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Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction, science fantasy, dystopia or horror in which the Earth's technological civilization is collapsing or has collapsed. The apocalypse event may be climatic, such as runaway climate change; astronomical, such as an impact event; destructive, such as nuclear holocaust or resource depletion; medical, such as a pandemic, whether natural or human-caused; end time, such as the Last Judgment, Second Coming or Ragnarök; or more imaginative, such as a zombie apocalypse, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics or alien invasion.

The story may involve attempts to prevent an apocalypse event, deal with the impact and consequences of the event itself, or it may be post-apocalyptic, set after the event. The time may be directly after the catastrophe, focusing on the psychology of survivors, the way to keep the human race alive and together as one, or considerably later, often including that the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been mythologized. Post-apocalyptic stories often take place in a non-technological future world or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remain.

Various ancient societies, including the Babylonian and Judaic, produced apocalyptic literature and mythology which dealt with the end of the world and of human society, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, written c. 2000–1500 BC. Recognizable modern apocalyptic novels had existed since at least the first third of the 19th century, when Mary Shelley's The Last Man (1826) was published.[1] However, this form of literature gained widespread popularity after World War II, when the possibility of global annihilation by nuclear weapons entered the public consciousness.

Comics

Crossed by Garth Ennis is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which a bodily fluid-borne virus has destroyed civilization. Carriers of the virus develop a cross-shaped rash on their faces and act without inhibitions, raping, killing and torturing the few remaining uninfected humans.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra deals with the lives of Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand, after a plague wipes out all but three male life forms on the Earth, leaving the whole planet to be controlled by women.

The Walking Dead is a comic book series from IC and was written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. It was started in 2003 and concluded in 2019. The story follows a group of survivor

James Howard Kunstler's novel World Made By Hand (2008) imagines life in upstate New York after a declining world oil supply has wreaked havoc on the US economy, and people and society are forced to adjust to daily life without cheap oil.

Canadian novelist Douglas Coupland's book Player One (2010) deals with four individuals taking refuge in a Toronto airport bar while a series of cataclysmic events occurs outside.

Alex Scarrow's novel Last Light and its sequel Afterlight narrate the fall of British civilization after a war in the Middle East eradicates the majority of the Earth's oil supply.

The backstory of the video game series Fallout revolves around the so-called "Resource Wars", beginning circa 2050, when oil supplies become depleted, leading to a disastrous series of wars that include Europe going to war with the Middle East before disintegrating into warring nation-states after all available oil is used up, the United Nations collapsing, the U.S annexing Mexico and Canada, and finally total nuclear war between the U.S and China in 2077 after over 25 years of war.

Crossed by Garth Ennis is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which a bodily fluid-borne virus has destroyed civilization. Carriers of the virus develop a cross-shaped rash on their faces and act without inhibitions, raping, killing and torturing the few remaining uninfected humans.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra deals with the lives of Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand, after a plague wipes out all but three male life forms on the Earth, leaving the whole planet to be controlled by women.

The Walking Dead is a comic book series from IC and was written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra deals with the lives of Yorick Brown and his monkey Ampersand, after a plague wipes out all but three male life forms on the Earth, leaving the whole planet to be controlled by women.

The Walking Dead is a comic book series from IC and was written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. It was started in 2003 and concluded in 2019. The story follows a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic landscape. The apocalypse in this series was brought about by zombies, and it is strongly suspected that the zombies are victims of a virus. The Walking Dead television series is based on the comic books. They have also spawned a motion comic.

Kamandi is an American comic book character, created by artist Jack Kirby and published by DC Comics. In the eponymous series, Kamandi is a teenage boy on a post-apocalyptic Earth that the textual narrative describes as "Earth A.D. (After Disaster)". The Earth has been ravaged by a mysterious calamity called the Great Disaster. The precise nature of the Great Disaster is never revealed in the original series, although it "had something to do with radiation" (in the series' letter column, Jack Kirby and his then-assistant Steve Sherman repeatedly asserted that the Great Disaster was not a nuclear war, a fact confirmed in issue #35). The Disaster wiped out human civilization and a substantial portion of the human population. A few isolated pockets of humanity survived in underground bunkers, while others quickly reverted to pre-technological savagery.

Xenozoic Tales (also known as Cadillacs & Dinosaurs) is an alternative comic book by Mark Schultz set in a post-apocalyptic future starring mechanic Jack Tenrec and scientist Hannah Dundee. Earth has been ravaged by pollution and natural disasters and humanity survived by building vast underground cities. Some 600 years later, mankind emerged to find that the world had been reclaimed by previously extinct lifeforms (most spectacularly, dinosaurs). In the new 'Xenozoic' era, technology is extremely limited and those with mechanical skills command a great deal of respect and influence.

Killraven (Jonathan Raven) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by co-plotters Roy Thomas and Neal Adams, scriptwriter Gerry Conway, the Martians from H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds return in 2001 for another attempt at conquering the planet (later retconned as extrasolar aliens using Mars as a staging area). After humanity's enslavement, men not used as breeders or collaborators are trained and forced to battle gladiator-style for the Martians' amusement; women are used as breeders to supply infants, which are eaten by the Martians as a delicacy. Jonathan Raven, dubbed Killraven as his gladiatorial nom de guerre, escapes with the help of the gladiatorial "keeper", but without his brother, Deathraven. Killraven joins the Freemen, a group of freedom fighters against Martian oppression.

Deathlok is a Marvel comic book character created by Rich Buckler and Doug Moench. Colonel Luther Manning is an American soldier who was fatally injured and reanimated in a post-apocalyptic future (originally given the date of 1990) as the experimental cyborg Deathlok the Demolisher. He verbally communicates with his symbiotic computer, to which he refers as the abbreviated "'Puter". He battles the evil corporate and military regimes that have taken over the United States, while simultaneously struggling not to lose his humanity.

Hercules, as portrayed in the DC comic book series titled Hercules Unbound, featured the adventures of Hercules in a post-apocalyptic future. It made use of characters and concepts, such as the Atomic Knights and the intelligent animals from Jack Kirby's Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth series as an attempt to tie in some of the future series.

Judge Dredd is set in a future Earth damaged by World War III, a nuclear war instigated by corrupt U.S. President "Bad" Bob Booth in 2070. The majority of the world was left an irradiated wasteland filled with hostile mutant lifeforms, with the surviving population being centralized in the so-called Mega-Cities, massive urban sprawls covering entire states created to deal with overpopulation during the 21st century. Further massive conflicts during the comics' present, such as the "Apocalypse War" against East-Meg (the government of the former Soviet territories) and the "Day Of Chaos" has caused even more destruction.

Axa is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth in the year 2080. Axa is a woman who, having grown sick of the regimented and stifling society inside a domed city, flees into the untamed wilderness. The strip mixed elements of science fiction and sword-swinging barbarian tales (the lead character herself bears more than a casual similarity to Red Sonja).

Meltdown Man (SAS Sergeant Nick Stone) finds himself flung into the far-future by a nuclear blast, where the last remaining humans are led by a merciless tyrant called Leeshar and rule over the eugenically - modified animal castes known as 'Yujees'. Accompanied by catwoman Liana, bullman T-Bone and loyal wolfman Gruff, Stone is intent on ending Leeshar's dark reign by leading the slave-like Yujees in rebellion.

Mighty Samson was set in the area around New York City, now known as "N'Yark", in an Earth devastated by a nuclear war. The series featured Samson, a barbarian adventurer, and was created by writer Otto Binder and artist Frank Thorne.

Druuna is an erotic science fiction and fantasy comic book character created by Italian cartoonist Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri. Most of Druuna's adventures revolve around a post-apocalyptic future, and the plot is often a vehicle for varied scenes of hardcore pornography and softcore sexual imagery.

Director George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), and its five sequels, including Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985), popularized the concept of a zombie apocalypse, focusing on the breakdown of American society in a world where the dead are re-animating as mindless, undead cannibals due to some unknown disease, implied to be extraterrestrial in origin, and anyone bitten but not eaten will soon become a zombie as well.

The BBC television series Survivors (1975–1977) and its 2008 remake series focus on a group of British survivors in the aftermath of a genetically engineere

The BBC television series Survivors (1975–1977) and its 2008 remake series focus on a group of British survivors in the aftermath of a genetically engineered virus that has killed over 90% of the world's population. The first series of both versions examine the immediate after-effects of a pandemic outbreak of the flu, while the subsequent series concentrate on the survivors' attempts to build communities and make contacts with other groups.

The Japanese film Virus (1980) illustrates the global effects of the deadly MM88, a fictional virus that potentiates the effects of any other disease. It also features a doomsday device when it's discovered that the nuclear arsenal could be triggered by an earthquake in a chain reaction.

12 Monkeys (1995) is a science fiction film which depicts the remains of human civilization after an uncontrollable pandemic wipes out 99% of the human population. It is a semi-remake of La Jetée (1962), and both films focus on the theme of fate by introducing the ability to travel through time and make contact with pre-apocalyptic society. 12 Monkeys is also a SyFy television series that premiered in 2015.

The Tribe (1999 - 2003) is a television series that deals with a mysterious virus that kills the adult population, leaving the children of the world to fend for themselves. The kids are divided into different tribes and war against each other for their survival. The show focuses on the tribe called the Mallrats, who take shelter in the city's mall to protect themselves from the dangers outside. However the virus mutates and begins to infect all the children, so the Mallrats are forced to search for the rumoured virus antidote hidden in government buildings.

The film 28 Days Later (2002) and its sequel 28 Weeks Later (2007) revolves around a virus in Britain that turns anyone infected into a mindlessly violent psychotic, though still alive and not undead, in a variation of the classic zombie theme. This also makes the infected more dangerous, as they can run very quickly and as their bodies are not decaying. The plot centers on groups of both uninfected survivors and a handful of virus carriers who are immune to the effects of the disease.

In the comedy film Zombieland (2009), a disease mutates most Americans (the rest of the world is not mentioned) and turns them into animal-like creatures hungry for human flesh. The story is about a group of people who stick together and to try survive against the zombies. Another comedy film, Warm Bodies (2013), adds a romantic twist to its story, as a zombie falls in love with an uninfected woman and protects her from his fellow zombies.

The AMC television series The Walking Dead, based on the comic book series of the same name, premiered in 2010. It centers around a group of people in the state of Georgia who struggle to survive and adapt in a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies (here called "walkers") and opposing groups of survivors who are often more dangerous than the walkers themselves. The popularity of the series has led to a spin-off franchise comprising an aftershow (Talking Dead), a companion television series (Fear the Walking Dead, a prequel with different characters from the source material), video games (e.g., The Walking Dead: The Game (Season One), The Walking Dead: Season Two and The Walking Dead: Season Three) webisodes (including The Talking Dead webisodes and the Fear the Walking Dead web series), and numerous parodies and spoofs.

World War Z (2013) is an apocalyptic action horror film based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Max Brooks. The film focuses on a former United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop a zombie pandemic.