Are Netflix's Dead Boy Detectives gay in comics as well? Explained

Dead Boy Detectives (Image via
Dead Boy Detectives (Image via Netflix)

Yes, Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland from Dead Boy Detectives were originally written as homosexuals in the comics. The Netflix adaptation has remained true to the source material.

Dead Boy Detectives made their television debut in an episode of the show, Doom Patrol, where Edwin Paine was portrayed by Ty Tennant and Charles Rowland by Sebastian Croft. The plans to give the boys their own TV series were in motion since then. However, the show could not see the light of day, until Netflix picked it up and decided to add them to the ongoing The Sandman universe.

The series follows Charles Rowland and Edward Paine, as they decide to evade the afterlife and stay on Earth to investigate crimes that involve the supernatural. Dead Boy Detectives premiered on Netflix on April 25, 2024.

Dead Boy Detectives are gay in comics

Still from the show (Image via Netflix)
Still from the show (Image via Netflix)

The characters called the Dead Boy Detectives first appeared in issue 25 of the celebrated The Sandman comic book series, created by legendary author Neil Gaiman. Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland were brutally murdered and then they solved mysteries in the afterlife. They appeared in various comic book series and spin-offs before finally getting their own Netflix series.

Edwin, a closeted gay man was part of a strict Catholic private school, where he had to suppress his identity or suffer the consequences of being true to himself. On the other hand, Charles was described as bisexual in the comics.

At some point in time in the comics, while working together, Edwin developed feelings for Charles and confessed his love for the latter. The Netflix adaptation remained honest about this dynamic between the leads, and a similar situation was played in episode 7.

The characters had not developed any sort of romance at the end of season 1. The relationship between the protagonists represents the strength of friendship, comradery, and mutual admiration.


Dead Boy Detectives consists of eight exciting episodes, where the boys, with the help of their eccentric friend solve peculiar mysteries and track down the world’s most elusive ghosts and demons.

The series features an ensemble of talented actors including Jenn Lyon, Briana Cuoco, Lukas Gage, David Iacono, and Ruth Connell. It has already garnered critical acclaim and is currently among the top Netflix shows globally.

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