Edward "Eddie" van Beethoven aka Metalhead was one of the mutants recruited by Xi'an Chi Xan to be a part of his new incarnation of the X-Men. He was the effective muscle of the group, but he also had an invaluable sense of humor which kept the team comfortable. When the X-Men needed to find out information on the Driver about the existence of other mutants they encountered an outcast group, consisting of rejects from programs based on genetic modification and engineering, called Degens, named the Freakshow. During the obligatory battle over misunderstandings, Metalhead fought with one such 'genescrape' named Contagion whose touch could infect an individual with a psychoactive virus which disrupts their cellular structure. Most victims wouldn't live long after being infected, but Eddie was a unique case. Since he was in metallic form at the point of infection, the virus interacted differently with his cellular structure and, instead of killing him, made him incapable of reverting to his human form, warped his appearance, and left him in an alloyed state. Thinking himself a freak, and finding other Freakshow member Rosa Navarro attractive, Metalhead left the X-Men to stay with the rag-tag band of misfits.
Later, the Freakshow makes another guest appearance, when they travel to the Keewazi Nation in the Oklahoma region. Rosa comes under the care of Doctor Louise Wingfoot, the leader of the town. Eddie and the others soon learn of a local legend called the Shadow Dancer, who is thought to come to the aid of the Keewazi in time of trouble. A hired killer named Alexi, the super-powered Glitterspike, tracks down Freakshow, wanting Rosa and her child back, so he can take care of them. Eddie battles Alexi after Rosa is threatened. He is swiftly defeated. Rosa is prepared to kill Alexi over this, before fully realizing his intentions.
In the final showdown, Metalhead and Glitterspike are stuck in a series of caves which also houses the Shadow Dancer's ship. Metalhead absorbs the alien metal of the ship and with it is able to defeat Glitterspike and trap him in the cave with the angry Shadow Dancer.
Glitterspike was not dead as believed and returned a few months later with a vengeance. He intends to kill Metalhead and sell his and Rosa's baby to the highest bidder for revenge. He had even devised a strategy for defeating Metalhead and would have succeeded if not for the intervention of Rosa's baby. During the battle, Rosa went into labor and the baby inside of her protected his mother by producing a force field around the confused Glitterspike. With the battle ended, Rosa was taken into town and had a successful delivery. Her baby Joachim, definitely a mutant, was born glowing.
Later, a mutant named Vulcann of the order of the Bloodsmiths kidnaps baby Joachim and speeds up his aging process to make him a man. Dubbing him Darkson the dark Messiah, the two go about defeating the X-Men, including killing Skullfire. However, Skullfire found a way to reform his body and defeat the young powerhouse. With Vulcann defeated and Darkson recaptured, Eddie and Rosa went about trying to help the boy regain his lost sense of family and childhood.
Metalhead made his way to the Savage Land, which had become the last outpost of humanity due to worldwide flooding by the Phalanx. He met up with several of his X-Men allies. He was forced to deal with the threat of an information-gathering machine intelligence named Franklin, which had already injured Cerebra and threatened others.
He has ability to turn his body into any metal that he touches. He had ability to transform from a human form to a metal form with increased strength, durability, resistance to injury, and whatever specific properties that metal had (e.g. adamantium would give him invulnerability, copper would give him increased electrical conductivity, gold would be softer, etc) dependent upon a type of metal which he made contact with. However, after his battle with Contagion he was stuck in his hulking metallic form and incapable of reverting to human form. He was still capable of shifting the molecular composition of his skin though.
- Enhanced Strength
- Enhanced Durability
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