The first two issues in this collected edition are proper preludes to the Dark Nights: Metal event, and are exciting episodes that dive head-first into the action, chalked full of teases of what is to come. While heavily steeped in DC canonical references (which are often confusing based on how they may become further contextualized or otherwise entirely retconned in the Rebirth era), these issues tease beloved characters, teams, and concepts that point to a explosive re-emergence within the DCU. How integral this delving into DC comics history will actually be to the main event remains to be seen in Dark Nights: Metal.
The extended material in this collection offer context to the main themes of the impending “dark crisis” teases within the preludes, as well as pointers to clues sprinkled throughout Snyder’s New 52 run on Batman, around whom the event is primarily going to unfold. For those already invested invested in collecting DC comics’ greatest outings, the issues ripped from Final Crisis and The Return of Bruce Wayne (both by Grant Morrison of Bat-defining repute) will likely be repeats in your collection. In spite of this, I found the inclusion of these issues to be interesting for the purpose of teasing what themes will be explored, and what history will be expanded upon, in the upcoming event. For those up to date on New-52-and-beyond material for Batman and the Bat-family, the other issues included will likely be repeats, but again offer clues to what the upcoming event will cover, especially those clues embedded within Snyder’s run on Batman.
Overall, while the preludes are the only explicitly “new” material included in this collection, for those excited to delve into the Dark Nights: Metal event, this edition will offer insight, context, and teases into the “dark crisis” to come, all wrapped up in a high-quality hardcover with a snazzy foil dust-cover.