|“||Candy for good children...steel stakes for bad.||”|
–Donatello, Manga Chapter 02
Father Donatello, (ドナテロ, Donatero) also known as the "Phantom Father," is a priest obsessed with the idea of punishing evildoers. In 1927, he commits a series of murders in and around Little Italy, aided by his newfound incomplete immortality.
He is devoured by Szilard Quates after the man deems him useless.
Donatello has short light brown hair, and is a relatively tall and skinny man. He is only depicted wearing the robes of a Catholic priest, and wears a cross around his neck. Firo thinks Donatello looks to be in his twenties.
To the passerby, Donatello appears to be a friendly young man, if a touch clumsy. When the subject of criminals and 'evildoers' is brought up, however, he displays a violent hatred towards those who undermine the innocent. His affable demeanor ultimately hides a murderous black-and-white fanaticism.
It is likely that his clumsiness is also an act, given that he displays fairly impressive athletic abilities during his fight with Claire Stanfield.
Szilard Quates makes Donatello an incomplete immortal before the start of the manga, intending to use him to ensure that the 'failed product' is safely transported. Donatello subsequently goes on a killing spree, targeting criminals and other 'evildoers.' He is referred to in rumors as "the Phantom Father."
In 1927, Donatello is walking along the streets near the Coraggioso when a purse-snatching thief bumps into him (as he's making his getaway), knocking Donatello to the ground. Firo Prochainezo, accompanied by Keith Gandor, helps him to his feet. Donatello thanks Firo and offers him a lollipop, introducing himself as a priest. He invites Firo to come watch a children's puppet show, at which Firo declines. One of Donatello's colleagues calls him over to help carry some items. Donatello bids farewell to Firo and Keith, telling them they should enjoy tomorrow's festival (The Festival of San Gennaro) to the fullest. As he walks away he trips and falls to the ground again. Though he gives no outward indication that something is amiss, it is probable that he immediately recognized Keith as the head of the Gandor family.
Later that day (or perhaps on the morning of the festival--it isn't clear) Donatello locates and murders the thief, skewering him with stakes (one in his neck, one in his back, one in each arm). He uses the stakes to string the thief up in an alleyway. (The thief's body is later discovered on the day of the festival by Firo).
Donatello confronts Keith in an alleyway (exactly when this happens is unclear) and laments how innocents suffer "for the sake of evil." He calls New York 'incredible,' and says that it is filled with 'villains and scum' (clearly including Keith among them) of whom there is no end. Keith and Donatello presumably have some sort of physical encounter which results in Donatello 'kidnapping' Keith, and leaving behind Keith's bloody jacket along with a smashed lollipop.
Walking through the streets a little ways outside where the main festival is taking place, Donatello hands out lollipops to children. He is confronted by a suspicious Firo, who introduces himself officially as part of the Martillo Family Camorra and demands to know what Donatello has done with Keith.
The revelation that Firo is a criminal causes Donatello to turn antagonistic toward him. He slides a stake out from his sleeve and prepares to stab Firo with it, only to have his wrist seized by Claire Stanfield. Claire throws Donatello to the ground a few feet away, splattering a small amount of blood onto the ground. The fallen blood retracts back into Donatello's skin and he gets to his knees; Claire and Firo look over at Donatello and are perplexed to find him uninjured.
Donatello explains that he has divine protection and compares himself to San Gennaro, claiming that his gift is what gives him the ability to continue taking vengeance against unpunished criminals. He rushes Claire, only for Claire to seize Donatello's stake and use it to impale Donatello's forearm. Claire tugs at the stake; Donatello sneers and throws a punch at Claire. Claire compliments him and punches Donatello's face in turn, which heals moments later.
Firo puts two and two together, affirming that Donatello must be the "Phantom Father" who has been terrorizing the streets of little Italy for some time according to the rumors. Donatello alludes to 'God's plan' for New York to be 'reborn' and crows that the mafia will be given a warning after the festival, a warning which Claire deduces will probably be Keith's death. Donatello says that he had been advised to target small organizations so that innocents wouldn't be dragged into the conflict, and thus chose the Gandors...though he notes that he could have gone with another Mafia family like the Martillos instead (not mafia, Camorra, corrects Firo, at which Donatello replies "all scum look the same to me").
Claire quips that Donatello is technically correct - after all, they are with the mob - and Donatello charges him once more. The two begin fighting in earnest, moving upwards via the firescapes towards the rooftop of a nearby building. Donatello gasps out a "what...are you?" while Claire pummels him, to which Claire responds, "I'm just a hitman. Don't worry about it."
Firo reaches the roof and calls out to Claire, drawing Donatello's attention. Donatello makes a break for it, heading for the edge of the rooftop that is opposite Little Italy. Firo tackles him by the waist, and the two plummet toward the ground below. Donatello jabs Firo in the face with his elbow, causing Firo to unintentionally let go of him. Donatello falls directly onto a flagpole protruding from one of the firescapes. He is impaled through his torso. Firo, meanwhile, lands in the midst of sandbags and boxes piled up on the ground. While Claire and Firo are distracted, Donatello regenerates and escapes.
Clutching a hand to his healed wound, Donatello curses as he hurries down the streets and consoles himself by saying he hasn't lost to evil yet, thanks to San Gennaro's continued protection. He reaches the church, and is horrified to find it engulfed in fire. The front doors to the church open to reveal Keith, unharmed from the flames. Completely nonplussed, the addled Donatello compares Keith to the likes of San Gennaro himself. As Donatello stands there dumbstruck, Claire calls out to Keith and the two of them leave the scene.
That night, Donatello kneels in front of the rubble in the church's ruined interior. Szilard enters the church, surveys his surroundings, and denounces Donatello as a disgrace. Donatello, bereft, kneels in front of Szilard and begs for his guidance - for the "righteous must not bend to evil." Szilard devours him without a moment's hesitation, and dismisses Donatello as an incompetent after reviewing the man's memories.
- In 1935-D Firo realizes he has Donatello's memories via Szilard. Looking through Donatello's memories, Firo notes that Donatello truly believed he was saving the world by killing people.