Much like Star Wars vol. 1, Darth Vader's first trade I picked up during a Comixology sale in order to give it a second try. The reason I say 'second' try is that I'd bought the first issue of both series and while Star Wars impressed, Vader didn't so much.
Well, after reading 'Vader' their fortunes seemed to reverse with me as, unlike Star Wars, Vader was a really great story which I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.
I've no idea why this is the better book given that both this and Star Wars' plots run somewhat concurrently, however, everything about this trade just screams 'superior' to me.
A big factor could be the storyline which, at its core, reads more like a very house of cards style political thriller. That's certainly how I see it as it basically sees Vader doing his job while one upping everyone to come out on top. If that isn't Frank Underwood then I don't what is.
Speaking of Vader, while I thought Jason Aaron had a good grasp of the Star Wars cast, Gillen does it much better as both Vader and the Emperor read like they should, to the point that I actually hear James Earl Jones in my head when Vader speaks (which has to be proof of perfect characterisation).
And finally there is the art which I find to be just fantastic! I often hear on Comic Geek Speak that geeks think that Salvador Larocca draws the best Vader and I agree but that isn't the half of it. In truth, I think Larocca's style perfectly encapsulates the a Star Wars universe to the point that this should be considered the universe standard.
I seriously loved the Darth Vader trade, to the point that (and I may be in the minority) I think it may be superior to the main book. As a result, I think I'll be getting the follow up trades for Vader over Star Wars, though I may have to reconsider when I get to the crossover.