Image: Dark Horse Comics.

Today, the universe of Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer expands with Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, which delves into the past of the series’ villains. But if you want to get on board from the ground up with one of the most intriguing superhero books around, we’ve got Black Hammer’s first issue right here for you to read!

Set in a sendup of the Golden Age of Superhero comics, Black Hammer follows the heroes of Spiral City—not at the peak of their heroic careers, but instead after a climactic battle with their villainous counterparts where they’ve been flung far away to a mysterious farm, and have to learn how to live a new life away from superheroics.

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It’s an at times melancholy, but intriguing, tale that delves into the lives of these characters beyond their ability to punch bad guys in the face. And now you can see what the hype is all about, as io9 is proud to host the first issue of the series here for you to read for free!

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1, by Jeff Lemire and David Rubin, is in stores today. The first volume of Black Hammer is available now.