Fantastic work! I'm looking forward to reading this in detail. In my view, COIE remains the best and maybe only major mainstream comic "event" book that really, really worked.
One question: years later, Power Girl is restored to her origin as Superman's cousin. As I recall, the Psycho-Pirate figures in this. Kara is a refugee from a universe that was destroyed. Later, she discovers another universe with another PG, but it is not her own. At any rate, is Power Girl meant to be a refugee from a universe destroyed during COIE or was she made a refugee during some other universe-destroying event?
She's meant to be from the original Earth 2, destroyed in the Crisis.
Originally Posted by ShaunN
I'm coming in very late to this, but I'll take a crack at answering it anyway!
Originally Posted by GovernmentMule
I suspect Marv Wolfman didn't want to go out on a limb (in the final pages of his COIE storyline) by hastily committing himself to exactly what changes (if any) would be visible, from now on, in such characters as Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. He wasn't The Head Honcho at DC, so he couldn't be sure that any ideas he expressed would "stay valid." He certainly couldn't force editors and writers to "do things my way or else!"
Ergo, he didn't have anything happen in the last five minutes of COIE that explicitly showed Superman's backstory and memories "mutating" in the blink of an eye -- because he might have gotten it all wrong, as readers would see it in hindsight a year or two later! By the same token, he didn't write anything (in COIE #12, at least) that made it clear that everybody and his brother in the DCU had now completely forgotten the heroic sacrifice of Kara Zor-El, the Silver Age Supergirl of Earth-One, several issues earlier in the same title! (Although it quickly became clear, after the Superman titles and others had made the transition to Post-COIE continuity, that Kara Zor-El had in fact been erased from history.)
While typing this, I've been reminded of how, several years ago now, I took the trouble to compile a collection of quotes from Marv Wolfman on why he wanted to do COIE in the first place, how he feels it all turned out in the long run, how he feels about the problems of "universal continuity" with dozens of titles all supposedly happening in the same fictional timeline, and so on and so forth. Near as I can tell after some hasty Googling, the copy of that piece which I once posted here on the CBR forums has been deleted (due to old age, I suppose).
However, other copies of it are still available in other corners of the Internet. For instance: Marv Wolfman, Crisis, and Continuity
Looking it over again (for the first time in quite a while), I note one bit that seems particularly relevant to your concerns. The rest of this post is quoted from what I wrote in 2005:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
On Wolfman's website, he says something at http://www.marvwolfman.com/Q&A.html, in response to a question about how some DC heroes seemed to remember things about the Crisis (and the people from one Earth or another who had died in it) in their monthly titles, while others (Superman in his own titles, for instance) seemed totally oblivious. Here's Wolfman's reply on what he originally intended:
As people may or may not know, I never wanted the DC heroes to remember the Crisis ever happened or to ever have it referred to after the series was done. But against my wishes I was overruled by the other DC editors. That is why the heroes went back to the dawn of time so they, and only they could remember. I always thought that was a terrible mistake, and it certainly proved to be so. But, when you're working in a collaborative medium, and the Crisis was just that, they had the right to overrule me. I wasn't happy, but I did the best I could and don't think it hurt the Crisis story although it made the DCU very difficult to navigate through. If my original idea had been accepted the problems you mention would never have happened.