Here is where my feels are going to make a big mess on the carpet and squoosh all over the place, because CLARK. Clark, you adorable beautiful man. No matter how powerful and transcendent he is, in his head he is still the kid who didn’t get picked for the team, still the kid who is always overlooked by the cool kid, whether it’s for tacos or basketball. Always. No one cool wants anything to do with him, no one cool wants to hang out with him. Until Bruce. And oh man, Bruce is nine thousand times every cool kid rolled into one. Bruce makes him feel like he DOES belong, Bruce makes him feel special, Bruce makes him feel not only normal but cool — a member of the coolest, most exclusive club in the universe: Bruce Wayne’s best friend.
That smile. That slow warm smile. And watch what Jim Lee and Scott Williams do with colors and reflective surfaces in these panels, too, to reflect that progression from the chilliness of rejection to the warm sunlight of Bruce’s friendship. In the opening panel, Clark alone is washed in the cold blue of the computer screen, where he will be spending lunch all by himself. Then his flashback, which is all grays and blues and the coldness of public rejection. Then the intermediate panels, where he is still imprisoned in the cold glass surfaces and their harsh bleakness — his glasses, the surface of the cell phone, his monitor. And finally: the warm colors of that magical smile, as he REMOVES those chilly glasses and lets the golden heat of his smile and of Bruce’s
love friendship thaw out the bleak memories and the equally lonely reality around him.
I also like how this series of panels shows the essentially private nature of their bond, as well. Hal and Barry, well, their friendship (and squabblings) get played out in front of everybody, and even Superman and Wonder Woman carry on a semi-public romance, making out while floating above a cornfield and observed by the Watchtower satellites, ferchrissakes. But so far in this series the friendship of Bruce and Clark has happened mostly off-stage. Their extension of trust to each other happens off-stage, and their bond is not for public consumption. That alone suggests it is erotic in nature, if not in physical reality. It’s a magic circle around the two of them, pulling then two of them in, shutting the rest of the world out.
I’m sorry, this love is canon, shut up you are wrong.
JL vol. 2 Villain’s Journey (2012)