Achilles “Decimator” Smith is a 24-year-old black middleweight contender garnering attention in the boxing world of segregated Los Angeles, 1938. A local celebrity, he’s known up and down the Stem, the affectionate term used by L.A.’s colored denizens and hipster whites for the Central Avenue section of town. This is where jazz joints like Jack’s Basket, the Dunbar Hotel catering to black actors and singers not welcome on Wilshire Boulevard establishments, and black newspapers The Sentinel and California Eagle can be found. Decimator Smith has even been known to get a table at Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip when squiring the Bronze Venus, Lena Horne, about town.
But on the night when he bests Bruiser McCall in a grueling fight at the Olympic Auditorium, cementing his title shot at the champ Solly Krieger, everything changes for Decimator Smith. His sister Helena, a nurse, has been murdered, her neck snapped and her body washed up under the Lido pier at the beach. Transforming his grief into anger, the boxer is determined to find out who killed her and make them pay, despite warnings from the police and his manager and friend, Rocco Kaufman, a disbarred, “Red” lawyer.
Decimator’s hunt will bring him to a cavern and a ceremony combining forbidden magic and arcane science resulting in his being wounded and doused in a bath of electrified chemicals. Surviving this, he discovers his already considerable speed and reflexes have been increased. His avenges his sister’s killing, though another enemy is revealed, and Decimator Smith, a la Doc Savage and The Avenger, has the mantle of public hero put upon him by the black and white press.
This new burden of champion is much heavier than defending a title belt, but he’s never been one to turn down a challenge. Decimator Smith’s adventures, in the fine tradition of the pulps, will take him far beyond the confines of the square ring as he battles female crime lords, four-armed robots, axis agents, and quixotic super villains and their world-threatening weapons.