Storm flying into the air, spinning around and then flying around zapping people with lightning. It looked lame and I was thinking, why not just hit them with lightning...why did you need to spin around?
I second that emooootion :) I don't think it's a matter of gender though. Cyclops' strength is his tactical expertise but he's cold and doesn't consider his team's emotions. Havok is a better delegator but he's got that little brother complex always worried he's not living up to expectations. Emma's not afraid to kick 'em in the balls but her brashness has cost her dearly over the years. Storm's striking presence is hard not to follow but that's just it, she's more of a figurehead and less of a voice of authority. Jean's not so much a leader as a voice of encouragement better used to back up the leader, immense power doesn't entitle her to leadership. Rogue has the potential to be great, but her powers make her more likely to carry out tasks on behalf of her team rather than trusting them to do it themselves. Archangel and Nightcrawler were terrible as co-leaders. Another one I'd like to see take the helm is Iceman.
Ironically, I think the British version of Psylocke would be better oriented towards a leader than Psylocke the ninja. She was more grounded and more willing to be an anchor for her team. Too bad she developed so far in the other direction. I agree with your overall opinions, though :)
Thor takes this, based on movie feats and overall showings. The movie version of Phoenix was a joke compared to the comic book version, and the whole facial warping thing was lamer than the stupid red outfit she wore.
Dazzler has no limit to her absorption. If I recall correctly, though, Havok is fueled by cosmic energy and not necessarily solar energy, so while he could absorb it from Sunspot, the sun's solar output of cosmic energy is comparably low and peaks during solar flares. Based upon that, Dazzler would have the advantage in that she could utilize the entirety of sonic energy Banshee delivers to her, while Havok might be limited in that respect.
@John Valentine: Doesn't matter what power level the early X-Men are working with, none of them have any defense against hurricane force winds or arctic-level blizzard conditions, either of which Storm can create instantly. Alternatively, she could just open with a dense impenetrable fog. Completely blind, the original X-Men have no way to target their enemies, nor defend against incoming attacks. Wolverine & Thunderbird, however, each have heightened senses that would allow them to move through the fog & start picking off the likes of Cyclops, Havoc, even Beast. Banshee also has the advantage in the fog, as he can use his scream as a targeting sonar & then cut loose on multiple targets, potentially the entire team all at once, none of whom, again, have any kind of defense to his power. Even if Marvel Girl or Polaris throw up a telekinetic shield or a magnetic force bubble around their X-Men, to protect against ambushes in the fog, neither of those defenses have ever been shown to be sound proof. Once his scream goes shrill enough to break either woman's concentration, that shield goes down, leaving the team open to attacks from Wolverine & Thunderbird again. Angel could conceivably gain enough altitude to clear the fog bank, but Banshee's sonar can track Angel's movements, allowing him to either engage personally, or direct Storm & Sunfire to take Angel out. As long as the 70's X-Men maintain environmental control of the field of battle, the 60's X-Men will be at too big of a disadvantage to win. What it really boils down to is who gets in the first strike. If it's Ice Man or Polaris, the original X-Men win. If it's Storm or Banshee, the 70's X-Men win.
Debating the speed for how quickly energy-based powers are deployed in the comics is a tall order - trying to debate the speed of sound, psionic waves, speed of thought or energy blasts is flawed in that per the comics, they all happen instantly or so quickly that it takes superhuman speed or focus on preemptively dodging to avoid, aside from the occasional bout of WIS or PIS for specific storylines and the biases of different writers. After all, based on science, Cyclops' beam could conceivably blast the entire '70s team at once based on it moving at lightspeed and being wide enough to level an entire mountain before Banshee's sonic scream or any wind, thunder or fog Storm called could even reach them. The '60s team have more energy manipulators than the '70s team, so Polaris could throw up a magnetic forcefield (and honestly, we've seen magnetic forcefields block attacks that wouldn't be expected to be affected by magnetic energy so there really isn't much reason to think it would have an issue with the types of energy Storm and Sean use), while Jean, Iceman, Cyclops or Havok take Ororo and Sean out.
I think this article shows why Cyclops is the best qualified to lead the X-Men. With Storm, Wolverine and other temporary leaders of the team, there was a lot of inconsistency based upon their personal feelings (and frequent needs to go take care of their own business). Cyclops not only has the best tactical and strategic abilities of the team, but in many ways he has taught most of the team to the level of skill they currently are at.
I am going with Emma Frost in this battle - she is ruthless, strategic and cunning enough to shut Zatanna down before Zatanna would know what is happening. Emma really isn't flashy, and she tends to go for an instant win. If Zatanna was prepared for the assault, though, she'd turn Emma into cubic zirconium. However, Emma is adept at tracking the thought patterns of people even if she doesn't see them and this should give her the chance to get the drop on Zatanna.
If Professor X was not held back by morals and needed to take Storm out as quickly as possible, by any means necessary, he could do so without much trouble. He's reprogrammed her mind before to teach her English and taught her most of her techniques to withstand a telepathic assault, meaning he knows her consciousness and thought patterns giving him a backdoor into her mind. A telepathic blast meant to kill her might not do so immediately due to her resistance, but she could be paralyzed, incapacitated or rendered comatose.
@Timandm: I don't think Rogue getting close enough to try and sap his powers is a good move. She may get too badly hurt to continue. But, yes, I think Doomsday can tank most of the powers she would have and in general Doomsday would win the majority of times. I think Jezer summarized the reasoning why she has a chance the best, but even in Jezer's summary, it had more to do with Darwin's powers and less to do with Rogue's own power. Plus I'm not sure how well she'd handle the powers.
@Jezer: Only reason I am going with Doomsday is because Darwin could conceivably adapt in a way that takes Rogue out of the fight permanently. How long was he in energy form after the Krakoa incident? Maybe he would adapt to Doomsday by making Rogue into an immaterial being that is no longer "alive".