Lyla Lerrol

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from Superman No. 141, 1960 Art by Wayne Boring

Lyla Lerrol

"Krypton's most famous emotion-movie actress" and "most glamorous beauty," a "hauntingly beautiful," "breathtakingly lovely girl" with whom Superman shares a passionate, poignant romance after having journeyed through the time-space barrier to the planet Krypton at a time preceding its destruction. Stranded for a time on his doomed native planet, Superman manages ultimately to escape the death of Krypton through a bizarre quirk of fate, while Lyla Lerrol—like Jor-El and Lara and all the other doomed millions of Krypton—remains helplessly behind to perish in the impending cataclysm.

In November 1960, after having journeyed accidently through the time-space barrier, Superman finds that he has arrived on the planet Krypton at a time prior to its destruction, on the day Jor-El and Lara are getting married. Bereft of his super-powers on this, his native world, and unwilling to shatter his parents' happiness by telling them that their planet is doomed to destruction, Superman befriends his parents-to-be without telling them who he is - and even obtains temporary employment as Jor-El's assistant - while he grapples with the agonizing dilemma of how to escape the impending doom of his planet. "Since I can't fly away under my own power," muses Superman grimly, "I'm trapped here on Krypton! I'll perish when this world explodes!.... How ironic! I survived the destruction of Krypton as a child, and now may die as an adult in that same explosion!"

During the time he is stranded on Krypton - a period, apparently, of several weeks - Superman is introduced to the blond Lyla Lerrol by his parents, and, almost against his will, he surrenders to the greatest romance he has ever known.

Two pairs of lips meet, and two hearts thrill as one... as deep within the heart of Krypton, fiery forces clash and twist and churn, foreshadowing dreaded things to come... but the flames within the planet are like cold glaciers, compared to the mighty love blazing between Superman of Earth and Lyla Lerrol of Krypton...

"I'm glad that despite all the untold billions of worlds in the vast infinity of outer space, we two somehow found each other..." whispers Lyla.

"The universe would have been created without meaning for me if I had never met you, my darling..." replies Superman.

"Lois loved me because I was Superman," muses the Man of Steel at one point, "but Lyla loves me for myself! On this world I'm just an ordinary mortal!"

When it becomes apparent to Jor-El that Krypton is going to be blown apart by internal stresses, Superman joins forces with the great scientist in a valiant - but hopeless - attempt to oversee the construction of a gigantic space-ark to transport Krypton's millions of inhabitants to a safe haven on Earth. But Krypton and its people are doomed to destruction. When efforts to complete the space-ark fail, Superman reconciles himself to spending his remaining days on the doomed planet with his parents and Lyla Lerrol, the Kryptonian girl he loves. Bravely, they plan to face the oncoming doom together.

And so, soon afterwards, the couple announce their intention to marry as soon as Lyla has completed work on her forthcoming "emotion-movie." "The happiness we'll share as husband and wife," promises Superman, "will more than compensate for whatever happens later!"

"A love like ours," muses Lyla silently, "can't be measured in mere days or years! Even one enchanted moment is worth a dozen ordinary lifetimes!"

But just as history has decreed that Krypton and its millions will perish, so has it decreed that Superman will survive the death of Krypton and escape to Earth. As the filming of Lyla's "emotion-movie" nears the completion of its final sequences, an extraordinary mishap - an event the odds against which could only be called astronomical - results in Superman's being catapulted violently into outer-space inside a mock-up rocket ship being used in the filming. "Lyla!" cries Superman as he stares helplessly out the porthole. And then he thinks, "I've lost her! Just when I'd resigned myself to perishing on Krypton with Lyla and my parents... this had to happen, due to a strange twist of fate!"

And so, soon afterward, far out in space, far from the gravitational pull of Krypton, Superman regains his super-powers and crashes through the hull of his mock-up spacecraft to freedom.

"If I return to Krypton," muses Superman, "I will lose my super-powers again! Fate can't be changed! It's impossible for me to save Lyla or my parents! Earth needs me!"

And so, flashing across the universe at incredible super-speed, Superman returns to his adopted planet Earth. Already, the passionate, wonderful, bitter-sweet romance with Lyla Lerrol on Krypton is receding in his mind's eye "like a strange, incredible dream!" (S No. 141, Nov 1960: "Superman's Return to Krypton")

Though Superman's time with Lyla is brief, the love they shared and the susequent realization she most likely perished when Krypton was destroyed, causes Superman to be continually haunted by her memory on many occasions throughout the chronicles. On a least two near-death experiences Superman thinks of Lyla when he believes he is about to die; once when it is assumed Superman is suffering from the fatal Kyptonian illness Virus X (S No. 156, Oct 1962: "The Last Days of Superman!" pts. I-III—"Superman's Death Sentence!"; "The Super-Comrades of All Time!"; "Superman's Last Day of Life!"); and again when he is left helpless due to the effects of a chunk of green Kryptonite (in this case, a 'gift' from his imperfect genetic duplicate, Bizarro). (S No. 157, Nov 1962: "Superman's Day of Doom")

Superman also encounters an android duplicate of Lyla on Krypton-II, an artificial duplicate of the planet Krypton that has it's own artifical red sun, causing Superman to lose his powers. The planet is populated by android duplicates of the Kryptonian population prior to the planet's destruction, (the android Jor-El family seems to own an android pup called Krypto, placing Krypton-II in a time after Superman's last return to Krypton). Believing he has encountered the real Lyla, Superman makes his identity known, to which Lyla angrily denies ever knowing a Kal-El, and admitting she is engaged to Zik-Tul, the Kryptonian film director (possibly the same director who hired Kal-El when he accidently arrived in the past, prior to Krypton's destruction). Though these are only android duplicates, they are duplicates of Kryptonian civilization as it existed at the time Krypton-II was created, perhaps preserving a somewhat later time period.

When Superman unknowingly sets off a series of booby traps across Krypton-II that bring about great destruction across the planet (originally designed to destroy a malevolent alien armada who sought to invade the real Krypton), he seems to nearly wipe out the whole populace - except for Lyla. Believing himself and Lyla to be the only survivors, Superman apologizes for killing her fiancee, only for Lyla to then ask Kal-El to renew their romance. Like a strange dream, a disillusioned Kal-El and Lyla fall in love all over again, visiting the Cloud Castle and the Grotto of Images, and then taking a trip on the Arrow-Mobile. When Superman finds an undamaged alien spacecraft, he believes he and Lyla can return to Earth. However, Superman only sets off a further series of booby traps that brings about world-wide destruction to the planet, and kills the android Lyla. However, before she dies, the android Lyja gives Kal-El a microfilm projector, which contains recordings by both Jor-El and his android that detail the true nature of Krypton-II. Realizing that the Lyla he encountered was an android, that he is not a mass murderer, and that Krypton-II is not truly his homeworld, Superman quickly makes his escape from the decoy Krypton on the spacecraft, as the destrution across the planet causes it to fall out of orbit and into it's artifical red sun. Returning to Earth, Superman's powers quickly return, however, the pain of losing Lyla for a second time seems to make the memory of their original parting all the more painful. (S No. 189, Aug 1966: "Krypton Lives Again!" "Krypton's Second Doom!")

In 1985 (SA No. 11, "For the Man Who Has Everything") the Black Mercy causes Superman to hallucinate that he and Lyla are married and living on Krypton. In this account, her name is hyphenated as "Lyla Ler-Rol."

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