All The Sandman crossovers in Dead Boy Detectives on Netflix

Dead Boy Detectives is finally here! As expected, there are crossovers with The Sandman, including appearances from two members of the Endless. Who shows up?
The Sandman. Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death in episode 106 of The Sandman. Cr. Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix © 2022
The Sandman. Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death in episode 106 of The Sandman. Cr. Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix © 2022 /

While we probably aren't getting The Sandman season 2 this year, Netflix is still expanding that universe through Dead Boy Detectives, a series set within the same continuity. Dead Boy Detectives follows deceased duo Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri), teenagers from different eras brought together as ghosts. The two decide against following death into the afterlife, instead remaining in the mortal world where they solve paranormal mysteries.

The Dead Boy Detectives originated in the pages of Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic books. They made their first appearance in Sandman #25, during an interlude in the "Season of Mists" story arc. That arc will be covered in The Sandman season 2; maybe the Dead Boys will even make a cameo appearance.

That cuts both ways, since a couple of characters from The Sandman appear in Dead Boy Detectives. Although it's part of The Sandman universe, Dead Boy Detectives very much stands on its own, even with these cameos. According to showrunner Steve Yockey, crossovers only happen ig "there is an emotional and narrative reason to have them...But I don't think we're just going to be pulling people willy-nilly just to get the kind of pop," he told Screen Rant.

So who from The Sandman shows up in Dead Boy Detectives? We get two appearances from the Endless, the seven eternal entities who embody different aspects of the human condition: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium. While we don't see any new Endless, like Delirium, Destiny or Destruction, what we do get is fantastic nonetheless. The first member of the Endless to appear in Dead Boy Detectives is Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) in the opening minutes of the premiere.

Death's involvement in the series was obvious. I mean, both Edwin and Charles spend the whole series trying to avoid her at all costs. She appears in the office of the Dead Boy Detectives agency, escorting a man to the afterlife while the boys themselves hide themselves outside. "We specifically have Death in the pilot because Death is the character that's driving our story, even when she doesn't appear. Because the boys are hiding from her," Yockey explained.

It was a welcome treat to see Death make a brief cameo in the show. It's hard to believe that this is just Death's second episode in The Sandman Universe; she's made a big impression despite appearing in only one episode of The Sandman so far. For non-Sandman viewers, it may be a shock seeing a version of Death who's so caring, warm and sweet.

The Sandman. Donna Preston as Despair in episode 107 of The Sandman. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Despair's cameo in Dead Boy Detectives

The other member of the Endless to make a cameo in Dead Boy Detectives is Despair, played by Donna Preston. This was a much-needed cameo for Despair, because in The Sandman she was very much on the periphery. Desire (Mason Alexander Park) was at the center of all Despair's scenes.

In fact, Neil Gaiman has previously admitted that The Sandman season 1 failed to capture the core elements of Despair they were aiming for, and he promised to rectify the misfire for season 2. "Mostly, what I hope is that the next time you see Despair on the screen you won’t think of her as frumpy, depressed and unloved. She isn’t in the comics, and I think we missed what we were aiming for in Sandman Season 1," he wrote on his Tumblr.

Thankfully, Gaiman's promises were vindicated. Despair's cameo in Dead Boy Detectives is everything fans could want. She appears when Edwin is condemned back to Hell. Edwin sees her peering at him through a mirror, and he's whisked away into the Gray Realm; a misty place with thousands of mirrors where Despair watches mortal souls from the other side. Her realm perfectly captures what we see in the comics, and seeing Despair take center stage is remarkable. It's night and day compared to her previous appearance in The Sandman.

Overall, the appearances of the Endless in Dead Boy Detectives were welcome additions. At no point did they feel overbearing, nor did they distract from the larger story at hand. Fans are desperate for The Sandman season 2, and these cameos will no doubt pacify everyone until it returns to our screens. All eight episodes in Dead Boy Detectives season 1 are now streaming on Netflix!

Next. All 11 episodes of The Sandman, ranked worst to best. All 11 episodes of The Sandman, ranked worst to best. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and Twitter account, sign up for our exclusive newsletter and check out our YouTube channel.