The Dark Knight Trilogy for me is a classic case of superhero reconstruction, much in the vein of All Star Superman or Astro City. It takes a classic superhero and adapts the mythos into a very personal and humanizing story that while they go in dark places, are ultimately optimistic and hopeful. It's something I can connect to as a story of adulthood. I can root for this Bruce Wayne and his goal as opposed to a wannabe Travis Bickle in a cape.
I mean don't get me wrong, Dark Knight Returns is a true achievement, but it's not really a Batman I can get behind, it's just a good story.