Detective Comics #74

February 19, 1943

"Tweedledum and Tweedledee"

Before cracking open this story, I have to say I know nothing about Tweedledee and Tweedledum other than that they have a place in the Rogue's Gallery. I know I haven't read any modern interpretations of the characters. I'm not even that versed in their place in Alice in Wonderland overall other than as an allusion to two simple people.

The story opens with a late night fur warehouse heist lead by one of the two title villains. They never say which one it is. Batman and Robin arrive, but are trapped by steel wolf traps and tossed out of the departing truck that holds the stolen furs.

They are startled to learn that the fat man and his men are across town and casing a jewelry store. It seems impossible as the truck they were using couldn't move that fast. But when Batman and Robin arrive, they find it to be apparently be true. They are shocked unconscious by a jolt of electricity from the man's walking stick.

The next day, Bruce and Dick pay a visit to the only clothing store in Gotham City that makes clothing for large sized men. There, Bruce learns of the Tweeds, cousins who look so much alike they are thought to be twins. Again, why is Bruce doing this legwork? Batman is a member of the police force; he can ask the store owner the questions Bruce does.

Batman and Robin plan to visit the Tweeds' house that night, but the Tweeds are on to them and have a series of traps laid out. And they are quickly captured in a silken net, making escape difficult. They meet the Tweeds, dressed as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, along with other thugs dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland. They plan to rob a war bond event.

The two are left behind, frozen thanks to alternating currents from a plate on the floor and a gun like device. The Tweeds plan to watch them die slowly of starvation. But after they leave, Batman frees them by managing to focus all his energy on moving his hand to his belt and throwing it at the gun. They call the manager of the event to warn him of the theft.

The Tweeds are among those at the event who are dressed in costume and they win a contest where they claim their prize, the take from the war bonds sales. But Batman is waiting as the prize the boys were supposed to receive. They round up the two and their men.

Overall, not a bad little story and I could easily see these characters on Batman 66. In fact, this story has the beats of a 66 episodes down. Part one would be the villains carrying out their two robberies and thwarting Batman and Robin. I can easily see Adam West and Burt Ward visiting the large men clothing shop and getting the details and then falling into the trap. Part two would have to be expanded just a little as this story wraps up a little too quickly with the costume party for war bond sales.

But I could also see this as an Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle story. It has that weird vibe that Grant was good at writing during his run of Detective Comics in the 90s. In fact, a lot of Grant's stories, with a little adapting to tone down the darker tones, could be Batman 66 stories.

And what's next? It's the 75th issue of Detective Comics. Stay tuned, Citizens!

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