Action 836 (April 2006) is part of a three-part story running through the Superman books this month, a crossover storyline with Infinite Crisis, that pits Superman against the original, Golden Age version of the character. Joe Kelly scripts, with another big line-up of artists: Dan Jurgens, Kevin Conrad, Dick Giordano, Jose Marzan Jr, Ed Benes, Ian Churchill, Norm Rapmund, Andy Lanning, Phil Jimenez, Thomas Derenick, Drew Geraci, Renato Guedes, Lee Bermejo and Doug Mahnke.
Continuing from the pages of Superman, the two variations of the same character fight, but also merge, and in this middle chapter, the original Superman lives the life of the post-Crisis one.
When the story replays the first meeting between Superman and Batman, from the Man of Steel miniseries, this Superman calls Batman on his lie right away, and shows an openness and trust that gets Batman on his side right from the start. And with Batman at his side, Luthor’s kryptonite ring is no threat. Batman steals it right after Luthor first uses it.
The Golden Age Superman is amazed at how similar things are with Lois. The first meeting sparking his feelings, her brief rage when she learns his identity, but the love that can never be destroyed.
When it comes to the death of Superman, the battle with Doomsday, Superman does not die. Of course he doesn’t. No one had a chance to kill the hero through the 30s, 40s and 50s.
But as the story progresses, it gets much darker. When it gets up to the rape of Sue Dibny by Dr. Light, and the Justice League’s decision to wipe his mind, Superman steps in with another solution – the Phantom Zone.
Superman becomes increasingly totalitarian, and winds up leaving the League, and forming the Elite, along with Batman, Hawkman, Guy Gardner, Green Arrow and Manchester Black.
The story concludes in the next issue of Adventures of Superman, but the issues ends with Jimmy Olsen getting hit by the Infinite Crisis wave, as we see different versions of him.