One of the sub-genre of future based fiction is fiction based on how the world has gone wrong. This is generally shown in three different ways.
Since the seminal novel 1984 the notion of a dystopian future has been a fertile ground for comics book and science fiction writers. Famously Blade Runner is seen as a movie that defined the genre and established the pallet and conventions. While dystopian futures often take place after some cataclysmic event, they are distinctly different from that of a post-apocalyptic future, even though many of the themes are similar. The genre is typically dominated by two major themes: a massively increased governmental control and the loss of the individual against the whole of society. Generally speaking the dystopian future is seen through the eyes of a protagonist that is struggling against the controlled system which has been placed on them by society.
Although 1984 is considered the stalwart of the genre, others are rightfully equally influential including Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Huxley's A Brave New World. Earlier version were made by Zamyatin and London. The genre can be seen as a reaction against both futurism and communism.
Some notable dystopian comics include:
The desert like imagery and dilapidated buildings were a result of a postulated post-nuclear war landscape which was a very real fear beginning with the advent of nuclear weapons in the 1940's. This fear continued to in strength where it reached it's apex at the height of the Cold War in the 1970's and 1980's. Most post-apocalyptic fiction can be traced to this time frame.
This added element of nuclear waste also leads to the introduction of mutations and mutants which also populate the post-apocalyptic landscape.
The desert setting and the sudden return to a pre-industrial age led to many elements of the Western being included into the post-apocalyptic setting.
Such films as 28 Days Later and the overwhelming success of the television adaptation of the Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic genre has expanded to include both nuclear and biological catastrophes and the subsequent alterations to humanity. In these settings much of what humanity had built before the catastrophe remains, only in a dilapidated condition. As with nuclear mutation, in these stories the biological agents leads to forms of mutation all their own.
End of Days
This concept differs from the similar concept of End of the World mostly by how near the story's proximity is to the disaster. While an "End of the World" tale like the Walking Dead or I Am Legend is set only months or years after the catastrophic event, a Post-Apocalyptic tale may be set decades or even milllenia later well after the event and provides the reader with a glimpse into how society may have evolved in such an environment. Examples of this would be the Mad Max film series, Tank Girl and Waterworld.