Answering Your Questions about Dead Boy Detectives

Written By Meg Elison

Meg Elison is a Philip K. Dick and Locus award winning author, as well as a Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Otherwise awards finalist. A prolific short story writer and essayist, Elison has been published in Slate, McSweeney’s, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fangoria, Uncanny, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. Elison is a high school dropout and a graduate of UC Berkeley.

The buzz is gathering about Netflix’s forthcoming ghostly whodunnits series. This is partly because it’s a spinoff of a successful adaptation of a celebrated comics series, and partly because we can never get enough of detective stories where the sleuths are a little different from everybody else. So, let’s address the questions on everyone’s lips about these graveside gumshoes.

Is Neil Gaiman involved in Dead Boy Detectives?

As the creator of the original characters in the show, Gaiman is listed in the credits as a source (‘based on the characters by” or similar). However, he’s not listed as an episode writer or executive producer on the show. He is likely not directly involved.

Along with artists Matt Wagner and Malcolm Jones III, Gaiman created the characters for this show in April 1991, for Sandman issue #25. These two have also appeared on HBO’s Doom Patrol in the series’ third season, played by Ty Tennant and Sebastian Croft. The DC universe is slowly becoming as complicated as its Marvel twin, though perhaps we can hope that this will be the subtler of the two siblings.

Is Dead Boy Detectives part of the The Sandman universe?

The Sandman TV show (2022) is based on a long-running Gaiman comic of the same name published by DC Comics from 1989-1993. The series then moved to Vertigo from 1993-2020, before returning to DC Black Label from 2020 to the present. The beloved comic series is sprawling and decadent, containing many interwoven tales that hinge on Dream of the Endless, a character also known as the Sandman. Whatever realm dreams may touch can come into his purview, and along the way we meet his siblings: Death, Destruction, Destiny, Delight/Delirium, Desire, and Despair. Whatever the Sandman can’t touch, they surely can.

Dead Boy Detectives grows from that fertile ground, taking its roots from a multivarious universe, and work spanning several decades by one of the most prolific and versatile minds in the game. Although these two characters are a minor part of The Sandman, they are written with the compelling richness that Gaiman seems to bring to anything he fancies enough to include. The Sandman is a garden full of exotic and fascinating specimens like this one, and there could theoretically be dozens more spinoffs where that came from.

Who is in Dead Boy Detectives?

George Rexstrew, a relative unknown, will play Edwin Payne, paired with Jayden Revri (The Winx Saga) as Charles Rowland. Together, the two will take on such Nancy-Drew-coded adventures as “The Case of the Dandelion Shrine” and “The Case of the Lighthouse Leapers.” They’re joined by Briana Cuoco (Harley Quinn animated series), Kassius Nelson (Last Night in SoHo), and Caitlin Reilly (Hacks) in a cast of mostly fresh faces. If you want to see some young up-and-comers cut their teeth in a series of paranormal mysteries, this is the show you’ll want to watch.

What’s the plot of Dead Boy Detectives?

The Sandman, as a series, sees plenty of characters come and go from the afterlife and various underworlds, sometimes making stops along the way. Payne and Rowland meet one another after dying decades apart, and team up to solve mysteries. The story combines some of the classic elements of British literature: boarding school kids clinging to one another, and teenagers cleaning up after lazy or corrupt law enforcement. With the help of a talented clairvoyant, the pair work out what’s happened to the living from beyond the grave.

Where can I stream Dead Boy Detectives?

Dead Boy Detectives will premiere on Netflix on April 25, 2024.

Categories TV