The Highlander franchise had quite a few supremely nasty villains. These were typically bloodthirsty warriors with massive bodycounts who stand in marked contrast to their much nobler fellow immortals.
- Highlander: The Kurgan is a savage immortal and Conner MacLeod's most personal foe. In the past, he slaughtered his entire tribe before moving on to decapitating numerous immortals to try and claim The Prize. Traveling to Scotland, he sets his sights on Connor, immediately stabbing him during a battle. Hunting down the now-immortal Connor, he takes the head of Connor's mentor Ramirez and, believing Connor's wife Heather to be Ramirez's lover, rapes her to cement his victory. Having killed for centuries, the Kurgan, going under "Victor Krueger", heads to New York for The Gathering, where he kills Connors immortal friend Kastagir, stabbing a spectator who tried to help. Meeting Connor again in a church, he brags about killing Ramirez and raping Heather, mocking Connor about the possibility that Heather enjoyed it, knowing that Connor cant hurt him due to being on holy ground. Kidnapping Brenda Wyatt, he drives her to his hideout, playing chicken with various cars and pedestrians along the way. He forces Connor to fight him, promising to torture Brenda if he doesnt come. A psychopathically childish warrior, the Kurgan would set the standard for future Highlander villains to come.
- Highlander III: The Sorcerer: Kane (birth name Kaan) is a truly vicious Asian warrior who kills and rapes for fun. He's introduced butchering a village with his two immortal companions after the villagers don't give him the information he wants fast enough. He kills Connor MacLeod's latest mentor, the wise Japanese sorcerer Nakano, to steal his magical powers. Upon his release in the present after being buried in a cave for centuries, he promptly kills one of his associates without incident after sending the other one off to do his dirty work for him. He continues his rampage by raping a prostitute, promises Connor that he will rape his love interest after he's taken his head, and kidnaps and threatens his son to get Connor to come to him.
- Xavier St. Cloud is a particularly nasty Immortal and one of Duncan MacLeod's oldest and most reviled enemies. A Moroccan warrior who perished in the First Crusade and awakened to Immortality, Xavier was found and trained by Henri St. Cloud, an immortal crusader. Xavier would later show his gratitude by taking the name St. Cloud when he murdered Henri for his first Quickening. Xavier would become a vicious headhunter for centuries, and when he took his own student, helped the young man gain revenge on his family for rejecting him by murdering them. Later dedicating himself to hedonism and wealth, Xavier took to gassing soldiers in World War I to rob the corpses, where he would encounter Duncan MacLeod again and nearly killed him when he was weak. In the modern day, Xavier robs jewelry stores by gassing everyone inside, including his mortal accomplices (whom he told the gas was just sleeping gas, at which point they walked inside and died; he did this just for fun. He would then give a sham confession to Immortal priest Darius simply to mentally torment the kind-hearted priest. After losing a hand to MacLeod, Darius would team up with the Immortal-hating Hunters with a bargain that revealed the depths of his lack of honor: they would gun down Immortals while Xavier took their heads. Arrogant, selfish, cruel and wicked, Xavier represents the worst excesses of Immortality.
- "Free Fall": Felicia Martins appears at first to be a Damsel in Distress, a young Immortal on run from the run from the brutal, obsessed Claude Deveraux. It is revealed that Martins is far older than she claims and Deveraux is hunting her because Martins murdered his wife and their adopted baby daughter. This is her MO: she ingratiates herself into the lives of her victims and murders everything they love, making it so they're off their game and she can easily take their heads. She tries to kill hero Duncan MacLeod's loved ones after she takes Deveraux's head and is last seen vowing to return and murder who Duncan loves after he spares her
- Season 3: Antonius Kalas is an ancient Immortal who was previously a monk who helped his teacher run a sanctuary on holy ground for Immortals. Kalas, however, used the sanctuary to murder Immortals by ambushing them as they left. After MacLeod exposed him and his teacher banished him forever, Kalas vowed revenge. He later attempted to murder a young singer after only suspecting MacLeod was involved with her in the 1920s, and when he returned in the 90s, he systematically laid out a web to destroy everyone close to MacLeod after murdering his old teacher, Brother Paul. Kalas shows no hesitation in torturing and murdering innocent people, destroying the live of anyone remotely associated with MacLeod. At the end, he is willing to reveal the secrets of Immortals at large to world and throw everything into chaos if MacLeod doesn't offer his head.
- "Line Of Fire": Kern is described by his watcher as an "animal," who rapes, kills and steals as he will. Kern in the past was a scout for American forces who loves killing Native Americans. He earned MacLeod's enmity when he helped slaughter the Sioux village MacLeod was living with and presented Duncan with the scalps he had taken. Kern has no remorse in taking an innocent young woman and baby hostage to gain and advantage and happily describes the crimes he has committed over the centuries when confronted.
- "Mortal Sins": Ernst Daimler is the only Immortal seen who's a former Nazi. A firm believer in fascism, Daimler sought to help "purge" all lower races in World War II and ordered the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people, as well as wounded prisoners, until he was stopped by a young boy who stabbed him in the back. Thinking he was dead, the boy and his cousin wrapped Daimler in chains and threw him into the Seine where he remained for decades. In the present, Daimler leads a white supremacist movement and finds the little boy who stabbed him, now a kindly old priest. Daimler gleefully guns him down after terrifying him off holy ground, and then attempts to murder a pregnant woman who tried to stop him before MacLeod intervenes and takes Daimler's head.
- "Comes A Horseman" & "Revelation 6:8": Kronos is an Immortal whose legacy of death dates to the Bronze Age, was the leader of the Four Horsemen, a band of Immortals who led armies to Rape, Pillage, and Burn across continents. Kronos was the most sadistic of all of them, slaughtering the innocent and raping whom he desired, including a slave girl for no other reason than his sworn brother Methos had taken a liking to her. In the present, Kronos recruits Methos, now The Atoner, back into a scheme to reunite the Horsemen and create a plague to destroy all of humanity, viewing himself as the end of time itself.
- "Archangel", "Avatar" & "Armageddon": Ahriman is an ancient and powerful Zoroastrian demon that returns to earth every thousand years to cause Armageddon if not stopped by an Immortal chosen by fate to be humanity's champion. He's implied to have inspired every major religion's concept of a great antagonist and is just as ruthless and evil and that implies. He has no problem with gleefully inflicting psychological torture on the heroes and downright murdering bystanders that get in the way by trying to help them. Just to hammer home his status as this trope one of his first acts is manipulating Duncan into accidentally killing Richie Ryan, his close friend and protégé.
- "Indiscretions": Morgan Walker is unique amongst other Highlander villains in that he's been a slaver for centuries. While Walker once dealt in the Atlantic slave trade, in modern times he uses his job as a modeling agent to capture young women for the sex trade. In prior years, Walker had an attachment to a slave named Charlotte, but after he suspected she had an affair, he killed her, throwing her out of a high window and showing no remorse for her death. When hunting Methos, the immortal she had the affair with, Walker also kidnaps the daughter of Methos's good friend with full intention to kill or sell her should her father not betray Methos.
- Highlander: The Raven spinoff:
- "The Manipulator": Vladimir Rankov was an adviser to the king of Savoy in 1565, tasked with brokering peace with the neighboring Bourgogne by beseeching its duke to arrange for his daughter, Christina, to marry the prince of Savoy. Wanting the dowry that he was to deliver to the prince for himself, Rankov murdered his fellow diplomats, intending to blame the deaths on the duke, not caring that this would exacerbate the war. After Christina's friend Amanda foiled his plans, Rankov retaliated by killing Christina on her wedding day, simply to hurt Amanda. Rankov went on to torture-murder one of his Watchers before becoming an adviser to an Eastern Bloc prime minister named Anton Novak. When Novak decides to peacefully put on end to the civil war that has been ravaging his country, Rankov murders him so that he can continue selling weapons and state secrets to the opposition; while having the journalist who he plans on framing for the assassination tortured, Rankov is amused to learn that the man is the dead Watcher's son, mocking him by saying that his father "didn't start begging until the end."
- "The Ex-Files": Doctor Julian Heller worked as a physician in medieval times, and ensured maximum profits by having his competitors falsely imprisoned and executed, with one of the victims being a midwife friend of Amanda's whom Heller had burned at the stake for witchcraft. In the present, Heller is an esteemed transplant specialist who secretly runs an organization that pays corrupt medical personnel to murder their patients so that their organs can be harvested for sale on the black market. When Nick's ex-wife, Lauren, begins uncovering his crimes, Heller has an assassin murder her informant and assistant, and afterward arranges for the hitman to be killed for failing to kill Lauren, which Heller does himself by poisoning her. During his battle with Nick and Amanda, Heller taunts the former over his ex-wife's death, and describes how he intends to keep the latter's headless body for experimentation.
Comic Books (by publication date)
- Highlander (2006-2007, by Dynamite Comics):
- "The Coldest War": After the Kurgan's death, Immortal KGB agent Tasya Desny took command of his secret army of Temnotiye, pseudo-Immortal super soldiers that the Kurgan had created in conjunction with the Soviet Union back in the 1960s. Wanting to use the Temnotiye to help her win the Game and conquer Russia, Desny has them cause the Chernobyl meltdown as a show of force, and afterward directs them to steal files pertaining to them from a KGB facility, giving them free reign to butcher anyone who gets in their way. While the stolen documents contain the location of and pass codes for a bunker that contains nuclear weapons and the means of producing more Temnotiye, Desny needs the scientist who oversaw the creation of the Temnotiye to get the bunker up and running. To that end, Desny manipulates the doctor, as well as her old allies Connor MacLeod and Paul Furio, into traveling to Russia under the pretense of helping her eliminate the Temnotiye. To strengthen her charade, Desny kills several of her own Temnotiye minions in false flag attacks, and lets them murder her KGB partner. When the bunker is unearthed, Desny reveals her treachery, decapitates Furio, and mockingly informs Connor that their friendship is a thing of the past and that all she cares about now is power.
- "Armageddon": A self-declared prophet, Watcher archivist Idima Nahru became convinced that it was her destiny to help usher in the apocalypse, which she set out to do by founding a doomsday cult called the Eye. Slaughtering anyone aware of the group's existence, Nahru has its members target Immortals all over the world, drawing them out by attacking and killing their loved ones. While "weak" Immortals are killed on the spot, sufficiently skilled ones are abducted and forced to fight each other to the death in Nahru's compound in Tunisia. After Duncan MacLeod decapitates one of her Immortal acolytes, Nahru reveals that the woman's protective collar contained a Dead Man's Switch for an atomic bomb, which has just annihilated a nearby city. When Duncan peers into Nahru's mind, he discovers that she intends to kickstart the end of the world using a ship full of more warheads, one of which is about to be launched at the coastal city of Bizerte. When Duncan forces his way aboard the ship, the dying Nahru enacts her final gambit, forcing Duncan into a confrontation with one of her Immortal fanatics in the vessel's weapons hold; Duncan will either die from being beheaded, or be doomed to suffer for years from the effects of radiation poisoning after the Quickening caused by him decapitating his opponent sets off all of the nukes prematurely.
- The American Dream, by Brian Ruckley et al.: John Hooke first arrived in America on the Mayflower and has been a scourge ever since. First seen as an officer in the Confederacy, Hooke attempts to lure Connor MacLeod off the safety of Holy Ground by massacring an entire village, shooting a man to death as a warning to Connor and beating a second to death with an empty gun. Over the centuries, Hooke is a thief and a Serial Killer, murdering countless innocent people simply for sport and pleasure with a fixation of stealing an eye from each victim he kills. Finally drawing Connor's ire, Hooke attempts to eliminate him and his friend Osta Vazilek by sending the Kurgan himself after them so he may take the other's head unimpeded. While the Kurgan is likened to a wolf, Hooke is seen as a rabid dog and is seen by Connor as one of his most vile enemies in all his centuries of life.
- The Animated Series: Lord Kortan, refusing to take the pledge the other Immortals took After the End, declared himself the de facto winner of the Game, and decreed that he was now entitled to all of the world's knowledge and power. After killing Connor MacLeod—the only Immortal willing to break the oath to challenge him—Kortan conquered and enslaved most of the planet, ruling unopposed for 700 years. When Quentin MacLeod's immortality activated after Kortan's slavers murdered him and his mother, Kortan set out to slay this new Highlander through any means necessary. Kortan's worst acts included firing an atomic bomb at Quentin's homeland; feeding dissidents to mutant ants; lobotomizing people to make disposable "human keys" to his armory; regularly executing his own followers for failure and outliving their usefulness; deploying them as suicide bombers against a city; and inciting hatred of Quentin by founding a cult in his name, one that enslaved kidnapped children after staging their sacrifice. In the final episode, Kortan destroyed whole towns with salvaged missiles, and threatened further bombardments unless Quentin confronted him at midnight. Even though the deadline was met, Kortan ordered that more rockets be launched anyway, laughing, "Why stop at MacLeod when we can crush them all?"
- Kurgan Rising: Architect Augustus Mason, a member of the cult Sons of the Kurgan, used the group's knowledge and resources to construct the Barrow Building, a Parisian skyscraper that was designed to resurrect the Kurgan by ripping his essence out of Duncan MacLeod. Magically luring numerous Immortals into the structure, Mason places them in medically-induced comas, and forces one, a bishop, to consecrate the building's basement before destroying his mind with drugs and torture and using him as bait to lure Duncan into his trap. Mason forces Duncan to decapitate the bishop on the Holy Ground, causing a blasphemous Quickening which the occult-infused architecture of the Barrow Building uses to revive the Kurgan. Along with driving Immortals all over the world violently insane, the aberrant Quickening also causes supernatural disasters that ravage Paris, killing hundreds. After brainwashing the Kurgan with psychotropic drugs and having him butcher dozens of the Immortals that he has captured, Mason reveals that he does not want to serve the Kurgan, he wants to use him as a puppet that will win the Prize for him and allow him to ascend to Godhood.
- The Search for Vengeance: The ruthless Roman general Marcus Octavius earns Colin MacLeod's eternal enmity by massacring his people and crucifying Colin's wife Moya to see their home destroyed. With Rome's fall, Marcus vows to recreate it anew in his hunger for a world of order and beauty, working for countless evil forces throughout history including the Nazis themselves. When he takes over a future New York, Marcus unleashes a virus with an 80 percent kill rate to keep the population in line, and when they resist his rule with Colin, opts for some "creative brutality" in sending his forces to decimate the remaining population while planning on unleashing an even deadlier strain of the virus to kill every living thing in New York before he finally takes Colin's head.