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Quote1 This is what happens in a world without Charles Xavier. This is what happens when Apocalypse ascends. This is what happens if we fail. Quote2
Wolverine (Logan)[src]

The Age of Apocalypse is an alternate timeline created by Legion after he had travelled back in time and accidentally caused the death of his own father, Charles Xavier.[1] As a result, this reality diverged into a twisted dystopia terrorized by the cruel mutant Apocalypse.[2] Although this world attempted to heal after Magneto and his X-Men had slain Apocalypse,[3][4] it was plunged into horror once again when Weapon Omega ascended as Apocalypse's heir thanks to a Death Seed.[5][6]

Currently, this reality is sealed off from the rest of the Multiverse as a last-ditch solution to save the Multiverse from the Exterminators, who are now trapped here.[7]


Earth-295 is a reality that was accidentally created through the actions of Legion of Earth-616, son of X-Men leader Professor Charles Xavier and Israeli diplomat Gabrielle Haller. In a misguided attempt to fulfill his father's dreams of human-mutant co-existence, Legion travelled back in time to before his father's falling out with Magneto. Legion believed that Magneto was the reason that Xavier had been unable to bring about peace between humans and mutants, and thus believed that killing him would allow Xavier to fulfill his dreams. Legion was opposed by the X-Men Storm, Iceman, Bishop, and Psylocke, who were dragged backwards in time with him.[8]

Legion had miscalculated, however. Since he had travelled back in time to a point where Magneto and Xavier were close friends, Xavier sacrificed himself to save Magneto. Having inadvertently killed his father, Legion thus created a paradox. The M'kraan Crystal resolved the paradox by restructuring reality. Earth-616 ceased to exist, and the timeline proceeded anew from the point of Xavier's death, creating Earth-295. Legion and the other time-displaced X-Men vanished as the timeline was altered. Bishop, already displaced from his native timeline survived the alteration; but the chronal backlash fractured his mind. He wandered Earth for the next twenty years, without his memories.[1][2]

Unbeknownst to the combatants, the ancient mutant Apocalypse had witnessed the battle from afar. The level of superhuman abilities wielded by Legion, Magneto, Xavier and the time-displaced X-Men led him to believe that the evolution of mutantkind had proceeded sufficiently, and that the world was ripe for his return.[1]

Inspired by Xavier, Magneto sought to educate those who feared mutants, and to show them that humans and mutants could live together in harmony. Magneto's efforts were futile however, and as intolerance and hatred towards mutants steadily grew, Magneto chose to isolate himself from the world. He gathered a small group of young mutants from around the world and brought them to a hideout in Wundagore Mountain. These would be the first of his X-Men, mutants who were taught by Magneto to use their powers for the benefit of the entire world. In time, Magneto's school would house many mutants, from children to adults, receiving sanctuary and training in the use of their powers.[9]

The Rise of Apocalypse[]

Apocalypse was a fervent believer in natural selection, the "survival of the fittest". He believed that the strong deserved to rule the world, and that the weak were fit only for extermination. Apocalypse began slowly gathering mutants to his cause. He first announced himself to the world at large when his Ship appeared in the skies of New York City. His herald Candra proclaimed that the Earth would soon pass into the hands of those deemed worthy; mutantkind.[9]

Apocalypse's first strike, an attempt to seize and launch the nuclear arsenal housed at Cape Citadel was foiled by Magneto and the X-Men.[9] This would not slow Apocalypse much however. Within a few years, North America had fallen under his grip. The fall of America was not enough for Apocalypse, however. His war against humanity and others he deemed unworthy was global, and most of the world's governments fell before him. Apocalypse made the ruins of New York City the capital of his new empire.

War of Secession[]

Once North America conquered, Apocalypse declared the War of Secession a free-for-all where his many lieutenants, all called Horsemen, were made to fight each other, until only four Horsemen remained. Each of these four Horsemen were given a portion of North America to rule as Apocalypse's vassals and closest lieutenants.[10]

World System of the Age of Apocalypse[]

The world powers, as well as the face of the Earth, were drastically changed as a result of Apocalypse's wars. The world was divided between two superpowers: Apocalypse in North America and the Human High Council based in Europe. The domains of Apocalypse were a brutal caste society, with Alpha mutants at the top and humans at the bottom, with weaker mutants in the middle. Humans were frequent targets of cullings and genetic experimentation, and enjoyed little to no legal protection.[11]

Militarily, the two sides were in a stalemate. North America was protected by a sea wall while the High Council had a large cache of nuclear weapons. With the war between the High Council and Apocalypse turning mostly cold, the two sides negotiated the Kelly Accords, a cease fire which brought the promise of peace. The High Council was unaware that the accords were merely a plot by Apocalypse, with the ultimate goal of launching another war.[11]

During this period, Apocalypse had various ties with nonhuman groups: some favorable, as with the Inhumans; some unfavorable, as with invaders from the Negative Zone; and some unforgivable, as with the natives of Planet Poppup, who were subjected to medical experiments.[citation needed]

Below are the various regions of the Age of Apocalypse:

North America[]

The southern part of the continent was divided between Apocalypse and his four horsemen. These provinces were:

  • The Badlands: Western and central Canada, with scattered human hideouts.
  • The realm of Holocaust: West coast of the United States, with capital in San Francisco. Holocaust's land was mainly used for genetic culling and the creation of Infinites.
  • The realm of Mikhail: Part of the Midwest. Very little is known about what Mikhail did here; he resided mostly in Europe, speaking for Apocalypse.
  • The realm of Abyss: Southern United States, including most of Texas and northern Mexico, with capital at Dallas.
  • The realm of Mister Sinister: Although Sinister had secret labs all over North America, he was given the eastern half of the Midwest, with capital at Chicago.
  • The Realm of Apocalypse: centered on the Eastern Seaboard, from Quebec to Florida, with capital at Apocalypse Island (formerly New York City). The X-Men eventually set up a base in Xavier's mansion in Westchester County.

Central America[]

Central America has largely been destroyed and swallowed by the sea, with only a few scattered islands remaining.[11]

There was an Infernal Gallop to Avalon in the seas not far from Bermuda. This was the main route to Avalon.[11]

South America[]

The northern part of South America was mostly flooded, and became known as "The Atrocity Zone", an area with high levels of radiation centered largely on Brazil,[11] caused by a nuclear strike.[citation needed] There may have been an Infernal Gallop on the west coast.[11]

Europe/North Africa[]

Europe endured large scale destruction at the hands of Apocalypse. Central France and parts of Norway, Portugal and the Balkans were swallowed by the sea. Despite this, Europe became the heart of the human resistance. It was governed by the Human High Council (also known as the Eurasian High Council). The region was defended by Sentinels, created by Bolivar Trask, and a nuclear arsenal large enough to destroy the entire North American continent. Many human refugees fled here from North America. Areas of interest included:

  • Muir Island: A possible Sentinel manufacturing plant.
  • London: Home of the Human High Council. Mikhail was also stationed here aboard Apocalypse's ship.
  • The German Colonies: Possible Sentinel manufacturing plants.
  • Pythagorean's Mountain: Former base of Magneto and the X-Men, destroyed by Apocalypse's troops.
  • Human Settlements: Scattered across northwestern Africa.


Asia was a wasteland. Japan was decimated by Apocalypse. The Middle Eastern oil fields were highly irradiated, seemingly the targets of nuclear attacks.[11]


Avalon, built deep within the Savage Land in Antarctica was a hidden paradise, independent of both Apocalypse and the Human High Council. Avalon welcomed both humans and mutants to live in peace within its walls.[11]

Twilight of the Age of the Apocalypse[]

The beginning of the end came when the X-Men discovered Bishop, the only person on Earth who remembered the way reality should have been. After learning of the existence of this alternate reality (backed up by Magneto's own memories of Xavier's death), the X-Men embarked on a quest to stop Apocalypse once and for all and to restore the timeline to its intended course.

Half of the X-Men assisted the Sentinels in evacuating human survivors on the east coast to Eurasia. Meanwhile, Jean Grey and Weapon X assisted in the deployment of the nuclear arsenal destined to blow up the North American continent. The other half of the X-Men traveled to the west coast to stop Holocaust's human culling and destroyed his Infinite plant.

Gambit and his X-Ternals traveled to the distant Shi'ar galaxy to steal the M'kraan Crystal and bring it to Earth to restore history. Strong Guy, a traitor in the group's midst, gave it to Apocalypse. Nightcrawler and Mystique traveled to Avalon to find Destiny, the second part of Magneto's plan to restore history. Generation Next were sent to the slave pens to rescue Colossus's sister Illyana, the third and final part of the plan.

Prelate Cyclops mutinied and freed the slaves in the pens with the aid of Jean Grey. They encountered Nate Grey, a clone created from their combined DNA.

Magneto and Bishop were captured after Apocalypse learned of Magneto's quest to restore history.

Mikhai plotted to take over the Eurasian continent and assassinate the Human High Council, but was stopped by the combined efforts of normal humans: Victor von Doom, Donald Blake, Gwen Stacy, Susan Storm, and Ben Grimm.

End of the Age of Apocalypse[]

The final battle in Apocalypse's stronghold for the M'kraan Crystal saw many casualties, and marked the deployment of both Apocalypse's sea wall defense perimeter and the Human High Council's nuclear arsenal, which threatened to destroy the whole world.

During the battle, Magneto battled Apocalypse to the death, ripping the ancient mutant in half with his magnetic powers.

Also during the battle, Bishop, Destiny, and Illyana traveled into the M'kraan Crystal. Destiny and Illyana's powers helped send Bishop back in time to the point where Xavier was about to be killed by Legion. Bishop managed to stop Legion, and the two were consumed by the backlash of psi-energy.

The Age of Apocalypse, and all memory of it, was seemingly erased with the prevention of Xavier's assassination and the restoration of the Earth-616 timeline. However, the Earth-295 timeline had actually been saved by Jean Grey. Her enhanced powers stopped the weapons from destroying the world and maintained their reality despite its unwarping.

Escape from the Age of Apocalypse[]

The following characters managed to escape the Age of Apocalypse before its apparent destruction:

  • X-Man: Nate Grey was transported to Earth-616 when he attempted to kill Holocaust with a shard of the M'kraan Crystal. He was trapped in a shell of the crystal in orbit but was freed when it plummeted into the atmosphere. He became a prominent figure in the future of Earth-616.
  • The Beast (aka "The Dark Beast" or "The Black Beast"): Escaped by teleporting himself to the center of the M'kraan Crystal and was transported to Earth-616 at the same point in history as Bishop. He continued his heinous experiments in this reality. His presence was discovered during the Onslaught crisis.
  • Sugar Man: Also escaped through the M'kraan Crystal (after hitching a ride inside Colossus' boot) and ended up in Earth-616 at the same point in history as Bishop.
  • Holocaust: The son of Apocalypse was hurtled to present-day Earth-616 when he was stabbed with a shard of the M'kraan Crystal. He was trapped in a large chunk of it in Earth-616's orbit until he was freed by the Acolytes and destroyed Avalon. He was later recruited by Hyperion (posing as the Timebroker) to be a member of the Exiles team. Ironically, when the Exiles confronted Hyperion, Holocaust's life force was consumed by Hyperion. He is now deceased.
  • Blink: Became unhinged in time and was recruited by the Timebroker to be the leader of the Exiles, a group of reality-hopping super-beings who fix errant timelines to save the Multiverse from crumbling.
  • Sabretooth: Like Blink, was recruited by the Timebroker, but Sabretooth became leader of Weapon X, a more aggressive and less conscientious group than the Exiles.

A New Age[]

Sinister claimed to Magneto that he was responsible for the continuation of this reality. Everyone else believed it to be Magneto, who took the credit in order to be a better figurehead for mutantkind. He pledged to keep Sinister's secret, turning a blind eye to his continued experiments.

Over the coming years, Magneto and his X-Men rebuilt the world and freed all the surviving humans from the slave pens. The old world system was reestablished, and Magneto was elected head of Mutant Affairs in America.

Magneto opened a school for mutants in Xavier's mansion and began hunting down all of Apocalypse's surviving henchmen and bringing them to justice. Under constant pressure, Magneto finally went after Sinister.

The ensuing confrontation revealed that the timeline had actually been saved by Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force stopping the weapons from destroying the world and maintaining reality. The X-Men won the battle and freed Jean from Sinister's control.

Shamed by his lies, Magneto turned himself over to the authorities in a self-imposed punishment for his deception. The X-Men vowed to remain together and fight for equal rights for humans and mutants.

The New Apocalypse[]

For some time, things improved until a spaceship landed in the middle of Manhattan. Weapon X and a squad of X-Men went to go and kill whoever was inside it, but none returned, so they were presumed dead for ten years.[12]

However, the spaceship belonged to the Celestials who would come to judge the planet. Weapon X offered himself to the Celestials to prevent the planet's judgment and was further augmented by the Celestial technology; while he had ascended in form and power, his mind had become twisted to the point of assembling a deadly group of modified warriors known as the Black Legion, sending them to kill Charles Lehnsherr, the infant son of Magneto and Rogue, and start a genetic culling killing billions of people including the parents and friends of his wife Jean Grey. He also captured his teammate Storm, used Celestial technology to enslave and transform her into a blind seer made of living stone, and renamed her Orordius. Gateway was locked in a prison named the Sky. When the X-Men and X-Force from the main reality came to save Gateway so he could help them, Weapon X killed his daughter Kirika and revealed himself.[12]

The team was shocked to see that Weapon X was the heir of Apocalypse. His Prime counterpart was also shocked to see Kirika, the daughter he never had, lying dead in his arms, so he became enraged and went feral, attacking his evil counterpart along with the other members of the X-Force. Weapon X was not interested in fighting them but did when he knew they would not leave, only for his Phoenix-empowered wife to stop them. He asked her to listen to him for a while but she questioned his actions and what he had done to their world. He told her he had no choice and if evolution didn't move forward the Celestials would have destroyed the planet if they saw it as failure and he ascended to save everything and to save her. She questioned him about what he had become and he answered that he served a natural cosmic force for evaluation with no "right" and "wrong" in what he did, clearing the dead branches to make room for a healthier stock. After hearing this, Jean declared him as no longer the man she loved. He told her that the Celestials didn't intend for the humanity to reach the final stage, so humanity had to go, the culling was almost over with no undoing it, and with her power their world could be reborn and she could save her friends, stop the war, and they could be together to help him rebuild. Jean was tempted with this offer, but refused and attacked him, telling him she would never build a life atop a graveyard of his making. He told her she would change her mind before rendering her unconscious with one hit teleporting with her to somewhere else intending to turn her into his Horseman of Death, but his efforts were prevented by the Uncanny X-Force. Wolverine from Earth-616 wanted to take Jean back with him to their world, enraging Weapon X to fight and defeat his former teammates to get to her and implant the Death Seed in her. He was last seen approaching Jean with the Death Seed in his hand as she pushed X-Force through a portal to their world.[13]

Apparently he didn't succeed as Fantomex returned to the Age of Apocalypse to request help to stop Archangel, which led to the deaths of Wild Child and Sunfire, leaving only Sabretooth and Jean Grey to return to their timeline.

Jean Grey, seeing what the Scarlet Witch did on Earth-616, intended to do the same thing to Weapon X and his forces in her timeline using clones from their Scarlet Witch created in the last human stronghold city. However, when Magneto saw the clones of his dead daughter, he flew into a rage and destroyed all but one before being talked out of finishing the slaughter, leaving them with one chance to try their plan. Weapon X and his forces reached the city and started killing the humans, while Weapon X himself went in search of Jean, killing both Rogue and Magneto on the way. When Jean arrived she learned that the humans wanted her to use the Wanda clone to depower every mutant on the planet. Jean was appalled, but agreed to do it, only for it to depower only herself and Sabretooth as the effect covered no more than a dozen feet. When Logan entered the room he found Jean powerless and was attacked by Prophet (William Stryker). The X-Terminated and the depowered Jean and Creed fled the city as Weapon X destroyed it.

When the Earth-295 Nightcrawler accessed the power of the Dreaming Celestial to return to his native reality, he unwittingly cracked the walls between the universes that were put there by the Celestials. With these walls broken, ancient Celestial experiments, whose sole apparent purpose was to absorb energy and life, were released from their prison universe into Earth-295 and Earth-616. They used a Death Seed to empower Jean Grey. As the new Apocalypse, she was powerful enough to fight them. Beast implanted a Death Seed in Iceman's back for safekeeping. Unable to defeat the Celestial-made Exterminators, or otherwise save both universes, the X-Men instead sealed the creatures in Earth-295, which would become their new prison universe. It is presumed that these creatures consumed the universe, although they cannot escape it. Prophet (William Stryker) survived as he was unwillingly teleported to Earth-616. Two weeks after the event, he called Harper Simmons to the beach where they spent their time reminiscing.[7]



  • The Age of Apocalypse originally took place across the X-Men titles during the year 1995.
  • In What If...? #81, the human resistance joined up with Magneto to figure out a way to save Earth from the coming of Galactus.

See Also

Links and References

Age of Apocalypse (Event)