Mean Machine

    Character » Mean Machine appears in 174 issues.

    The Angel Gang are a murderous family clan from Texas City.

    Short summary describing this character.

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    Born on a homestead in the Cursed Earth near to Texas City, Mean Machine Angel was raised on a homestead in the Cursed Earth near to Texas City, a member of the most notorious criminal family ever to plague the southern Mega-City. Originally the only one of outlaw Elmer "Pa" Angel's brood of sons who did not display any vicious or brutal tendencies, and nothing, not even the physical and verbal abuse inflicted on him by father and siblings - Fink, Link and Junior - worked to bring out a darker side in his nature.

    Eventually Pa turned to artificial means, kidnapping a cybernetic surgeon and forcing the man to operate on Mean, turning him into a cyborg. Though the outward modifications were extensive, it was the work done on Mean's brain that truly shaped him - he now had a dial on his head to control his moods. Even at 1, the lowest setting, he was surly; at 2, he became mean; 3 turned him vicious, and 4 was brutal. With a reinforced skeleton and metal-domed cranium, Mean's signature attack on anyone who annoyed him (i.e. almost everyone he met) was a powerful, frequently lethal, headbutt.


    Mean Machine and the rest of the Angel Gang were created by John Wagner and Mike McMahon, and debuted in 2000AD Prog 160 in the Judge Dredd strip during the epic Judge Child saga.

    Character Development

    When the Angel Gang kidnapped the precognitive Judge Child, they put themselves on the radar of Mega-City One's top judge, Judge Dredd. Fleeing him, they stole a spaceship, but he eventually pursued them to the robotic Grunwalder's world, and Mean, along with the rest of his family, was slain. Some time later the Judge Child, seeking revenge on Dredd, resurrected Mean and sent him back to Earth, where he joined forces with his eldest brother Fink, who had left the gang prior to their first encounter with Dredd and thus not been present when they were slain. However Dredd again prevailed, slaying Fink and capturing Mean.

    Mean would continue to occasionally escape, but, after discovering he had inadvertently sired a son who was as innocent as he had once been, Mean was eventually successfully operated on to undo his cybernetic enhancements, returning him to a harmless state.

    Other media

    Mean Machine appeared in the 1995 Judge Dredd movie alongside the rest of the Angel Gang. He was played by Christopher Adamson.


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