I'm about to place my pre-order at my local comics shop, and I'm eyeing Tony Daniel's Batman: Life After Death. I've read Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin volume one, but I haven't yet cracked my copy of Judd Winick's Batman: Long Shadows.
Without spoilers, can you tell me whether the Winick-Daniel run is essential for reading the next volume of Batman and Robin, Blackest Night, and into Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman #700, or if I can set Long Shadows and Life After Death aside for now?
I know there's the mystery of the new Black Mask (which I'm trying very hard not to spoil for myself!) but I had a sense that the Morrison books are where the real action is, and the Winick-Daniel books are just window dressing. But, if there's something in the Winick-Daniel books that factors into the "main" Batman plot, then I'll start paying more attention.
No spoilers, please, but I appreciate the advice. New reviews coming this week!