Smoke Bombs (also referred to as either Smoke Pellets or Smoke Capsules) are miniature capsules stored on the Utility Belt. Based on other smoke related weaponry, they are used by Batman and members of the Batman Family in their war on crime. Smoke Bombs are often used to create distractions or cover escapes.
The appearance and functionality of smoke bombs have often change over Batman's history. In most continuities, they are small vials or containers stored on Batman's utility belt. Others depict them as bulky devices that will release clouds of smoke over time, very much akin to the real-life smoke grenades. They are often depicted as storing a group of chemicals that, when mixed, create a cloud of thick cloud of gas. These clouds are often depicted as non-lethal to humans, though they can cause chocking and spluttering if breathed in. In some stories, Batman fits them with anesthesia or sedatives to knock opponents unconscious.
A smoke bomb first appeared in Detective Comics #33 as a chemical vial to disguise the Batgyro as a cloud, allowing Batman to slip into Carl Kruger's base undetected. Similar vials had appeared before since Detective Comics #29, though these often contained chemical agents that would incapacitate foes rather than create smokescreens. A smoke capsule were later used in Batman #2 when Batman them to create black smokescreen to help him and Robin escape from Wolf the Crime Master and his henchmen.
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The 1960s Batman series features smoke capsules in "The Joker Is Wild". Batman uses it to help him and Robin escape Joker and his henchmen during their first confrontation. Smoke capsules also appear in "Not Yet, He Ain't", where Batman uses them in both the initial confrontation with the Penguin and a "chase" with the Gotham Police Department.
- Main article: Gas Capsule (Burtonverse)
Batman makes use of smoke capsules during the 1989 film. They are depicted as small glass capsules, similar to their original appearances in Golden Age stories. Batman uses them to cover his escapes from both Axis Chemicals and the Flugelheim Museum. Smoke capsules do not appear in later Burton or Schumacher films. However, tie-in material for Batman Returns mentions a white chemical capsule of unknown contents; some have speculated it may be the next version of the smoke capsule.
Smoke bombs are alluded to in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. Whilst training with the League of Shadows, Bruce throws an mixture of chemical components that creates a small cloud of smoke. Guide books also claim that he stores smoke capsules on the Utility Belt. During his initial fight with Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman throws a device which creates four small puffs of smoke in an attempt to intimidate his enemy.
In the series finale "Legend of the Dark Knight: The Beginning...", Batman used a smoke grenade to escape from the Gotham Clock Tower when Commissioner Gordon and Detective Harper came to inspect the place. The thick smoke allowed him to vanish into the night by jumping through one of the clock tower's windows.
Batman makes use of Smoke Pellets in the series, often as methods of distraction or to incapacitate foes. They are also presented as having sedatives, inducing unconsciousness in targets.
Early Batman Games
- Smoke Bombs appear in the DOS tie-in to Batman Returns. Their design resembles the Napalm Capsules used in the film, though with a red glow.
- Smoke Bombs appear in the SNES version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin: The Video Game. The player can used the to incapacitate or stun enemies.
- Smoke Capsules appear in Batman: Dark Tomorrow.
Smoke Pellets feature in the Batman: Arkham games from Batman: Arkham City onwards. Depicted as small metal capsules, they create small areas of smoke that will disappear after fifteen seconds. Batman can use them in Invisible Predator sections to stun enemies or create cover for himself. If spotted, Batman can throw a smoke pellet down to cover his escape. He can also use it to create cover around foes, allowing the opportunity to take multiple enemies at once. However, smoke pellets can be used only once in rooms, requiring Batman to use fire-extinguishers to the same effect. They will instantly recharge when he enters a new room. Whilst in the external Gotham areas, the pellets will need time to recharge before Batman can use them again.
Smoke Grenades feature in Telltale Games' Batman games. Depicted as large bulky devices, they produce large amounts of smoke to create cover for Batman, and stun or distract groups of enemies. They also appear to be connected to the Batcomputer, possibly to track down or deactivate them if lost. Dialogue in Batman: The Telltale Series also indicates the Batman has only just begun using them. In the tie-in comic book series Batman: Sins of the Father, Batman makes use of a smokescreen Batarang, though the gadget does not appear in the games themselves.