Apologies if this is has been asked before and apologies if I’m posting this in the wrong section. I’m really not sure how to even search for this kind of question. I’m relatively new to comics, and I’m confused about the Action Comics/Superman & Detective Comics/Batman titles. Currently and historically, DC has published Superman and Batman (respectively) stories in both simultaneously. From a quick glance, it appears that they tell different stories despite being published at the same time, so what is the difference between them, and how exactly do they relate to each other? Do they both take place in the same continuity/reality or in different ones? Is one considered the main “legitimate” canon title and the other an alternate, or are they both separate but equal canons? I’m aware that occasionally there will be stories that cross over between both titles, so how does that work?
I’m also interested in going back and reading older comics and in the '90s, it seems there were 4 Superman titles being published simultaneously at one point: Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman, Superman, and Superman: The Man of Steel. So what was the difference between those 4 titles and how did they relate to each other? Did they each tell their own separate stories, or were they all telling parts of the same story? Could I just pick one and read it straight through, or do all 4 need to be read at once?
This is all probably basic comic book knowledge for most of you, but like I said, I’m new to this and more than a bit confused, so please bear with me as I dip my toe in. Thanks.