What was the difference between Marvel and DC comics through most of their respective existences? DC's heroes are arguably more iconic, especially the trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But Lee's superheroes were so much more human than DC's.
Peter Parker had to worry about homework, girls at school, and helping his Aunt May with money. The Fantastic Four sometimes couldn't pay rent for their space atop the Baxter Building. Bruce Banner constantly lived in fear that the monster inside him would destroy everything he held dear. Thor had to live in the body of a cripple on Earth to teach him humility.
Stan Lee reached out and bonded with the fans, referring to them as "True Believers" and signing off with "Excelsior!" like we were all members of a club.