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ENGL 102 Glendale Community College Black Panther Film Plot Discussion

ENGL 102 Glendale Community College Black Panther Film Plot Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a english report and need a sample draft to help me understand better.

In this paper, you will be asked to write a research based analytical paper about a contemporary representation of power in “superhero” movies/stories and apply that representation to real world problems.


  • This paper should be 7-9 pages (or equivalent if you are using an alternate format)
  • It should include an Annotated Bibliography which will include a minimum of 6 sources
  • It should be in MLA format

Your task:

Choose a contemporary story that is a superhero story or one you think belongs in the genre. Think about how this story explores, is complicated by and comments on POWER. Who wields it? How is it used? What does this say about the world we live in/the world we could live in? As you consider this question, you may want to research scholarly material which about your chosen movie/story. You should also think about how this narrative offers commentary (deliberately or coincidentally) on real world circumstances. Some of your research should be focused on real world events which you can connect to your chosen story. This should be THESIS/ARGUMENT driven. Maybe your movie reflects on how things should be, or comments on how things are. Maybe it is a warning about what is to come. Maybe it’s all of the above or some other twist. You get to make your argument, but it should be an argument, not a summary.


Maybe you love the Marvel Universe, and maybe (like me) you love Black Panther. Could you write about how in the story, it seems that the way for a Black community to survive is to exist completely hidden and separate from the rest of the world? Could you focus on the roles of women as respected leaders, warriors and even as the smartest person in the Marvel Universe and contrast that to various legislation that is/has impacted women in the U.S. and abroad (I.e. fair pay, violence against women, fights for maternity leave etc.)? OR, maybe you want to focus on Erik Killmonger:


Unlike many villains, he doesn’t want to simply destroy the world. In fact, you could easily imagine that he sees himself as the hero of this story. He wants to fight against injustice done to Black men women and children. To do this, he wants to use vibranium and other Wakanda secrets to arm and defend different areas from police brutality and other forms of violence (which is actually somewhat in line with the actual Black Panthers.) How could you use this film to comment on violence against Black people we see/read about today?

Or maybe you have seen HBO’s Watchmen Series:

hbo Watchmen

From the Tulsa Massacre that starts the story (including a Superman origin retelling gone wrong) to the pushback against white supremacy, there is so much that could be connected to the news today. You could look at attempts to eliminate Critical Race Theory and Ethnic Studies in Republican controlled states and use this movie to help you explore these movements as vehicles of white supremacy. (But honestly, the options with a show like this are vast). If you do not have an HBO subscription, I think you can get a 1 week trial membership for free.

The Boys (Amazon)

Maybe you want to look at The Boys (on Amazon) and explore themes of power, corruption and the way power, image and branding are all braided together for profit. Can you think of any stories in the news that apply?


Maybe you are interested in cartoons like She-ra Princess of Power. In a children’s cartoon, a lesbian relationship is explored- not as a warning or something to be feared, but as something rather innocent (and it’s not even the focus of the show). In addition, the show features a number of non-gender conforming and trans characters, and nobody (not even the villain) is bothered by this. How could you use this to explore anti LGBTQ legislation that has been in the works in multiple states?

These are a few options, but you should choose what YOU are interested in writing about/researching.

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