Iron Man returns to the book for yet another team-up as Jeff Parker takes over writing duties for this annual issue. While Parker's writing is noticeably different than the previous issues in the series, what helps set this one apart is the overall message (he strives to make us reflect on where the U.S. government places its attention) and the creative obstacle the heroes must face. It's an amusing turn of events and Parker uses the issue to give these two a little more time to connect as well as illustrate their differences. It also has a loose connection to Patricia Wolman, but this is primarily a standalone story which revolves around the relationship between the two Avengers.
The shading is a bit too heavy in certain parts and every now and then the action is a tad tough to follow, but overall, Mahmud Asrar's style fits Parker's relatively lighthearted tone pretty well. Nelson Daniel's colors also do a good job complimenting the specific vibe each scene has to offer. For example, the class is covered in more grays and dark blues, allowing the dialogue to shine instead of the bland environment. Meanwhile, the island is appropriately vibrant and if it wasn't for the defenses, you'd probably want to take a dip in that water.
I really like a lot of work by Jeff Parker (e.g. THUNDERBOLTS and HULK), but this annual feels surprisingly generic and plays it safe. He touches on an interesting topic and the overall concept and threats on the island are clever, but ultimately, this all feels overshadowed by the simple fact it's a really predictable and formulaic course of events. Mark Waid has set a really high bar for this book and even had some great issues with Iron Man, but unfortunately this just isn't nearly as engrossing as the book's former material (negative opinions on Agent of Time's conclusion aside, of course).
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK ANNUAL #1 definitely isn't a bad comic, but it feels very by the numbers. If you're an avid fan of the series, it doesn't really come off as a mandatory read since there's only a small development with Wolman -- one which could easily be brought up down the road during exposition, anyway. Odds are it won't wow you, but if you really love both characters, then it's certainly an amusing side-mission for you to enjoy and there's a good laugh or two waiting for you.