Grand Battle Kukku XV is a Mobian bird who is the current leader of the Battle Bird Armada, with his station granting him the designation "Battle Lord" to all others. In addition to being the fifteenth member of the armada's Battle Kukku lineage as his name implies, he is also the father of Speedy, the sixteenth Battle Kukku.
Lord of the Armada
The Battle Lord's duty is to lead his people in their efforts to "command the skies, find our fabled homeland, and unlock the mysteries of our forebears" while providing them with the proper life he believed could only be found in their organization. Battle Kukku XV ruled the Armada with an iron fist, expecting his subordinates to follow his every command without question. The Battle Lord preached this was all meant for the Armada to fulfill its destiny as the ruling force of the sky and those beneath it. XV further believed that all the Armada needed to achieve this, was the lost Babylon Garden and the legendary power it held. (SU: #18, #33)In his desire to find the Garden, the Battle Lord summoned Jet the Hawk for an audience years ago, and attempted to coax him into devoting his skills to the Armada's cause by finding the Garden for them. Jet, however, tried to turn down XV's persuasions, to which the Battle Lord then threw him into the brig for trying to walk out on the Armada. Instead, Jet broke out along with two other insubordinates, Wave the Swallow and Storm the Albatross, and they deserted the Armada to find the Babylon Garden for themselves. Though XV felt these "Babylon Rogues" were disdainful vagrants due to their disloyalty and ignorance of the Battle Kukku lineage, losing his best lead to the Garden proved to be a crippling setback, and the Battle Lord made it a top priority to track them down. (SU: #18, #20, #33)
As the leader of the Armada, it was also XV's responsibility to keep order and discipline within the ranks. While he had overseen the promotion of a very promising soldier named Predator Hawk years ago, the Battle Lord caught him attacking his own son Speedy not long after. Furious at such an insurrection, the Battle Lord slammed Hawk into a wall, promising severe punishment for his brazen defiance and had him jailed. At one point XV was also believed to have eliminated another soldier called Bean the Dynamite (likely due to his habit of dangerous and unstable antics), though it was later proven false as Bean had fled. (SU: #18, #23, #30)
At some point, XV forged a loose alliance with the Eggman Empire, and became a leased military force for Dr. Eggman while operating from a flying fortress designed by his head engineer, Dr. Fukurokov. Not officially being part of the Dark Egg Legion forces worldwide, the Battle Lord realized any news reaching them would be out-of-date and thus focused mainly on achieving the Armada's goals. All the while, the Battle Lord made plans and waited for the right time to end his deal with Eggman, so his Armada could rule the world. (SU: #18, #20)
While having the Armada investigate possible leads on their heritage in the ruins of Cocoa Island, Battle Kukku XV had the Battle Fortress camoflaged near the main island in order to make use of it as the Armada's personal training grounds without being detected. After Speedy made him aware of intruders present on the island, he gave the order to dispatch troops and have them captured. Bunnie D'Coolette was the first Freedom Fighter to encounter him, after he mistook her for a Dark Egg Legion member. Taking advantage of the ruse, she managed to get quite a bit of information out of him before her husband Antoine escaped his cell and was intercepted by XV's successor Speedy, impressing the Battle Lord at the prisoner's resourcefulness. Following Antoine's apparent "death," Bunnie reported back to XV who later dispatched her to deal with an assault lead by Tails through the Armada's own invasion conduit. Still oblivious to Bunnie's deception, he ordered Speedy to not get in her way this time, unaware that he was only helping to unite their enemies. (SU: #17, #18, #19)
After Tails and his friends damaged the Battle Fortress, the armada retreated and flew away from Cocoa Island. Speedy and Dr. Fukurokov reported to Battle Kukku's throne room where the Battle Lord bellowed at Speedy for not telling him that Bunnie was a Freedom Fighter, and told Fukurokov that his punishment would be to repair the fortress by himself. Battle Kukku then began to talk about how the Cocoa Island mission was a complete failure, and the Armada could do better if it managed to get those who had left it to rejoin, including the Babylon Rogues. XV continued on, convinced that once the Armada regained its former members it could overthrow the Eggman Empire, conquer Mobius, and that the "little brat" who sabotaged the fortress would pay. Speedy promptly informed his father that the fox's name was Miles Prower--or as his friends called him--Tails. (SU: #20)
Meeting with Destiny
Some time after the disaster at Cocoa Island, the Battle Lord was in his chambers when Dr. Fukurokov burst in with news that a Babylonian energy signature had been detected. Without hesitation, XV had the Battle Fortress make a course for the signature's origin in the Gigan Mountains, and then dispatched a large contingent to locate it's source. Discovering that the object they sought was the key to the Babylon Garden and in the Babylon Rogues' possession, Battle Kukku XV impressed upon Speedy the importance of recovering the artifact as the Rogues attempted to flee. (SU: #33, #34)
The Battle Lord then stood by on the Fortress' bridge as his son and troops gave chase to the Babylon Rogues, monitoring their progress with Dr. Fukurokov. Though Fukurokov was tried to assure him his new Pursuit Drones would be successful, the Battle Lord made no attempt to hide his lack of confidence based the Mole Mech's failure, and he ordered the Fortress on an intercept course with the Rogues. XV's doubts were proven quite correct soon after, as they witnessed Wave and Storm destroy each of the drones with ease, leaving Dr. Fukurokov struggling to save face in front the Battle Lord's mounting anger. (SU: #34)After seeing Speedy was in over his head and about to be finished off by the Rogues, the Battle Lord decided to step in. Leaping off of the Battle Fortress, XV destroyed the mountaintop they were on by sheer impact, and then singlehandedly took down Wave and Storm with almost no effort. He then caught Jet in a compressed gravity field using his family's ancestral ring, and threatened to crush him with his bare hands if the Rogues did not surrender the key and rejoin the Armada. After they gave in and he reprimanded Speedy for speaking out against him, XV then revealed his family line knew how to work the key and required his ring to use it. Placing the ring into the key, the Battle Lord was shown a map of the Babylon Garden's resting place, and finding serendipity in the moment, told Speedy to relay the coordinates to Armada with orders to be ready to fight the "one two-tailed fox" again. (SU: #34)
After listening to Dr. Fukurokov's sit-rep of New Mobotropolis defenses while on approach, the Battle Lord the deployed the Rogues with a device to bring down the city's shield and ordered the invasion to begin. As the Armada flew over the city's perimeter, "King" Ixis Naugus attempted to seize the Battle Fortress with his magic, and XV went topside to deal with the intruder. After a brief exchange of introductions, XV caught Naugus off-guard as he walked up and slugged him in the stomach, and then continued to pummel the wizard before he could react. The Battle Lord easily kept control of the fight as Fukurokov informed him they were in position, and ended the confrontation when Speedy threw Tails onto the deck as well by smacking both his enemies over the side. With his son by his side, XV savored the moment in blissful satisfaction as he gave the command to fire the Fortress' main cannon on Castle Acorn below, and destroyed their foes' home in one shot. (SU: #35)
Elated over the progress of the invasion, Grand Battle Kukku XV felt certain nothing could prevent their destiny at this point. His mood became frantic soon after however, when the Babylon Garden arose from the crater below and started to fly away. XV then had the anchors fired to grapple the ships together and discovered he lost contact with the Rogues. Fearing Jet turned on him, the Battle Lord ordered Speedy to board the Garden and take control of the situation. It was for naught though, as the Garden rapidly lost altitude, and XV triggered the bridge's escape pod while giving the call to abandon ship. Seething at having his destiny robbed from him when it was so close, the Battle Lord swore the Babylon Rogues would pay dearly for their betrayal. (SU: #36)
The Battle Lord is somewhat regal in his approach and inclined to treat (supposed) allies with respect. As the head of the "true" rulers of the skies he acts afloat to lesser creatures, and desires to unite all birds under his dominion. However, when things do not go as how Battle Kukku wants, he immediately drops his "gentleman" nature and bursts into a volatile rage, even yelling at his own son, Speedy. His own troops are quite aware of his explosive nature when even the slightest thing goes awry, and fear reporting bad news to him on the chance they may receive gruesome punishments that make getting demoted the least of their concerns. He also has a deep hatred for Tails after the young fox foiled his plans on Cocoa Island and wishes to cast off the Eggman Empire in order to establish the Battle Bird Armada as the dominant force on the planet.
As the supreme commander of the Battle Bird Armada, the Battle Lord rarely takes action himself, preferring to let his son and army do the majority of the fighting. Once the Battle Lord enters the fray, however, it becomes obvious why he commands such respect from his forces, as shown when single-handedly defeating the Babylon Rogues in virtually no time and with little effort he proved himself a capable fighter of considerable martial skill. In his youth, he was as fast and powerful as his son, but seems to have lost his speed over the years. (SU: #34, CSE)
- Battle Kukku XV first appeared in the game Tails Adventure. His design is identical to his original appearance with only minor alterations.
- Before appearing in the series, Battle Kukku XV had previously had his design and character conceptualized by Ian Flynn and artist Jon Gray. As revealed in volume 5 of the Sonic Universe Graphic Novel Series, the Battle Lord was originally intended to be a chicken, and Dr. Eggman's Sub-Boss in the Land of a Million Lights. He is described as the heir to the Dynamite Dux legacy-a nod to the video game of the same name-and as the grandfather, rather than father, of not only Speedy but also Bean the Dynamite Duck. In this plotline, the Battle Lord pitted his two sons against each other during the Great War in order to convince them to rejoin him, inadvertently setting off a rivalry between their two sons.
- The Complete Sonic Comic Encyclopedia describes the Battle Lord as having powers similar to those of Bean the Dynamite, a nod to his bomb-throwing strategy in his boss level in Tails Adventure. Given that the full events of this game are held to be canon in the Post-Super Genesis Wave Timeline, the Battle Lord canonically possesses these abilities.
The Battle Lord is a tall avian dressed in a red coat (similar to Eggman's though far less flamboyant) and dark green pants with high-heeled shoes and tail feathers of the same color, light orange/brown feathers and white gauntlets. He also has a large beak upon which rests a pair of small glasses also similar to Dr. Eggman's and a large, black hat with the Armada's insignia on the front.