Judge Dredd: The Angel Gang

05 March 2023
The Angel Gang is a group of notorious criminals who appear frequently in the Judge Dredd comics. Created by writer John Wagner and artist Brian Bolland, the gang first appeared in 2000 AD #160 in 1980.

The Angel Gang consists of four siblings: Mean Machine, Link, Fink, and Junior. They are all heavily mutated and have a reputation for being violent and unpredictable. The gang operates primarily in the Cursed Earth, a radioactive wasteland outside of Mega-City One.

men machine comic dredd

One of the key conflicts involving the Angel Gang revolves around their ongoing battle with Judge Dredd. The gang has clashed with Dredd numerous times over the years, with each encounter resulting in violent and often deadly confrontations. The Angel Gang's brutal and sadistic nature makes them particularly dangerous opponents for Dredd, and their clashes have become some of the most memorable and iconic moments in the series:

"The Judge Child" (2000 AD progs 156-181): This storyline features the first appearance of the Angel Gang, who are hired by the villainous Judge Cal to track down the Judge Child, a prophesied figure who could bring about his downfall. Dredd and the Angel Gang clash multiple times throughout the story, including a memorable showdown in a radioactive wasteland.

"The Cursed Earth" (2000 AD progs 61-85): This iconic storyline sees Dredd travelling through the Cursed Earth on a mission to deliver a vaccine to Mega-City Two. Along the way, he faces off against a number of dangers, including the Angel Gang, who make their first major appearance in the series. The gang's sadistic nature and twisted personalities are on full display in this story, and their confrontations with Dredd are some of the most memorable in the series.

"The Apocalypse War" (2000 AD progs 245-267): In this epic storyline, Mega-City One is invaded by the forces of East-Meg One, leading to a devastating war that nearly destroys the city. The Angel Gang is among the many criminals who take advantage of the chaos to launch their own attacks on the city, leading to a brutal confrontation with Dredd and his allies.

"Judgement Day" (2000 AD progs 786-799): This storyline sees the return of Mean Machine Angel, who has been reprogrammed by the villainous Judge Death to serve as his enforcer. Mean Machine proves to be a formidable opponent for Dredd, and the story culminates in a climactic battle between the two.

Despite their villainous nature, the Angel Gang has also had moments of character development and complexity. Mean Machine, in particular, has undergone a significant character arc over the years. Initially portrayed as a mindless thug with a cybernetic head that causes him to fly into uncontrollable rages, Mean Machine later gains a measure of control over his condition and becomes a more sympathetic character. He even forms a romantic relationship with Judge Anderson, one of Dredd's allies.

In addition to their conflict with Judge Dredd, the Angel Gang has also been involved in various criminal activities over the years. They are frequently shown engaging in robbery, murder, and other illegal activities. However, the gang's loyalty to one another is also a notable aspect of their characterization, with their close familial bond often driving their actions and decisions.

Overall, the Angel Gang is a fascinating and iconic group of villains in the Judge Dredd comics. Their ongoing conflict with Judge Dredd has provided some of the most memorable moments in the series, while their complex and sometimes sympathetic characterizations have added depth and nuance to their portrayal.

Appearance in the Stallone movie

The Angel Gang appears in the 1995 movie "Judge Dredd," directed by Danny Cannon and starring Sylvester Stallone in the title role. However, the movie's portrayal of the Angel Gang differs significantly from the comic book version.

mean machine dredd

In the movie, the Angel Gang is portrayed as a group of heavily-armored bikers who terrorize the citizens of Mega-City One. The gang consists of a number of characters, including Mean Machine (played by Christopher Adamson), who is depicted as having a cyborg head that can spin and cause him to go into a rage; Fergee (played by Rob Schneider), a cowardly hacker who helps Judge Dredd infiltrate the gang's lair; and Pa Angel (played by Jurgen Prochnow), the patriarch of the Angel family.

The portrayal of the Angel Gang in the movie is generally regarded as one of the weaker elements of the film. The gang's characterization is much more simplistic than in the comics, with their motivations and backstories largely glossed over. The movie also fails to capture the twisted and sadistic nature of the gang that made them such compelling villains in the comics.

Despite these shortcomings, the Angel Gang's appearance in the movie does serve as an important part of the film's plot. The gang's actions set the stage for Dredd's investigation into the corrupt Justice Department and their attempts to frame him for murder. The final confrontation between Dredd and the Angel Gang is also an action-packed and memorable sequence, even if it diverges significantly from the source material.


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