Are the Dead Boy Detectives Gay In the Comics & Netflix Series?

By Klein Felt Posted:
Dead Boy Detectives Gay

Several characters in the Dead Boy Detectives DC comics are gay, but does that translate to the Netflix series? 

The Neil Gaiman comic story is now a streaming epic, telling the tale of a supernatural detective duo.

Following the death of two young boys Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, the pair opt to become supernatural investigators on Earth as opposed to entering the afterlife.

[ Dead Boy Detectives Actor Michael Beach Explains Why He Was 'Scared' of Joining Netflix Show (Exclusive) ]

Are the Dead Boy Detectives Gay in the Comics?

Dead Boy Detectives DC Comics Cover
DC Comics

While Dead Boy Detectives has been branded a queer story, venturing into LGBTQIA+ territory (especially in the 2022/2023 comic revival), fans have wondered for a long time if the series' central characters shared any sort of romance with one another.

Notably, in the comics Edwin Paine (played by George Rexstrew in the Netflix show) is a closeted gay man. 

Before dying, it is revealed Edwin was a student at a strict Catholic private school, one where attendees were pressured to conform to a harsh religious doctrine. This led the character to believe he could not be himself and express his sexuality openly. 

In DC comics, Edwin's partner in 'Dead Boy Detective' work, Charles Rowland (played by Jayden Revri on Netflix) is notably bisexual; however, the pair never shared any sort of romantic entanglement on the page. 

The closest Charles and Edwin ever got to a gay relationship in the comics came in Issue #7 of the 2022 Dead Boy Detectives DC Comics revival. 

After some time of working together, Edwin confronts Charles, coming out to his partner and revealing who he is. While doing this, he also confesses his feelings for Charles. 

Despite telling Charles he fancies him, no relationship between the pair ever transpires. Instead, Edwin's coming out serves as a lifting of the weight from his shoulders, finally allowing him to be himself around his partner in supernatural sleuthing. 

Do Charles and Edwin Fall in Love in Netflix's Dead Boy Detectives?

Dead Boy Detectives Netflix Charles and Edwin

In the Netflix Dead Boy Detectives series, things between Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland play out similarly as they do in the comics. 

Both Edwin and Charles are queer in the series, and representation of the LGBTQIA+ community was something the show's creators wanted to put a focus on in this comic book adaptation. 

However - at least in Season 1 - the detective duo never become romantically involved. 

Things unfold almost identically between the two with Edwin coming out to Charles in Episode 7. Edwin reveals he is gay, and again admits he has feelings for his fellow paranormal investigator. 

But, as revealed by Dead Boy Detectives star Kassius Nelson in an interview with Netflix, they see that moment as one of "friendship and acceptance" rather than gay love:

"[The scene where] Charles and Edwin are on the staircase escaping hell … there’s the moment of rawness and vulnerability, which was beautifully acted and felt really true. I think it was a beautiful message on friendship and acceptance and honesty, which I love."

While Edwin and Charles are not together by the end of Season 1, who is to say where the series could go in a potential Season 2 (if one were to be greenlit)? 

Dead Boy Detectives Season 1 is streaming now on Netflix. 

- In This Article: Dead Boy Detectives
Release Date
April 25, 2024
George Rexstrew
Jayden Revri
Kassius Nelson
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.