outsider wrote:"one person"...? Out of 4 people in this thread?
Sorry, as I was writing it I couldn't remember who had said it. I just wanted to make clear that I didn't think the person I quoted (Draco) had said it, because I knew it wasn't him.
Doomsday was certainly a Maguffin device, but it worked for me. Every time Superman tried to take the fight out of Metropolis and away from people, he/it seemed intent on causing as much destruction.
But my question was always why... WHY was Doomsday so intent on causing as much destruction as possible? What's his motivation? The grafted-on history might explain why Doomy wants to beat up Kryptonians (by the way, it wasn't even original... it's plagiarized rather heavily from Paul Kupperberg's Kryptonite Man story in Superman and Supergirl from the early 1980s... they changed it slightly, in ways that made it stupider). But it doesn't explain why Doomy wants to kill us (earthlings).
If you read Peter David's book on how to write comics, which I recently did, David makes this very clear. Everyone knows the motivation of the hero, because the hero is a well-worn character, especially when it's Superman. Nobody is wondering what makes him tick. So to make the story work, to make it believable, you have got to nail the villain's motivation. WHY does Lex Luthor want to kill Superman? WHY does Darkseid want to occupy Earth-2's space with Earth-1? WHY does the Anti-Monitor want to consume all the positive-matter universes? If you don't get that right, the story doesn't work.
And they didn't get it right with Doomsday. They made him essentially a wild berserker, unreasoning, full of rage, with an impossible-to-believe origin, and no good reason for doing what he was doing. A mindless, rampaging brute is not a good villain, except as a peon to serve the true master (e.g., Nom in Superman II, who is referred to by Jor-El as a "mindless aberration", and who served Zod). Now, if Luthor had created Doomsday and used him to kill Superman, then, maybe, OK. Because the real killer is then Luthor, who is intelligent, crafty, and cleverly evil, not mindless, and Doomsday then becomes a weapon (and maybe even, if written cleverly enough, just as much Luthor's victim as Superman). But they didn't do that. The start and end of the story was this repetitive, drawn out, mind-numbing, STUPID battle between a raging, foaming-at-the-mouth imbecile, and Superman. How is that the way for the Man of Steel to go out?
Superman should have been beaten by an evil mastermind. Instead, he was beaten by an empty-headed lummox. It was laughable. And literally, I laughed at it. Yes, I admit it. The story was so stupid, the final blow was so incredibly contrived, idiotic, and badly executed (not to mention horribly drawn) that I cracked up, put the comic-book down, and said, "Wow, that was stupid. What a waste of my money."
Compare to the death of Jason Todd at the hands of guess who -- the Joker. That was epic, and incredibly well-written. Clearly if someone is going to kill a Robin, it needs to be a villain like the Joker. Not some guy Dan Jurgens made up 20 minutes ago who has the IQ of a grizzly bear.