Dumfree Tweed AKA Tweedledum is one half of the villain duo Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The two are ruthless gangsters and supervillains that appear as enemies of Batman.
They are cousins with an uncanny resemblance to each other and who both shared criminal learnings and a fixation on Lewis Carrol's Alice stories. Teaming up, they modelled themselves after the duo of Tweedledee and Tweedledum from the books, oftentimes planning outrageous, absurdist schemes to trap Batman.
"Sometimes the wiliest brains are found in the most sluggish bodies -- and as you have already discovered, men who hate exertion are notoriously clever at inventing ingenious mechanical devices with swift effectiveness."—Detective Comics # 74.
Lazy and overweight, Tweedledum has no fighting skill at all. Along with his cousin Tweedledee, he relies on his cunning and ruthless strategies in order to commit crime.
Dumfree and Denver Tweed are cousins who resemble each other so closely that you would mistake them for identical twins. The Tweeds are known as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, both as a play on words on their real names, and because they so closely resemble Sir John Tenniel's depictions of those characters in Lewis Caroll's "Through the Looking Glass." The two Tweeds always conduct their criminal activity 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 resemblance to trick their opponents into thinking there is only one of them. Tweedledum and Tweedledee first encountered Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson)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 Dumfree, 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.
Dumfree 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.
Dumfree has since died, (confirmed in Detective Comics #841) and his twin brother has taken his place with Deever.
The pair have been admitted into Arkham Asylum several times. 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
- Skilled criminal mastermind.
In other media
- 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 Batman rogues.
- The Tweeds appear in the show Gotham where there are five of them and they are all luchadors known as the Tweed Brothers. They are hypnotized into becoming henchmen of the Mad Hatter.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
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.
Psychological Profile (by Dr. Young)
Tweedledum and Tweedledee Real Name: Deever and Dumfrey Tweed
(Two happy face drawn near the top of the page)
Psychological Profile: The Tweed cousins' obsession with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is similar to that of Jervis Tetch, but unlike Tetch, the Tweeds are not delusional so much as severely dependent on each other, with a shared fixation on extreme roleplay. They know they are not Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but nonetheless delight in acting like them. Their complex rhyming and complicated in-jokes prolong their treatment sessions, but the intense aggression they show when separated hardly make things easier.
Additional Notes: It's difficult to believe they are cousins, as they could pass as identical twins. I suspect plastic surgery.
I avoid scheduling sessions with them on the same days I'm treating Tetch, as otherwise the nearly endless recitation of selections from Lewis Carroll would be enough to make even me question my sanity. Or at least my career choices.
Batman: Arkham City
Although Tweedledum and Tweedledee do not appear in the game, they do appear in the tie-in comics. In the prequel comic, they were seen in the background being escorted by TYGER guards, as a result of being captured.
Batman: Arkham Knight
In the prequel comics to Batman: Arkham Knight, Tweedledum and Tweedledee are hired by the Penguin to steal a shipment from Wayne Enterprises. They also receive a henchman called "Tweedledie". Batman is able to defeat the Tweeds and their henchmen, using the Batmobile. Whilst held in the GCPD, they are executed by the Arkham Knight.
Batman: The Telltale Series
- Main Article: Frank Dumfree
- 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.
- A similar duo named Punch and Judy appeared in The Batman.
- In the Arkham Asylum game, a cell can be found in the penitentiary with two beds. As there are no other cells like this in the asylum it's more than likely it was specifically Dum and Dee's.