5. AGE OF APOCALYPSE (1995-1996)

Writer: Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, Jeph Loeb, and others
Artist: Tony Daniel, Steve Epting, Andy Kubert, Joe Madureira, and others

What it’s about: When Legion, Professor X’s son, goes back in time to assassinate Magneto, he mistakenly kills Xavier and changes the comic timeline. After Xavier’s death, a much younger Magneto vows to keep the Prof's dream alive by forming the X-Men in his honor.

Apocalypse, who was waiting for the perfect time to take over Earth, chooses this moment to make his move. As Apocalypse begins his invasion, Magneto and his X-Men fight to stop him. But, unlike most comics, the heroes rarely win in this book. 

Why it’s Earth shattering: This bleak alternate version of the X-Universe was actually a shining light in an otherwise awful decade for comics. The storyline proved so successful that various cartoons and video games adapted these events and some of the characters from the alternate timeline made their way into the mainstream continuity.