Few Autobots are as tough and steadfast as Smokescreen. He doesn't believe in giving up, and is ready to lay down his life to defend the weak, be they Autobot, Mini-Con or human. Though he's ironheaded and unshakable in battle, showing no mercy to the Decepticons, around the base is another matter entirely. He's a kind, friendly bot who always seems to have a good word or good-natured joke ready.
- Japanese name: Grap
- Hungarian name: Füstfüggöny
- Polish name: Ochroniarz
Smokescreen was first encountered by the kids in a semi-abandoned subway complex, while they were helping the Autobots search for the Mini-Con Drill Bit. For some reason, Smokescreen did not make verbal contact with the humans, and instead decided to chase after them menacingly in vehicle mode, almost killing them with his crane hook. Only after the mission failed with Cyclonus securing Drill Bit did Smokescreen reveal himself, apologizing for scaring the children.
Smokescreen went on to serve as a reliable and capable member of the Autobot team. In particular, his skills as a sniper through the use of his Powerlinx crane cannon were much valued for their ability to accurately hit Decepticon aerial threats most of the time. However, when the Race Mini-Con Team were recovered and formed the Skyboom Shield, Smokescreen was regularly assigned as being its wielder, changing his role in the unit from sniper to defender. Often, he would launch the Skyboom from his crane arm to his Autobot allies facing Megatron directly.
When Optimus Prime's old friend and informant Scavenger joined the Autobots, Smokescreen was the most vocal in voicing his distrust of Scavenger, whom he labeled a no-good traitor, and his overall dissatisfaction over Optimus' trust in the turncoat. He tried to convince fellow Autobots Red Alert and Hot Shot about Scavenger's alleged duplicity and lack of resolve during a battle. However, Scavenger's absence for the majority of the battle was due to a plan that only he, Optimus and Red Alert were privy to, and when Scavenger's involvement proved vital to the subsequent victory, all doubts Smokescreen had as to his teammate's loyalty were erased, forcing him to make an apology.
When the awesome power of the Requiem Blaster was demonstrated, the Decepticons launched an all-out attack on the Autobot Base in a bid to seize the Space Mini-Con Team, who formed the weapon. Smokescreen was left alone in the base to guard the Mini-Cons while the rest of the Autobots counter-attacked their enemies. Unfortunately, Megatron created a diversion and broke into the base and wounded Smokescreen just as the Autobots realised they had been outmaneuvered and rushed back inside. As Megatron gloated and prepared to fire his new Mini-Con superweapon at the Autobots, Smokescreen used his towline to pull the Requiem Blaster's barrel away from his friends, toward himself, only for Megatron to fire it at point-blank range.
The terrible beam cut straight through Smokescreen, burying him into a wall, to the shock of everybody, including Megatron. Megatron then turned to Optimus Prime intending to finish what he started, but Smokescreen staggered out of the hole, collapsing to his knees, his outer shell melting off its frame. As the dying Autobot reached out to the Decepticon leader, Thrust suggested that they retreat, and Megatron agreed. Smokescreen collapsed into a heap as Megatron warped away.
Optimus Prime cradled his soldier, who reported his failure to protect the Mini-Cons, and went into stasis lock. Optimus Prime led the distressed Autobots into a military salute for their fallen comrade, before letting out a cry of anguish.
Red Alert rebuilt him in a new body. He returned just in time to stop Hot Shot and the recently-defected Starscream from killing each other. He basically chucked boulders at them.
Dreamwave comics continuity
When Megatron and the Decepticons attacked the Autobase shortly after the disappearance of Optimus Prime, Smokescreen and Scavenger were the front-line defense sent to buy time. They were run off the narrow road they were on by Demolishor, and Smokescreen got blasted in the chest by Megatron's cannon at point-blank range.
Though the blast didn't kill him, it left him in critical condition. He was taken to the Autobase on Cybertron for extensive repairs. During the final battle against Unicron, Hot Shot, Scavenger and Red Alert blasted Megatron into the Chaos Bringer to avenge Smokescreen.
Ten years later, Smokescreen returned to action with a new body and a new name, "Hoist". When thousands of Terrorcon clones attacked four Earth cities, Hoist was dispatched to handle the Divebomb clones invading Toronto as part of Hot Shot's unit.
A presumably alternate-universe incarnation of Smokescreen is shown in a death-duel with a presumably alternate-universe incarnation of Generation One Smokescreen within the Cauldron arena. Both robots' minds corrupted by Unicron, crane-Smokescreen killed car-Smokescreen, gaining in power, while Unicron fed on the defeated robot's released spark.
- Smokescreen with Liftor (Deluxe, 2002)
- Japanese ID number: MC-04
- Accessories: Missile
- Smokescreen transforms into a heavy Cybertronic truck with a large crane boom and tow-cable. Flipping a switch on his back end connects the tow-cable spool to his rear axle, reeling in the cable as he rolls in vehicle mode. Attaching a Mini-Con to the Powerlinx plug on his crane boom allows it to extend and unfold to almost three times its original length, forming a huge spring-loaded missile launcher. He comes with the Mini-Con Liftor.
- The same mold is used by Universe Smokescreen.
- Grap w/ Lift and Race Microns (Multi-pack, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: MS-02
- Accessories: Missile
- In Japan, Smokescreen was available both as an individual, and in a multi-pack with the Race Mini-Con Team.
- Smokescreen (Happy Meal, 2002)
- One of eight McDonald's Happy Meal Armada promotional toys, Smokescreen is an extremely simplified version of the Armada toy, transforming into a crane-truck. He features a "battle damage" gimmick where hitting a button on his front grill makes his crane-boom pop off, a gimmick simlar to Happy Meal Demolishor.
- Hoist with Refute (Deluxe, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: MC-11
- Smokescreen returned in a new body with the name "Hoist", transforming into a Cybertronic excavator, with a new Mini-Con partner Refute (who, in Japan, was just the upgraded form of Liftor). Plugging a Mini-Con onto his right arm unlocks his shovel-arm punch attack. The feature remains unlocked until the block is manually returned to its latched position.
- The Takara version had a fairly significant color difference from the Hasbro version, replacing his dark brown with a swirled, semi-translucent gunmetal.
- The same mold (with the molded Autobot sigil replaced by a smooth block for a sigil tampograph) is used by Universe Ransack. A heavily-retooled version of the mold is used by Cybertron Longrack and BotCon 2006's Darksyde Dinobot.
- Grap Supermode w/ Spark Lift and Adventure Microns (Multi-pack, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: MS-07
- In Japan, Hoist was available both separately and in a multi-pack with the Adventure Mini-Con Team.
- Smokescreen w/ Liftor (Built to Rule, 2003)
- One of the smaller-scale Built to Rule sets, Smokescreen can be built from a truck-crane sorta resembling the original toy into a robot mode. His crane-arm contains a spring-loaded missile launcher. He came with a building-brick version of Liftor.
- A soft-plastic PVC of Smokescreen was made for Act 10 of the Takara Super Collection Figure line in 2003. It came in both full-color and pewter-finish versions, one each per case of twelve.
- In Japan, Smokescreen is a determined old man, and comedy relief character. Basically the same as he is in the English version, only more so.
- It is believed that the Hoist mold was originally planned to have a gear system that would activate gear-driven Mini-Con gimmicks (like those of Refute and the Adventure Mini-Con Team) when his shovel rod was pushed. This is supported by the gear gimmick on Refute, who is too big to fit onto Cyclonus. This is further evidenced on Hoist's card art, wherein the Mini-Con peg is missing from his left shoulder, with a Cyclonus-styled "clip" drawn where the peg would normally be on the finished toy. Oddly, the left arm was not the one with a gimmick.
- It is also believed that the Hoist mold was originally designed to be a separate character, but was changed to become a new Smokescreen body at the behest of Takara. Official confirmation or denial of this has not yet been obtained, however.
- The "S.D. 74" on the Hasbro version of the Hoist mold is an in-joke, according to Aaron Archer. He has pointedly and repeatedly refused to explain the joke, so its meaning remains a mystery. However, an explanation of sorts was offered at BotCon 2008: the marking evidently originates from an incident at the San Diego Comic Con involving an unfortunate mix of Hasbro employees, alcohol, and a construction crane. Whatever happened, apparently the Petco Park stadium was nearly not built because of it. Yowza. (How the 74 relates to this, exactly, remains uncertain.)