They're back, baby. Yeah. A federal judge ruled this week in favor of the Hollywood superheroes, stating the city can't just sweep them off Hollywood Boulevard, as the LAPD did in June. The characters have a First Amendment right to dress silly, and the judge said they can even ask tourists for donations.

We've lamented a boulevard without these colorful people. In the years they've paralleled Hollywood's resurgence, they've become an integral part of the tourist landscape. It's been hard to imagine the boulevard without them and, in general, they belong — they add the human element to the onetime mean streets near the Roosevelt Hotel.

Except …

… some of the superheroes acted like super-thugs. Tourists complained about aggressive panhandling. And fights broke out between characters over turf. That's what prompted the LAPD crackdown.

Our commenter of the day, Robert, argues that these guys and girls are bad news, and that someone might pay with their life:

I will place my bet right now its only a matter of time before one of them gets stabbed, shot or something else. These characters have been fighting amongst themselves and now you put into the equation the Hip Hop artists on the Blvd. trying to sell CD's you have a bad situation. How can this Judge rule this way because these characters aren't speaking out on an issue but soliticing money without a permit to the toursists. That is not freedome of speech. Watch the fireworks happen because the competition is too fierce for that many characters.

Will you welcome the superheroes back, or will you walk down the other side of the street when you see them?

LA Weekly