Lana Lang is Clark Kent's friend and teenage love interest during the time he lived in Smallville. Lana is also one of the few people who are aware that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same. Her family includes her son, Clark Peter Ross and her niece Linda Lang also known as Supergirl. She acts as both Aunt and Mentor to Supergirl, Lana is the Editor of the Business Section at the Daily Planet and lives in the penthouse of Hammersmith Tower in Metropolis with her niece.
In the original Superboy stories, Lana was the girl who lived next door to the Kent family in Smallville, and was a romantic interest of Superboy. In the Silver Age stories, Lana often behaved like a younger version of Lois, spending much of her time trying to prove that Superboy and Clark Kent were one and the same.
At one point, Lana once rescued an insect-like alien trapped by a fallen tree in Smallville. In gratitude, the alien gave her a "bio-genetic" ring which allowed Lana to gain insect (and insect-like, such as arachnids) characteristics. Lana created a yellow honeybee-like costume and mask, and took the name "Insect Queen", under which identity Lana had several adventures.
Lana also had various adventures with Superboy, and several with the futuristic superhero team the Legion of Super-Heroes. Also appearing in some Silver Age stories was Lana's uncle, Professor Potter, an eccentric inventor.
After Clark and Lana graduated from high school, Lana went to college, and eventually became a television reporter; as an adult, she became a rival to Lois Lane for Superman's romantic affection in various 1960s stories, often appearing in the title Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Lana became an anchorwoman for WGBS-TV's evening news in Metropolis, as a co-anchor to Clark Kent. Her attraction to Superman during this time had also died off, leaving Superman to Lois. Lana later became romantically linked to the alien super-hero Vartox. Eventually, she and Clark Kent became romantically involved in stories prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
In the early 1980s, with the use of the multiverse system DC had in place, Lana Lang was also shown in several stories to have had an Earth-Two counterpart (Earth-Two at the time the home of the Justice Society of America and DC's Golden Age versions of its characters, versus its mainstream universe of "Earth-One"). The Earth-Two Lana Lang was introduced in Superman Family #203 (September–October 1980). In this story, set in the early 1950s, Lana Lang joins the Daily Star staff as a television critic. She relates to Clark Kent that she and her family left Smallville when she was very young, explaining why they hadn't met during their youth unlike the Earth-One versions.
Later, she became an Insect Queen like her Earth-One counterpart; in this case, Lana had received a mystic amulet from her archaeologist father, said amulet having been created to allow a Pharaoh to control and divert the locust hordes that threatened ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, the charm associated with the amulet was set to be energized by the sound of approaching insect wings; by unfortunate coincidence, the sound of Superman's super-speed flying was similar enough to activate the spell. Lana was thus compelled to create a Chitinous golden-brown costume (woven by silkworms under her control) and adopt a villainous alter ego, the Insect Queen.
Lana would soon clash with Superman and after their battle, the Insect Queen fell under the mental influence of Superman's enemy, the Ultra-Humanite, who kept her under the spell's compulsion and prevented her from reverting to normal. Superman was able to locate an antidote to the spell, which Lois Lane used to remove the compulsion (Superman Family #213, December 1981), letting Lana break free of Ultra's influence and making her able to use the amulet's power at her own discretion. Lana felt more confident after she regained complete control over the amulet and it's powers, that she even decided to continue using the Insect Queen alias and use her powers for the greater good, to help people and save lives. Lana would also use her abilities to aid Superman in times of need.
After the 1985-1986 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths was written, various aspects of Lana's history were retconned, starting with comics writer John
Byrne's miniseries The Man of Steel, which was designed to rewrite Superman's origin from scratch. In the post-Crisis version of events, Lana was a childhood friend of Clark, with a certain degree of romantic tension in the air as Lana had long pined after Clark, who had loved her only platonically in return.
After they graduated from high school Clark took Lana on a private walk, saying that he had to tell her something important, which Lana honestly expected to be a marriage proposal. He then divulged to her that he had superpowers, displayed by flying her around the world, before explaining that he felt he had to leave Smallville to help humanity as a whole. Kissing her goodbye "like a brother," Lana was left in considerable shock, not only over the revelation of Clark's superpowers, but also over the final realization that he held no reciprocal romantic feelings towards her, leaving Lana heartbroken and alone. When Lana finally aired her grievance with him years later, Clark felt very badly over how he had hurt her.
When Clark appeared in public as Superman some years later, the lonely and depressed Lana deduced his true identity and became something of a stalker, to the extent that Lex Luthor noticed the frequency with which she appeared in the vicinity of the hero and actually had her tortured in an attempt to gain whatever inside knowledge of Superman she might have. However, Lana bravely kept Clark's identity a secret and upon his rescuing her their relationship became more healthy once again, albeit still at a distance. Unlike the pre-Crisis Earth-One continuity, Lana did not go on to have a journalistic career, compete with Lois for Superman's affections, nor play a significant role in Clark's life in Metropolis (all this was later erased).
Lana's relationship with Clark is altered in 2003's Superman: Birthright limited series by Mark Waid, which again revises Superman's origins. This storyline, which takes some inspiration from the TV show Smallville (such as the appearance of Ma and Pa Kent), also shows Clark and Lana to have had a mutual romantic relationship during their youth. At the start of the storyline, Lana has already left Smallville prior to Clark's return from his world journey. Upon his arrival home, a disappointed Clark is told that Lana left some time prior and has not been heard from since. Following this storyline, there is never again made mention of her past history regarding Clark or Superman.
Lana's "Birthright" history has been yet again re-made following the events of the Infinite Crisis, which has revived Clark's pre-Crisis Superboy alter-ego. In this new history, Lana had a deep romantic relationship with Clark, that was often interrupted by her two obnoxious brothers (which she lacked in previous versions). The full extent of her history and her connection to Superboy/Clark has not yet been fully disclosed. Again, her previous history has not been mentioned since this revision.
Lana's history is once again altered in "Superman Secret Orgins". Lana was a childhood friend of Clark Kent.
The two shared a mutual attraction for each other throughout their youth and even has adults maintain a certain degree of romantic tension between them. In current comics continuity Lana found out about Clark abilities when they were children when he saved her life, also most of Clark powers activate for the first time when he is with Lana or when Lana is in danger (when they shared their first kiss it activated Clark's heat vision and when Lana was swept up in a tornado Clark flew for the first time and saved her).Lana later attended Metropolis University and pursued a degree in Business and became a successful businesswoman. Years later, the post-Crisis Lana eventually married Pete Ross. The two settled into a quiet life in Smallville, where they had a son they named after their mutual friend, Clark, after Lana asked Clark to save the baby's life when a car accident caused him to be born eight weeks premature; although Clark's efforts to take him to receive care were interrupted by the attack of the
Brainiac-controlled Doomsday, Brainiac's subsequent attempts to use the baby's DNA to create a new body for himself brought the baby to full term. Pete began a career in politics that got him elected to the Senate. In 2000, Senator Ross became Lex Luthor's vice presidential running mate in Luthor's bid to become President, and after the two won, Lana moved to Washington, D.C. Eventually, Luthor was forced from his office, and Pete Ross became President (and Lana the First Lady). As she and Pete began to drift apart, Lana began to subtly attempt to regain Clark's affections, much to the anger of his (now) wife Lois Lane. Pete and Lana briefly reunited after Superman saved them from being killed by the villainous Ruin in Adventures of Superman.
In Superman #654, Perry White reported that Lana had become CEO of Lexcorp following the ousting of founder Lex Luthor. In Superman/Batman #49, it is revealed that she sold Kryptonite to the government to prevent Lexcorp from going under, and had caches of Kryptonite placed all over the planet, as a last-ditch defense if Superman should ever go rogue. When Superman and Batman come to remove the Kryptonite, Lana refuses to hand it over, and pushes a button which turns the caches into "dirty bombs" which spread Kryptonite molecules through the entire planet, forcing all Kryptonians to vacate. However, Toyman uses special nanobots to remove all of the Kryptonite molecules, undoing the damage. Superman meets with Lana again, with Lana telling him she was left with no choice. Superman responds by telling her that, while he does sometimes wonder what things would have been like if he had married her rather than Lois, there is a reason he is with Lois instead of her: Lois would never have pushed the button. After Superman flies off, someone is shown watching Lana crying on a screen, saying to her "you did perfect". It was later revealed that this entire event wasn't real but, in fact, was a hologramic scenario created by Batman. This is due to bruce paranoia that he has for everyone including Lana.
Following the fall of Lex Luthor during his most recent attack against Metropolis and the chairmen of LexCorp having finally voted him off of the board. In an exclusive article to the Daily Planet, the board members publicly announced that Lana Lang was to take Luthor's place as chairwoman and CEO of Lexcorp. Lana served as the CEO of Lexcorp for a short while. Her successful run as CEO was brought to and end, when she attempted to use Lexcorp's resources to help Superman, facing the time-traveling strongman Atlas, by sending the Luthor Squad. This act activates a dormant program inside the Lexcorp mainframes, an holographic version of Luthor. The holographic copy of Luthor informs Lana that by helping Superman she has violated the Lexcorp standard contract of employment ("very, very fine print"), that forbids Lexcorp employers to use Lexcorp resources for helping Kryptonians, under the penalty of termination. Lana is given five minutes to leave the building, or she will be shot to death.
New Supergirl writer Sterling Gates tells Newsarama "We're integrating Supergirl's book more into the Superman universe, and that includes having a supporting cast that overlaps with that world. I'm very interested in tying her back in to Metropolis and making sure that her world is a part of the Superman universe. Cat Grant will be a regular supporting cast member, as will Lana Lang."
Lana takes it upon herself to reach out to Supergirl. She offers her advice and friendship. Around the same time,
Perry White has been actively pursuing Lana to take over the Business section of the Daily Planet, a position which Lana was afraid to accept, following her bad experience with Lexcorp. Eventually, Lana and Supergirl decide together that Lana will accept the position, and that Supergirl will take on the secret identity of Linda Lang, niece of Lana Lang. Lana now lives in Metropolis with Supergirl, and is working as the editor of the Business section of the Daily Planet.
She briefly returns to Smallville to attend Jonathan Kent's funeral. However, unable to muster enough resolve to patch up things with Clark, Lana leaves before giving him her condolences.
While attending a student journalism award ceremony with Jimmy Olsen and Cat Grant, Lana suddenly collapses, with blood pouring out her nose. She receives a call from her doctor telling her that he has "bad news" for her. Following another collapse, Lana is taken to hospital and operated on. She apparently dies on the operating table, but her body is later encased in a cocoon by black insect-like creatures, which then starts to crack open. The hospital is soon engulfed by a gigantic cocoon-like structure, and a number of workers as well as the Science Police and the Guardian are taken hostage by an army of giant insects. Supergirl is soon captured and awakens bound and gagged at the feet of Lana, who is now possessed by the Insect Queen. The Queen reveals to Supergirl that during her last encounter with Lana, she injected her with a portion of her DNA and has been slowly taking control of her body for the past year, with the ultimate goal of capturing a Kryptonian to use as a template for an army of hybird insects. Supergirl breaks free and is able to expel the Queen from Lana's body with help from Kryptonian technology, and Lana returns to her normal state. While recovering, Lana is visited by Supergirl, who tells her she can no longer be a part of her family due to her lies about her condition.
After the destruction of New Krypton Kara apologized to Lana for her behavior during the Insect Queen event and they reconciled. Kara is having a nightmares about the genocide of New Krypton; an one night the nightmare quickly turns into her friends and family in hell, telling her she hurts everyone she touches. She wakes up and Lana lets her know that she thinks of Kara as family. Kara tells her she no longer wishes to be Kara Zor-El, but wants to be Linda Lang full time now. Lana is currently helping Supergirl reconnect with humanity and helping Cat Grant after Kara witnessed the murder of her mother and father (Allura and Zor-El) and the mass murder of her entire race by Reactron, Lex Luthor, Sam Lane and Lucy Lane as the superpowered villain Superwoman.