It has been five issues and the story running in Birds of Prey (BoP) is a mess. I am really just talking about the mind manipulation aspect. Let me be clear on that fact. The background character stories are being done fairly well. Setting up Poison Ivy they way they have really works for the BoP motif. All that good is being sucked under a quicksand of confusing action that makes little sense. If it is by design as part of the story, then maybe it seemed better in the head of the writer than on paper.
Why should we care? Birds of Prey has long been the one comic where Women have been portrayed as able competent warriors in their own right. They are shown as the best of what women are and can be along with the worst. Strong female characters that shine among a marketplace of testosterone heroes. These women have always been a place where role models for girls can be found. Set aside the marketing need or practice for them to constantly be perfect of body, they have always carried a spirit that shines through the sexism that may rise from time to time.
Cards on the table, this male loves this title and has for years. Besides the pretty girls, I see the female friends I have had over the years. I see the compassion of some of these women that were kind of heart, but when they felt someone they cared for threatened would rise up and protect those they cared for. I understand that some women have concerns when the art shows strange contortions to show off a behind while the side boob is there as well. Yet, I also know that a book like this is rare and if it falls that makes it harder for other comics with female characters to be approved.
How do we solve the problem with the direction of story? Bring on Bryan Miller. He took Stephanie Brown and made her Batgirl. His writing displayed a sense of characterization that was far above most writers. Romance, humor, action, and connectedness to the larger DCU was all present in his Batgirl. He could make you laugh while also understanding the dire danger of the story. Stephanie was what the females of the BoP are and should be. His take on these women would bring the fun and the excitement back to the BoP. DC made a mistake not having him on a DCnU title of some kind to begin with.
So as you are shuffling writing chores on the New 52 DC, put Bryan Miller on Birds of Prey.