Faora has amazing potential as a villain, and up to date she has been defined purely as "Zod's Wife". Granted, spouses are a major part of a person's life, but she was always grouped with him when Superman was in need of distinct villains. She really needs some independence to become her own thing and a unique presence in the comics. Let's face it, she has always been been an orbit character and she's never listed as one of Superman's main enemies. The roster goes Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Parasite, Bizarro, Metallo, Mongul, Doomsday, Mr. Mxyptlk, Darkseid, Magog, and Faora is just one of those sidekicks who goes without mentioning when you list Zod.
Then Antje Traue played her in Man of Steel. Hands down, she was the best part of that movie, and had a lot more presence than Zod. She was a cooler villain, and she has to return for a later movie to be the main villain. She really needs to have her time to shine, because she's cool. Really cool. Except she would have to be developed a lot to become her own thing and her own sort of challenge for Superman, because otherwise the story just becomes another fistfight like it was with Zod. Her personality should be developed. I mean, even though she was genetically engineered to be a warrior, that doesn't mean that she isn't a person who has a distinct life story and a bit of history.
Also, I personally wouldn't mind if she decided to chase after Kal-El. I mean, everyone has heard of Lois and Clark, but Faora and Kal? Now that's an interesting new direction to take Superman, which the writers might as well make happen since they're trying to make literally everything different about the franchise now. Besides, she's interested in continuing on the Kryptonian race and apparently Jor-El created Kal-El for that purpose. If she were to fight for Superman's attention...I would not mind seeing that. Of course, I just flat out want more character development with Faora, because she's so awesome.
In her original appearance in Action Comics #471, she was something other than Zod's wife. She was an original, independent villain, a beautiful kryptonian woman who had a hatred for men, and she tortured and killed them in a concentration camp. I like the idea of her having some sort of prejudice, though I would go with something less cliche. I wouldn't go with misandry, though, since that's an uncreative way of using a female character, and in science fiction and fantasy it's fun to invent new types of prejudices. Speciesism is overdone, though it would be interesting if she had a preexisting prejudice against a species other than humans. I just get tired of aliens coming to Earth and irrationally telling humans how inferior they are. In Smallville, almost literally every alien had that attitude of superiority and it got real old, and I got tired of it. If Faora were to have a prejudice, I think it should be complex and grounded in experience.
Meanwhile, I also like the idea of her working at a concentration camp. Her history could really be developed, because in order for a villain to have presence, there needs to be a sense of history to lend context. The question remains as to what sort of concentration camp she could have worked at, and if it was related to the type of prejudices she might have had. Was she born into that duty? Did she have prejudices before working at a concentration camp? Did she have a chance to exercise her prejudices in the camp, or were the people she hated elsewhere? Who did the camp contain?
Of course, these things don't necessarily have to be part of the definitive Faora storyline, but it's interesting material to look at for inspiration. I can think of other places to look. Man of Steel, for example, provides the best actress for the role who really bring the right type of presence which I think future writers should pull inspiration from, and gets the nail on the head as to what type of physical threat she would be to Superman, since she's genetically engineered to fight and is better at using her superspeed than he is. She also has an awesome Ul family crest that I would definitely like to see reused. In terms of story, though, I'm looking elsewhere, because Goyer really missed out on an opportunity.
Smallville introduced Faora as a regular character in Seasons 8 and 9. In season 8, she appeared in just one episode as an escapee from the Phantom Zone, and she turned out to be Zod's second wife. His first wife was never named, but I'd guess she was Ursa. In any case, the good guys returned her to the phantom zone. What I have to wonder was why Zod, when he appeared in the Season 5 finale and Season 6 premier, didn't take Faora along with him and instead hit on Lana. Seriously, was there a character who didn't go after Lana in that show? Whitney, Clark, Tina Greer, Adam Knight,
Meanwhile, in Season 9, a clone of hers became a regular, and she developed a relationship with Zod. Yet, she became the good guy after slowly growing convinced that Zod was wrong. I loved that she had disagreements with Zod, but I still wanted to see her be an awesome villain. In any case, she stood up and it didn't end well, and I wish that she had something better to say than just and uncertain "Why can't we all get along?" I suppose she could make a very interesting anti-hero or anti-villain. However, when you look past her development, which was an arbitrary subplot, having her stranded on Earth without any powers was very interesting. So I think that would be interesting, to see a plot that emphasized her as a stranded loner, and exercise this in a way that sets her apart from other Kryptonian villains. I know all Kryptonians have known similar circumstances, but it would be interesting to see how they apply to her.
Then I have to wonder how she and Zod married in the first place? Was the marriage formed out of love or was is a business arrangement? If they married out of love and they had an actual romantic relationship, that would be really interesting, and I would actually prefer it because more readers could relate to that and it would humanize the character. I'm trying to imagine the character having feelings, especially the ruthless Man of Steel version. When I think of those feelings, I wonder what other desires she has beyond her genetically engineered purpose. What else is there to her that makes her a complex character? What sort of character development did marriage bring about in her? You take all those things, and the next thing you know, she can come back in a sequel with more than just a cardboard mentality and propose a unique challenge for Kal-El.
Personally, I would not mind seeing a television show called Faora and Zod chronicling both how they fell in love and how they turned to the dark side. It would be a very character-driven show, I think. I'm actually coming up with various different ideas of how to develop her and other Kryptonian characters for my own amusement as a science fiction worldbuilder. I have a lot of ideas, is this is pretty fun, and you might see some Kryptonian fan fiction from me in the future.
Oh, and Antje Traue as Faora is beautiful.