Who wins between Darth Vader or Superman has long been discussed in many smoke pits. However, there can be only one winner. Contrary to popular belief, Superman has lost, a lot. Let's take a look at their attributes and decide once and for all who the baddest man in Sci-Fi is.
The iconic Sith Lord is a brutal warrior. Certain comic books depict him as a merciless killer with awesome one liners. Granted, Disney disavowed most of these as no longer cannon. However, the impression has been made. Contrary, if you want to go that route, we can't account for a large majority of time in his life. Vader could have been doing nearly anything, but more importantly we can no longer say what powers he doesn't have. He is master of the Force, and the list of powers that brings is long. Force users can enact mind control, telepathy, and combustion. Furthermore, they can fold space to instantly transport themselves across long distances.Now if that wasn't impressive enough, here are the real scary powers. A "Thought bomb" is an ancient Sith power with massive destructive force. Sith Lord Vitiate once used it to destroy an entire planet. It "absorbs fragmented souls into a swirling vortex of perpetual torment." That might be the most hard core thing I've ever heard. Consequently, dark lightning, mind torture and invisibility seem less impressive by comparison. His lightsaber can cut through most things and he can pick up, or stop, large objects using the Force.
Although Vader can use the Force to fortify his body, it has limits. Even with meditation, eventually he must breathe, eat and sleep. He can take some damage, but if his lightsaber is damaged then he looses his second most powerful weapon. Arrogance has caused him to underestimate opposites and hold back. Also, he apparently really hates sand.
Now before we start, we must realize Superman has been around for a long time. As a result, he has been given many weird and frankly over powered abilities. They have been inconsistent at best, and the result of lazy writing at worst. For this reason we will be basing this on a modern interpretation of the hero.[caption id="attachment_22647" align="alignnone" width="300"]
The man of steel is one of the strongest beings in his universe. Super-speed, enhanced senses, and x-ray vision are all his allies. It is even said he can hear Batman's unique heart beat and can tell if he is in true danger. Imagine that, you hear a certain pitter patter and you think, "Bruce just fed some pickpocket his own femur." Beyond that, heat vision, ice breath, and apparently his body will go into a hibernation state if damaged badly enough.
Superman's greatest weakness is his mind. He is easy to fool, overly trusting and very susceptible to mind control. He is also weak to magic, extremely high voltage electricity, and sensory overload. Kryptonite, high pitched frequencies, and nuclear energy also can cripple him. Furthermore, red and green sun light waves are extremely bad for Supes. Going too long without yellow sun rays will also zap him of his strength. High gravity, and extreme brute force has also brought the leader of the Justice League to his knees. He has broken the light barrier in certain comics, but he cannot do so in a planetary atmosphere. Also, he rarely ever uses that speed in a real fight. Using his full power could destroy the planet or kill his opponent, which he is strongly averse to.
The first question you have to ask is where does this battle take place? If it is anywhere without a yellow, blue or white sun, Superman looses. It really is that simple. The key to this is Vader's ability to mind probe. Superman could arguably win every time by moving at sub-light speed and turning Vader into pink mist. However, that's not his style. He would want to investigate, and reason with Vader before things get violent.
How Vader wins
Upon seeing Superman glide in, Vader would immediately know he was strong. Every Force user probes their opponent upon first contact. He would sense the conflict from the heavy burdens Clark Kent is famous for carrying. Without the Force to counter, he is nearly defenseless against Vader's mind control. Not in the Zombie sense, but rather the torment sense. Superman has shown to be vulnerable to mental fatigue. Furthermore, if Superman can snap Zod's neck with a twist, that reasons that a strong enough Force maneuver could achieve the same results. Also, Darth Vader could use the Force to block his brain synapses from firing, like the green lantern Ch’p did.
How Superman wins
Despite being several times hotter than lava, a lightsaber is not going to kill Superman. Also, Vader doesn't have the stamina to pummel Superman with large object with enough force to end him. Notwithstanding, Superman is prone to lightning damage. Although, he proved with Shazam that he can power though. Heat vision is a match for the lightsaber. Thus, it will put Vader on the defense just long enough for Superman to strike. One blow is all it would take. He could even just strike the ground and cause Vader to be trapped in a landslide.
Without knowing how to attack his opponent, Darth Vader won't make the most of the time he has. Superman will let him monologue just to hear him out. Then there will be a clash of wills, Vader pushing Clark back with the Force. Superman fires off heat rays, but they strike the lightsaber. Darth Vader tries to choke him, but Superman doesn't feel it. Vader brings the full pressure of all his power, but Kal-El powers through. We have Superman winning this fight 95/100 times. Make no mistake though, the chances of Vader winning this are low, but never zero.