Mean was the shame of the Angel family. They were the meanest, toughest, viciousest, most durn tootin' bad outlaws in the Cursed Earth, every one of 'em a natural born killer, but Mean? To his Pa's despair, Mean was a sickly child who liked books and soft fluffy animals.
So to save the family name, Pa Angel got a doctor to 'improve' the thirteen-year-old Mean, replacing his right arm with a clawed hook and implanting a dial in his head which worked on his brain; on the lowest level, Mean would now be unpleasant, but on '4', he was an unstoppable, destructive force of nature. Mean was now the Mean Machine!
When the Angel Gang kidnapped the mutant known as the Judge Child, Mean was killed by Judge Dredd, who first blew off his arm (luckily, it was only his good arm) and then caused him to head-butt a fuel pump with explosive results (these events occurred during the so-called 'Judge Child Quest') .
Mean was resurrected years later by the Judge Child, and sent to seek vengeance on Dredd alongside his long-lost brother Fink. They failed, and Fink was killed, but Mean remained a thorn in Dredd's side for years. In his old age, Mega-City's surgeons finally managed to remove the dial from his brain and release him into the care of his son, apparently a broken man.
Gradually rehabilitated into society and given new mechanical arms, Mean worked happily in a scrapyard for a time, until the Chaos bug drove the citizenry insane, Mean included. Driven to violence for the first time in years, he eventually shook off the bug's effects (possibly due to his childhood in the irradiated Cursed Earth having strengthened his immune system) and, stricken with remorse for his actions, left the Mega City and returned to the Cursed Earth. According to one account, he was subsequently captured by slavers led by Nevada Jack Freeman, who ensured his cooperation by threatening to kill their other captives. Mean tricked them into following him to a buried arsenal with promises of the Angel Gang's legendary lost treasure. Arming the slaves, Mean led a successful revolt against their oppressors, but was mortally wounded by gunfire. However, it has been noted that Mean was no stranger to dying, and likewise no stranger to coming back...
Powers and abilities
AbilitiesHead-butting; smashing things up; helping little old ladies to put up shelves.
Strength levelPeak human male.
Not that bright; occasionally descends into an uncontrollable head-butting frenzy.
TransportationHijacked interstellar express; hover pod.
Steel cranium; robotic arm with razor sharp hook hand; later, robotic arm with hammer hand.
- Mean first appeared in the classic Judge Dredd story The Judge Child Quest.
- Mean was married twice, first to Sarah Suggs and then to Portia Wuss.
- Mean once teamed up with Judge Dredd to recover some stolen Judge clones, having undergone brain surgery to make him think that Dredd was his dead father. (See quotes.)
- Mean occasionally has his own strip, entitled Mean Machine.
- It could be a coincidence, but the new arms which Mean was given at the scrapyard look suspiciously like those of a Hammerstein class war droid.
- Mean featured in a one-page humour strip written by Matt Smith and drawn by Jock in the 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Special. He was shown attending a party with some other Judge Dredd supporting characters which was abruptly terminated when Dredd showed up.
- Mean appeared in the 1995 movie Judge Dredd, played by Christopher Adamson.
- Mean once destroyed a bust of Margaret Thatcher by headbutting it in an antique shop.
- Appearances of Mean Angel
- Character Gallery: Mean Angel
- Images that feature Mean Angel
- Fan-Art Gallery: Mean Angel
- Mean Angel quotations
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