Earlier in the year, it was reported that Warner Bros. Discovery had successfully sold off its upcoming comic book show Dead Boy Detectives over to Netflix. During this weekend’s Geeked Week event, the streamer showed off the first trailer for the show, and the young sleuths duo looks they’ll be getting up to some pretty fun adventures.
Based on characters created by Matt Wagner and Neil Gaiman, and now technically a spinoff of Netflix’s The Sandman series that Gaiman’s working on (as they are in the comics), the series stars George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri respectively as Charles Rowland and Edward Paine. Though they died decades apart from each other, they caught on real well as friends and decided that instead of passing on to the afterlife, they’d be better suited as a pair of ghost detectives in the mortal realm. With the help of their clairvoyant friends Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson) and Niko Sasasi (Yuyu Kitamura), the boys solve supernatural crimes, all the while avoiding witches, the forces of Hell, and anyone who may want to send them onto the next stage of their afterlives.
Though Gaiman and Wagner created the Dead Boy Detectives for The Sandman #25 in 1991, the pair truly sprung to life thanks to a spinoff comic from Toby Litt and Mark Buckingham released throughout 2014. By that point, the pair had made sporadic appearances throughout the Sandman universe, in turn inspiring the release of the comic. Looking back on the duo, Gaiman recalled to Tudum their’ “good-heartedness and dedication” as the reason for their extended popularity. “Who amongst us can honestly say that if we were hanging around the Earth as a ghost we wouldn’t want to start a detective agency?”
Being a Netflix show gives Dead Boy some perks, namely that it’ll get to bring over some characters from the Sandman show: Gaiman teased Charles and Edward will cross paths with one of the Endless (beings who embody forces of nature such as Death, Dream, and Destruction), though kept quiet as to which one. Beyond that, showrunners Steve Yockey and Beth Schwartz were excited for the show to get surreal with the tried-and-true detective formula. “The bittersweet nature of Edwin and Charles having only become friends because of their tragic deaths is what makes their friendship such a unique story to explore,” said Schwartz. “[And we] get as psychedelic as possible while still honoring the mystery-horror tone.”
“If The Sandman is this really lush, rich supernatural drama, then Dead Boy Detectives is the Hardy Boys on acid,” added Yockey. “Hopefully just as addictive, but through a severely cracked lens.”
Dead Boy Detectives will come to Netflix in 2024.
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