At the start of the 70s, the Super-titles consisted of Action Comics, Superman, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Superboy and Adventure Comics (starring Supergirl). These were all being edited by Mort Weisinger, except Superboy which he’d left in 1968. Weisinger was also editing World’s Finest. Superman also appeared in Justice League of America.
Weisinger left his titles in 1970, and they were handed to different editors. The styles used varied. Action Comics was given to Murray Boltinoff, and Superman to Julie Schwartz, but they used the same art team (Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson) and one of the same writers (Cary Bates). Before too long Schwartz took over Action. By the 80s Julie Schwartz was editing everything Superman-related except World’s Finest and Justice League of America.
Supergirl graduated into her own series, and Adventure ceased to be a Super-book for a while. Later Superboy’s feature was temporarily moved back there.
In 1974 Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl and Lois Lane were merged into Superman Family. Initially Jimmy, Lois and Supergirl alternated in the lead slot and were backed with reprints. Later the reprints were dropped and the title carried a mix of features. In 1982 the title was cancelled and Supergirl got a new title, The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl (later just Supergirl).
The Legion of Super-Heroes had been appearing in the back of Action, but lost its place there when Weisinger departed. In 1973 Superboy was converted into a Legion title. The comic’s official title eventually became Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. In 1979 Superboy was dropped and the title became Legion of Super-Heroes.
Along the way the solo Superboy feature was revived for Adventure Comics, and then moved for a short period into Superman Family. In 1979 he got his own title, The New Adventures of Superboy.
When Weisinger left World’s Finest it was inherited by Schwartz and converted into a Superman team-up title. On Schwartz’s departure it became a Superman and Batman book again, although some of the stories were super-sons tales. Bob Haney wrote the Superman/Batman feature into 1979 and gave it its own distinct feel, although his writing is not to everyone's taste. After Haney left the title was more pedestrian.
In 1978 a new Superman team-up title, DC Comics Presents, was introduced. The title didn’t use a regular creative team, so all kinds of things appeared there.
Many of the Lois, Jimmy and Supergirl stories of the 70s and 80s have a second-team feel, although such writers as Cary Bates and Elliot S. Maggin also worked on them. I’m fond of the Leo Dorfman/Kurt Schaffenberger Jimmy Olsen stories from Jimmy Olsen and Superman Family, which depict Jimmy as very capable and have a light touch. After Superman Family's cancellation Lois appeared in back-ups in Supergirl's comic.
Some features spent some time as back-ups in Superman’s main titles and some time in Superman Family. Some of the "The Private Life of Clark Kent" and "The Fabulous World of Krypton" stories were very good. I like the "Mr. And Mrs. Superman" series, about the married Clark and Lois of Earth Two in the 50s. A very amusing Krypto series by Bob Toomey appeared in Superman Family. Superman Family also ran some decent Superman stories by Gerry Conway. The back-ups in the Super-titles of the 80s were often weak.
Beginning with World of Krypton in 1979 DC also published a few Superman mini-series. World of Krypton, about the adventures of Jor-El, wasn't very good, but The Krypton Chronicles, about the history of Krypton traced through Superman's family, has great charm. Steve Gerber and Gene Colan did a surreal and downbeat The Phantom Zone mini.
A post on what went on in Superman’s own feature to follow.
They tried to make "Batman" and "Detective" in the sixties fit in with the TV show with the un-killing of Alfred, that version of the Batmoblie, the Hot-Line and the Penguin being the brains of the Bat-Villains. But the comics took themselves more seriously(for good or bad) than the show.
Breaking up the Superman titles among so many different editors smacks of a panic move by DC brought on by dwindling sales and the sudden absence of Weisinger's iron hand. Seems to me DC missed a golden opportunity when Jack Kirby came on board. Before letting him loose on his own titles, I would have asked Kirby for one year as plotter/artist on Superman. Jack could have developed new concepts and characters for the Superman family that other writers could run with once he had moved onto his own group of titles.