Last week, we asked you about the greatest lunar destructions, scenes in which the moon is punched, cracked, blown up, and otherwise harmed. This week, we turn out attention to scenes in which the moon is defaced—used as advertising, engraved with signatures, and in one case, splattered with blood.
This was created with the aid of TV Tropes’ Deface the Moon page.
Le voyage dans le lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902): Granted this one is a crash rather than an act of vandalism, but it’s at home on this list since it literally pokes the moon in the eye.
“Watch this Space” by Arthur C. Clarke (1956): Normally for these lists, I like to stick to television, film, and comics, but this story from Clarke gives a pretty clear sense of an odd lunar defacement. A group of scientists create luminescent sodium clouds that are visible from Earth, but one fellow hijacks the experiment to create a highly visible corporate ad:
I had seen skywriting on Earth, but this was something on a far larger scale. Whatever I thought of them, I couldn’t help admiring the ingenuity of the men who had perpetrated the scheme. The O’s and A’s had given them a bit of trouble, but the C’s and L’s were perfect.
Compare this with Robert Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold the Moon, in which a man raises funds for a lunar trip by selling his assurance that no one will advertise on the moon.
Superman #156, “The Last Days of Superman” (1962): After Superman is infected with the deadly Virus-X, he prepares for his demise. While clouds cover the Earth, he writes a final message on the moon with his heat vision, confessing his true identity. Once he is cured, however, he, Supergirl, and Krypto quickly erase his vandalism before anyone else can see it.
G.I. Joe, “Lasers in the Night” (1985): One of Cobra Commander’s more bizarre plans was to carve his hooded likeness into the moon. No one thought this plan was a good idea, least of all Destro. After the Joes take control of Snake Island, Quick Kick “fixes” the moon by giving it a smiley face.
The Tick, “The Tick vs. Chairface Chippendale” (1994): This is the entry everyone was clambering for in the “Destroy the Moon” post. Here it is in all of its Ticky glory. The best part about this defacement is that it occurred in the second episode, meaning The City was stuck with the letters “C-H-A” on their moon for the first season.
Calvin And Hobbes (1995): Granted, this occurs only in Calvin’s imagination, but he gets style points for imagining his graffiti in cursive.
The End of Evangelion (1997): This is a grisly bit of accidental defacement. After Rei is wounded, her blood splatters so far out from the Earth that it splashes the moon, leaving a big red stain.
The Simpsons, “Fraudcast News” (2004): Mr. Burns uses his greatest weapon against Lisa Simpson: shame. Using lasers, he beams an image of Lisa kissing Milhouse onto the moon. In the words of Milhouse, “Way to go, Moon Milhouse!”
All-Star Superman (2006): Superman isn’t the only Metropolis resident who has engaged in short-term moon alterations. Jimmy Olsen requested a temporary cosmetic adjustment to the moon to impress his girlfriend.
Eureka Seven “Wish Upon a Star” (2007): After completing their first series of adventures, Renton and Eureka are rewarded not just with their lives and love, but also with their names etched in the moon.
Hancock (2008): When Will Smith’s superhero graffitis the moon, it’s with a good intention. He paints the All-Heart logo his buddy Ray seeks to assign to extraordinarily charitable companies. Still, it’s ultimately an ad.
Perry Bible Fellowship: This strip reminds everyone to check their spelling before firing a laser at the moon.
Rolling Rock (2008): Rolling Rock briefly ran a humorous “moonvertising” campaign, claiming that it would beam its logo on the moon. Some folks, however, believed that the moonvertising promise was for real.
Gunnerkrigg Court: Antimony Carver didn’t know that she’d leave a fingerprint on the moon after Coyote the Trickster plucked it from the sky. Then again, Coyote will do anything for a laugh. As with The Tick, this moon-print shows up in later installments.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (2009): This comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is pretty much self-explanatory.
Update, 11:08 a.m., May 6, 2020: This post has been updated to remove several videos that are no longer available.