The Defenders checks out Punisher's new hobby


The Defenders! Photo by Entertainment Weekly.
When The Defenders made up of Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil), Luke Cage (aka Power Man), Danny Rand (aka Iron Fist), and Jessica Jones first heard that The Punisher (aka Frank Castle) has started to play the harp, they didn’t believe it at first. In fact it was so silly and so ridiculous to think that Frank Castle, a grim, gritty, violent vigilante, can handle a gentle, fragile, heavenly musical instrument that Luke and Danny had to chuckle. They knew Frank has no musical talent and no interest in music, so why would he be playing the harp if he has none of those things? At least that’s what they assume. But when they saw an Instagram photo and YouTube video of him singing, swaying, and playing music on that particular “stringamajig,” the chuckling stopped. The Defenders were all pleasantly surprised to see Frank Castle actually playing the harp right before their very eyes! But what Frank is playing is not what they had in mind. They were thinking along the line of a large concert harp, like the ones they’ve seen in concert theaters and opera houses. But nope, that’s not what Frank is playing. Frank is performing songs upon WarHarp! A one of a kind, fearsome bow-like musical instrument that’s also a weapon that shoots arrows like a normal archer’s bow which whimsically depicts a M1911 pistol and a jagged KA-BAR knife, two favorite weapons Frank always use in combat, forged together to form a stave.
As time went by, The Defenders notice how the harp is having a positive affect on The Punisher and how this special instrument is bringing back some of Frank’s humanity that was lost when The Costa Family, a mafia group, destroyed Frank’s wife and children years ago. They can hear the harp’s very clear, pretty sound accompanied by Frank’s voice singing and speaking in a very loving tone. Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) can hear Frank harp music from the other side of town. Luke, Jessie, and Danny can see Frank’s tears streaming down his cheeks, his smiles, his laughter, and most of all, they can notice Frank becoming more mellow than he was before he found and acquire WarHarp. Nowadays, it seems that all he wants to do is just sit around, strum WarHarp (or any other kind of harp he has), and just forget about plotting another criminal hit.
Is Frank Castle’s days of being the famed vigilante known as The Punisher over? Matt doesn’t think so although he admits that “seeing” Frank playing the harp is a breath of fresh air compare to the usual sights and sounds of Hell’s Kitchen. And hearing him play is the best sound he has ever heard since hearing a crowd cheering at an Avengers victory celebration halfway across the country. Luke and Danny, curious about Frank’s new hobby, both went out to find him and ask him some questions about his new interest. When they found him, he was sitting peacefully on a bench at the carousel area of Central Park cuddling and strumming WarHarp, humming and singing along with the harp’s strains. The actual sight of WarHarp gave Danny and Luke the creeps. But they had to admit it sure can make beautiful music just like any other harp.
Luke: “Sweet Christmas. That’s uh.. very nice harp you have there, Frank.”
Frank: “Thanks…[sings] Hmm mm mm mm La Da Da Daaaaa.. [talks] What do you guys want?”
Danny: “No biggie. We’re just being curious about that harp of yours, Frank. Where’d you get it?”
Frank: [stops for a bit] “I just got it from a doctor who specializes in making things from adamantium. Jeffery MacDrillin was his name, I think. He built this bow instrument, WarHarp, from a rare form of adamantium that can never be destroyed no matter what. He made this bow harp for me right before he got kidnapped and killed by an group of religious ^%$# who stole it from him. I got it back right after I obliterated those *&^%bags. Now it’s mine to have, to hold, and to take with me wherever I go blow #$%^bags away. I’ll use WarHarp to shoot a set of arrows that will hone in on my intended target from far away and a set of arrows that can go through every kind of wall no matter how thick and strong it is.”
Luke: “That’s great. But why all the sudden you decided to take music lessons, Frank? You haven’t been interested in music before.”
Frank: No, I wasn’t. I’m still not interested in taking music lessons. Besides I got no talent for it.”
Jessica: [butting in] “Now wait just a minute. If you think you have no talent and interest in music, Punisher, then why the heck are you playing that thing?”
Frank: “It’s because of my family. They’re here in spirit. I can feel their presence every time I strum WarHarp. I can hear them [starts strumming]……… throbbing through the strings……. singing to me………. and I sing with them…..[sings] Fa La La La De De De De…”
Luke, Danny, and Jessie look at each other. They’re all like, “Is he schizophrenic?” and shrugs.
Frank: [talks] “To be honest with you three, the only kind of music I have talent for is the music of guns and bombs going off in the faces of criminal scum. That’s music to my ears, you know! The music of WarHarp is the newest addition to my armory. Mount an arrow, aim the bow, point, shoot, CHIIINNGG!! AAAAGHHH!!! Music to sweeten my ears. [strums and sings loudly to the tune of Soft Kitty] Steel cannons, big cannons, sound of battle rang! Triggers pulling, bullets flying! Bang, Bang, Bang!”
Danny: “Uh, I think I prefer to see you tickle those harp strings, Frank, rather than see you go ‘Bang, Bang, Bang!’.”
Matt: [butting in] “I’m with you, Danny. Frank, I think that it would be a whole lot better for you to engage in your new musical hobby rather than going around shooting thugs. It’ll keep you out of trouble, take your mind off of vengeance, and help you cope with the loss of your family. Music has always been said to bring healing to anyone suffering from trauma, illness, or injury. You know what I’m saying, Frank?”
Frank: “Yeah, I get it. I’ve known a lot of war vets out there who said listening to their favorite music have done wonders to sane ’em up. I gotta admit WarHarp sure has brought back some of my old life I lost years ago. You know, perhaps I will put all my guns aside for awhile and take some music lessons so I can learn how to play some tunes I enjoy hearing from time to time.”
Danny: “You mean you’re really planning on throwing in the towel when it comes to being a vigilante and spend the rest of your life just plucking away at that harp of yours?”
Frank: “Yes– SAID NO PUNISHER EVER!!! You know, I really should’ve listen to Micro when he said to go seek out a hobby that’ll take my mind off of war waging for awhile. Well, Micro. Here I am, doing just as you suggested– having fun with WarHarp until it’s time to punish again.”


Sherry Konkus

Sherry Konkus lives in Owosso, MI. She is the proud owner of the Camac Athena EX Concert Grand Harp named "Grover" and Camac Mademoiselle named "Ernie." She's also the proud author of The Punisher Harp Zone. Sherry is the one who came up with the idea of portraying The Punisher from Marvel Comics as the punishing harpist who plays the harp in memory of his family who was killed by the mob years ago.