In the pre-New 52 DC continuity where Lois is married to Clark (Kal-El) would she be considered a member of the House of El, and therefore have the name Lois-El? I'm not very familiar with how the Kryptonian naming works. For example Clark's cousin is Kara Zor-El, however his mother is Lara Lor-Van.

  • FYI - Supergirl is Kara Zor-El because her dad is Zor-El, Jor-El's brother. Kryptonian children inherit the name of their father. Think of "Lor-Van" as Lara's maiden name. Presumably HER father was Lor, of the house of Van.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


As much as it pains me to say it, the Kryptonians are a bit chauvinistic and patriarchal as far as their family naming conventions are concerned. Lois would have indeed been a member of the House of El, if there had been such a house to claim since Krypton was destroyed.


Little work has been done to flesh out the naming conventions of Kryptonians, the most accepted naming protocol says women take on the names of their fathers while they are unmarried. Thought I cannot see the difference between Lara of the House of El and the shorthand of Lara-El. (Smallville splits the difference and calls her Lara-El directly.)

Lara (née Lara Lor-Van) is a fictional character who appears in Superman comics published by DC Comics. Lara is the biological mother of Superman, and the wife of scientist Jor-El. Lara Lor-Van is 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.

  • But even if she had been able to be ON Krypton, the best she could have hoped for was the loss of her family name once she married Kal of the House of El (Kal-El, son of Jor-El). Hence the Lara Lor-Van or Kara Zor-El. After marriage they are not expected to take on their husband's name and are known by their first name only.

  • Under Kryptonian naming protocols, she would have been named Lois of the House of Lane or Lois Lane. But once she married on Krypton, she would have lost her connection to her father's house and become a member of the House of El.

  • The naming conventions might still make a connection to her previous house for people who might not recognize her individual name status, ex: Kal-El and Lois (nee Lane)

  • But curiously she would not have acquired her house's name, since by Kryptonian standards, women who have house names are NOT MARRIED.

From the Jor-El entry on Wikipedia

  • Jor-El had two brothers: Zor-El, who lived in Argo City and eventually became the father of Kara Zor-El, alias Supergirl, and an identical twin brother named Nim-El, who lived in Kandor.
  • In several stories, Jor-El's father was established as Jor-El I, and his mother as Nimda (nee An-Dor).
  • Jor-El eventually met and married Lara, the daughter of Lor-Van and a young astronaut in Krypton's fledgling space program (which was soon permanently grounded after Jax-Ur blew up one of Krypton's inhabited moons, leading to eternal banishment to the Phantom Zone); the two had an infant son, Kal-El.

Apocrypha from the ComicbookDB.com

Lora Lor-Van (Earth-2), Wife of Jor-L, mother of Superman of Earth-2.

Extremely retroactively—and inconsistently—the name "Lora" has been used to designate the Earth 2 version of the character from "Lara", the Earth 1 copy. However, these distinctions are next-to-meaningless, as the character was almost always used as little more than an extra. No distinction other than this fluctuating vowel can really be found between the two characters

In the same way that Infinite Crisis played up the few early issues of Superman and Action which had the Earth 2 Clark Kent working for the Daily Star—when, in fact, he worked for the Daily Planet for the bulk of his appearances—some late 20th/early 21st century authors have picked up on the name "Lora" from one very early newspaper strip story. But, in practice, she was known as "Lara" from her first comic book appearance.

Thus we very reluctantly use "Lora" as the Earth-2 counterpart to "Lara", with the firm understanding that "Lora" is pretty much of a 21st-century retcon to early 20th century stories. It should further be pointed out that "Lor-Van" was not established in any story as the last name of this Earth's "mother of Kal-El". However, it was not specifically contradicted, either. She was always known simply by her first name—of whichever spelling the letterer wanted to use.

In Summary

  • This has been the convention since the very beginning of the comic character's early origins when she was known as "Lora" (from the Pre-Crisis, Earth 2 days). It is a sad thing to admit, not very much work was done toward fleshing out her character, especially given it has been 75 years since the creation of Superman.

  • My suspicion is this character, given the era she was created in, and the limited space available for comic storytelling was meant to be a throw-away, seen once and then off to Earth.

  • It has only been in the last forty years or so, where we have wanted to see stories of Life on Krypton in greater detail and the question of what to call married women Kryptonians has become an issue. Seems to me, the designers of alien civilizations would do good to assume their work may survive them and include information regarding cultures and lifestyles.

  • I'm a few years late on this one, but I believe there's also a different naming scheme depending on whether you're nobility or a commoner. Commoners had a single name with no house IIRC. Examples would be Ursa & Nod, who were common soldiers. Zod's name was actually Dru-Zod, which would point him out as nobility like Jor-El. Many of the surviving Kryptonians were nobility - presumably because they were the ones who could afford to get off the planet and/or be somewhere else when the big ka-blooie occurred.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 13:45

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