For Lee, his story could be as small, even, as a single city - frequently his own, New York, where his family had struggled through the Great Depression in a one-room apartment.
A key to Lee's enduring cultural relevance were the brief and gratifying cameos he would make in the Marvel titles.
And that, of course, leads us to the wildly comic-skewing pop cultural landscape we have found ourselves within for most of the 21st century, headed up by none other than the cinematic fruits of Lee's labours, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Avengers and X-Men have united in paying tribute to Stan Lee, the creator of several iconic Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, who died Monday at the age of 95. In addition to being the former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, he went on to become the imprint's publisher and chairmen.
Mr Lee founded Marvel Comics with Jack Kirby in 1961.
It wasn't just that Lee created these characters; his work also upended expectations within the comic book industry. But despite the fact that his character ends up drunkenly stumbling out of a bar, this was apparently Lee's favourite cameo. His work converted Marvel into a comic book juggernaut, and eventually into the multimedia behemoth that has created the highest-grossing superhero movies of all time.
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"I'm not going to tell you what specifically", Feige said, "but Stan always appreciated a good surprise".
Funnyman Seth Rogen added, "Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special". And rest in peace.
Lee has acting credits in more than 120 films, according to IMDb, including credited roles as a hot dog vendor in 2000's "X-Men", a security guard in 2003's "Hulk" and a man mistaken for Hugh Hefner in 2008's "Iron Man".
The comic book mogul had reportedly suffered from pneumonia earlier in February this year, while in 2016, he began having issues with his issues and could no longer read his own comics.
Lee was also able to populate an entire fictional universe, ensure that the characters that inhabit it mostly get along and invited his young readers to spend a little time there.
Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr said of Lee: "I owe it all to you".
We'll be updating this story with more detail shortly.