Krypton has been portrayed in a myriad of ways over the decades. Arguably, the most famous renditions are those found on the big screen in the Superman movies and later adopted on the small screen by Smallville. I'm referring, of course, to the barren landscapes dotted with crystalline structures (as seen above).
Personally, I really like Kevin J. Anderson's portrayal of Krypton in his book, The Last Days of Krypton, which incorporated all the different views into one image of the planet. After all, we are dealing with a whole planet here - plenty of room to have wildly varying regions.
In this section I will attempt to compile as much information about Krypton as possible, because language always is impacted by and intertwined with environment, history, and culture.
Where are we now?
According to Superman Through the Ages, we are now in the mercurial age of Superman's long history. Mercurial is right! According to the website, the authors over at DC are picking and choosing from Superman's history - not deciding on anything ahead of time. ...Especially given what I'm trying to accomplish here, that approach is very frustrating and seems pretty lazy if you ask me (which you didn't.) Here's the quote from the site:
"There's a tremendous amount of back history to sort through and decide upon, and the general feeling is that taking things on a case-by-case basis leaves us more room to explore and to be inspired along the way. We'd like to not limit ourselves by deciding everything up front.
"Kurt Busiek and Geoff Johns are approaching the character from a place of affection. They plan to use elements from across Superman's rich history, not just drawing from one era, but using whatever's interesting from the Golden Age, pre-Crisis, post-Crisis, the movies, the TV shows and more - and to build it all into something new and exciting."
~ Current Superman and Action Comics editor Matt Idelson ~
Making the best of it...
Since so much of the Superman mythos is up in the air (no pun intended) I am forced to do on my own what Matt Idelson has outlined above: pick and choose from the mythology and build something that is consistent and thorough. As such, much of what you see in this section will be ideas, stories, and elements hobbled together from a myriad of sources - glued together mostly by works of my own imagination.