In MAD #346 from June 1996, the lead parody is a spoof of ‘Ellen’ BEFORE Ellen DeGeneres came out, along with a look at ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus.’
Though the first three issues were setting the stage, it was Mad #4 that was the first big hit, thanks to the first direct comic parody, ‘Superduperman.’
Though Mad #2 was an early triumph, Mad #3 feels like a step backward with weak stories and jokes, though it still features a classic in ‘V-Vampires!’
For those playing along, MAD #2 comes — surprisingly — right after MAD #1 and it’s a continuation of the promise made by the last half of that first issue.
MAD #1 — talking about the original 1952 issue, not the 2018 relaunch — was quite different from what MAD would evolve into, but an auspicious beginning.