Although I'm not always a fan of highly decompressed storytelling, Earth 2 #2 makes it work. Takes advantage of it, even. Seeing Mercury slowly crumble and fade, and then later watching the Flash begin to study his powers, were both moments that worked much better (and looked much cooler) because they were given ample room to breath. That's most of the issue right there, really, with the exception of an awesome opening that sets up a pretty great new status quo for the two men who were Mr. Terrific pre-New 52. And then there are the two brief scenes with Alan Scott and his boyfriend Sam, which we've all seen some of in the news surrounding Scott's sexuality last week. Though not as interesting as the superpowered stuff, these moments worked as well, and led to a cliffhanger that promises to finally make Scott into the hero we all know he'll become.
Speaking of Scotts, the penciler-inker team of Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott is really doing a great job on this title. Very detailed and expressive characters, and the scene of the Flash exploring his powers was particularly strong and clear. Also, without spoiling who it is, there is a splash page at the end of that scene introducing another character who I was very pleased to see and who looked awesome. And even though I mentioned it briefly above, Mercury's steady decaying looked spectacular, and helped to express the urgency of his message.
Really the best part of Earth 2 so far is the total earnestness the main characters all seem to possess. When Jay Garrick gets his powers, he doesn't really even question whether or not he should start saving people, he just gets right to it. And Alan Scott, in his awkward proposal to Sam, displays a similar yet distinct kind of quiet bravery. The promise of a great evil lies ahead, so it's nice to see such bright and sincere heroes coming together, however slowly, to face it.