Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I've done over the years.
The Age of Apocalypse was a famous X-Men crossover based on the somewhat basic principle of "What if Charles Xavier was killed years before he was able to form the X-Men? With the major ramifications being his friend, Magneto, formed the X-Men instead in honor of Xavier and the battle where Xavier died also woke Apocalypse up before the world had superheroes, so Apocalypse has conquered most of the world." Therefore, since everyone grew up in a world conquered by Apocalypse, the characters were all drastically changed, personality-wise (some a lot more than others). Some of the end results were very cool characters. Here, then, are the top five Age of Apocalypse characters!
Okay, he's only here at all because of the Joe Madureira costume re-design. But holy crap, what a re-design! You know you have a good re-design when they go out of their way to somehow work your alternate universe re-design into the mainstream continuity (like Alex Ross' cool Red Robin design)...
You have to understand that at the time, every other Iceman story was "He could be so powerful, if he only let himself!" So to see him BE that powerful during AoA was nice to see, while still being his typical self...
Similar to Sunfire, I'm less interested in how Nightcrawler actually acts in the series so much as I really like the idea of Nightcrawler as a pirate. It's a very clever riff on the swashbuckling Nightcrawler that we saw for so many years in X-men and Excalibur...
Logan is Logan is Logan is Logan for the most part (like how the Gambit of AoA was basically just Gambit), but I had to at least give him an honorable mention for the moment we all hoped was coming as soon as we saw that the Wolverine of this world had his hand blown off by Cyclops...
DAMN, Adam Kubert, you are all sorts of awesome!
A bit of a one-note character, but boy, Holocaust hit his one note REALLY well. They really played the ominous nature of him well. The sort of "Oh crap, Holocaust is here! We are screwed!" aspect of the character.
You can understand why they brought him over to the regular continuity, but I think he never really worked in the normal continuity. He's just TOO powerful and TOO dark. Maybe he'd work in the DC Cinematic Universe. Superman could kill him after he's culled the entire population of, say, Pittsburgh.
Kitty as a wild, almost sadistic instructor of younger mutants was a clever approach. And the claws worked really well on her.
I like that beyond it all, you could tell that she legitimately DID care for her charges, even if she had a messed up way of showing it.
Go to the next page for the last few honorable mentions and the start of the top five!