In the world of metal, no figure or character is as iconic as Iron Maiden‘s zombified mascot Eddie the Head. Whether he’s stalking the streets of ’80s London, being worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, or gunning down mutants in space, Eddie stands for everything metalheads believe in: living fast, dying hard, and sneering in the face of anyone who would try to control you. Now, with the band’s upcoming new record Senjutsu, Eddie has been taken to feudal Japan, donning the armor and weapons of the samurai (not to mention the teeth of the legendary Japanese oni — look them up, they’re cool).
The sight of Samurai Eddie — we’re surprised it took this long to do Samurai Eddie! — immediately got us thinking about the many ways Eddie has been portrayed, and what other ways we’d like to see him depicted. So in honor of Iron Maiden’s boundless versatility with the character, we came up with 10 incarnations of Eddie that we think it’d be cool to see. Here’s how the Head rolls…
Middle Eastern Eddie
As long as Iron Maiden are casting Eddie in various old-world cultures — Mayan Eddie, Samurai Eddie — why not take it to the Middle East? One could make Eddie anything from one of the Persian Immortal warriors to a shah ruling over an empire. Sure, the band might get some blowback from modern xenophobes, but guess what, fuck ‘em. Eddie belongs to no one but metal.
Since Cyborg Eddie and Digital Eddie have been done, another modern interpretation that we’d love would be Mech Eddie. Imagine Eddie riding a giant robotic version of himself, punching the Devil in the face with some Hummer-sized fists. Anime fans around the world would rejoice, while Maiden themselves could reap considerable financial rewards via the toy market. We’d buy this 12-inch figure in a second.
Maiden hinted at this concept with the label art of their ‘Day of the Dead’ Trooper Beer: Eddie as the voodoo god of the dead. The top hat and black suit rocked by Baron Samedi would go perfectly with the mascot’s ghoulish countenance, and would ensure some awesome collectible merch at the band’s New Orleans shows. One could even do a whole line-up of Eddie as all the voodoo loa — but let’s be honest, we’d be here almost entirely for the cemetery master.
We kind of want to see Scene Eddie for the same reason we slow down to look at a car crashes. But the idea of Eddie the Head with a swoop black hair, a lip piercing, and fuzzy wristbands just seems too bizarrely grotesque to pass up. Sure, it goes against everything the character stands for…but maybe that’s why we’re fascinated by the idea. The metal mascot equivalent of Frankestein’s monster — Dear God, what have we done?
H.P. Lovecraft has been involved with Eddie tangentially in the past — the tombstone on the cover of 1985’s Live After Death has a quote from “The Call of Cthulhu” on it. And while 2000’s Brave New World introduced Eddie as a massive elemental force, it just didn’t quite get the menace that Lovecraft’s towering old gods. We’d love to see Eddie swarming with tentacles, about to devour the sun and extinguish all life. He could even stomp Lovecraft himself for being a New England racist!
There are two ways you could go with Dracula Eddie. The first is Eddie in Bela Lugosi’s elaborate cape and amulet, drinking the blood of a hapless villager. The second is Eddie as the historical Vlad Dracula, riding high on a palanquin amidst a forest of the impaled. Either way, we’d be down to see Eddie take on the countenance of the prince of darkness. The riff is the life!
Though depicted occasionally in fan art, an infant version of Eddie has never been created by rhe band. Maybe that’s because the idea of Eddie being young — so young, in fact, that he’s an infant — is deeply bizarre and horrifying to metal fans. Hoiwever, there’d be something awesomely punk rock about seeing a swaddle of blankets with that sneer popping out of it. We only hope his wetnurse lactates Trooper.
When all is said and done, here’s something a little chaste about Eddie. He’s always portrayed as this sexless lunatic who just wants to hang out alone. But what about Eddie in a skin-tight latex suit with a whip? Or maybe Eddie tied to a sawhorse while Charlotte The Harlot gives his backside the business? This could be a fun, weird side of Eddie we’ve never encountered before. Then again, it might put us off sex. Forever.
Not only would Zulu Eddie take Eddie to new cultural territory, but it would also be kind of a snickering middle finger to the British Empire. The Zulu Wars were brutal for England, with heavily-armed British soldiers being repeatedly overwhelmed and massacred by the Zulus. Something about Eddie laying waste to the soldiers of the country that invented him would be devilishly wicked.
Eddie the Last
Eddie’s always surrounded by fans, enemies, mutants and monsters…but what about Eddie at the end of the world? We have a feeling that once all human life has been wiped off this planet, it’ll just be cockroaches and Eddie the Head left in the ruins. There’d be a beauty and poignancy to Eddie wandering the wasteland, watching the sun set from the top of the half-sunken Empire State Building. Hey, all good things must end.
Words by Chris Krovatin