The Rise of Apocalypse
In the future where Xavier is long since missing, human-mutant relations have seriously degraded. Apocalypse believed in natural selection, the "survival of the fittest." By this reasoning, super-powered beings deserved to run the world. When he saw such beings in action twenty years early, he got an early start on his campaign for world domination. Without heroes such as the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the Avengers, there was no one to stop him.
So began The Culling, in which Apocalypse initiated a type of martial law. Lethal force was encouraged. You could fight someone to the death just to get their belongings, or claim their home as yours. Anyone can challenge anyone else. However, if you challenge Apocalypse himself and lose, you become a new, mindless guard or hound. Most humans were eliminated, but some escaped to Africa, where they are led by a secret intelligence rumored to be a super hero.
Darkseid was drawn to the chaos on Earth. He has a special interest in Earth, as he believes humans possess collectively within their minds most, if not all, fragments of the Anti-Life Equation. Darkseid intends to probe the minds of every human in order to piece together the Equation.
Apocalypse and Darkseid come to a tentative arrangement: Apocalypse will rule the mutants with an iron fist and Darkseid receives all humans, instead of just culling them from the stock.
The only opposition was Superman, who took up Xavier's cause and brought together the X-Men and Justice League.
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 war against normal humans. The world was divided between two superpowers: Apocalypse in North America and the Darkseid and the Human High Council everywhere else. Both groups claimed to act in the best interest of their genetic breeds.
Militarily, the sides were in a stalemate. North America was protected by a sea wall. Darkseid had a large cache of nuclear weapons. As in our own Cold War, both sides were calling for peace while plotting the other's destruction. Any incident could spiral out of control and lead to the annihilation of all humanity.
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. Darkseid, on the other hand, armed himself with the Furies and Parademons. While he befriended the Injustice League and the Injustice Gang.
The People of the World
The Age of Apocalypse is run in a tight hierarchy. Here are the people you should know, the alliances you should be aware of:
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse
War - Valentine
Pestilence - Storm(NPC)
Death - Unrevealed
Others (NPC): Gorilla Grodd, Blindspot
Four Horsemen of Apokalypis
War - M'gann M'orzz (NPC)
Pestilence - Zealot (NPC)
Famine - Freefall (NPC)
Others (NPC): Captain Marvel, Black Adam, Argent, Mystique's Female Furies
HIGH HUMAN COUNCIL
Black King: Vandal Savage (NPC)
White King: Unrevealed
Others: Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Timothy Drake
SUPERMAN'S SECRET LEAGUE OF MERCENARIES
Wonder Woman (NPC)
OTHER NATIVES OF EARTH-295
The Lay of the Land
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 War: west coast of the United States, with capital in San Francisco. Mainly used for genetic culling and the creation of Infinities.
- The realm of Pestilence: part of the Midwest. Not much is known about what happened here; resides mostly in Europe, speaking for Apocalypse.
- The realm of Famine: southern United States, including most of Texas, with capital at Dallas.
- The realm of Death: Although he has secret labs all over North America, he was given the other part 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). Somehow the X-Men escaped detection in the ruins of Xavier's mansion in Westchester County.
Ruled over by Darkseid. Asia was a wasteland. Japan was decimated by Apocalypse. The Middle Eastern oilfields were nuked and turned into a hellish firefield by Darkseid.
Avalon (the Savage Land in the Marvel Universe) was a lost world independent of Apocalypse and the Human High Council and was a safe haven for mutant and human alike.
Central America disappeared, possibly to make room for the sea wall (the exact means and motive were never disclosed). There was an Infernal Gallop to Avalon in the seas not far from Bermuda.
South America became known as "The Atrocity Zone." Brazil was obliterated by a nuclear strike. There may have been an Infernal Gallop on the west coast. Darkseid happily rules the Atrocity Zone from his headquarters in Asia. Mystique's Female Furies and The Four Horsemen of Apokolips rule South America with a brutal hand.
The people who escaped from the United States gathered here. They were 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. 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
- Pythagoreans Mountain: former base of Magneto and the X-Men, destroyed by Apocalypse's troops
- Human Settlements: scattered across northwestern Africa