Autobot Hostage is the ninth in the Ladybird Books series of Transformers storybooks.
- Cast (in order of appearance): Highbrow, Tentakil, Scorponok, Cindersaur, Optimus Prime, Kup, Landfill, Hosehead, Fizzle, Spinister, Dreadwind, Darkwing, Cambo
While on patrol on Nebulos, Highbrow is captured by Tentakil and brought before Scorponok, who intends to ransom him for Optimus Prime himself. Naturally, though, Prime suspects treachery from the Decepticons, and secretly carries Fizzle and Hosehead in his trailer as he heads out the Decepticons' mountain base. Met on the way by Spinister, Prime hides beneath a rocky overhang long enough to allow Fizzle and Hosehead to slip away unseen, before surrendering to Dreadwind and Darkwing. Scorponok seals Prime in a cave with a mega-voltage electrical field, and reveals Prime’s suspicions to be true – he has no intention of releasing Highbrow, or any of the other Autobots who should come after him.
Out in the mountains, Fizzle and Hosehead discover Highbrow, but he does not react when they call him, or even when they fling rocks at him. Hosehead’s Nebulan partner goes in to investigate and discovers an immobilisation device attached to Highbrow's back; with it removed, Highbrow joins the others to rescue Prime. Hosehead is able to short out the electrical field holding Prime with his water pumps, and Fizzle holds off Decepticon pursuers with a jet of flame from his exhaust. Scorponok opts to fight fire with fire and calls in Cindersaur, but the Firecon’s flame-breath is defeated by Hosehead’s water jets, and the Decepticons are left stumbling around in a cloud of smoke as the Autobots make good their escape.
- In his one-page appearance, Kup's looking a lot greener than usual. Yellow face, too.
- Although the story consistently refers to Fizzle, down to his "buggy mode," the art depicts his fellow Sparkabot, Sizzle.
- For reasons lost to the dawn of time, Hosehead’s Nebulan partner, Lug, is here named "Cambo."
Items of note
- The Ladybird books offer no explanation for the return to leadership of Optimus Prime, nor how Scorponok has evolved from just being the Decepticon base to leader.