Why are we excited right now? Because a brand new DCTV show, Dead Boy Detectives, debuts this week exclusively on Netflix, chronicling the mystery-solving misadventures of two British school children cut down in their youth but who refuse to pass on until they get to experience the lives they were denied. Whether this is the first you’re hearing of the Dead Boy Detectives or not, you probably have some questions. Well, here are all our answers to what we imagine you might ask us.

First question, how is this a DC show? I don’t see any superheroes here.

You know DC publishes more than superhero comics, right? We were pretty into romance and westerns and horror and outer space and talking animals for a while.

You don’t have to be defensive.

Okay, okay. Well, it’s a Vertigo thing.

Oh yeah! I loved Vertigo!

Me too, man.

So, it’s not connected to the DC Universe at all?

Well…I didn’t say that either. You know how some of the early Vertigo books were halfway connected to DC mythology while also maintaining their own identity?

Like Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol and Animal Man?

Exactly! And then some of those books had their own spinoffs, like Hellblazer coming out of Swamp Thing. Dead Boy Detectives is one of those, spinning off from Vertigo’s The Sandman.

Really? How’s this connected to Sandman? I didn’t see them in the show.

You mean you haven’t seen them yet. The Dead Boy Detectives come from a story in the comics that the Netflix series hasn’t adapted yet—it’s from the fan favorite fourth volume, Season of Mists. I’ll try not to spoil it too much for people following The Sandman with the show, but at one point in the story the dead start returning to life—including Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, two students of the same British boarding school who were killed in bullying incidents over 70 years apart. The two undead students survive a harrowing experience at the school where both their lives ended, and once the status quo of the universe returns the dead where they were, they decide not to go back and get to live their lives in this time as unaging ghosts. A very frazzled Death of the Endless, in a rare dereliction of duty, lets them go to “deal with them later” because she’s got enough on her plate right now with major events occurring in her jurisdiction. A matter, if you will, of life and Death.

Boooo. Get to the detective part.

Okay, I mean, these are two bookish dead young boys who never got to experience life outside of reading 20th century children’s adventure stories. So, given that frame of reference and the lease on what to do with their afterlives, what do children do in British adventure stories that they can draw from?


Yeah, fair. Gaiman covered that too. But what *else*?

Oh, duh. They solve mysteries.

Now you’re getting it. Since escaping Death, the Dead Boy Detective Agency has been solving mysteries only the dead can solve in various Vertigo series and specials while learning what it means to experience life and friendship after losing their chance the first time.

Is that the entire “agency,” then? These two dead kids?

Not quite. The 2014 Dead Boy Detectives series introduced a third member, Crystal Palace.

She doesn’t sound like a boy.

Not a boy and also not dead. She is a young spirit medium though, and Charles has a bit of a thing for her. You’ll see some more of Crystal in the show.

Hey, actually, I think I recognize these guys from the Doom Patrol show. Is this a Doom Patrol spinoff? Is Brendan Fraser in this?

Understandable question, but let me explain. The Dead Boy Detectives show was in fact greenlit off their appearance in the Doom Patrol season three episode “Dead Patrol,” but will not be connected to the Doom Patrol series at launch. If anything, just like in the comics, you can consider this more closely connected to Netflix’s The Sandman series. Judging by the trailer, we’re guaranteed an appearance by the show’s Death, for one.

This sort of retooling occurs more often with new shows than you might think. For example, Doom Patrol itself began life as a spinoff from a season one episode of Titans, but launched as its own separate thing.

So, are Edwin and Charles…

Are they what? Dead? Boys? Detectives?

No, no. You know…

Ahh. Well, for that, you’ll have to watch and see. Perhaps there is love after death.

Where can I watch this again and when?

Chances are you can watch this right now. Dead Boy Detectives is only on Netflix, starting today!

Get caught up on the Dead Boy Detectives’ comic book adventures on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE, and don’t miss their live action debut today on Netflix!

Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DC.com. Follow him on Bluesky at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.