Jean Grey dispatching the U-Men (humans who steal the organs of mutants to gain their powers) singlehandedly (and VERY humiliatingly) was awesome, and around this time, she had no problem with casually assimilating the knowledge of far-distant people. Then there was the time she turned the wreckage of Asteroid M into a solar-powered ship atom by atom, once she went Phoenix again, followed by the priceless line to Wolverine: "Have your eyes grown back yet?"
Earlier when she smacked down Sabretooth. It may not be the in your face kind of awesome, but she wasn't just a wimp when she came back (but those Running the Asylum sure seem to have not noticed she was ever like that).
Jean: "You're a firecracker, Creed. I'm an atom bomb.
When Magneto's new Savage Land mutate Lorelei hypnotizes the male X-Men(Cyclops, Angel, Beast and Iceman), Jean Grey is immune to her powers and battles Magneto alone. She telekinetically operates Cyclops' visor to open and blast and destroy Magneto's mutation device, causing Lorelei to lose her powers and freeing the other X-Men.
There is a crossover scene where, as Spider-Man previously believed Logan was hitting on MJ, he goes berserk and starts aggressively attacking him during an Avengers training session. Wolverine "accidentally" snikts him, making Spider-Man attack him even more aggressively. Iron Man eventually holds him back, which leads to this:
Wolverine: You're a nerd who scored a hot chick Parker. I'm happy for ya, but that doesn't mean everyone else is after her.
Peter then miraculously gets free, which causes Captain America to ask Iron Man (who can be considered a nerd) what happened.
Cyclops has the scene when, after losing his powers, he's blasting at the members of the new Hellfire Club Inner Circle with a gun while talking casually to a completely befuddled Colossus. Not what it appears.
Piotr (Colossus): Shto...? Scott?
Scott (Cyclops): BLAM! Pete, hey. You would not believe the day I'm having.
Piotr: Katya! (Goes over to fallen Kitty Pryde, NOT shot by Cyclops)
Scott: She's okay. I'm trying to get her to wake up.
Piotr: By shooting people?
Scott: Peter, please. I'm an X-Man. I don't shoot people. BLAM! I'm just trying to make a point.
Scott's good at these. We can't forget the bit in Astonishing X-Men where Cyclops tugs off his visor and gives a rampaging Sentinel a full blast of his Eye Beams... which pretty much destroys the Sentinel and scythes most of the mansion's landscaping clean.
Considering that there has always been some doubt in Scott's mind as to whether he could really be a leader, taking on his father-figure's catchphrase to begin attacking an entire world should tell you his confidence.
His capture was actually a Batman Gambit, as demonstrated by a hilariousOnce More with Clarity, as he allowed himself to get captured and interrogated by the villains (who were bugging the ship they were in) to properly disable them from the inside, while using Emma's psychic powers to silently link up with the rest of the team.
Don't forget the time while Professor Xavier was comatose and Mastermind made everyone believe he was the still-evil Phoenix, he lured every member into the Danger Room, and took them down one by one - including Storm and Wolverine - but more importantly, he made them start doubting their eyes. And in a pure stroke of genius, Cyclops forced Rogue to touch Xavier so she can could read everyone's mind and realize what's really going on. This my friends, proves why Scott is the Leader of the X-men. See the fight here.
That arc was a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for Mastermind as well, a former B-Lister, who had been left in coma by Phoenix. Some villains announce their comeback with a rampage. Mastermind announced his by nearly destroying the X-Men.
Also, one from decades ago, when the X-Men have been defeated by Proteus, Scott picks a fight with the entire team — starting with Wolverine — and defeats them single handed in order to help them focus. While knowingly risking being carved to giblets by Wolverine (who he deliberately fights hand-to-hand).
Cyclops gets jumped by six guys while out Christmas shopping. He's effectively blind, as opening his eyes would smash innocent folks into goo. He calmly annihilates his attackers in hand-to-hand combat, then finds his glasses, purely by memorizing the steps he took. While fighting.
Once upon a time Cyclops was captured and immobilized by a Mad Scientist wanting to cut out his eyes. Cyclops first pointed out that he'd memorized the brand names of the equipment, so if the Mad Scientist doesn't kill Cyclops, he'll track him through that. And if he does kill Cyclops, there's going to be a very angry nigh-omnipotent psychic redhead looking for him. Either way, the Mad Scientist is going to end up having a talk with Wolverine. Said Mad Scientist wisely lets Scott go.
Cyclops masterminding the defeat of the Dark X-Men and Norman Osborn, and the creation of his own mutant nation, was a glorious moment for him.
He pulled a nice one recently. So we have the Void, reality-warped Evil Counterpart of the batshit insane Sentry. After hovering around in Emma's diamond form for awhile, it gets into Scott's head when the latter tries to help her. Emma promptly goes back into the mind link to try and save him, only for Scott to boot her out of his head, then use all of the emotional repression he's learned from his time with the X-Men to utterly own the Void, sealing it into a harmless inert form when it tries to take over his mind by driving him insane.
Secret Invasion X-Men, Chapter 1, after hijacking an Invading Skrull ship they're stopped by an alien priest calling himself a soul Shepard before comanding that they kiss his feet, Cyke just bluntly blasts him into a wall before telling the X-Men to strip the ship of everything they can use against them.
Curse of the Mutants. Scott plays the Vampires like tools. After turning Jubilee, the Vampire nation plan to use her to lure Logan to their base and allow her to turn him, and then send him to kill Cyclops. However, Scott knew this and had Wolverine's Healing Factor checked against Vampire Venom to see if he'd be able to cure himself. When he discovers he would be, he disables it so that, when Jubilee attempts to turn him, they wont just capture him if he turns out to be immune. So When Vampire Logan goes to kill him, he remotely reactivates his power, purging him of Vampirism and reverting him to normal, right in the heart of the Vampire army. During this, Cyclops had also had Dracula resurrected, and tricks him into getting revenge on the Vampire nation for betraying him. Once he regains power and decides that he too would like to turn all the mutants into vampires, Cyclops reveals he had made a special device that would kill him during the time he was dead. While Dracula tries to pretend he doesn't believe him, Cyclops insists he's not bluffing, convincing Dracula to abandon any attempts to turn any mutants into vampires. Yes, Cyclops Outsmarted every vampire in the world and then scared Dracula into peace.
He had an awesome moment at the end of God Loves Man Kills. Professor X was hooked up to send his psychic energy out to kill all nearby mutants and time was running out. He gives Wolverine the okay to have Nightcrawler teleport him next to Charles and kill him and then turns his head to the side and fires a beam. Cue that beam bouncing off reflections while Wolverine's attempt fails and he is mind bolted. With Xavier distracted he doesn't realize until too late that the optic beam will hit him and is hit across the jaw and knocked out. Wolverine was just a distraction and Cyclops pretty much created a plan before Xavier could detect it and before Cyclops himself could think of it!
A very subtle one in Astonishing. When the mutant cure is all over the news and Beast is being tempted to take it, not only does Cyclops not take the cure for himself despite the fact his powers are arguably far worse than Beast's and have basically ruined his life, but he holds absolutely no hard feelings towards anyone who does, and upon hearing that Beast may/may not take it, he merely asks that he tells him what he's going to do. So, you have a guy who is offered a free way out of what must be a constant hell for him and doesn't once even contemplate it because he's the public leader of the X-Men, but also lets others, including one of his best friends, choose for themselves. There is a reason Joss is one of my favorite writers, and its because he got Cyke right.
Scott even got a massive one before arriving at the school. Namely, when forced to try and kill a security guard, he atomized his abusive foster father, who was in a diamond form at the time. While it's incredibly dark to think about, especially given Scott's age at the time, the fact that he stood up to a man who brutally beat him and stopped him hurting anyone else is amazing.
And somehow, Scott is still considered boring by Wolverine fans.
Though that may be a rhetorical comment, elaboration may be welcome for emphasis. Many readers want their CMOA driven home to the audience the same way an advertisement promotes the product; so obvious and hard that there wouldn't be any argument against it. That is mostly the type of CMOA Wolverine does. Cyclops on the other hand, as one above example states, goes for the more subtle ones. He studies the situation he's in, learns from it, and takes advantage of it. His powers and physical capabilities are just parts of what he can make use of; he considers his allies and even his foes as well. A good example of this is his part in the heroes' assault against Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet miniseries. He lets the others, particularly Thanos, assume that he is deluding himself to thinking that a steady stream of his optic blast can defeat the Mad Titan. So when Thanos faces Cyclops, Cyke cuts his beam off. Turns out that Cyclops was just using his optic blast to make Thanos shift his center of balance; so with the optic blast immediately off, Thanos loses his balance and his guard along with it, giving an opening for the other heroes more capable of bringing Thanos down to attack. As the witnessing Starfox says, a masterful move. Sadly some writers miss that point and brands Cyclops the way his detractors do. More capable writers, however, shows the depth of this character. Despite the Unfortunate Implications, when portrayed properly, Cyclops can be the Ozymandias to Wolverine's Rorscharch.
Rogue has two at the end of the X-Treme X-Men "Invasion" arc: first when she single-handedly held off an entire alien invasion force using the powers of every powered being she's ever touched, and again later when - having just been stabbed through the heart - she beat Vargas in a swordfight.
Shortly after we meet Moira McTaggart for the first time, a monstrous N'Garai demon calling himself Kierrok the Damned busts into the X-Mansion. What does Moira do? Cower like a good Distressed Damsel? Nope! She pulls out her machine gun and cuts loose.
Incidentally, Moira's OHOTMU profile gives her a "fighting skills" rating of 2 precisely because of this, rather than the 1 a normal research scientist would normally merit.
Close to the end of the first arc of Astonishing X-Men, Colossus has come back from the dead. Wolverine is on the team with him, and fans are asking, "When are they gonna do the Fastball Special?" Cue the villain escaping on a spaceship. Colossus tells Wolverine that he is strong. Wolverine says, "I have two words for you." The next two pages are Wolverine flying through the air... with Colossus on the ground in a throwing pose.
Also in the end of the second arc, a similar thing happens, with Kitty talking Colossus into doing it with her in order to get her to the Wild Sentinel. Pretty awesome, but gets better once she's inside and manages to poker face the Sentinel into reliving its past and leaving them. The actual toss however, is more funny than awesome.
Kitty: Okay, so...Serious wedgie.
There's also the instance where, after having just been reunited with Kitty, Colossus gets into a fight with Ord. "I am not made of metal, I am made of RAGE!" The line itself may be somewhat Narmy, but the ass-kicking sure wasn't.
Jubilee after being captured by Operation: Zero Tolerance. Not when she blows her cell apart. Not when she takes out a squad of guards without even trying ("Three words, chump: back and off!"). It's when, half-way through the escape attempt, she realises that the bad guys' armour wasn't as tough as it looks, and stops her getaway in order to perform CPR on one of the people who was trying to kill her only moments before.
Jubilee: "You wanna go around killing people? That's your choice. But don't think for a fraction of a second you're gonna make a murderer outta me."
Early in her career, when she was basically still Wolverine's new sidekick, she learned what kind of potential she had. Captured by the Mandarin, and thinking that Wolverine had been killed... well, lets say the Mandarin had to rebuild a hefty chunk of his castle.
While still a captive of Bastion's, Jubilee was subjected to images of her fellow X-Men being tormented, told by the Big Bad that she could stop it if she would provide information. When Bastion shows her a video of Wolverine being tortured, she starts laughing. Bastion took it too far by having Wolverine whisper for the torment to stop, allowing Jubilee to see through the charade.
In an issue of Uncanny X-Men Cannonball had an incredible Crowning Moment of Awesome: He took down Gladiator, leader of the Imperial Guard, who is a nigh-unstoppable SupermanExpy. While in the air, Cannonball took the impact of one of Gladiator's devastating punches without injury by triggering his indestructible forcefield. When Gladiator realized Cannonball was unharmed he lost his confidence (which is the source of his god-like powers). Using the kinetic energy from the impact, Cannonball hurls Gladiator to the pavement at extreme speed and totally awesome force.
Cannonball once split up A Marrow/Wolverine fight by grabbing Logan and smashing him through a wall. When Storm and the other X-Men objected, he had an awesome speech, along the lines of: "This wasn't training, this was a cockfight. Why are you doing this to Marrow? What, are second chances out this year?" Which was a pretty compelling argument since they had Joseph on the team at that point in time, despite believing him to be the original Magneto.
Colossus in the story arc "Mutant Massacre". When both Nightcrawler and Shadowcat are disabled, he slowly walks to Riptide, who is launching deadly projectiles at incredible speeds, grabs him by the neck and snap it, killing him. The cold look of steel (pun not initially intended) is his C M o A.
Colossus: "HARPOON! Make peace with your gods, little man! YOU. ARE. NEXT."
Shortly after that, Storm is leading the injured X-Men and Morlocks out of the tunnels, and tells Wolverine to take one of the Marauders as a prisoner for interrogation. He asks about the rest. Storm's response: "One prisoner is sufficient. The remaining Marauders are yours."
There's also Psylocke holding off Sabretooth. This was before she got ninja skills - she had no particular combat skills back then. Sabretooth chases her, and despite taking some serious injuries, she stays alive long enough for Wolverine to arrive. Then, as Wolverine fights Sabretooth, she uses the opportunity to read Sabretooth's mind. Her actions were enough to get the rest of the X-Men to accept her as a member.
Another Colossus moment fairly early in his career. After evading or defeating all the other X-Men, the incredibly powerfulbody-snatcher Proteus is about to kill his mother, Moira only to be hurled aside by Colossus into a wall, which destroys the rotting body he is inhabiting and revealing his true form. Proteus retaliates by simultaneously turning the air around Colossus into living flame and telepathically making him relieve the memories of his brother dying in a fire as well and then promising to kill his friends after he's done with him. Colossus, who hadn't transformed before Proteus' assault, is on his knees and Proteus is going in for the kill...
Colossus: "You...enjoy causing pain...death. Before I met you, I never understood...evil. You are evil, Proteus. But you have made a fatal mistake. You toyed with me when you should have slain me, allowing me time to change from Peter Rasputin...to Colossus! That mistake will be your last!"
Colossus slams his metal fists into Proteus' energy form (which is vulnerable to metal), destroying him instantly in a spectacular explosion.
On Nightcrawler's birthday, Marvel's resident devil Mephisto appears to him to offer a deal. He promises to bring back his dead brother, and to spare his other friends in a coming war if he does not take a side. Nightcrawler then socks him in the face!
There used to be a site that was dedicated to scans of Nightcrawler's many crowning moments. Anyone know where it is or what happened to it?
In the recent X-Men crossover Second Coming, Kurt has to take the last born mutant, Hope, back to the coast of San Francisco, while being chased by Bastion and his anti-mutant supporters; when they finally run into Bastion, Kurt makes a heroic sacrifice and puts himself in the middle of Bastion and Hope, trapping his mechanical hand in his body before it reaches Hope; then, with his remaining strength, he manages to teleport himself, Hope and Bastion's hand from Las Vegas to San Francisco, before dying from the injuries. Doubles as a Dying Moment of Awesome
But only half as awesome as his return to life. The other X-Men fight through Hell and Purgatory to get him back and when he learns of their struggle he tracks each of them down and revives himself through sheer will and faith alone. Kurt Wagner, ladies and gentlemen.
Kitty Pryde tends to collect these:
The first is in Uncanny X-Men #143, in which Kitty is staying alone at the mansion on Christmas Eve. A N'garai demon attacks the mansion and, after spending most of the issue doing escape-and-evade through all the walls and floors of the house, and luring the demon through a maximum-hazard Danger Room sequence that still fails to put it down, Kitty finally manages to sucker it into following her into the hangar — where she punches the engines of the X-Men's SR-71 "Blackbird" to full afterburner. While the demon is standing directly behind the plane. Final scorecard: Kitty 1, N'Garai 0, X-Mansion minus several million.
Parenthetically, Wolverine's gaping shock at the beginning of next issue at just how thoroughly "one cute kid" managed to total the entire mansion was also a Crowning Moment of Funny.
What makes this moment even better? Earlier, Xavier was thinking of demoting Kitty to the New Mutants, thinking she wasn't ready. In one issue, she proved that she was cut out to be an X-Man.
The second is a non-violent example of a CMOA, in New Mutants #45. The whole issue is sort of a Very Special Episode about racial slurs/labels, because the story deals with a transfer student named Larry Bodine who is secretly a mutant but attempts to crack "mutie" jokes with the New Mutants; he thinks it will help him to fit in. Naturally, this backfires and they all start ignoring him, which culminates in Larry committing suicide when he thinks (due to a cruel prank by some of his classmates) that the "mutant extermination team" X-Factor is coming to get him. The last few pages contain Kitty's speech to her classmates at Larry's memorial, concluding with the words:
Kitty: You want to know who I am? I'm Katherine Pryde. That's the only thing that matters. The rest are just labels.
Taking on the entire Hellfire Club alone in Joss Whedon's "Torn" arc.
Phasing the Breakworld bullet through the Earth in the Grand Finale of Whedon's run on Astonishing.
In the God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel, Kitty pwns (and seriously pisses off) popular anti-mutant preacher William Stryker. The scene so far: Rev. Stryker is making a speech to an admiring crowd at Madison Square Garden. The X-Men, having won through various obstacles backstage, confront him on-stage. Cyclops tries to argue with him, contending that mutants, while different, are as human as anyone. An outraged Stryker indicates a particularly demonic-looking Nightcrawler.
Stryker: Human?!? You dare call that — thing — human?
Kitty (passionately): More human than you! Nightcrawler's generous and kind and decent. He had ever reason to be bitter — every excuse to become as much of a demon inside as out. But he decided he'd rather learn to laugh instead. I hope I can be half the person he is. And if I have to choose between caring for my friend and believing in your God, then I choose my — my friend!
A somewhat minor one, but Kitty calls Professor X a jerk directly to his face.
Storm getting at a lockpick in her headdress and opening her shackles with her mouth while reduced to the physical level of a six-month old. Absolutely. Awesome.
Tied somewhat to the one above, during the "X-Tinction Agenda" story arc, Gambit took a projectile spike to the thigh, hindering his mobility. Later on, the depowered X-Men are shackled to the wall, about two feet from the ground. Cyclops looks over at the Cajun and says "It's time, Gambit." (Which was pretty awesome of Cyclops, incidentally, figuring out Gambit's plan and calculating the time Psylocke would need to make her move.) Gambit proceeds to lift his lower body upwards into a jackknife position, pulls the spike out of his thigh WITH HIS TEETH, lowers his body, spits out the spike...and catches it between the insoles of his feet! He then proceeds to lift his body into a jackknife position again, and using only the insides of his feet, PICKS THE LOCK WITH THE SPIKE. As he clicks free, he smiles at the others and goes "Voila, mes braves! Beat that, Stormy."
Also in his solo series, Gambit outwits X-Cutioner who was about to kill him by spitting a wad of kinetically-charged gum in his face when he was stuck in a glue trap.
Enemy soldier had a grenade launcher. Gambit casually caught the grenade in mid-air and threw it back.
On the non-powered side, Dr. Peter Corbeau sneaking the X-Men onto the space shuttle and arranging an emergency launch to save their friends. And flying both the positions of both Pilot AND Commander.
Also, he crashed the shuttle right through the wall of the bad guy's space station. And there wasn't a blasted thing the Sentinels could do about it.
Magneto has a moment that is right on that line between awesome and horrifying, when he tracks down a trio of rednecks who had killed a mutant girl as a hate crime. He's very much a villain there, and yet...
Magneto versus the Red Skull. See, the Red Skull is a Nazi. Magneto? Is a Jew. And a survivor of Auschwitz. Use your imagination.
X-Men Legacy writer Mike Carey seems determined to give Magneto as many moments of this as possible. Case in point: getting up off a hospital bed to protect X-Men's mutant island sanctuary from a army of Nimrods:
Magneto: Not yet, you soulless bastards. NOT QUITE YET!
At the end of the "Messiah CompleX" Cross Over, the New X-Men team gets a CMOA when Scott orders them to attack the Marauders. The Marauders, who had trained for years and were holding their own against the older X-men get their asses handed to them by a bunch of teenagers.
Later on, during Uncanny after New X-Men was shut down, Pixie got her very own CMOA against Empath. Empath was running roughshod over the X-Men, taking each of them out just by making eye contact (which hits them with every piece of emotional baggage they have ever suffered). Pixie comes in, he tries this on her, telling her that her Dead Father is burning in hell. She replies "I've been to hell, you wouldn't like it there." and STABS HIM IN THE HEAD. Emma Frost makes a comment about wishing she got to see this.
Another New X-Men related CMOA, their fight against Nimrod. At this point in the story, the New X-Men kept getting pounded by the bad guys, and while they had managed to fight them off, they were on the defensive. Many of their friends had died, the other X-Men had left for Storm's wedding, and now an invincible robotic killing machine that had never been beaten was after Forge. Things are looking grim, and then Surge has her own personal Crowning Moment of Awesome:
Surge:"No. This has to end. We have to end it. Forty-seven of us are dead. Jay is dead. Max is dead. Laurie is dead. Brian is dead. John went insane, and who knows where Kevin is. The X-Men can't save us. The O* N* E and their Sentinels are a sick joke. They'll probably be coming after us next. And the Avengers don't care. It's up to us. The X-Men are half a world away. We can't wait for them. Forge could still be alive, and if he's not, then Nimrod is coming for us next. This thing was involved with Stryker. It helped him kill our friends. So we'll save Forge. And we'll take this thing down."
During the AU story "Old Man Logan," Wolverine explains how the X-Men died. They were all killed by one man: Wolverine himself, who had been tricked by Mysterio. Needless to say, it's a Tear Jerker, but at least one X-Man takes a CMOA to the grave: Jubilee. Yes, the Kitty Pryde of the 90s not only holds her own against her attacker, she keeps it an even fight for a full ninety minutes before she goes down. Keep in mind that the whole time, she was facing down on equal terms a nigh-invincible killing machine that was like a brother to her and just slaughtered her friends and surrogate family in front of her eyes. Sadly, the reader sees the fight from Wolverine's perspective, and doesn't realize who it is until he's struck the fatal blow. Thus, the CMOA is posthumous.
House of M does not contain much fighting in it, but when it does, it gives Crowning Moment of Awesomes like it was an Academy Award ceremony.
Rogue punched through the wall without Ms. Marvel's power during one specific issue. It didn't do much, but it looks awesome! Anyway, during the big fight in Issue #7 Rogue attacked Namor the Sub-Mariner and Storm while sucking the cosmic power of Genis-Vell, thus making her unstoppable. She even defeated Quicksilver just by mocking him.
Quicksilver, who just after his defeat by Rogue became furious and became faster than he should be, defeating Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Kitty Pryde, Ms. Marvel, Cyclops, Moon Knight, Matt Murdock, Mystique, Black Cat, Nightcrawler (while he teleports), Tony Stark, Spider-Woman, Toad and Iron Fist in a time-span of three seconds.
Magneto, more furious than ever, walked in the air and incapacitated every hero by wrapping them up in metal while beating Quicksilver (having just defeated all of the heroes above) into a bloody pulp.
Scarlet Witch who incapacitated Magneto (who had just defeated Quicksilver who had just defeated all of the heroes above) with her thoughts, erased his mouth from existence while reviving Quicksilver.
Northstar gets one in Uncanny X-Men #391 (the first issue of the Eve of Destruction crossover). During his first meeting with former mob hood Paulie Provenzano, Paulie's left dazed, wondering what happened before Northstar comes running in. Northstar had taken offense to Paulie's homophobia and so Jean-Paul knocked him straight on his ass. Paulie just smirks saying that it doesn't matter because his power is invulnerability. Northstar replies by asking if that means he can hit Paulie as much as he wants: he proceeds to punch Paulie in the face repeatedly, bloodying his nose and knocking him out. Northstar knocked out and hurt a guy who's power is that he CAN'T GET HURT!
The climax of the Joe Casey's first arc: new guy Maggott starts angsting about his power during an invasion by (everyone assumes) the X-Men's old foes the N'Garai. Wolverine snaps him out of it by telling him, "We all got our crosses to bear." Then it turns out that, not only is some different crowd (who were the N'Garai's slaves until they instigated an Enemy Civil War), but that thanks to the wonders of the Timey-Wimey Ball, they regard Wolverine as their deliverer. Wolverine doesn't take it well... until Maggot says, "We all have our crosses to bear! Is yours any heavier? Is it?" Wolverine promptly outs claws, takes a running jump, and informs the villain thus:
Bishop. One specific example, The X-Men are down, the X-traitor finally revealed, standing over them. Ready to unleash the killing blow, ready to create Bishop's terrible future. Bishop stands up and absorbs the attack, enough psychic/electromagnetic energy to kill the entire team, telling the baddie that the dream will never die.
X-men is full of Crowning moments of awesome that are hardly remembered because they aren't done by the characters the writers give all the 'good powers' to. Examples?
Squidboy. Kid's basically just an ugly Aquaman Jr. without the superstrength, hook, or ability to command sharks to maim the bad guy. But when he finds out that the Brotherhood of evil mutants, led by an Axe Crazy ent and Sabertooth is going to attack the mansion and that his best friend (who, by the way, is Juggernaut) is involved, does he run? No, he steps out of the bushes and calmly tells Juggernaut what he thinks of him, before launching himself at said Axe Crazy Ent.
Also, Elsee Dee, Who is a genius intellect android that mimics the appearance of a little girl, is pack with enough explosives to kill Wolverine (and is in fact specifically designed to kill Wolverine... and is now best friends with Wolverine.) She gets her moment when Sabertooth and Wolverine are fighting in the sewers, with the water rapidly rising and the only door out locked. Cable refuses to open the door, basically condemning them both to drown, and when Elsee Dee demands that he help, he responds "What are you going to do, kick me in the shins?" Elsee replies, "No, I'm going to bite you on the knee." And she removes her head and throws it at cable, prompting him to shoot open the door.
Also of note, The nameless police officer who shot Col. Stryker during the God loves Man kills storyline. Nobody's going to shoot a defenseless girl on his watch. Granted if Stryker had actually shot Kitty, she would have phased, but still.
Some have argued that Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-men was a CMoA of itself, and had a few that have thus far gone unnoticed.
Ord, an alien who is on Earth trying to save his planet, has lured out the X-men and beaten them all. Who saves them? Lockheed, Kitty's pet dragon from her days of youth. He shows up out of nowhere and burns Ord so badly it gives him a phobia.
Xavier uses his wheelchair as a decoy for the incarnation of the Danger Room, and then rams her with a truck. That's right. He dragged himself to the truck from his chair, and drove it into her without the use of his legs.
Kitty tricks the rogue Sentinel that Danger brought up from the depths into opening a locked file. The file? The Sentinel's memory of the genocide of Genosha caused at its hands. And the robot had been made sentient, so it understood exactly what it had done.
Said robot attempted to stop the giant space bullet sent by aliens to destroy the Earth. It failed, but points for trying.
Evil Storm takes the lead here. Her swift incineration of Logan, her blinding of Sabretooth, her ownage of her former bosses, and most recently, putting aside her genuine love for T'Challa just so she could arrange his murder and rule over Wakanda without an equal. She's basically the X-Men's version of Doctor Doom now.
Madelyne Pryor's story arc is a long, sad mix of Cloning Blues and Character Derailment...but she gets one fantastic scene during Cyclops' courtship of her. When he asks her if she's the reincarnation of a then-dead Jean Grey, after proposing marriage, her only response is a furious right cross to the jaw. Things go downhill for her after that, but it was still a beautiful response to the question.
A favorite Wolverine one from way back when: A Hellfire Club goon shoots Kitty Pryde with a stun gun of some sort. Wolvie (whom Kitty had just sprung from a power draining cage) catches her, looks up at the guy and says "Sucker, you just made the biggest mistake of your life." SNIKT "And the last."
In the new X-Men AU, Age of X, Magneto rescues pretty much every mutant in the world, who were all in the same building and completely surrounded, he picks up that building and a bunch of other buildings, and just flies them a few miles off, before setting them back down.
Also, Basilisk, Age of X!Cyclops, who was used as a tool to execute other mutants, and even had his eyelids cut off so the only way to stop him from vaporizing everything in sight is with a special mask, he breaks out of Alcatraz and promptly frees all the mutants housed there, vaporizing everyone else.
Basilisk:"No last-minute appeals. Justice will be done." (blasts a guard)
Emma Frost gets one in New X-Men #28 when she turns down Ms. Marvel's asking her to register with The Government, by giving her an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech complete with telepathic Mind Rape. Ms. Marvel is left almost catatonic, and knowing what Emma had just gone through in previous issues with the Avengers doing nothing, it feels completely and utterly deserved.
In the same issue, she gleefully takes to task Tony Stark and the Avenger's self righteousness when he tries to convince her to get the X-Men to join forces with him against Captain America.
Emma gets another one in the New X-Men series - having spent most of the series trying to get X-23 kicked off the team because of how unstable she was perceived to be, Emma finds out that X-23 is being doggedly pursued by her old handler, Kimura, who had kidnapped Mercury - one of X-23's only friends - and was painfully experimenting on her. X-23 overcomes Kimura, but Kimura survives the confrontation and shows up at the school intending to take X-23 out for good. Emma telepathically locates her, neutralizes her, and proceeds to erase her only happy childhood memories before telling her to go kill her bosses. Considering Emma hated X-23 a few issues before this, this was quite an awesome moment, only made more awesome as Emma casually strides off towards the sunset as she bids Kimura farewell.
Emma: "You've taken those that X-23 loved from her. Now I'm returning the favour."
Kimura (sobbing): "What—what happened?"
Emma: "I've taken your grandmother from you... the only person who ever showed you love and kindness... and in her place I've left a deep void that will cause you pain for a lifetime. Now, before I let you go, I have a mission for you. You're X-23's handler? Now you will "handle" your masters at the facility. Every last one of them. Beginning with Harkins. Goodbye, Kimura."
Colossus gets another one way back in the crossover between the X-Men and the New Teen Titans. The X-Men have practically dogpiled Darkseid and he's ready to unleash his Omega Beams. Cue Colossus, who runs up and covers Darkseid's eyes, reflecting the Omega Beams back into him! Granted, it was due to how the writers didn't know how Darkseid really worked, but you can't deny the fact that someone other than Superman can beat a Dark God.
Every time Jean took center stage in Morrison's run, one of these resulted. The takedown of the U-Men is mentioned above, but other choice picks include...
The epic telepathic smackdown of Emma for luring her husband to cheat (only mentally, but still). Omega-level telepath she may be, but Emma's still a chump compared to the Phoenix. Heck, Emma herself may have been impressed, as her telepathic smackdown of Ms. Marvel mentioned above seems to take a page from this book.
Her role in taking down Cassandra Nova, undeniably her finest moment in the run. Cassandra has swapped bodies with Professor X, booby-trapping her body with every mental disease imaginable to eat away at the Professor's mind. She's also singlehandedly taken over the Shi'ar empire and has come back to Earth to attempt to commandeer Cerebra in order to fry the brain of every mutant on the planet. With time running out, Jean downloads the Professor's entire mind into her own head, links herself up to Cerebra, broadcasts a bit of his mind into the brain of every mutant on Earth, then lets Cassandra (in Xavier's body) take over the device and link up to all the world's mutants, at which point the trap is sprung and the Professor's mind rushes back into his body! Heroic Xanatos Gambitry at its finest, folks.
Tapping into her full Phoenix power to rebuild herself and Wolverine after they'd been hurtled into the sun, while at the same time reconfiguring the asteroid that had been their vehicle toward this unfortunate destination into a sleek chrome spaceship to get back to Earth on.
Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Funny if you're in the right mood: many, many different plans have proven futile against Juggernaut, including Rockslide and Gambit's awesome team-up. One Gilligan Cut later, Magneto hauls a COMPLETE FRIGGIN' AIRCRAFT CARRIER from San Diego and DROPS IT ON JUGGERNAUT'S HEAD! AND IT STILL DOESN'T WORK!
New recruit Tempus defeating all the Avengers' finest in one shot by freezing them in time.
In X-23's series, Gambit accidentally spooksher, and she stabs him through the gut. Despite this, Gambit stays calm enough to reassure her that he doesn't hate her. Self-discipline has never been so awesome.
No love for Giant Size X-Men? The issue that introduced Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus to the world? Then how about the fact that Polaris manages to launch a freaking island into SPACE?
The All-New, All-Different X-Men's first fight with Magneto is a crowning moment of awesome for Magneto. Up 'till then he'd been portrayed as a one-note maniac, but the newly-rejuvenated Magneto is far more dangerous, catching the X-Men completely off guard and proceeding to wipe the floor with them, even though he's never faced any of them before. Only Cyclop's timely arrival saves the team, and even then he calls for an immediate retreat.
And the next time he shows up, he does it all over again, even managing to beat Phoenix, and turn Storm's powers against her, before adding insult to injury and taking his enemies prisoner. But even then the X-Men don't make it easy for him, since the fight takes up half an issue before they all go down.
The third time 'round, when the X-Men have escaped, the odds are just barely on the X-Men's side even when they manage to get the drop on Magneto, before fighting as a team co-ordinated via Phoenix's telepathy. Even then it's still a tough fight, Wolverine and Colossus manage to land some hits on him and he still refuses to go down. The only reason no-one wins is because Phoenix accidentally damaged the force-field keeping several tons worth of molten rock from falling on them, forcing Magneto to flee.
Back in the '80s, Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants worked for the government as Freedom Force. They had fights with X-Factor and the X-Men, and they were pretty evenly matched against both. Cyclops and Jean Grey, looking for Cyclops' missing son, tore them apart with barely any effort. The fight ended when Cyclops actually punched a small hole right through the Blob's arm.
There's more than a few examples in All New X-Men, particularly during The Trial of Jean Grey. He may not be a member of the X-Men, and, in fact, is something of a textbook Jerkass, but the way J'son of Spartax stalks into Gladiator's kangaroo court at the very heart of Shiar empire, and proceeds to tear him a new one in front of his subjects. Bear in mind that his physical abilities are peak human at most, whereas Gladiator's a SupermanExpy who's gone toe to toe with Thor. He could kill J'son by sneezing and has quite clearly gone nuts. J'son, however, completely ignores this and reads him the riot act, castigating him for not looking beyond his desire for revenge on the Dark Phoenix, even though it is obvious that Teen Jean didn't commit those crimes and is simply a terrified teenage girl. A terrified teenage girl with immense psychic powers and dodgy control over them. Not only that, but he accurately notes that the X-Men can and will come after her, and they will bring every single hero on Earth with them if they have to. Gladiator dismisses this warning and Earth as a whole (probably something caused by the fact that the Phoenix Five beat him to within an inch of his life without even trying), and is swiftly proved wrong.
The fight between the O5, Guardians, Starjammers and the Imperial Guard. Special points go to Jean, who unleashes her near-forgotten energy form and stalemates Gladiator. She's no more than 16 years old, and she just took on and matched the raw power of Gladiator himself. This is something that even Dark Phoenix era Jean (albeit at the point when the Phoenix powers were suppressed) failed to do.
Oracle's sympathy and advice to Jean throughout this storyline, as well as her bluntly pointing out to Gladiator that he's being irrational, but her personal crowning moment has to be stopping the fight singlehandedly.
Gambit gets one in the original series, when Morph is imitating Professor X. After Morph says something that doesn't sound like something the Professor would say, he flips a playing card on his desk, causing Morph to use his legs to crawl away in fear... and the card wasn't charged at all. Win.
Also in the original X-Men, cartoon Gambit throws down a charged card into a tunnel of Sentinels. One of the Sentinels asks what it is. The other kneels down and says "It appears to be the ace of spades." Then the card blows up, taking off the Sentinel's head.
In the fight scene preceding the above, Wolverine solos a Sentinel horde in the pitch-black tunnel, the battle sparsely illuminated by the latter's energy blasts.
Finally, just when it all seems to be over, Master Mold bursts from the top of the mountain, fully intact. By this point, Professor Xavier has had more than ''enough'' of this thing, and he shows it by ramming it with the Blackbird (which he has filled with explosives for just such an occasion) while charging it with being the embodiment of all that is evil in mankind. That about does it.
No, it doesn't! Not until we honor Magneto for clinging to the Blackbird and protecting it with his forcefield against Master Mold's blasts.
Still not complete without the accompanying quote!
Master Mold:MUTANTS! I CAN NOT BE DESTROYED! Prof. X: You are the living embodiment of all that is evil and unjust in humankind. Youmustbe destroyed!
A CMOA that lasted an entire season ensued during the show's second season, where Professor Xavier and Magneto were depowered and stuck in the Savage Land, though Xavier was given the ability to walk normally as a side effect. Using only their considerable intellect and willpower, they manage to outwit the most hostile place in the X-Men universe (not counting Bishop's Bad Future), even though they are captured by the Big Bad at the end...
Which leads to one of the most impressive Battles Royale in the entire series, when Xavier, Magneto, and the entire team of X-Men battle Sinister and the Savage Land Mutates during the season finale.
Beast living up to his name in "Beauty & the Beast," in which he unleashes a brutal beating on the Friends Of Humanity for kidnapping the woman he loves. Wolverine gets one in this episode, too, for using his intelligence instead of his beserker attitude to bring down the organization.
Wolverine confronting Sabretooth in "Deadly Reunions":
"All right, you egg-suckin' piece of gutter trash, you always liked pushin' around people smaller than you. Well, I'm smaller! Try pushin' me! ... You always were second best. And in this business, second best don't cut it!"
Cable makes his first appearance when some of the X Men and placed in a slave labor camp. He holds Gambit at gunpoint after an escape attempt, takes out his guards, then sets Gambit to rescue the others while he goes on a one mutant assault on the leader. It ends with Cable finishing off the camp with naught but a big gun, getting in an Evil Laugh as a flood destroys the Sentinal production facility.
He appears in the next episode, hunting down Dr. Atler because of his (really Mystique's and Apocalypse's) so called cure. He fights Archangel, takes out Pyro after dodging a flamethrower, and fights the X Men to a standstill.
Cry of the Banshee: Juggernaut owns Erik the Red.
In the Finale of Beyond Good and Evil against Apocalypse, Bishop is trying to distrupt his plans by freeing the captured Psychics and Apocalypse goes to deal with him. Sinister and his goons watch on.
Mr. Sinister: (Snidely) One man, small and alone, trying to defend the Universe.
Rover, after having his back ripped open, both weapons failing, and one hand blown off, still gets up to continue fighting when Marrow is injured, surging energy from his severed arm and using it like a blade to slice two sentinels in half, before sacrificing himself so the other X-men can escape.
Kurt gets one after he finds out the secret of Genosha. He escapes magneto's trained goon squad mutants and escapes magneto in his metal city. when he gets to the edge of the island Magneto tells him its hopeless to try and reach the x-men because they're too far for his powers to reach them, he still jumps, two miles at a time, by line-of-sight, he makes it there, after being wounded, tired, and scotched by fire he makes it to the manor, across the sea which took days by boat.
Also several episodes earlier, when the aforementioned boat is attacked by the Reavers, the adult mutants are kidnapped, and the children are left on board to drown. Kurt escapes, helps the children repair the ship, and sets off to rescue the adults. The Oh, Crap look on Spiral's face when she sees the ship she thought she had scuttled pursuing them, with Nightcrawler standing at the bow holding a cutlass is priceless. The fight between Spiral and Nightcrawler shortly thereafter also qualifies.
Kurt: I'd be careful * drops arms* You don't have any more mechanical arms to lose.
In "Aces and Eights" Senator Kelly hires Gambit to steal Magneto's helmet and cripple Genosha, breaking Polaris's heart in the process. What does Magneto do? He doesn't point fingers and try to find Gambit. He has Blink teleport him right into Kelly's office. If Rogue and Shadowcat hadn't arrived and knocked them both out, he would have splattered Kelly all over the walls.
Magneto: You insect! (hurls Kelly's desk out of the way and pins him against the wall) You dare attack my home? MY FAMILY!?