Quotes about the relationship between power and responsibility have been around a lot longer than you might think. Voltaire talked about it in the time of the French Revolution. Winston Churchill spoke on the concept in front of the House of Commons in 1906. Theodore Roosevelt brought it up when he explained his reasons for not seeking a third term as President of the United States. These legendary men all put their own marks on the course of human history, but when it comes to explaining that "With great power comes great responsibility," Stan Lee's name comes to mind before any of the rest.
Comic Connect's Vincent Zurzolo gets to the heart of the reasons why this is true, in his recent interview about Lee for the BBC: legendary men have what it takes to shoulder that responsibility, but the ordinary, flawed, human side of such heroes — even fictional super-heroes — is what allows us all to understand such things.
Stan Lee and his collaborators understood that better than anyone.