here, we should add Mike Grell's The Longbow Hunters and his subsequent monthly series. That on-going series continued the high quality writing and art of the introductory Prestige Format miniseries.
The Longbow Hunters is a mid-life crisis that summarizes the post-Crisis origin story. Thus, the sequence of comic book continuities is:
The Longbow Hunters
GAY1 was a later continuity: 52, I think. The Dark Knight Returns was a post-Crisis possible future that has not come to pass. Thus, it would have followed The Longbow Hunters. Either late in Grell's run or soon after (I think soon after), GA had to die or lose an arm and preferred the former. Losing an arm would have taken him in the direction of DKR. He was succeeded by a son in implausible stories that I stopped reading but he was then brought back by some impossible return from the hereafter.
During Grell's run, most of the stories could have been set on Earth Prime where superheroes exist only in comic books. A child draws Superman who could however be a fictional character. Hal Jordan visits but without his Green Lantern costume or power ring. That series should have continued.