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Intra-Franchise Crossover

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In this instance, 1987 meets 2003, with a pinch of 1984.

Sometimes when a series is rebooted or adapted to another medium, the different iterations of the franchise will crossover with each other. This is much more likely to happen in series that are fantasy or sci-fi bent or if the successor doesn't have the same cast.

In particular, when a Long-Runner does a crossover with itself, there will usually be so many iterations that it has to narrow down which ones to focus on. Sometimes they focus on the original version which started the franchise, sometimes they focus on the most popular. It could also be some sort of education about the more unknown versions for casual viewers, and can be the most recent version since that's what is producing more money now. Regardless of which, such crossovers usually give equal focus to two or more versions if both are loved and well-known.

The explanation for how such crossovers can happen may vary: the most common is that all the different versions of the same characters exist as part of a Multiverse, and once the characters can jump from one universe to another with the required Phlebotinum, they can meet themselves. Another (similar but more rare) explanation is that all these versions exist in the same universe, but are separated by a time period and so once they have Time Travel, the Super Team from the recent cartoon can meet themselves from the original 1960 cartoon. This can get weird when the old characters aren't meeting their descendants or substitutes, the characters are the same — but thanks to a redesign or a Tone Shift, they will look similar but still different enough to stand apart, and you're expected to believe that the character changed his looks and his personality over time, so, usually, the "new one" doesn't remember being the "old one".

Meet Your Early-Installment Weirdness is common when the two iterations have major differences between each other. See also Crisis Crossover, Bat Family Crossover, The 'Verse, The Multiverse. Compare Spinoff Sendoff, where a new iteration of a franchise is launched with a supporting appearance by someone from the immediately previous version. Sister Trope of Alliance of Alternates, where the crossover happens in the same iteration of the franchise (but overlap between the two tropes is not unheard of). Dream Match Game is a very specific variation found in Fighting Games where (nearly) every playable character in the series up to that point will be brought back for a single installment, usually ignoring continuity in the process. Should not be confused with Intercontinuity Crossover, in which two different franchises clash together.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The comic book Battlestar Galactica vs. Battlestar Galactica is a crossover between the two versions of the show.
  • The DCU:
    • Of all Crisis Crossovers DC Comics has had in its history, among the most fitted to this trope is Final Crisis, especially when Superman goes into the Multiverse in the Superman Beyond tie-in and meets a lot of his Alternate Selves from parallel universes, with a lot of known Supermen like the Red Son, as well as new versions of him, like Overman (an ex-Nazi Superman) and President Calvin Ellis (basically Barack Obama as the Son of Krypton). All of them work together to stop Darkseid and end the Crisis. It has a spiritual sequel in the Superman (2016) storyline "Multiplicity", with Supermen from across the multiverse being kidnapped by a new enemy.
    • Another fitting version of this is Convergence, in which versions of DC characters from virtually every Alternate Universe they published up to that point are forced to fight.
    • An earlier form of this happened in Crisis on Infinite Earths, where Superman met his Earth-2 and later Earth-Prime counterparts, which became a major part of the plot of its sequel Infinite Crisis.
    • And going even further backward, it all started with "Flash of Two Worlds", in which Earth-1 Flash (Barry Allen) first encountered Earth-2 Flash (Jay Garrick) after Barry accidentally crossed the "vibration barrier" between dimensions. This was just the start of the Crisis Crossover events DC would have across all of its history.
    • Issue 13 of the DC Super Hero Girls: Spaced Out digital series features Zatanna showing the Super Hero High students a peek into the universe of the television series that premiered in 2019.
    • A case is seen in the events surrounding The Final Days of Superman; the pre-New 52 Superman and Lois Lane have ended up in the New 52 timeline, staying off the radar as they raise their son Jonathan. After the N52 Superman falls in battle against a powerful enemy, the pre-N52 Superman decides to take over for him. At least until much later in Superman Reborn, when the two Supermen and Loises merge with each other.
    • There's also The Button and Doomsday Clock which featured the ultimate confrontation between idealism and cynicism; Superman vs. Dr. Manhattan.
  • Ghostbusters (IDW Comics): After a crossover with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taught them how to travel the multiverse, the original Ghostbusters from the 1984 movie encountered those from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. In a sequel, the crossovers expanded to include the 2016 remake, Extreme Ghostbusters, and several video game versions.
  • The Judge Dredd story "Trinity" sees Dredd pulled into an alternate universe, where he has to team up with his counterparts from both movies to catch the perp and return home.
  • Marvel Zombies has had multiple crossovers with its Spiritual Successor franchise, Marvel Apes.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Verse is a major example based on the Spider-Man character; promising "Every Spider-Man Ever", it's a comic book arc focused around the many different versions of the hero, joining forces in a quest to fight a villain who wants to wipe out all of them. Along with the multiple Spider-Men from comics, ranging from alternate universes, alternate timelines, alternate identities and other superheroes that also have a spider theme, they also mixed in other Spider-Men from animated and live-action series, manga and video games.
    • Among the weirder versions of the character featured in that arc, we find Spider-Man from the corny 60s cartoon, Six-Armed Spider-Man, Spider-Ham, the pig from an alternate universe populated by funny animals, and Takuya Yamashiro AKA Japanese Spider-Man, from the 70s live-action series where he has a giant robot (which he brought to the crossover) as well as both Japanese versions from the manga.
    • However, thanks to copyright issues, they couldn't include every version of Spider-Man as promised. In particular, the famous versions from live-action movies couldn't be shown on panel, but one Spider-Man mentions that he saw another one that looks like the guy from Seabiscuit, another movie by Tobey Maguire, and another one mentions one that looks the guy from The Social Network, another movie by Andrew Garfield.
    • Also, there's the Spider-Men series (2012 and 2017), in which Miles Morales meets Peter Parker from Earth-616 (before the Secret Wars Crisis Crossover) and learns some lessons about how to be Spider-Man. This plot and Spider-Verse were combined to make the 2018 CGI movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
  • Transformers: The Transformers Universe comic book was about Unicron abducting Autobots, Maximals, Decepticons and Predacons throughout the multiverse. The later collectors' club comics take an approach more akin to a Cross Through, with fixed protagonists traveling through the many Transformers universes.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: "What if they were all from different AUs á la Into the Spider-Verse?" has one Animorph from each official alternate universe being transported to the "prime timeline". Cassie is from book canon, Jake is from #11, Marco is from #41, Rachel is from Megamorphs #3, Ax is from Megamorphs #4, and Tobias is from the TV show.
  • Arc Royale is a rare example of a fanfic author doing this with their own fics. In it, the Gods are tired of watching the stalemate between Oz and Salem, and decide it would be more interesting to have the matter settled through a combat of champions. In the supposed interest of fairness, the main combatants are all various incarnations of Jaune Arc (the weakest member of the main cast), each hailing from one of Coeur Al'Aran's many RWBY AU fics and bonded to one of the other characters ala the Fate Series.
  • Carefree is a Sonic the Hedgehog crossover oneshot where SegaSonic canon meets Sonic the Comic canon. Fleetway's Sonic gets stranded on SegaSonic's Earth. He's surprised by how different their Sonic is and how more carefree he seems.
  • Dark World Role Play (Deltarune, Undertale): Even though the roleplay takes place mainly in Cyber World, Jevil also has found his way into the world. There are also channels for specific AUs, and channels so that those AUs can interact with each other.
  • erutcarF is one that features nearly every Sonic continuity, including obscure ones like the French Sonic Adventures comic and the Virgin Books novels. The catalyst for this being the result of Shadow and Silver attempting to fix the Paradox Prism before it completely shatters, only to wind up fixing it too well and causing it to bring various realities together instead of splitting them apart. It's stated that this is because the Paradox Prism seen here itself is a fragment of the original Paradox Prism whose shattering created multiple different dimensions/continuities, but so much time has passed since that initial shattering that the dimensions have "grown out" and stabilized, hence why bringing them back together results in not a clean remerging, but realities blending together violently and trying to force themselves out as the "dominant" one.
  • Fractal Chaos is a RWBY fanfic revolves around a failed experiment causing members of Team RWBY and JN_R (plus Neo) to start swapping places with versions of themselves or their friends some other timelines. Some of these alternates are from Vendetta 543's other RWBY fanfics, such as An Arc for every season.
  • Ultimate Sonic Fighters combines the dimensions of all three major comic book runs, the classic and modern video games, the three DiC cartoons, a manga, two anime, and the movies.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 

  • In one strip of the Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf manhua, Wolffy in his Mr. Wolffy, Mr. Right! design meets Sparky and Weslie in their designs from the normal show. Wolffy doesn't stick around for very long.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 are no longer the same franchise, but because there are several common elements (chiefly the Chaos gods), some of their units can be used interchangeably between games.
    • The Liber Chaotica is an in-universe book written by a (Fantasy) Imperial scholar on Chaos daemons, with one section on 40K daemon engines related faithfully despite his utter lack of comprehension at what's going on.
    • Some extremely destructive weapons can occasionally be found in the Chaos Wastes (a Grim Up North place where the Warp intersects with reality) that can be recognized as 40K weapons such as power swords and plasma guns.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • The Alvin and the Chipmunks episode spoofing Back to the Future has the 1980s Chipmunks meeting their 1960s counterparts from The Alvin Show.
  • The final episode of Ben 10 (2016) was Alien X-Tinction, a one-hour special that had Ben team up with the all the differently aged versions of himself from the "Classic" continuity, as well as the version of Gwen who got the Transformation Trinket instead.
  • An In-Universe example happens in The Fairly OddParents!. In the episode "The Crimson Chin meets Mighty Mom and Dyno Dad", the Crimson Chin meets several wildly different versions of his Era-Specific Personality, from the '30s pulp-fiction Chin, to the "super-edgy" 1985 Chin, who got cancelled for swearing.
  • The Justice League episode "Legends" was initially intended to feature the Justice Society of America. The rights weren't cleared (possibly because the superheroes involved were portrayed as somewhat bigoted), so the writers instead used a Captain Ersatz version called "The Justice Guild".
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one version of the Couch Gag, the Simpsons run in and find the original versions of themselves already sitting there.
    • In "The Day the Violence Died", the day is saved by Lester and Eliza, who are basically the Bart and Lisa from The Tracey Ullman Show shorts.
    • In the thirteenth Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer makes clones of himself during the segment "Send in the Clones". After the clones cause trouble, Homer attempts to abandon them and the hammock that created them, but the clones just use the hammock to create even more clones; one of the degraded clones looks like Homer from the early Tracey Ullman Show shorts, who says "Let's all go out for some frosty chocolate milkshakes!"
    • In a later Treehouse of Horror segment (XXV's "The Others"), the Simpsons are haunted by the ghosts of the Tracey Ullman-era Simpsons. The ending of that segment featured various derivatives of the family wanting to move into the Modern Simpsons' house after they were killed. Most of the alternate Simpsons were created specifically for this scene, but three previous versions do make an appearance here — the "Island of Dr. Hibbert" ("Treehouse of Horror XIII") Simpsons in their animal forms (Panther Marge, Spider Bart, Aardvark Maggie, Owl Lisa, and Walrus Homer), the LEGO Simpsons from "Brick Like Me", and Sylvain Chomet's version of the Simpsons from "Diggs"' Couch Gag.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spider-Man: The Animated Series has the "Spider Wars", which (along with the later Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, mentioned in the Video Games section) actually inspired the Spider-Verse comic book storyline. Here, Madame Web (and later the Beyonder) first recruited Spider-Man from the main universe of the series and later recruited various alternate versions of him, including Armored Spider-Man (a kind of "Tony Stark" version of Peter Parker), Six-Armed Spider-Man (a mutated version of him that permanently has six arms, seen in comics and the same series but Gone Horribly Wrong), Spider-Man with Doctor Octopus' arms (predating Superior Spider-Man by decades), Spider-Man as an actor, and even the Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly as in The Clone Saga). This group is simply named the Spider-Men.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man did its third season serve as this, having Peter interact with Noir, Spider-Ham, 2099, Spyder-Knight, Spider-Girl (in this case, a Gender Flip version of him named Petra Parker), and Miles Morales (who made his animated debut with this show). It even got a sequel in which the obscure Blood-Spider and Spider-Gwen (likewise making her animated debut here) got to join the fun.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) did something similar to Turtles Forever, with an episode crossing over with the 1987 cartoon with a plot similar to Turtles Forever. Since the 1987 cartoon was hand-drawn but the 2012 cartoon was CGI, the episode uses Art Shift, alternating between hand-drawn animation and CGI depending on which universe the scene takes place, and converting the look of the Turtles in the process. For some reason, 1987 and 2012 Donatello stay in their original 2D and 3D forms when they enter the 1984 comic universe, even having colors when the whole comic book world is black and white.


Video Example(s):


This is an army

Jason and the other Rangers called in to assist the Beast Morphers against a joint enemy force consisting of robo versions of Blaze and Roxy. And the one leading them is Goldar Maximus.

Jason responds that he's called in an army. An army of rangers from other series from MMPR to Dino Charge and Dino Thunder.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / IntraFranchiseCrossover

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