MAD Magazine will be rebooted with a new #1 and a new look when it moves to California later this year, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed today on his Facebook page (see embed below).
MAD Magazine #550, on sale now, will mark the final issue of the current volume of the magazine, which launched at EC Comics in 1952 before being taken over by DC after EC crumbled in the mid-'50s.
A new #1 will launch in April, likely timed as close to April Fools' Day as possible.
April 1 has long been recognized as the symbolic birthday of MAD mascot Alfred E. Neuman, whose gap-toothed visage has graced the cover of the magazine for decades. A version with his teeth and hair "fixed" appears on a promotional image for the new MAD #1, which will be edited by longtime Bongo Comics veteran Bill Morrison.
"Joining up with the crew at MAD is thrilling, exciting and an incredible responsibility,” said Morrison when he was hired. “I don’t know anyone who loves and respects MAD as much as I do. I’ll definitely have my work cut out for me, but I’m dedicated to upholding the high standards of absurd and irreverent humor that the public has come to expect from MAD. I’ve been asked if I will continue to include artist Al Jaffee in the magazine; as soon as I find out who he is, I’ll let everyone know.”
After DC moved from New York to Burbank years ago, MAD had remained behind, the last vestige of DC's east-coast publishing empire. When DC decided to finalize MAD's relocation in 2018, former executive editor John Ficarra and a number of other MAD staffers elected to leave rather than make the move.
Yesterday, DiDio shared an image on Facebook of a current issue of the magazine -- #550 -- which is marked as "final issue" and sitting on a newsstand with other magazines out now.
In DC Comics's solicitations for April's releases, MAD Magazine #551 was listed as the magazine's "first issue since #550," likely a clever way of getting around announcing the reboot until they were ready by using language that hinted at it only in hindsight, but would be otherwise unremarkable for a MAD solicitation.
MAD #551 was slated for a March 27 release.
DC has not yet responded to a request for comment.