And 20 or 30 years ago, such a theme might have been semi-original.
But today? It's asked every month in half the titles on the shelf. The entire INDUSTRY has become a deconstruction of itself. And as Kurt Busiek said in one of his TPB intros (and I am probably butchering the exact wording but the gist is correct), at some point you have to stop deconstructing and start building again, or the whole thing becomes pointless.
I agree with this. There's a lot of examples of poor deconstruction due to the writers not going far enough or too far with the aspects that make up deconstruction.
Storytelling, in regard to superhero comics, is not about deconstructing or building stories but figuring out what makes it tick. What makes the superhero work? What makes the superhero not work? What makes the reader happy? What makes the reader unhappy? Questions like those and playing with is what makes stories good or not.
As for Busiek, Astro City and Superman: Secret Identity are both examples of deconstruction and I don't really think Secret Identity really built anything up so his opinion (along with a lot of anti-superhero deconstruction arguments) are silly.
What right do any of them have to do what they do? Used to be a very simple answer to that question back in the day... back when I was growing up, when my friends and I were RPing superheroes in the game Champions. I'll give it to you nice and simple. Here it is. Ready?
The superheroes have power. And with great power, comes great responsibility. They don't have a "right" to do what they do, they have a responsibility to do it. To use their powers wisely and well. Not to use them selfishly. Not to use them recklessly or callously. To use them to help, not to harm.
I would love to see that argument work in the real world.
"George Zimmerman, you are accused of shooting Trayvon Martin, an innocent kid. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Your honor, with great power comes great responsibility. I saw a black kid with a hoodie on and I thought it was suspicious so I shot hi-"
"Guilty. So damn guilty. Case closed."
But comics aren't about that any more, because this generation of writers doesn't believe in such "old fashioned" principles.
Batman was killing criminals with guns when he first showed up and I'm sure Superman was too. Captain America probably killed too because there's really no way he could've fought in WWII without killing. I'm sure most of the major comic book characters have killed prior to the 80's.
I've always maintained the idea that people who are anti-deconstruction have simplest ideas when it comes to comic books. They're people who don't really read indies and creator-owned, they don't like artists with a more stylistic flair such as Chris Bachalo or Frank Quitely, and don't like most new changes. In short, they're more conservative than Sarah Palin if she was wielding a several guns and a dress made to look like the American flag.
And it's really sad though since comic book staples such as Alan Moore, Watchmen, Spider-Man, Dark Knight Returns, Will Eisner, Maus, etc. have really increased the artistic flair of comic books but anti-deconstruction fans are going to be fighting progress with every step forward it makes.