Mad magazine started off parodying comic books and continues to do so. Their parodies of popular characters often met. In their 1950s Popeye spoof, for example, their lampoon of the squinty-eyed sailor fought an ersatz Superman, Lil Abner, and other comic-strip strongmen.

Wally Woods and Frank Jacob's "A Comic Opera" (1960) is a little different. While hardly a licensed crossover, it uses the actual names of established comic-book characters while playing with their various conventions. Dick Tracy's attempt to save a no-longer-Little Orphan Annie misfires, killing Dagwood Bumstead. Tarzan, the Little King, Donald Duck, and others watch Dag's final song-and-danse macabre.