Out of Asia had come a new threat to civilization––Fire-Eyes! A mysterious tyrant, absolute commander of the air, land and sea forces a trembling world called the Black Invaders, he called himself the Emperor of the World. And Fire-Eyes had earned that terrible title.
The first to fall had been the Asian continent itself. Europe crumbled next before the onslaught of the merciless Black Invaders. Now they had seized control of Canada, and were poised to strike south––south into the heart of the United States of America!
Against Fire-Eyes and his chief pilot, the Black Hawk, stood the men of the United States Air Force. And none was more capable than Captain Dusty Ayres and his resourceful wingmen, Curly Brooks and Biff Bolton. Flying planes more advanced than anything in the sky, the men of High Speed Group #7 were the flashing tip of the spear against the encroaching Black legions.
This was the premise of Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds, Popular Publications’ short-lived foray into futuristic air-war. The prolific Robert Sydney Bowen told the story of the Second World War as he envisioned it in the years 1934 and ’35. A practitioner of the “Yammering Guns” school of pulp aviation fiction, Bowen created the series in response to Robert J. Hogan’s immensely successful G-8 and His Battle Aces, but set his stories a decade into the future instead in retelling the sky skirmishes of World War I.
The result was a twelve-part saga in which every issue told another stand-alone installment of Dusty Ayres’ ferocious fight against the Black Invaders of Fire-Eyes. And for the back of the magazine, Bowen penned additional short stories depicting other theaters of conflict in this desperate last-ditch effort to preserve America and human civilization from the remorseless enemy.
In the second stirring installment, Crimson Doom, Dusty is once more pitted against the seemingly unkillable enemy pilot known as the Black Hawk, as the son of the President of the United States is taken hostage in a cruel effort to break the will of the U.S.A. But the forces of Fire-Eyes reckoned without the skill and daring of Dusty Ayres, who takes to the sky to rescue this all-important pawn, and hurl back the encroaching armies of the Black Invaders.
Crimson Doom is read by Alan Taylor, along with three extra stories of Battle Birds versus Black Invaders, “The Floating Phantom”, “The Silver Caterpillar” and “The Death Bomber.”