To protect themselves after a failed attempt to assassinate Praetor Clodius Crassus, several Roman soldiers, led by the villainous Cinna, framed an innocent young shepherd named Marcus for the crime.
Sentenced to life as a galley slave, Marcus soon became a powerful figure as a result of his seemingly endless toil. After overpowering an escaped lion that was being transported aboard the galley, Marcus was sent back to Rome, where he was sold as a slave to Cinna, the man who had been responsible for Marcus' plight.
Cinna sent Marcus to the gladiatorial arena, where he hoped Marcus would be slain, but the young slave quickly rose through the gladiatorial ranks, becoming a favourite of the crowds. At last, Marcus competed in a chariot race with his freedom as the prize. Winning the race, Marcus was declared a free man and given the helmet of the Golden Gladiator as a reward.
As the Golden Gladiator, the greatest warrior in all Rome, Marcus continued to thwart Cinna's treacherous plans, even as he fell in love with Cinna's beautiful niece, Lucia.