Matthew Cobb

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Matthew Cobb
Cobb by Jillustrations.PNG
Titles Admiral of the Fleet of the DDF,[1] Callsign: Mongrel
Profession DDF pilots
Groups DDF, Flight Instructor
Homeworld Detritus
Universe Cytoverse
Introduced In Skyward
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Starsight, Sunreach, ReDawn, Cytonic, Evershore, and Defiant!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

If you’ve got time to argue, I’m obviously not working you hard enough

—Cobb interruption of a Jorgen-Spensa argument.[2]

Matthew[3] Cobb (callsign: Mongrel) is a flight instructor for the DDF. He fought in the Battle of Alta, making him a First Citizen.

After the Battle of Alta Second, he replaces Ironsides as admiral of the DDF,[1] though after returning from being trapped in the Nowhere, he relieves himself from duty until he recovers and passes operational command to Jorgen Weight.[4]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

That wasn't a joke! I don't joke!

—Cobb to his team when meeting them[5]

Cobb is fifty years old.[6] He has grey in his hair and a stark white mustache that makes him appear much older than he actually is.[5][7] He limps due to an injury he sustained during the Battle of Alta.

He has a sense of humor and is very strict with his class.[5] Cobb cares for his students, grieving for the ones who die in battle. He has strong feelings on the topic of refusing to eject when in danger.[8] He dislikes placing young cadets into battle before the end of their training.[7]

Cobb is open with his students and answers as many “hard questions” as he can. He talked about Krell strategy and other topics that were previously banned.[9] He takes teaching seriously and wants his students to do the same. His class’s flight maneuvers are often superior to those of other flights.[10]

Attributes and Abilities[edit]

Cobb was an excellent pilot who stopped flying after the Battle of Alta due to the trauma it caused him.[11]

As First Citizen he became an instructor for new pilots; a job he excels at not only because he manages to teach complex flight moves, tactics and techniques; but because he does care for his students.[5][10]

As commander of his flight, he chooses tactics based on the danger his crew would be exposed to.[12] Because of this, his class is considered the safest one.[13]


He was the wing mate of Zeen Nightshade (callsign: Chaser), Spensa's father, and fought with him in the Battle of Alta.[14] After Chaser returned from the sky and shot down friendly ships, Cobb shot him down on Ironside's orders.

Cobb reviewed Spensa's pilot exam and, after talking to her, gave her a First Citizen pin to help her get into flight school. He used his status and political power to enroll her.[15]

That was somehow the most embarrassing and inspiring display I’ve ever seen out of cadets! You should be ashamed. And proud.

—Cobb to his team after their first battle[16]

When he met Spensa's class, he made it clear to the cadets that he would not tolerate jokes. He takes training very seriously, as he understands many of them will die or not graduate. He is compelled to obey orders from Ironsides, some of which include sending his new class into the battlefield after just one day of training.[15]

Cobb is strict and tough with his class as he covers flight maneuvers, weapons and strategy. He also monitored and guided them, and gave the cadets orders during the battles they participated in while in training.[17]

Following Morningtide's and Bim's deaths, he intended to work them hard to forget. When he saw the cadets' discomfort, he tried to give a speech that ended up unsettling them further. Fortunately, Spensa interjected with a better speech about aiming for the sky where they are now. As soon as she finished, Cobb told them to stop wasting time and to put their helmets on.[7]

After some more training, battles and many questions from the team on Krell tactics, Cobb shared some confidential intelligence on the Krell, and the planet and its history. It was enough to help the team to understand more about their enemy and home and the possibility of intelligent machines, which reminded Spensa of M-Bot.[18]

He also let them know that the fights used in the simulation are modifications of real battles. One in particular was the Battle of Trajerto. It was used to explain that if they needed to choose between Alta and Igneous, the second one is more important. They had to destroy Alta on that particular simulation. This gave Spensa the idea of looking for the Battle of Alta on the archives.[18]

I feel like a munitions man, reloading artillery. I stuff you into the chamber, fire you into the sky, then grab another shell

—Cobb's thoughts on the fate of his students

After Hurl's death, he gives an angry speech about ejecting, asking whether they would rather be called cowards or die saving their ship. He explained that Hurl would not be buried with any honors as the pod was destroyed. He gives the class a medical leave for a week and writes her parents a letter.[8]

He helps Spensa learn the truth about her father and tells her there is a suspected genetic defect for his actions. He then asked her if she saw eyes in the dark or could hear the stars as her father had confessed before the incident.[19]

During the Second Battle of Alta, he is contacted by M-Bot, who had written a new program and decided to help Spensa, who was in severe danger. Cobb answered the call and flew for the first time in years to save Spensa and managed to do so. After they reunited, he returned M-Bot to Spensa.[20]



Cobb was the only adult who stepped up for Spensa when she applied for and went through Flight School.[15] At his class, he treated her exactly the same as any other student. He was outraged at her not being able to eat with the rest and did his best to change it. He was not successful but still encouraged her to keep fighting.[16] He also gives her a personal radio to get in touch with her if needed.[2]

Spensa later finds out from him he is the one who shot down her father, and that the official story of him running away was a lie. This did not alienate her from him. Cobb is found reviewing her moves during battle and his concerns on her being like her father starts to grow, which leads him to help her on learning the truth.[11]

Cobb eventually gave Spensa his code to the DDF archive where she could copy the recording of the Battle of Alta, so she can learn the truth.[21] He later gave her more details including that her father claimed to see hundreds of small eyes or could hear the stars.[19]

After Spensa ejected and was expelled from the DDF; he wanted her to fight to stay in school, however she confessed on seeing the eyes and hearing the stars. He agreed it was best for her to stand down.[22]

During the Second Battle of Alta, he saves Spensa by flying M-Bot.[20]


Judy Ironsides was Cobb’s flight leader in the Battle of Alta, she was the one who ordered him to shoot down Chaser.[11]

Cobb had been more sensitive to all deaths than her and this difference seemed to have alienated them. She respects him but stands firm on her decisions. The other disagreement is on the existence of the defect causing Chaser to become a traitor, and moreover that this would be passed to Spensa.[23]


Cobb knows and acknowledges Jorgen’s background and gives him the fight leader position since the first day.[5] Still, he is as tough with him as with anyone, snapping at him when arrogant. He does give good leadership advice and wants him to earn respect.[16]


  • His first name, Matthew, is very rarely used, even by his own family.[3]


Preceded by
Judy Ivans
Admiral of the Fleet of the
Defiant Defense Force

83 LD to present
Succeeded by

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