WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Tweedledee and Tweedledum
Member names: Deever and Dumfree Tweed
Residence: Usually Mobile
Occupation: Professional Criminals
First Appearance (Golden Age): Detective Comics #74 (April 1943)
Little is known of the lives of the Tweed cousins on Earth-Two prior to their appearance in Gotham in 1943. In April of that year, Dumfrey Tweed was robbing Ermine, Sable & Company furriers when he was intercepted by Batman and Robin. After dispatching the Tweed henchmen, The Dynamic Duo find Tweed seated in the back of van, surveying the loot acquired thus far. Goaded by Tweed, the heroes charge in, only to be snagged by steel traps and left with taunts as Tweed and his gang escape.
Freeing themselves, Batman is perplexed when a APB matching
Tweed’s description is picked up in the Batmobile, even though their assailant
could not have traveled so far, so fast.
Racing to the seen they interrupt a massive jewel heist and again,
defeating the henchmen, are confronted with another corpulent criminal. Batman assumes this must be Dumfrey’s twin
but unknown to them, this is Deever Tweed, Dumfrey’s cousin with a near
identical appearance. Using an
electrical device, Tweed shocks the heroes unconscious and makes off with his
Realizing that such obese individuals could not use normal
clothiers, Batman visits a specialty shop as Bruce Wayne inquiring about twin
customers. There he learns of the Tweed
cousins and acquires their address, which he investigates as Batman with Robin
that evening. To their dismay, they
learn that the wily Tweeds have set up a series of traps, snaring the heroes in
an net where they are kicked and abused.
Emerging from hiding, the Tweeds reveal they have crafted costumes for
themselves based on Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland and present as
Tweedledee and Tweedledum, with their lackeys disguised as the White Rabbit and
the Mad Hatter (Note: this is not Jervis Tetch).
They announce their intention to rob a costume ball being used to raise money for war bonds and in a taunt, allow Batman and Robin to be freed. This is a ruse however as they quick land on a charged plate, immobilizing them while the Tweeds depart.
Using his utility belt, Batman manages to short circuit the
plate and calls the manager of the gala.
He arranges for the Tweeds to win a costume contest to lure them in
close and when they pull weapons on the crowd, the prize box is found to
contain Batman and Robin, who quickly overcome the men and overwhelm the
hapless Tweeds. The two cousins are
carted off to prison, swearing revenge (Detective Comics #74).
Six months later, the Tweeds had escaped prison and had
slipped away into the countryside of upstate New York. Reports were reaching Gotham of a series of
robberies targeting wealthy patrons at the Hunter’s Inn, a high-end lodge in
the country. Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson
and Alfred Beagle make reservations to facilitate an investigation and check in
right behind millionaire John Gottrox.
As the evening goes on, the Gothamites are struck that the Inn does not
live up to its reputation. Food service
is poor and guests seem few.
That evening as they prepare for bed, the hear shouts for help from Gottrox’s
room and quickly intervene as Batman and Robin.
Gottrox has vanished but a fat
hotelier arrives and castigates them for disturbing the peace, breaking a
bauble of bees to attack them. The
Dynamic Duo flings the crooks into the swarm and escape, only to encounter
another, identically dressed fat man.
The second man drops a container of noxious gas, subduing the two heroes
who he leaves for his men to dispose of.
Tapping on the floor, Batman gets a message to Alfred, who manager to
get them to safety and out to the car.
The next morning, Alfred feigns disgust and hauls out his bags,
claimed his employers left previously. A
ways down the road, the group reconvenes and the heroes, now in costume, double
back to the Hunter’s Inn. Oddly, they
find a seemingly different hotel – many more guests and amenties. They do however, recognize some criminals
that had tangled with before who claims to be working for the hotel as honest
men. They soon spy the goons they fought
the night before and a tussle breaks out again. Batman is found to be
trespassing though and eventually leaves.
Confounded, he stares at the hotel and notices an oddity – the hotel
they just faces South and yet the one checked into the night before faces
West. The two heroes tramp through the
woods and arrive again at the Hunter’s Inn.
Robin thinks they have circled back but in reality, Batman realizes
there are two hotels, one designed to trap wealthy patrons.
Entering they find duplicate records from the real Hunter’s
Inn, directed there from the crooks they had just encountered. Running up a flight of stairs they are caught
in a trap door, dropping them in the midst of the Tweeds. As the
criminals plan to put them in a cell, Batman drops a smoke grenade and the
heroes escape in an elevator. On an
upper floor, they find a control room in which a switch moves giant trees back
and forth, diverting the road to the real or the fake hotel. He sets it to fake one and the heroes return
back down to meet the Tweeds. As the
elevator opens, the police arrive outside having been alerted by Gottrox and
led to the correct hotel by Batman’s throwing the switch. Tweedledee and Tweedeldum are summarily carted
off to jail (Batman #18).
A year later, the Tweeds were free again and Batman gets wind that they are engaging in politics in the small town of Yonville. Manipualting the race, Dumfree Tweed is elected mayor and begins to seemingly govern fairly and openly with his constituents. Batman arrives and is suspicious, seeing two of Tweed’s old gang robbing the bank. Defeating the criminals, Batman is surprised when Tweed as them thrown in jail.
Unbeknownst to the heroes, Tweed has passed a series of ordinances
making minor acts jailable offenses and arrests Batman and Robin for damages
done during the melee at the bank. With
the two lawfully in jail, Deever Tweed received a visit from a man named Anders
from whom they buy a depleted gold mine.
They ask for a tour of the mine
and Anders finds gold, realizing the mine is not depleted. Feigning altruism, Tweed declares he will let
the townspeople develop the mine and he will simple collect their investments
and give them the mine.
Hearing the news, Batman realizes the Tweeds are running a
scam, salting the mine with a few pieces of gold and collecting the townsfolk’s
money in exchange for the dead mine. Batman and Robin escape prison and head
for the Tweeds, who protest their innocence and offer to show the Dynamic Duo
the prove. In reality, they take them to
the mine as a trap, capturing them by triggering a cave in. They then leave igniting explosives in the
mine on their way out of town.
In the interim, Batman and Robin have used a snagged board as a lever to free themselves and given chase. Unfortunately for the Tweeds, one of their explosives blows the road out and they fall with their car back into the mine, just as the heroes arrives. In addition to capturing the corpulent criminals, they find that the explosion has exposed an enormous vein of gold and that the Tweeds had actually given away a fortune. The town folk arrive in protest but when Batman explains what has happened, he is elected mayor and authorized to incarcerate the Tweeds until the State Police can arrive. The mine is turned over to the town, which subsequently prospers (Batman #24).
The final fate of Tweedledee and Tweedledum on Earth-Two is unknown.
Powers and Abilities
The Tweed Brothers primary threat was their high degree of criminal cunning. They were master strategists and criminal administrators, managing an extensive network of gangs, hideouts and intercity operations. Their schemes often centered around deception, including personal deception based on their near identical appearances. The full extent of their criminal holdings has not been revealed.
Weaknesses and Limitations
Bereft of the equipment or the support of their henchmen, the Tweeds were morbidly obese men who were easily overwhelmed.
The Tweedledee and Tweedledum of Earth-One are known to exist and presumed to have similar origins and early casework as the Earth-Two versions, tho this is not been fully substantiated. Published records of their activities are sparse, limited primarily to their appearance in large groups of other Batman-related rogues (Batman #294, Batman #400, Detective #526).
The Tweedledee and Tweedledum of the Post-Crisis Earth-0 timeline have a largely similar backstory as the Earth-Two version. At some point the two are considered mentally ill and incarcerated in Arkham Asylum. More integrated into Gotham's super-criminal community, they become henchmen of the Joker (World's Finest Vol 2. #1-3). In a large shoot-out with the Gotham Police, Tweedledum is killed and his twin brother Dumson replaces him in the gang (Detective Comics #799). The later become affiliated with the Mad Hatter as part of the Wonderland Gang (Detective Comics #841) which they later took over themselves (Detective Comics #847), Their final fate in this timeline is unknown,.
Tweedledee and Tweedledum are known to exist in this timeline and were seen in an round-up of super-criminal after Superman assumed a more authoritarian role on this Earth (Injustice: Gods Among Us Vol. 5 #7).
1st Appearance vs. Batman and Robin
World’s Finest Comics #209, Batman Archives Vol. 3, The Batman Chronicles #8, Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus #2, Batman The Golden Age Vol. 4
vs. Batman and Robin
Detective Comics #443, Batman: The Dark Knight Archives #5, The Batman Chronicles #10, Batman The Golden Age Omnibus #3, Batman The Golden Age Vol. 5
vs. Batman and Robin
DC Limited Collector’s Edition #C-25, Batman: The Dark Knight Archives #6, Batman The Golden Age Omnibus #3, Batman The Golden Age Vol. 6