Action 600 – Superman and Wonder Woman kiss, Lois Lane is sad, Lex Luthor hurts his hand, Jimmy Olsen helps out, and Superman vs Man-Bat
John Byrne scripts all of the stories in Action 600 (May 1988), an oversize anniversary issue, which is also the last issue before the book undergoes a dramatic change of format.
George Perez joins for the first story, which continues the Superman/Wonder Woman embrace that concluded the last issue of Adventures of Superman. After the kiss, Superman realizes he may have jumped the gun a bit, and the two cool down a bit, and get to know each other.
Diana gets an emergency message from Hermes, and the couple head to Olympus, which has been invaded by Darkseid. He makes the most of the situation, as Superman and Wonder Woman arrived in different places, and dispatches Kalibak and Amazing Grace to toy with them.
The scheme is pretty simple. Superman is shown that the Wonder Woman he is fighting is really Grace, and Diana gets a similar reveal with Kalibak. Then the two heroes confront each other, both believing the other is really an enemy.
Simple, but also not too hard for the heroes themselves to figure out.
Darkseid abandons the unconquerable Olympus, and the heroes decide to just be friends…for now.
Roger Stern, Kurt Schaffenberger and Jerry Ordway join Byrne for the Lois Lane story, her first solo story since the reboot of Superman. She infiltrates and busts up a crime ring, but her story is relegated to the back pages of the Planet. The Superman/Wonder Woman romance gets the front page.
Lois mopes about a bit, and thinks about her relationship with Superman. Clark shows up, wanting to lend a shoulder to cry on, and the tension between them seems to be ending. Until an emergency calls him away, and Lois fumes even more.
Dick Giordano and John Beatty do the art on the Lex Luthor story, which sees him attempt to blackmail Maggie Sawyer about her sexuality.
Maggie neither bows to his pressure, nor steals the evidence when she has the opportunity. As she explains to Dan Turpin, she is willing to stand up and fight for who she is, and what she has achieved.
It’s not a very good day for Lex, who also is told by Gretchen Kelly that his kryptonite ring has poisoned his hand, which will have to be amputated.
Swan and Anderson re-unite for the art on the Jimmy Olsen story. Sadly, it’s the least involving story in the issue. Superman gets knocked for a loop when the radiation from Krypton’s explosion reaches the Earth, collapsing.
Jimmy carries the hero down into a mine shaft, getting him as far away from the radiation as possible.
The issue ends with another team-up story, with Mike Mignola handling the art as Man-Bat makes his post-Crisis debut.
Man-Bat is surprised to find Superman down in a cave, and even more surprised when the ailing and hallucinating hero attacks him. Man-Bat basically spends the story defending himself.
Hawkman shows up on the final page, informed by Jimmy Olsen of Superman’s situation. This leads into the story in Superman the following month.
As for Action Comics, it goes on hiatus for a while, returning as Action Comics Weekly. Happy anniversary, Superman! As a present, we are reducing you to two pages in the comic that started your career!