full explanation of the powers, abilities and weaknesses of Kryptonians see their team page here.
The New 52
For more information see: The New 52
In the New 52 Lara Lor-Van is still a Kryptonian scientist and physician. She is still Jor-El's wife and his equal in intelligence and lab partner. She learned arts and sciences at the Kryptonian Military Academy and has been shown to be a capable fighter and was able to take on the Eradicators henchmen with ease.
Superman Serial (1948)
Luana Walters portrayed Lara Lor-Van's character in the first film appear of Superman, appropriately titled Superman.
In the 1978 film Superman, Susannah York took on the role of Lara Lor-Van.
Superman II (1981)
Susannah York reprises her role as Lara Lor-Van from the first Superman movie in the sequel, Superman II.
The Greatest Fan Film of All-Time
In the non-profit animated movie The Greatest Fan Film of All-Time, Lara Lor-Van character makes an appearance but has no lines.
Man of Steel
In director Zack Synder's upcoming 2013 Superman reboot Man of Steel, Lara Lor-Van will be played by actress Ayelet Zurer.