The Angel Gang are the most infamous and feared band of thugs ever to come out of Texas City, the Angel Gang were responsible for a near endless string of crimes with one overriding common factor - they were all quite unnecessarily violent.
In the "Judge Child" storyline, the Angels (except for Fink) have escaped from detention in Texas City, and are anxious to get off-planet. Hearing of the Judge Child's precognitive abilities, they obtain him from a carnival worker who's using him in a fake fortune-telling racket and take him along. The value of a child who could see and perhaps even influence the future was obvious, but the Angel Gang had to travel a long way before they could find a way to turn a decent profit from his capture. They finally arrived on the Planet Xanadu, where a mysterious and dangerous robot called the Grunwalder ruled over his own independent Kingdom. Pa Angel was keen to do a deal with the robot, hoping to exchange Owen Krysler for considerable riches - as well as protection from the Mega-City One Judges. However, Dredd caught up with the Angel Gang on Xanadu and he was prepared to kill them all in his quest for the Judge Child. Link was the first to fall, followed by Mean Machine, then Junior and finally Pa.
Later, Fink comes to Mega-City One to avenge his kinsfolk, only to be imprisoned, and "Mean Machine" is resurrected by the Judge Child to be sent back for revenge on Dredd. There have also been some stand-alone stories featuring the Angel Gang, notably one where they were travelling in time after Mean Machine hijacked a time machine from a university and, not knowing what to do, decided to go back in time and find his Pa, who was always able to come up with a clever plan.
In 2000AD Prog 958's Dredd story 'Awakening Of Angels', John Wagner 'resurrected' Pa and Junior Angel by revealing that when Dredd 'killed' them by throwing them into a volcano, they never actually died but were instead trapped in a crystal-like substance which held them in suspended animation. This proved an unpopular plotline. Many readers felt it was cheesy and out of keeping with the spirit of 2000AD, which was never afraid to kill off its characters. 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."
Never ones to commit a murder when a vile atrocity would do, the Angels were led by the father of the Angel family, Elmer "Pa" Angel, and included three of his four sons:
- Link Angel, who wears a sort of biker costume and a ring through his nose.
- "Junior" Angel, youngest and smartest of the boys, who wears a derby hat. He is the closest of them all to their sociopathic father.
- "Mean Machine" Angel, a cyborg. Originally, "Machine" was nothing like his deeply antisocial family, so "Pa" forced a Texas City surgeon to come out to their hideout in the Cursed Earth and surgically modify him. He now has a mechanical arm supported by a heavy metal frame built into his body, so he can use the massive strength of his right arm without it just ripping free of his flesh and bone. His skull is covered with a metal dome with a dial. The dial's settings range from 1, where he's surly and mean and nasty, on up to 4, where he's fully berserk.
- "Fink" Angel is the eldest of Pa's boys, 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 is the family specialist in poisons; he has poisons which can temporarily paralyze a victim, as well as ones that can kill quickly.