This is what makes comics a true art-form.
Every comic I've penned is creator owned. Mack Turner: Slayer of the Dead is my vision of zombies, Steel Creek is an homage to Clint Eastwood and the Westerns that inspired my time studying film at Ithaca College. Patriot-1 is the story I've always wanted to tell - the story about a soldier who simply represents the basic ideals and moral righteousness of an entire nation.
My next graphic novel does indeed utilize a public domain character. But it's one that fascinates me, as I've mentioned. However, the story surrounding this character is entirely original and it will play directly into the universe that's being created now.