Dead Boy Detectives has finally made its way onto the small screen after a move to Netflix that allowed the series to incorporate the one-time Doom Patrol spinoff into the streamer's Sandman Universe.

Centering on the ghosts of two young men, Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri) and Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew), who were killed decades apart at the same boarding school, we join the ghostly BFFs as they spend their time solving supernatural mysteries. They're soon joined by the amnesiac psychic Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson) and her roommate Niko (Yuyu Kitamura) as a modern-day Scooby Gang that helps ghosts move on.

It's a super fun take that feels like a perfect addition to the Sandman Universe. If you've already devoured DC’s delightfully droll new series, then I am here as your favorite detective—other than that one, and by that one, I mean Detective Chimp, obviously—to answer all your Dead Boy Detectives, Sandman and greater DC questions! But beware, spoilers for the series abound!

How Does Dead Boy Detectives Connect to The Sandman?

This is obviously the biggest question going into the series seeing as the titular duo first debuted in 1991's The Sandman #25. Originally, the show was planned as a spinoff of Max’s Doom Patrol series, with a version of the teenage detectives appearing in the "Dead Patrol" episode of the series’ third season. But with the move to Netflix, there was suddenly the opportunity to connect Dead Boy Detectives to The Sandman.

So, how does that manifest in the series? Well, there are two main connectors and both of them are members of the Endless family who reside at the heart of the Sandman world. But before we get to them…


If you’ve not yet seen Dead Boy Detectives and want to remain unspoiled, consider yourself warned.

With that out of the way, in the very first episode we meet Kirby's (the actress was formerly credited as Kirby Howell-Baptiste, but now performs under a singular name) absolutely perfect rendition of Death, who we learn is still trying to catch Charles and Edwin to take them to the afterlife. That's a major plot point that's also a slight change from the comic, where Death reluctantly lets the boys stay on Earth rather than actively trying to take them away. But before all of you purists out there break out the pitchforks, you should know that this scene was scripted by none other than Neil Gaiman himself.

Donna Preston as Despair in The Sandman

Everyone's favorite goth isn't the only member of the Endless that we meet, though. In episode 7, when Edwin gets taken to hell by the spider-doll-demon that he was tortured by for centuries, he comes across Despair (Donna Preston) in a more comics-accurate version of her gallery than we saw in the first season of Sandman. Preston’s grim character gets to showcase just how much she feeds off despair here, watching Edwin's bully Simon get eternal papercuts in hell as she cuts herself with her instantly recognizable sigil ring, just like readers will remember from the Sandman series.

Wait, Don't I Recognize Some Characters from Doom Patrol, Though?

You just might! The Dead Boy Detectives themselves were recast for the Netflix series, but there are a couple of other characters that you may recognize from the Dead Boys’ appearance on Doom Patrol. Technically, the only returning actor is Ruth Connell, who played the sinister Night Nurse in the Max series and is back in Dead Boy Detectives reprising her role. She plays a much larger part here, trying to hunt down the missing ghost boys to return them to the Department of Lost & Found so that they can be processed for the afterlife. Though, of course, as the season ends, she finds herself as more of a reluctant caretaker for the two ghostly heroes.

There is one other character who you didn’t see, but you might have heard about in Doom Patrol and that's Crystal's evil ex, David the Demon. Though, to be fair, it's unclear if he's the same David the Demon mentioned in the earlier series.

Will the Dead Boy Detectives Appear in The Sandman’s New Season?

This is the big question and I’d love to be able to answer it for you—but I can’t, because I don’t know. So far, everyone involved in both series has been mum on the whole thing. What I can say is that it sure feels like it might happen, seeing as the second season of The Sandman will be adapting the “Season of Mists” storyline, which is where the Dead Boy Detectives first debuted. They'll have to slightly shift the comics’ timeline to make Charles and Edwin fit into the story, but that’s easily done. We’ll all just have to wait to see if they announce anything and keep our fingers collectively crossed.

Finally, Here Are a Few Easter Eggs You May Have Missed!

There are some fun little nods to Doom Patrol and DC as a whole here. We get a fun Easter egg in episode 5, when one of the suspects from a case rocks a t-shirt with the iconic cover to Doom Patrol #118. We also get to meet Tragic Rick, who was in the 2014 Dead Boys Detective series. And while this might be a bit of a stretch, I like to think that Lukas Gage's new character, Thomas the Cat King, is a nod to a forgotten DC character also known as the Cat King. This earlier iteration is none other than Selina Kyle's brother, Karl Kyle, who first appeared in Batman #69. He liked to dress up as a cat and be a sassy lil guy, just like the Cat King in Dead Boy Detectives.

Dead Boy Detectives is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

Rosie Knight is an award-winning journalist and author who loves Swamp Thing, the DC Cosmic and writing the monthly gossip column here at You can also listen to her waxing lyrical about comics, movies and more each week as she co-hosts Crooked Media's pop-culture podcast, X-Ray Vision.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Rosie Knight 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.