I'll start with kind of a broad statement. Matt doesn't take short cuts in his art. During this story I would occasionally start a page with the exact same panel as the last panel on the previous page. Oh, the dialogue would be different or maybe some small element would be different, but it would be the same panel. I figured it would get him a panel ahead if he were ever running against a deadline. Every time, he would do something new. Compare panel one to the last panel on the last page. Written to be the same, but he didn't settle. Otherwise it was pretty much as scripted. The line in the script for panel four was "Carlos falling to certain doom." I was originally intentionally vague to give Matt free reign, but I had a certain image of Carlos falling toward the ocean with rocks jutting out of the coastal water. I mentioned it to him over dinner one night and he just "got" it. I love that panel. You can practically feel the rush of the wind as he falls. This was another page impacted by the straight-jacket fiasco. Matt could have just added a jacket to Baxter in the last panel, but did a full on redesign.
At this point we get to the "murder" of Carlos. As I have said before "Hawk and a Handsaw" and "Dick Ruby" were originally conceived as done-in-ones. No follow-ups. So for all intents and purposes, this was Carlos' swan song (or swan dive). I always wanted it to imply but not show the big death. The reader can imagine much worse than we can put out there. I always imagined what I would do if I could fly, and being a compulsive paranoid, I then find myself wondering what would happen if I lost that power while I was way up there. So Carlos' fate was just the naturally dark turn of a compulsively paranoid fan-boy's nightmare of an imagination. I feel like I achieved my goal when the next page came out a week later and someone asked specifically about Carlos. It's obvious he could not survive, right? Riiiiight? I will say that Carlos does appear in a script I have written called "God is a Bullet," however that story may take place prior to this one. He will also appear in a story called "The Invasion of Sterling City" which has not even gotten to the plotting stage. Again, it may or may not take place before this tale. I might have more to say on this later. Maybe not. We'll see. Either way as you can see, the idea of a done-in-one is out the window. Just like with "Dick Ruby," we grew to like the characters and, when you like them, you can't help but start spit balling "what ifs." I'm sure we will put a new story set in this world out at some point. I'm also sure Carlos will be apart of it, but that does not mean he survives this story. Either way this is the last we see of him this go around. Or is it? No, seriously, it is. Maybe.
So why kill Carlos anyway? The murder of Carlos was an important step. It shows Dr. Destructo is not to be trifled with. If she can kill El Supremo, who, as I have said, is an homage/parody to Superman, then what possible chance does a normal human being like Baxter have? Logically, none. But of course we are only nine pages into a 13 page story, somethings gotta happen, right? It's not like we have a history of leaving the lead hero in danger at the end of a story, do we? Am I asking more questions than I am answering this time around? Well, hang tight, you will get some answers on the next page, as we come to the climax of the Baxter/Destructo story line.