Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Secrets Of The Shadow Legion: Their Police Ally's Inspiration Retires!
And I'm sure some of that lot have encountered, at least partially, Detective Munchen, who becomes a friend to The Nightbreaker and an ally to The Shadow Legion in their battle against Rose Red.
And I'm sure some of that smaller sub-group might have a suspicion that our urbane detective is based on another, more famous urbane detective who holds the record for appearing in more television shows than any other television character.
You'd be right.
Today, on the day of Detective John Munch's retirement from his present home as a supporting character on Law And Order: SVU, I can reveal that Detective Munchen was based on Richard Belzer. I've been a fan of Belzer reaching back to his comedian days, and followed his career as a character actor. Back when I was writing fanfiction, I needed a detective character based in Baltimore for GREEN LANTERN: YEAR ONE. Since Belzer was playing John Munch in Homicide: Life On The Streets, I choose to create Munchen as a not-very-subtle tribute to the Belz. And when I wrote FURY OF FIRESTORM for DC Legends and needed a detective character, it made sense to have Muchen transfer to New York as Munch transfered to L&O:SVU.
Of course, sending my own version of Belz back in time and relocating him to the New Orleans manque that is Nocturne is probably the most audacious thing I've done. But it seemed right, given that Belzer had appeared on two super-hero shows in the past (Lois And Clark and The Flash), to place him in my own super-hero universe. And I admit, he seemed to work real well with The Nightbreaker; so much so that he makes an appearance in 'Ghost of Steel,' the Nightbreaker novella that'll appear in The Shadow Legion Casebook V. 1.
I don't know if Belzer is aware of his alternative literary version of himself; I hope that if he is aware, he'll realize it was meant as a fond tribute to a performer I love, and look upon it as further proof that John Munch is the glue that holds the pop culture multiverse together.
Happy retirement, Munch! Hope you enjoy your new posting in Nocturne!