Is Dead Boy Detectives A Doom Patrol Spin-Off? What We Know
HBO Max announced the pilot of a Dead Boy Detectives series after confirming that the characters would appear in Doom Patrol. Here’s what we know.
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HBO Max has announced the pilot for a series based on the DC Characters from Dead Boy Detectives and the timing has left it unclear whether it might be a Doom Patrol spin-off. The “Dead Boy Detectives” comics is one of DC’s lesser-known properties that originated in the early 1990s and has made relatively few appearances. The new show is set to bring the characters further into the public consciousness and could be part of expanding the Doom Patrol universe after season 3.
The “Dead Boy Detectives” graphic novels follow two teenagers who were murdered at St. Hilarion’s Boarding School: Edwin Paine, in 1916 by a group of bullies, and Charles Rowland, in 1990 by the ghosts of the same group of bullies. When the two spirits meet and are not taken to Hell, they instead start up a detective agency together. At a later point, Charles saves the life of Crystal Palace and she joins the agency as its only living member using her skills with technology and as a psychic to aid their investigations.
The announcement of HBO Max ordering the pilot for a series based on the characters comes shortly after the news that the characters will be featured in Doom Patrol season 3. Edwin Payne (with his last name altered) will be played by Ty Tennant, Charles Rowland by Sebastian Croft, and Crystal Palace by Madalyn Horcher. It is unclear what role the detective agency will play in the series and the characters barely appear in the Doom Patrol season 3 trailer. The timing of this announcement might make it seem likely that the Dead Boy Detectives series will be a direct spin-off of Doom Patrol, however, that is not definite at this point as HBO have avoided confirming that the Doom Patrol actors will be reprising their roles for the TV show.
One reason to think that the Dead Boy Detectives show might remain separate from season 3 of Doom Patrol, despite the characters debuting in both so close to each other, is that the characters were never from the “Doom Patrol” comics. Instead, Charles and Edwin first originated in the DC comics written by Neil Gaiman, specifically “Sandman” #25 during the “Season of Mists” storyline. From there they got their own spin-offs, first in “Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives” and then another run simply called “Dead Boy Detectives.” So, while DC might bring those characters in for a crossover event with Doom Patrol, it is still possible that the new show will have no connection to Doom Patrol itself.
Even if HBO Max does confirm that Tennant, Croft, and Horcher will reprise their Doom Patrol season 3 roles for Dead Boy Detectives, it is still possible that the new series would not be technically tied to Doom Patrol. Doom Patrol itself started from Titans season 1, episode 4, “Doom Patrol,” before the new show aired with the same actors, minus Beast Boy who left to join the Titans, and Dr. Niles Caulder who was recast for the series with Timothy Dalton taking over the role. Since then, the Arrowverse confirmed in their Crisis on Infinite Earths event that Titans and Doom Patrol take place in different continuities and actually have no effect on each other, explaining some of the disparities between the two depictions.