For all the endless revisiting of Crises and continuity, I'm amazed no writer ever tackled this. It's always been an annoying brain worm to me that there wasn't some issue showing pre-crisis Superman "alteration" into post-crisis Superman, as pre-crisis Superman did NOT die!
At the end of COIE 12, E1 Superman is a survivor on the last remaining Earth. Of course, E1 was the "main" Superman and there was never a formal distinction between him and E2 Superman until a 70s retcon.
Then comes Moore's "imaginary story" WHTTMOT which happens in the future and features E1 Superman post-crisis. We know this because he mourns the dead Supergirl!
Then a few months later the Byrne reboot happens which of course wipes out the prior history and any memory of such.
But not too long later it is understood that post-crisis Superman fought in the COIE (but with selective memories) which actually placed "Man of Steel" taking place pre-crisis! And post-crisis Superman would have pre-Crisis memories of Robin, Teen Titans, and other things.
I think someone mentioned there was an an obscure issue of some title that showed that "memory wave" hit the denizens of the last Earth after COIE and that's why their memories or histories changed or something. Anyone know this issue by chance?
But it's always been an annoying brain worm to me that there wasn't some issue showing pre-crisis Superman "alteration" into post-crisis Superman, as pre-crisis Superman did NOT die!
Some people just assume that pre-crisis Superman become post-crisis Superman, while others are adamant that they are two different guys.
I'm astounded that Geoff Johns never tackled this in all his continuity heavy crisis work.
I remember the first Whos Who treated them as the same. Not long after D.C. noted that perhaps they should have added separate entries for the two. I do not know if that was ever addressed. It would be interesting to see them meet. My opinion is they were two separate beings. With all the changes since then it is nigh impossible to make distinctions on Superman origins. I suspect the people on this board might be up to the task.