On October 25, 2001, Marvel Comics issued a press release heralding the hiring of Ron Zimmerman, a TV writer best known as a regular contributor to Howard Stern’s radio program, as a writer on a variety of freelance projects. “Welcome to The House, Ron – we think you’ll find it even more strange than Hollywood!” it extolled.
Little did he know.
Two and a half years later, Zimmerman would be one of the most reviled names at Marvel, inciting a degree of Internet hatred so great that Joe Quesada himself would step in to publicly defend him. His legacy would be some of the strangest comics ever put out by the House of Ideas, including perhaps the most obscure Ultimate Universe book, Ultimate Adventures.
The true story of Ultimate Adventures is one that represents the nexus of Marvel’s output and attitude in the early 2000s, a combination of creativity and aggression that proved both admirable and regrettable.