||This comics-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (January 2010)|
|First appearance||2000 AD prog 160 (1980)|
|Created by||John Wagner
|Member(s)||Elmer "Pa" Angel
Mean Machine Angel
A band of thugs originating in the fictional metropolis of 'Texas City', the Angel Gang were responsible for a series of especially-violent crimes. They consisted of Elmer "Pa" Angel, and three of his four sons:
- Link Angel - Link wears a biker costume and ring through his nose.
- "Junior" Angel, youngest of the boys, who wears a derby hat.
- "Mean Machine" Angel, a cyborg modified to become increasingly fierce in proportion to the setting on a dial. Depicted variously with part or whole of his cranium metallic.
- "Fink" Angel is the eldest son, and does not normally live with the rest of the family, preferring to live in holes he digs or finds. He has a skeletal face and unnatural skin colour, as the result of years of radiation exposure, and is equipped with various poisons capable either of death or paralysis.
- Ratty, Fink's bowler-hated rat companion.
Later additions included:
- Son of Ratty
- Mean Junior - Son of Mean and female desperado "Seven Pound Sadie" Suggs.
- Ratfink - The son of Fink Angel and an unknown mother.
In the "Judge Child" storyline, the Angels (minus Fink) have escaped from detention in Texas City, and are anxious to escape the planet. Hearing of the Judge Child's precognitive abilities, they obtain him from a carnival worker, intending to sell him, and attempt this on the Planet Xanadu, where a robot called the Grunwalder rules his own Kingdom. There, they are killed by Dredd. Later, Fink comes to Mega-City One to avenge his kinsfolk; but Dredd and Hershey overcome him, and Fink is imprisoned for three years. Mean Machine is resurrected by the Judge Child to take revenge on Dredd, and joins forces with a freed Fink. Fink does not survive this second encounter with Dredd, and Mean becomes a recurring antagonist for many years, with frequent jailbreaks and recaptures. There have also been stand-alone stories featuring the Angel Gang.
In 2000 AD Prog 958's Dredd story "Awakening Of Angels", John Wagner 'resurrected' Pa and Junior Angel by revealing them to suffer suspended animation. This proved an unpopular plot line, and Wagner later regretted the move, stating in an online interview: "We got away with resurrecting Mean Machine, I think. He was just too good a character to throw away, and somehow he suited miracle rebirth, but I confess in hindsight Pa and Junior were a step too far. I don’t think I’ll be using them again".  Their resurrection has since been ignored. In 2007 they appeared in two consecutive stories in Judge Dredd Megazine, focusing on the clan's earlier adventures: Before They Wuz Dead (an Angel Gang story) and Pizen Impossible (a Fink solo story), both by Simon Spurrier and Steve Roberts.
Megazine #273 introduced the previously unknown son of Fink, Ratfink Angel: a poisoner and highway robber, ultimately captured by the Judges, at considerable loss of life. Dredd ordered him interrogated and executed;  but Ratfink escaped and tortured Dredd, until the latter took him prisoner again.
Judge Dredd movie
The Angel Gang appeared in the movie version of Judge Dredd, wherein they were represented as religious fanatics and cannibals. Pa Angel was played by Scott Wilson; Mean Machine by Christopher Adamson; Link by Phil Smeeton; and Junior by Ewen Bremner. Fink did not appear in the film. Dredd encounters them when his shuttle is downed by them and they capture him, but he quickly frees himself and kills them in combat.
The novelization based on the film took Pa's fanaticism even further—to "keep out evil spirits", Pa had sewn shut his ears, eyes, and mouth. He thus communicated in a series of muffled words and grunts.
- The Angel Gang: "Before they wuz dead" (by Simon Spurrier and Steve Roberts, in Judge Dredd Megazine #258-ongoing, 2007)
- John Wagner interview
- Megazine #273-7
- Megazine #328-30, "Ratfink's Revenge"