While he was an important late addition to the original series, Robin Wood has taken on a far more pro-active role in the modern version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In fact, he’s even taken on aspects from two major characters that have been given different roles in the reboot.
Now, we’re taking a closer look at who Robin Wood was in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and how was he reinvented for the modern reboot.
Robin Wood was introduced during the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The principal at the rebuilt Sunnydale High School, Buffy’s initial suspicions about him prove to be unfounded when he reveals himself to be a surprisingly kind and fun individual. The son of a former Slayer, Robin is fully aware of the supernatural threats that plague the world. It’s eventually revealed that Robin’s mother was one of the Slayers killed by Spike. Despite flirtations with Buffy — extending even to a date — Robin almost loses his place in the Scoobies by conspiring with Giles to kill Spike in an act of revenge. Spike spares his life, and Robin eventually rejoins the Scoobies just in time to play a role in the final battle of the series against the First — and briefly begin a romance with Faith.
The new continuity introduced in the Boom Studios reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reinvents Robin as a peer of Buffy’s from the start. Buffy meets him as a fellow student at Sunnydale High and the two quickly begin a romance. With Angel being less of a romantic interest in this universe and more of a nominal ally, Robin becomes Buffy’s primary love interest. However, their romance has run into hiccups — including the revelation that he’s more aware of the supernatural than he initially let on. In this universe, Robin was taken in by the Watcher’s Council in his youth and has been trained by them. He’s secretly a Watcher himself and takes a larger responsibility in the universe by becoming Kendra’s Watcher after she arrives in Sunnydale.
The reinvention of Robin is one of the smarter tweaks that the Boom! Studios reboot of the franchise attempts. With Xander radically altered from his original role, — reimagined as a vampire and one of Buffy’s Big Bads — it makes sense for the comic to introduce a more reliable human character, and to push Robin into a firmer positon within the Scoobies. His romance with Buffy — and the possibility that he could end up with Faith now that she’s also been introduced into the series — makes him a compelling romantic lead for the comic. But his loyalty to the Watchers presents a possible conflict for Robin and the Slayers, who are increasingly defiant of their orders.
With Robin now formally Kendra’s Watcher — and likely to work with the newly arrived Wesley as the next generation of Watchers for her and Faith — Robin has been given far more importance to the overarching story than he ever had in the original series. With the long-brewing conflict between the Slayers and the Watchers finally reaching a breaking point, Robin should have even more of a role to play going forward. He could even become something of an interesting antagonist if he remains aligned with the Watchers over the Scoobies.