Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Deever and Dumfrey Tweed) are ruthless crime bosses and supervillains that appear as enemies of Batman. The characters first appeared in Detective Comics #74 (April 1943), and were created by Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and Don Cameron. Cousins with an uncanny resemblance to each other, the Tweeds both shared criminal learnings and a fixation on Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. Teaming up, they modeled themselves after the duo of Tweedledee and Tweedledum from that book, oftentimes planning outrageous, absurdist schemes to trap Batman.
Lazy and overweight, Tweedledee has no fighting skill whatsoever. Along with his cousin Tweedledum, his danger comes from his cunning and ruthless strategic thinking.
Deever Tweed and his cousin Dumfrey resemble each other so strongly that you would take them for identical twins. They are in fact cousins, known as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, both as a play on words on their real names, and because they resemble Sir John Tenniel's depictions of those characters in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. The Tweeds always conduct their criminal activities in partnership with one another. Fat and lazy, they prefer to mastermind criminal schemes and let their henchmen carry out any necessary physical activity. The Tweeds will often use their extraordinary likeness to each other to dupe their opponents into thinking there is only one of them.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee first encountered Batman and Robin when they began a crime spree in Gotham City. They first met when Batman and Robin stumbled across a fur robbery commandeered by a short, bald—and very fat—man in a suit, tie, and derby. While his gang did the work, the boss observed from a chair at the back of their storage van. He wasn't unprepared, though, and caught the Dynamic Duo by the ankles in metal wolf traps. Hoping to apprehend the gang, Batman caught a report of a second robbery at a jewelry store, seemingly perpetrated by the same rotund rogue they'd just faced. Sporting a tuxedo and top hat, the villain took Batman down with an electrified cane.
By this point, the Dark Knight suspected what was going on and began making inquiries at the Fat Man's Emporium about any plump twins they might have among their clientele. The only siblings that the owner could recall hadn't spoken to one another in years—but there was another possibility. "There are the Tweed boys -- Dumfrey and Deever -- who look so much alike they're often mistaken for twins, although they're only cousins. I don't know what business they're in, but they seem to have plenty of money."
Batman had found the identities of the thieves but, in their home, the Tweeds suspected as much. "I only hope he comes here," Deever commented. "It will be his last stop in this world. All the traps are set, cousin Dumfrey, and the boys are on their toes." Sure enough, Batman and Robin found themselves captured and immobilized when they entered the Tweed household.
With their adversaries imprisoned, the cousins dressed up as "Alice In Wonderland"'s Tweedledum and Tweedledee (with their gang outfitted as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter) and left "for the War Bond masked ball -- a benefit performance -- for our own benefit!" The Dynamic Duo escaped in time to capture the entire troupe at the ball. "They were too big for the paddy wagon, but there'll be cells to fit at the big house"
"We'll stay in prison just long enough to plan a finish for you -- Batman!"
"And then we'll be back!"
True to their word, the boys returned only four months later, this time operating a scam out of the rural Hunter's Inn far from Gotham. Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Alfred Beagle had paid a visit to the vacation spot after several wealthy men had been robbed there. Almost immediately, Batman and Robin stumbled onto a theft in progress but the plump, bearded proprietor helped the thugs get away when he tossed a globe of bees at the heroes. ("I may add that I'm immune to them.") The arrival of a second fat man tipped Batman off to the rogues he was dealing with, but the Tweed cousin knocked them out with poison gas and left them for dead.
The quick-thinking Alfred snuck his masters out of the Inn and drove away. They returned the next morning to find no sign of the Tweeds. There were other discrepancies, too, notably the fact that "this hotel entrance faces south, but last night, judging from the moon," the hotel faced north. Incredibly, Tweedledum and Tweedledee had converted a vacant house into a replica of Hunter's Inn. Using a mechanical switchboard, the cousins concealed the true route to the Inn—while opening a path to their own—by electronically moving several artificial trees. Secretly using the switchboard, Batman was able to give the police a clear trail to the false lodge.
The Tweeds escaped once more and, still determined to avoid Gotham, they set up shop in "the remote village of Yonville" in a 1944 issue. The cousins ran for mayor as "the two-in-one candidate" ("Get double efficiency!") and handily won the election. Attracted by the publicity, Batman and Robin found their old foes were back at work. The heroes were tossed in the local hoosegow on a misdemeanor (courtesy of one of the Tweed's new laws) and Batman, declaring "we never fight the law", decided to stick around until he figured out what the boys were up to.
It didn't take long. Gold was discovered on the Tweed's new property and the cousins magnanimously gave the riches to the townspeople. Once the mine paid a dividend, the Tweeds offered to let the citizens reinvest their money. Draining their life savings and mortgaging their homes, the people of Yonville did just that. To Batman and Robin, the scheme was obvious: Tweedledum and Tweedledee had planted gold in the worthless mine to separate the locals from their money.
The Dynamic Duo broke out of jail and confronted the Tweeds in their mine. Partially buried by the villains' pre-arranged trap, Batman and Robin were due to be killed once dynamite was detonated throughout the cavern. "Instead of thirty days in jail, you'll spend eternity here!" Using a fallen board as leverage, the heroes pried the debris from their bodies and escaped, but the entire town was rocked by the explosions. Thrown into a crater as they sped away, the Tweeds were horrified when Robin spotted "gold! A vein an inch thick and who knows how long and wide?"
The grateful community unanimously declared Batman their interim mayor and the Caped Crusader agreed to hold the post long enough to pass sentence on the swindlers. In a surreal scene, Batman sat behind a judge's platform as Robin, wearing a police chief's hat and badge, directed them to "step lively, boys. The pleasure of locking you up is all mine"
By 1977, the Tweeds had resurfaced, present in an audience of criminals in BATMAN # 291 and 294 (1977). Tweedledum and his brother also made an appearance with other villains in 1983's Detective Comics # 526. Hoping to kill Batman before the upstart Killer Croc could get the credit for the deed, the Tweeds teamed up with The Getaway Genius and Catman to lure in and kill Batman. However, when Batman arrived on the scene, he found the villains "beaten half to death" by Killer Croc, who'd learned of the plan from the Joker.
As part of a massive breakout from Arkham Asylum conducted by Ra's al Ghul, the cousins escaped in 1986 (Batman # 400) and ditched Ra's, having plans of their own and leaving with Clayface, Calendar Man, Captain Stingaree, and Signalman. The cousins, however, had been returned to Arkham by late 1987.
Still in Arkham, Tweedledee and Tweedledum were a behind-the-scenes presence as pals of the Mad Hatter in Black Orchid # 2. The Tweeds were still locked up in the asylum walls in ANIMAL MAN # 24 but escaped with the Joker a few months later in World's Finest # 1-3. The Tweeds were returned to Arkham again in Batman: Shadow Of The Bat # 3-4.
Deever and his cousin and the rest of Arkham's inmates made their escape on the eve of "No Man's Land". With Gotham soon to be cut off from luxuries like food and electricity, the cousins decided to head for more civilized territory.
During the Infinite Crisis, Tweedledum and Tweedledee appear as members of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains. Joker refers to them as "Tweedledee and the new Dum", implying that the original Tweedledum is either dead, or still incarcerated. It was later confirmed in Detective Comics #841 that Dumfrey Tweed had died and his twin brother Dumfrey Tweed had taken his place with Deever.
Recently in Detective Comics #841 the new Tweedledum, along with Deever, were part of the Wonderland Gang. Originally believed by the public to be run by the Mad Hatter it was revealed that The Tweeds really ran the gang using one of Tetch's own mind control devices on him in order to cash in on his notority. They filled the Wonderland Gang with other pairs based on Alice in Wonderland; such as the Lion and the Unicorn and the Walrus and the Carpenter. After some imprisonment the Tweeds reformed the Wonderland Gang with the Walrus and the Carpenter but were quickly apprehended by Batman, Robin and Nightwing.
In Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, they appear attached to each other by a pair of electroshock helmets, with Tweedledum representing the right half of the brain, and Tweedledee the left.
Although Tweedledum and Tweedledee are most often leaders of their own criminal organization, they have been known to hire themselves out as henchmen to villains such as the Joker.
Powers and Abilities Edit
- Skilled criminal mastermind.
- Weaknesses: Obsessed with Alice in Wonderland.
- Weapons: EMP canes.
Notes and TriviaEdit
The characters of Tweedledum and Tweedledee were originally created by novelist Lewis Carroll for the 1871 children's story, Through the Looking-Glass (more commonly referred to as Alice in Wonderland). Tweedledee and Tweedledum are often mistaken for twin siblings due to their close physical resemblance. In fact however, they are actually cousins.
In Other MediaEdit
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee made appearances on The Batman/Superman Hour as villains.
- Tweedledum and Tweedledee appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Night of the Huntress." This version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee are members of Babyface's gang. Babyface springs them, Skeleton Keys, Polecat Perkins, and Hammertoes from Blackgate Prison. They appear to be very coordinated with each other when fighting as seen when they bounce off each other and the prison walls to knock out a guard. They also appear in the episode "Legends of the Dark Mite", along with other minor Batman rogues in Bat-Mite's illusion. In the episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister" they make a cameo in Arkham Asylum among all the singing prisoners.
- While Tweedledum and Tweedledee do not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, their matching hats are seen sitting on a seesaw near the entrance gate at Arkham North. He and his cousin had their page with a Riddler question mark, which they are known for their plans and their obsession with Wonderland. Riddler might have let them out, since part of their uniforms are on the seesaws which they play in the Lewis Caroll's book. In the Arkham comics, him and Tweedledum were being escorted by TYGER guards, as a result of being captured, however, Riddler is observing them being captured which supports that Riddler is working with both Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
- In the Batman: Arkham Unhindged, it is revealed that Tweedledee and Tweedledum are working with Mad Hatter. They disguised themselves as police and escorted Vicki Vale to a trap set by the Hatter to reclaim his Alice.
- In the prequel comics to Batman: Arkham Knight, it's hinted that both Tweedles, along with a third Tweedle: Tweedledie, are killed by the Arkham Knight.