“Dead Boy Detectives” and “The Sandman” Connection Unravelled: How The Two Different Series Share Roots

The beloved Dead Boy Detectives series has found its way to the small screen, thanks to a move to Netflix. This exciting development has allowed the show to seamlessly integrate the one-time Doom Patrol spinoff into the captivating Sandman Universe of the streaming platform.

Revolving around the spirits of two young men, Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, who met their demise at the same boarding school years apart. We follow the spectral best friends as they dedicate their time to unraveling otherworldly enigmas. They are soon joined by the amnesiac psychic Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson) and her roommate Niko (Yuyu Kitamura) as a contemporary group that assists spirits in finding peace.

It’s an incredibly enjoyable addition that seamlessly fits into the Sandman Universe.

The Connection

That’s the most important question going into the series since the main characters first appeared in The Sandman #25 in 1991. At first, the show was supposed to be a spinoff of Max’s Doom Patrol. The teenage agents were supposed to appear in the “Dead Patrol” episode of the third season of Max’s Doom Patrol. But when Dead Boy Detectives moved to Netflix, there was a quick chance to link it to The Sandman.


Now that that’s out of the way, we meet Kirby’s (the actress used to be known as Kirby Howell-Baptiste, but now only acts under one name) perfect version of Death in the first episode. We learn that Death is still trying to catch Charles and Edwin and take them to the afterlife. That’s a big part of the story, and it’s a little different from the comic, where Death doesn’t try to take the boys away but instead lets them stay on Earth.

In episode 7, Edwin encounters Despair (Donna Preston) in a gallery that is more faithful to the comic book style than what we saw in the first season of Sandman. This occurs while he is being led to hell by the spider-doll monster that tormented him for centuries. As viewers of the Sandman series will recall, Preston’s grim character gets to demonstrate how much she thrives on misery in this scene, as she watches Edwin’s bully Simon suffer everlasting papercuts in hell while cutting herself with her instantly identifiable symbol ring.

And The Missing Link

Even though the Dead Boy Detectives were recast for the Netflix series, you might recall a few other characters from the Dead Boys’ Doom Patrol debut. Dead Boy Detectives features Ruth Connell, who previously appeared in the Max series as the terrifying Night Nurse, as the sole returning actor. Here, she takes on a more substantial role as she seeks out the runaway ghost boys in the hopes of bringing them back to the Department of Lost & Found for processing in the hereafter. With the season coming to a close, she becomes more of a reluctant caretaker for the two spectral heroes.


David the Demon, Crystal’s wicked ex-boyfriend, is another figure you didn’t see but may have heard of from Doom Patrol. Fair enough, it’s not entirely apparent if he’s the same David the Demon from the previous season.


The two series are likely connected and disconnected and have their own set of portrayals and characters. However, the connection can be converted to a spinoff, but the chances are grim. The Dead Boy Detectives made their debut in “Season of Mists,” and the storyline will be adapted for the second season of The Sandman. It will be easy to move Charles and Edwin up the comic book timeline so they may be a part of the plot. The only thing we can do is wait for any announcement and cross our fingers.