The Black Panther

The movie, Black Panther, is a critically acclaimed movie that has impacted all races and all ages based on its movie concept. Black Panther is about T’challa and his people, in an African Nation (Wakanda) that hosts one of the most significant energy sources known as vibranium. T’challa’s father’s, T’chaka, demise beckons T’challa to go back home and take over as king. But, as soon as he settles in, he is put to the test in a conflict battle from his enemies who wish to dethrone him (Baruah). The young king rallies his allies and releases the Black Panther to defeat his enemies for the safety of his people. The story provides evidence of mythical and archetypal characters that are synonymous with Hollywood movies. The current paper aims to delineate on the myths and archetype in Black Panther concerning Linda Seger’s Creating the Myth.


Seger describes a ‘myth’ as a story that is allegorical and has significance to those involved making it seem that the characters are living a better life compared to the common folk (Seger 317). The entire movie, Black Panther, introduces the world into an African nation that has never been seen. Wakanda’s purity is majestic and pure without corruption and penetration. The beginning of the movie introduces the audience to the untamed Wakanda that is full of life and humanity (Baruah). Wakanda is protected through a dome-shaped energy ring forged from the mineral energy form known as vibranium. According to Seger (317), myths can present a story within a story. This indicates that Wakanda depicts a story about African-Americans that has never been told before. The mythic tale is that despite African-Americans going through slavery, there is the fabled truth about how Africa is and what it would be like.

Another mythical fact is that Wakanda shows a heroic myth. According to Seger (319), a hero usually receives help, and this form of support can be from an unlikely source. Based on the movie, Black Panther, it is evident that Wakanda is a hidden treasure that does not require any help from the outside world. However, as the story continues, it is clear that the rival, Erik Killmonger, wants to invade Wakanda by any means necessary. As such, the heroic figure, King T’challa has to gain support even from the outside world (Baruah). The king and his allies journey to Asia in search of the truth about Erik but, discover that a ‘white man’ understands Erik more than Wakandians could. The ability to recognize his weakness and take help where necessary allows T ‘Challa to win the war at the end. Seger (319) determines that mythical hero always receives help, accomplishes what they desire and often wins. T ‘Challa exhibits the trend presenting him as the mythical hero.

Also, there is the presentation of the healing myth in Black Panther. According to Seger (321), the healing myth is about fixing stories that are contrasting from broken characters into something whole. King T’challa meets his nemesis, Erik Killmonger, who turns out to be his cousin. Erik is determined to take vibranium technology back to America to empower his people, the African-American community (Black Panther). At his demise, Erik asked King T’challa to promise that he would enable the change of their people in America. True to his words King T’challa decides to take part in the technology to America at the end of the movie. He promises to educate and use the energy to improve the living standards of the people.

Archetype 1: The King/ leader

In most action hero movies, the main character is the hero who takes time to solve the problems of society. However, with Black Panther, King T’challa is presented as a leader. According to Seger (322), an archetype is a character that may have different traits but, falls within specific categories. It is evident that throughout Black Panther, King T ‘Challa carries the weight of his people where he almost gets killed by the tyrannical villain (Baruah). The leader shows characters of integrity and optimism that his people shall see a better future. He confounds to the ideology that Wakanda is a peaceful place that can co-exist with the many tribes.

Archetype 2: Female Characters

Seger (322) determines that women characters possess intuition and nurturing qualities that impact the hero’s journey. This is evident when Ramonda (king’s mother) ensures that T ‘Challa gets the help that he needs to recover after he lost the first battle. The sacrifice bears fruits when Romanda takes T’challa to M’baku for safe refuge (Baruah). The extraordinary sacrifice that the women in T’challa’s life including Nakia and Shuri also take ensure that he survives the attack.

Archetype 3: Shadow Figure

Ironically, Black Panther presents Erik as the villain and also the hero of the movie. It is through Erik that T’challa finds meaning as a king and how to govern his people. He is exposed to the real world, that is America, and how African-American individuals are suffering. Seger (323) elucidates that a shadow figure is critical to aiding the hero through their journey. Erik manages to accomplish this correctly.


Work Cited

Seger, Linda. “Creating the myth.” Signs of life. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin, 2003, pp. 316-325.

Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler. Performances by Chadwick Bosman, Micheal B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o. Marvel Studios, 2016.

Baruah, Prince. “Lessons from Black Panther: 6 Myths and 3 Archetype of a Powerful Man.”, [web]. accessed 9 April 2019.